Before FreeForm was FreeForm, it was ABC Family, and before even that, it was Fox Family. There was a show on Fox Family called State of Grace back in 2001, and it starred two people who you’re probably heard of before: Alia Shawkat and Mae Whitman.
Way before they were Maybe Funke and Ann Veal, they were Hannah Rayburn and Grace McKee, two young girls from completely different backgrounds in the 1960s. Hannah was Jewish, Grace was Catholic, and for 1965 this was kind of a BIG THING. “Adult Hannah” — from-the-future narrator Frances McDormand — explained the inner workings of Young Hannah’s mind, and how she and Grace became friends, and then best friends, navigating the world together.
And like all great shows too perfect for this world, it only lasted for two seasons. But during those two seasons, it left a lasting impression on viewers, attracted lots of critical praise, and Shawkat and Whitman went on to become real-life BFFs, too. Soon, they’ll be back together, not because they’re hanging out, but because State of Grace is reuniting at the ATX Television Festival this Summer.
“I love every single episode of it and everything related to it and I can’t wait to bring two of my favorite things — State of Grace and ATX Festival — together!” Whitman explained to BuzzFeed in an e-mail, with Shawkat echoing, “I am so excited to have the show shared again with new audiences. It’s been hidden for too long for Grace and Hannah to hang out. To be able to talk about this show again with my best friend…is a true honor.”
Information about the exact details of their reunion haven’t been released yet, but Shawkat and Whitman will join series creators Brenda Lilly and Hollis Rich on a panel, that will probably include stories, maybe a script reading, possibly jokes, and if we’re lucky, Tim Higgins memorabilia.
The ATX Festival won’t happen until June of this year, which gives us plenty of time to comb through YouTube for State of Grace clips. Good place to start is right here, with the pilot episode. Shawkat and Whitman are SUCH TINY HUMAN BEINGS — and still totally amazing.