Created by Sharon Horgan (creator and star of the Emmy-nominated series Catastrophe), Divorce centers on Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker), who, after more than a decade of marriage and two children, has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church). The series begins with the 50th birthday party of their friend Diane – an occasion marked by high drama when Diane and her husband Nick get into an over-the-top fight – which convinces Frances to tell Robert they should split. But Frances soon discovers that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought, while Robert, blindsided by Frances’ epiphany, struggles to cope with their marriage falling apart. The story of a very, very long divorce, the 10-episode first season follows Frances and Robert as they grapple with the fallout from their failing union, not just for themselves, but also for their children and friends. Finding sharp, observant humor in tense situations ranging from awkward public encounters to bitter private therapy sessions, Divorce is about two people at the most difficult moment in their lives, feeling more intense emotions for each other than they’ve felt in years.
I have to say, it’s hard to see Sarah Jessica Parker on an HBO half-hour without being reminded of her earlier, iconic role as Carrie Bradshaw. I had trouble getting interested in the series for this exact reason. As we were introduced to female characters one by one the series just got worse.
I was so excited to see Molly Shannon who plays Diane in this series, she is such a terrific actress. I was ready to be amazed by yet another incredible role. Well, it was quite a disappointment! I mean, each female character in this show is either being portrayed as weak, crazy, a whore, a psychopath…
At one point Frances and Robert try counseling. In the waiting room, Frances encounters a woman with a black eye, with the suggestion that this is from her male partner. Is this a nod to the broader power imbalance between men and women?
In this day and age, I expected more girl power, especially coming from a female creator.
Overall, season one left me more irritated than entertained.