DIVORCE Review: “Church”

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The first season of  is solid.  It’s not a laugh-out-loud series.  The writing and performances don’t render that.  The subject matter is hard.  Nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce, so finding the funny in that type of life circumstance is understandably hard.  However, I think the second season will give us a bit more to laugh about.  We know Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church) a bit more.  We know the little nuances of each of them, and it becomes easier to relate and laugh when things get a bit silly.

In this episode called “Church,” Robert seems happy.  The operative word here is “seems”.  He goes from complete sadness in the previous episode to a bowl of fun and glee in this one.  I almost buy that he is happy until he explains that his happiness is due to church. Oh, boy.

I believe in God.  I have no problem with church.  But we’ve all been in Robert’s shoes.  Any time depression tries to take over your life, your last resort to climbing out of that thing is church.  Churches are a good thing.  They’re great meeting places for fixing what’s broken.  Their general mission statement is the same as what’s mythically known to be on the statue of liberty.  I  get it.  However, I know how temporary that happy feeling is if you’re really only using the church to keep you from voluntarily leaving the earth.  Robert wishes Frances well in life and business.  He resurrects what I assume to be a childhood favorite called “milkshake monster” with the kids.  And he seems actively engaged in church.

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It turns out that in the daytime, he’s one way while in the shadows, he’s still embittered and maybe worse.  Robert visits Julian, Frances’ ex-lover, and admonishes him to take his own life.  He even provides him with a handgun (wth?).  He is administering his own testosterone shots (wtf?).  And he buys the kids a pet snake, which lives in the old house with Frances.  I think this gesture has nothing to do with the children.  He’s attempting to have some sort of footprint in that house, and he’s hoping to say that in a passive aggressive with a scary animal.  He is really off the chain.

On the other hand, Frances seems to have no remorse or sadness about it.  She just seems annoyed, and that makes me annoyed with her.  As I’ve already said, I really think she chose to marry Robert because he was the safe choice. Now she’s in a predicament where she’s a 50-something woman divorcing a man she wasn’t in love with in the first place and who might also be on the hook for paying him alimony. Geez, Louise.  She was not expecting her life to go this way.  She is still floating off a sweet glance by an attractive younger man while walking the streets of Hastings, so that’s nice, but again, she didn’t envision her life going this way.

I am a single 30-something.  I have no experience with marriage or even any long-term relationship over 2 years.  So, how could I even relate to this show?  Well this could be my future.  I could possibly marry someone who is “good enough” at a time when I just don’t want to be on the dating circuit anymore.  It was good enough for Frances.  I just have to remember to at least be less of a jackass than she was when it’s time to divorce.  Psshh.

TB-TV-Grade-B

Season 1, Episode 8 (S01E08)
Divorce airs Sunday at 9PM on HBO

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Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @reneseford
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.

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