DIVORCE Review: “Counseling”

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is a funny-serious show.  The context sucks because a marriage is ending.  And as many divorcees say, it’s like experiencing a death.  But there sure are some funny moments in-between, namely the immaturity displayed as things unravel.  Robert (Thomas Haden Church) and Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) are no longer a unit.  A unit requires two participants.  Unfortunately, Frances parted ways with Robert a long time ago, and it’s revealed during their counseling sessions.

During counseling, Frances admits that she’s had sex with her lover upwards of “30” times.  Robert has “2” in mind.  This either means that Robert has no clue what kind of woman he’s married to or Frances hides her shit really well, like ninja-style.  In either case, it sounds like Robert has been put on the backburner for awhile.  Robert reveals that he had an emotional affair with an old female college buddy.  He doesn’t admit that it was an actual affair because they didn’t have sex, but he got a lesson on the expanded definition of “affair,” and guess what?  It can be emotional, too.  Turns out they’re both assholes, to an extent.  Or they’re just married people who desire something a little different from time to time.  Should this be a deal-breaker?

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The current divorce rate is between 40 – 50%.  This means that 50 – 60% of people are married.  That means that most marriages survive.  Are these marriages necessarily exempt from affairs, emotional or physical?  No.  They are just choosing to stay married, and who knows what kind of issues they have, if any.  I can guess that at least one long-term marriage has survived both emotional and physical affairs, and that couple, wherever they are, are happy.

So, let’s look at Frances and Robert.  In my humble opinion, they’re whining.  They’re  borderline annoying. And they’re spoiled.  Three episodes in I am not sure why these two have decided to break up their family.  Because Frances cheated?  Because Robert had an emotional affair?  You’re married!  You’ve vowed to be with that person forever through ups and downs (there are 2 exceptions, but a cheat episode isn’t one of them).

Going back to the idea of the unit, it takes two to want to move forward.  Frances is the one that pulls the cord on more counseling.  She declares that they’re done, and so they are.  Robert has a hard time leaving the house.  He calls her name one more time because he says he will miss doing that and then proceeds to take a dump.  Anyone who has ever done something scary as hell has had to take a dump right after.  Google it.

There is one couple that needs to activate the “move forward” plan.  It’s the couple that Frances notices as she and Robert wait for their counseling session.  Every time she sees the woman, she has a black eye.  I’m sure it’s from her husband.  Getting beat should be a deal-breaker.  Comparing Frances’ problems to that battered woman makes Frances look silly as hell.  Frances has a husband that loves her “dirty draws,” as my girlfriend says, but she’s just not into him anymore.  I’m curious to see why she chose to marry him in the first place.  Was he the safe choice?  Was her real love someone totally unavailable at the time she wanted to settle down?

I can’t help but be transported to Parker’s old character “Carrie” in Sex and the City.  She dumped the perfectly good Aidan for arrogant but charming Mr. Big.  Is Frances what “Carrie” would be if she decided to marry Aidan?

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I digress.  The point I am making is that these two can work it out.  Nick (Tracy Letts) wakes up from his coma to tell Robert to stop whining about his failing marriage.  Proves that they’re both brats, and I have hope that they will eventually work it out.  Maybe.
TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 1, Episode 3 (S01E03)
Divorce airs Sunday at 10PM on HBO

Read all of our reviews of Divorce here. 
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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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