DIVORCE Review: “Detente”

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has given us several funny moments.  We have been sold on this idea that it is a comedy, but I beg to differ.  It’s more like a dramedy.  Yes, I am that annoying person that has to mash two genres together because, well, it is.  Things evolve.  That’s not just reserved for mammals or plants.   types evolve as well, and “Divorce” is an example of that.

The last scene is troubling.  Robert (Thomas Haden Church) decides to call the police to report that his children have been kidnapped by Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker).  Yep.  He attends her gallery opening.  Is unbelievably complimentary about how hard she has worked to get it open.  And then calls the police on her the next day.  What in the entire hell?

At my company’s Christmas party on Friday, I asked my co-worker whether he likes “Divorce.”  The only thing he said was, “Divorces are heartbreaking.”  In other words, there is nothing funny about them. And this is what is so unfortunate about this show as a whole.  It’s not funny.  Again there are moments where you chuckle, but it’s not funny.  It’s branded as a comedy, but it’s not funny.  Get where I am going with this? (It’s not funny)

Sarah Jessica Parker is nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.  She deserves it.  She does a phenomenal , but for a comedy show that’s not funny, it’s quite funny that she’s being nominated for a comedic performance.  This leads me to wonder whether the show was unfunny because of the subject matter or the major aspects of , like the writing, direction and set design.  I think it is the latter.  Here’s my short and sweet argument:

If comedians like Richard Pryor can make fun of lighting themselves up on fire, then you can make anything funny. Yes, we’ve heard that argument that divorces are like deaths.  That may be true, but even people make deaths funny.

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SJP’s performance hit more dramatic while Thomas Haden Church gave me more reasons to laugh (unfortunately, he was snubbed in this year’s awards, but here’s hoping to a nom at the Emmys).  So, it is possible for this subject matter to be funny.  It’s just that it didn’t hit those this season.

What is funny about the season finale is Julian (Jemaine Clement).  He shows up at Frances’ gallery opening hoping to restart their little love affair, only to be shot down by her.  When he exits the place, he sees Robert approaching and decides to scurry away.  Hahaha!  Now, that is good.  I think everyone has cheated, been cheated on or knows someone who has experience either or both.  There’s usually nothing funny about seeing the other man or woman, but when s/he scurries, it makes the situation so much lighter.

“Divorce” is heavy.  We are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with Robert kickstarting divorce proceedings.  Here is a man who  says that he no longer wants to be with Frances because she cheated on him.  And we end with a man who is so heartbroken that he’s OK with the mother of his child being locked up for kidnapping her own children. They say a woman scorned is dangerous.  I think the same is true for a man.

Here’s to hoping Season 2 becomes a little less dark and lot more funny.

TB-TV-Grade-B-

Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
Divorce airs Sunday at 9PM on HBO

Read all of our reviews of Divorce here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


 

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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