DIVORCE is intriguing. As a single person, I am looking at this as a manual of what not to do. Or at least to try not to do. When children are involved, the stuff between the hell of now and the actual divorce can get tricky.
Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church) really dislike each other. Robert’s dislike is justified. Frances asked for a divorce, took it back and then Robert found out she cheated. As for Frances, I still don’t understand why she dislikes him. As of now, she’s acting like she wants to save the marriage and yada yada. But it’s a classic case of someone panicking because they’ve been found out. Robert isn’t buying her schpiel and finds multiple ways to keep her out on the porch of the house.
There are many things Robert does that can be interpreted as immature – he locks her out of the house; he kinda bumps her in the hospital when she and he happen to be visiting their comatose friend; he tells the children that she stayed at her friend’s house last night because she was drunk; and he even hangs up on her when she tries to discuss the whole cheating thing. However, I don’t interpret his actions as such. He is well within his right to behave however he likes.
Let’s imagine the genders were reversed. If Robert was the cheater, he would be dragged by Frances. I also don’t think one could create a dark comedy about a husband cheating on his wife. No laugh tracks would be appropriate. So, in the name of feminism, I applaud Robert for giving Frances a hard time. Actually, she deserves it. Her selfishness shines through as she yells at Robert over the phone while in a neighbor’s home. (I forgot to mention that Robert also threw her purse in the trash bin, where her cell phone lives, so she was relegated to using the neighbor’s phone). The episode ends with Robert google-searching Frances’ lover, Julian. Who hasn’t tried to figure out why their partner chose to step out on a relationship by googling the person? A mere picture can lead you to imaginary perfection about the other. Frances has created a deep pit of shit, and she’s trying very hard to climb out of it.
While she’s climbing, Robert is trying very hard to keep all of this away from the children. Robert and Frances provide, what I’m sure they would call, “white lies” for their children. However, these are still lies. I can’t imagine what it’s like for parents to figure out how to save their children from the hurt and confusion that’s bound to come from their divorce. Robert and Frances are decent people, and they believe that they’re handling this in the best way possible. I do believe that they’re forgetting how smart their kids are. The kids many have already figured out what’s going on. I would love to see an episode from their point of view.
The show is called “Divorce,” and I don’t think the only ones affected are the husband and wife. I think there are some untapped dark comedy chops waiting from their perspectives.
Season 1, Episode 2 (S01E02)
Divorce airs Sunday at 10PM on HBO
Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
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Jennifer Ford | Contributor