HBO welcomes Divorce back for its second season. While I enjoyed the first season, I thought to myself—how much longer do we drag out this divorce? Once it’s done, what do we do with the divorcees? And well…now we know!
After a mini-review, the series picks up a month after Frances (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) was pulled over for allegedly abducting her own kids. The divorce papers are finalized and things are as you’d expect—all over the place! Frances has sole custody of the kids, which in essence means, she’s the bad guy. She’s the one who has to play bad cop, and in turn, overcompensate for all the mess that happens. The writing captures a middle-aged woman, post-divorce, who hopes to balance the life of an entrepreneur and single-ish mom. She de-clutters the house, has restless nights and fights to figure things out after being married. If nothing more, the series picks up by laying the foundation for the chaos that any person on this end of the divorce would experience. A desire to be better, to be more present and well, more in control. SJP is at her best in this role, clearly living in the moments of hurt, fear, excitement and uncertainty.
On the other end, we have Robert (played by Thomas Haden Church) who is in the middle of his own quest to figure out his new life. He carries the presence of a lost, uncertain man who knows what needs to happen, but hasn’t put all the pieces together. He’s a good dad, a present dad, and yet has nothing to show for it. It seems like the only role he’s doing well is being a dad. Looking in, you know he wants to do right by his kids, if nothing more, but recognizes things aren’t going to be as easy as they once were. And that’s the thing about breakups—things change! He starts off with longer hair and a mustache only to cut off the mustache and go to work as a construction worker making $20/hr. His desire is to better, better for his kids, stronger for his kids and somewhere along the way, land on his own two feet.
What this first episode does is show you the highs and lows of a couple and their family. Neither quite have their footing, yet both desire stability. But stability looks different now; it feels different now, and well that’s because it is different now. It’s lonely nights, sleepless nights, restless nights—all in hopes of being the best parent to their kids. I walked away feeling like the two adults were all grown up and ready to handle their new responsibilities. Divorcing has a bad reputation! And well I get it; it’s the ending of a union that didn’t work out. But, what I hope this season captures is the power in making a decision to try again. To step away from something you’ve outgrown and move into a space of freedom and excitement. The previews hint that life isn’t sad for these divorcees, and I’m ready for this journey! I want to see the laughter, the dating, and the awkward attempts at parenting! That’s what happens on this end of divorce at this age and if nothing more, Parker and team will hopefully bring us a story reflecting this!
You can catch Divorce on HBO every Sunday at 10pm EST. Check out the trailer for Season 2 below.