Coming to Blu-ray from HBO from creator Sharon Horgan and director Jesse Peretz is the fantastic first season of the HBO series “Divorce: The Complete First Season.”
Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church) are silently heading to the birthday party of friend Diane (Molly Shannon). A speech by Diane’s husband Nick (Tracy Letts) makes it clear that their marriage isn’t a happy one either. A gun goes off, Robert is freaked out, Frances calls an ambulance and Nick is on the floor.
When Robert discovers that Frances has been having an affair and gal pal Dallas (Talia Balsam) knew as well, he isn’t going to make her life easy. Their kids Lila (Sterling Jerins) and Tom (Charlie Kilgore) are oblivious to what’s going on. But a dog always manages to pave the way into a conversation that needs to be had.
Robert is starting to annoy everyone from his workers to the bed ridden Nick who has finally woken up. Being told to shut up, Robert can not understand why Diane and Nick would ever want to stay together.
With divorce seeming a better idea than marriage counseling, Frances and Robert are being told it’s time to tell the kids. They both also are putting together their finances and Robert realizes he is in the financial outs as well! Now that Nick is lucid, Robert wants to find an investor for a project to get him back on track.
Frances finds out Robert has gotten himself a lawyer and decides to lawyer up with Max Brodkin (Jeffrey DeMunn). During the initial meeting, Frances unloads to make sure there are no secrets that can be used against her. Finally signing on the dotted to get her gallery space, Frances finally gets the chance to do what she’s only dreamed of.
Robert and Nick meet up to talk about the Fun Space but instead Nick tells his friend that its time to think about saving his marriage. Learning who her lawyer is, Robert decides to lawyer up – up with Tony Silvercreek (Dean Winters)! Frances, Dallas and Diane take a night out visiting another gallery meeting Carson Hodges (Frank Whaley).
Agreeing to keep things normal for the kids comes to a screeching argument when the Christmas schedule brings tradition into question. Going to Frances’ parents for Christmas means trying to find a way to avoid the problems with telling the truth about their marriage.
Robert meets up with Kathy, a woman from his past who clearly doesn’t see things as he does. While trying to find his way Robert meets a woman who he feels will somewhat even up the affair-score. Frances gets the shock of her life that Robert has been ruining their financial lives for quite some time.
It is down to the lawyers getting together in a room with Robert and Frances to point fingers. Frances feels as if she is being portrayed as an absentee mother while Robert gets all the props. Noticing her lawyer isn’t cutting it, she changes lawyers while trying to work with Robert on being fair.
Being served in public sets Robert on a destructive path while trying to start his new business Fun Space USA. An accident sends the parents into a nicer state but it is hanging on by a thread with Robert holding the scissors. Frances finally opens her gallery with the support of her friends and family.
When a lawyer move pushes Robert, he pushes back – in the worst way one ever could!
Parker as Frances is brilliant in her role trying to keep it together and stay the doting Mom to the kids. Dodging all the verbal bullets hubby Robert is firing keeps this character on her toes. Knowing that it will take time to decide what is best for their marriage; Parker’s character takes the hits and keeps on believing.
Church as Robert is brutal with his one-liners and “purse in the trash” with perhaps a banana retorts. Living under the same roof his tantrums are that of a teenager to my mind yet I get it but still – a teenager. Even their therapy sessions I’m in a bit of shock when he goes off the verbal rails.
Shannon as Diane is hilarious, dangerous and hilarious as that one friend who just has no filter when it comes to anything about her life. Balsam as Dallas wants what’s best for her friend Frances and doesn’t believe its Robert.
Jerins as Lila is such a sweet girl one minute and a pre-teen with all that entails the next minute. Kilgore as Tom isn’t sure exactly what’s happening around him but has other things to do so let’s his parents hash it out on their own. Jemaine Clement is Julian Renaut loves the fun of an affair but not the commitment.
“Divorce” is the perfect series for Parker and Church to show off why they are outstanding at their craft. I have to say the scenes in the therapist office between Parker and Church are stunning and I can not remember a pair more matched than these two.
There isn’t anything about this series that I don’t like. It is a whirlwind of two people trying to cope with what it means to be an adult and be married. Anyone who has gone through a divorce will understand the swamp that a husband and wife go through to come out the other side relatively sane.
Mixed into the harshness between this once loving couple is a twisted comedy that I can’t help but laugh at. With each move they make toward divorce, Frances and Robert are clearly and totally discombobulated with where this is all going to lead them. The finishing line isn’t visible to them at all because of the unresolved issues between them with a final episode that will shock!
Parker was nominated for the Golden Globe Aware for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. The soundtrack of music is completely wonderful and it is definitely one I’d like to own. A mixture of memories that fits
In addition to the series episodes, the Blu-ray includes special features of “Audio Commentaries with star Sarah Jessica Parker,” “Executive Producer/Writer Paul Simms” and “writers Tom Scharpling and Adam Resnick.”
In the end — it is for better or worse, or worse!
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