‘Divorce’ is miserable for everyone – not just the couple splitting up
but not without context. If Robert and Frances’ sniping at each other told us something about where their marriage went wrong, and what about their suburban existence was unsatisfying, it might be worthwhile. But the idea that people behave harshly after one of them suddenly asks for a divorce under stressful circumstances is not precisely surprising.
I don’t need my fictional characters to be likeable in order to enjoy them. I wouldn’t have stuck it out through five intermittently frustrating, continually rewarding seasons of Girls if that was the case. But Lena Dunham’s series captures something more than acrimony and bad behaviour.
It’s generationally and geographically specific and the couples on the show share real heat and real sadness: the moment when Hannah (Dunham) and her ex, Adam (Adam Driver), face off over a bassinet in a hospital nursery hit me harder than anything in three hours of Divorce.
After Sex and the City, Parker rarely got the opportunity to do the sort of dramatic acting she so clearly had the chops for.
Watching her turn her eyes into twin wells of misery is a reminder of just how little Parker has been appreciated, and how deeply Sex and the City was misunderstood. Peretz gives the series, which begins in winter, a cool, quiet look that makes the volcanic emotions erupting from Frances and Robert all the more unsettling.
And it’s always a pleasure to see Talia Balsam, here playing Frances’s friend Dallas, on screen.
But Divorce should be a caution that leaching all the fun out of a show doesn’t automatically make a story insightful.
Westworld hasn’t forgotten to spike its philosophising with visual pleasures and unnerving thrills. I understand if Parker wanted to rebound from Carrie Bradshaw’s pun-bound reputation. But I don’t know if anyone’s going to fall in love with Frances while she’s falling out of love with Robert. – Washington Post