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Divorce - Next Day - Review + Poll




I want to love Divorce so badly. And it’s all going wrong, very quickly. If you watch Catastrophe, created and written by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, then you will know the comic genius of Horgan. Sharp, clever, quick and very dry. Along with Delaney, Horgan has made a comedy that is properly funny. So expectations, mine specifically, were high for Divorce. I knew there would be cringeworthy uncomfortableness but also that comedy, dead pan, observational, situational would flow from her fingers and I would have a jolly good laugh.

Expectations have not been managed sufficiently.

Episode two of Divorce aired last night, Next Day, and while it made a promising start in week one things went down hill in week two. It just wasn’t funny enough. Time was taken to establish Frances’ relationship with her kids and protect them from the divorce talk as Robert petulantly locks her out of her own house seeks refuge at the bedside of their sick comatose friend. The set up has enough cues to make funny but the script and delivery puncture any chance of a laugh. This is supposed to be a knife edge comedy where the humour needs to flow from the fall out of divorce and yet it’s difficult to enjoy it even slightly when neither principle character is portrayed in a way which endears me to them. The writing of Thomas Haden Church’s Robert is marginally deeper allowing us to at least slightly care about what happens to him. Church’s dead pan delivery and Molly Shannon’s off the wall performance as Diane, one of Frances’ best friends perhaps redeem episode two. Indeed the hospital bed scene with Robert desperately trying to find sympathy from a comatose friend in front of his wife and her two best friends encapsulates exactly what the whole episode should’ve been like. Multi-layered, multi-character acerbic humour. The whole episode was written by Horgan and Paul Simms and I’d go as far as saying that this was the one part of the episode actually penned by Horgan. The rest was uncomfortable drama, which without the requisite comedy merely presented a dour and desperate woman we don’t really care about. This comedy doesn’t work when it’s just the couple, then its drama. Divorce comes to life through the ensemble because through them we start to care about Frances and Robert and we get the best dialogue.

I shall give it another week but there’s a big part of me that wants to shout at Horgan…”get back to writing seasons three and four of Catastrophe!”



About the Author - Brouhaha
Maxine (aka Brouhaha) is a fan of Grey’s Anatomy and writes episode reviews and occasional articles. Her other TV favourites include Foyle's War, Criminal Minds, Bones, TBBT, Broadchurch, Catastrophe and despite her better judgement Madam Secretary. In real life she's a mum, self-employed and can often be found arguing about politics or current affairs, attempting to write fiction and buying hair products. Got a question - go to Tumblr ask!
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