After The Walking Dead recap marathon ( why oh why did I think I needed to rewatch all those emotionally traumatic episodes before tomorrow?!) I needed some viewing that wasn’t going to give me a frozen shoulder so popped on Ep 2 of Divorce.
Now, there’s a lot of things I could talk about in regards to this show. The SJP buzz for starters and her return to HBO / TV. I could fan girl out so hard about this. Then there’s one of my female writing idols Sharon Horgan – creator and writer of this show amongst many other hilarious ones – like the wonderful pant wetting (yes, really) show Catastrophe.
I wanted to focus on Thomas Haden Church and his brilliant pettiness and character portrayal of Robert in this episode. As a Ned and Stacy fan, I was looking forward to him playing a more comedic role once again and he certainly did not disappoint. I was chortling throughout the episode.
Rejection and hurt manifests itself in a myriad of ways. Some reactions make no sense whatsoever and see us teetering around the border of crazy town. Robert is deeply wounded and has gone into complete shut down man cave mode. He resorts to being a child and this is demonstrated in his actions the entire episode – locking her out of the house, putting her purse and keys in the trash, pretending he can’t hear her, not being able or willing to talk. You can’t blame him for processing and avoiding the enormity of the situation. The period between hearing life changing information and finally processing it is a strange place to find yourself. This episode gives us insight into exactly where Robert’s headspace is at. The poor guy has been blindsided and is reacting not responding at this stage.
The hilarity comes from his childish behaviour where he is being beyond difficult and clearly not ready to talk about any of this nightmare yet. Frances finally gets inside the house and enters the bathroom to which Robert says “What if I’d been shitting?” to which so responds that he never has done ‘that’ in the morning. Perhaps it is the way he delivers the lines – so matter of factly that you can’t help chuckle. His mannerism and tone adds to the brilliant writing of this episode.
Not being married and therefore not experiencing divorce, I can still relate to the painful navigation of awkwardness that ensues after a relationship breakdown. Whilst it such a personal event, I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this show – the tip toeing and creative lying to protect the children, the range of emotional responses and the challenging road to to communicating and working together to either get past it or end it.
Definitely worth watching – it’s a great balance of dealing with the sensitive nature of divorce whilst exaggerating the ridiculousness of it all in our coping mechanisms. I look forward to seeing where Robert and Frances end up.