By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Great actors, dialogue in depressing domestic dramedy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Characters are unpleasant to each other, calling each other names and doing small things (like abruptly shutting off a radio) to thwart and upset each other. Many insults are lobbed at those who have "put on weight." Parents are present and caring but show it in uncomfortable ways; a mom tells her daughter to brush better by sniffing her breath and saying "your breath stinks."
Positive Role Models
Robert and Frances are extremely unpleasant to each other, which can be uncomfortable to watch. They insult each other and treat each other with disdain. They are present for and care about their children and friends, but that message is subverted by Robert's threatening to use Frances' children against her in the divorce.
Violence & Scariness
A woman pulls out a gun and threatens her husband in a tense scene; couples scuffle lightly, pushing each other.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man goes to a strip club when he's upset with his wife: "There were strippers, they were stripping, and they became nude." Graphic discussions of oral sex; a woman cheats on her husband (negative consequences follow); characters are seen thrusting and moaning in bed (no nudity).
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Cursing, usually to emphasize a point: "He only told me 50 f--king times" and "I had to take a s--t in this coffee can." Insulting language: "He's such a wet p---y," "that fat f--k." Other cursing: "bastard," "goddamn," "bitch," "a--hole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink at a party; one acts drunk and sloppy, dancing funny, giggling, insulting people.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Divorce is a mature drama about a divorcing couple. It includes graphic discussions about sex: oral sex, strippers, orgasms, group sex, cheating on one's spouse, and body parts. We also see married and unmarried couples in bed kissing, moaning, and thrusting, but there's no nudity. Characters drink wine and liquor at a party, and one character in particular gets drunk and sloppy, dances wildly, berates her husband, and then threatens him with a gun. Cursing includes "f--k," "s--t," "hell," and "a--hole." People with larger body types or who have gained weight are mocked. A husband and wife are uncomfortably unkind to each other; one partner is unfaithful, and the other threatens to turn a mother's children against her as revenge.
Where to Watch
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Based on 2 parent reviews
Simply for entertainment. Not a handbook.
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definetely go for it , its fun
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What's the Story?
After a tough night at a friend's 50th birthday party, Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) faces an uncomfortable truth: She doesn't love her husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church) any more, and she wants a DIVORCE. Mom and would-be art gallery owner Frances has been having an affair, it turns out, with a bearded homemade granola-making academic named Julian (Jemaine Clement), and when Robert finds that out, he changes the house locks, leaving Frances out in the cold with a "mini suitcase and a grocery bag full of bras," as the infuriated Frances tells her friend Diane (Molly Shannon), who's deep into her own marital troubles with her resentful and ailing husband Nick (Tracy Letts). The kids, Lila (Sterling Jerins) and Tom (Charlie Kilgore), are confused and angry, but no more so than Frances and Robert, who head into their divorce with no real idea of just how bad things could -- and just might -- get.
Is It Any Good?
Crackling dialogue delivered by beloved actors is the chief charm in this domestic dramedy, which is a bit of a bummer but well-done enough to please Parker or Church fans. Audiences will have Frances' number in the show's very first scene, in which her soon-to-be-estranged husband shows her a coffee container into which he claims he was forced to evacuate his bowels when she wouldn't let him into the bathroom; Frances just ignores him. Frances can't even articulate exactly why she's so turned off to her husband, except for a clue she notes to her lover Julian (Jemaine Clement, always a pleasure): "We can't even watch TV together because he repeats the jokes instead of laughing." But viewers will probably change allegiances three times before the credits roll, as each partner takes turns being reprehensible. "I'm going to make you miserable and make your children hate you," Robert hisses to Frances through the locked door of the home they used to share.
Divorce is extremely well-written and the jokes sharp; it's just a bit depressing to watch people who hate each other so much. Diane's husband Nick gives a toast at her birthday party that's just brimming with angry jokes: "We all know Diane has never looked her age ... until this year, when it all came crashing down on her." It's unpleasant to watch people being unpleasant to each other -- even when it's done well.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the media presents divorced parents -- are the characters in Divorce unusual? Families can also discuss the impact that divorce can have on families. What are some of the challenges kids face when their parents can no longer stay married? What are some of the challenges moms and dads face when they have to separate?
What kind of impact does sexual content in the media have on viewers? How can parents keep kids who aren't mature enough to handle this sort of thing from being exposed to it, especially when it's in the news?
- Premiere date: October 9, 2016
- Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
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