TV Review: ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’

Photo Credit: NBC Universal
Photo Credit: NBC Universal

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce Plot Summary:

Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein) begins to come to terms with her separation both in her public life as a famous author and amongst her social circle.

Bravo is a network that is all about drama, so it’s no surprise the network’s “first scripted series” Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, tells the story of a recently divorced mother. What is surprising is that the dramedy, inspired by the book franchise from Vicki Iovine, is actually worth tuning into each week. In fact, aside from a few flaws, that have the potential to be improved by series end, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce is the modern day Sex in the City esque rom-com fans all over the nation so desperately needed.

The series premiere kicks off by introducing us to popular self-help author Abby McCarthy(Lisa Edelstein), who has been adjusting to recent separation from her douchey husband Jake (Paul Adelstein). In the first scene, Jake comes home from a wild night out with a CW actress, which only incites a few snarky snide remarks from Abby. We then discover that pretty much everyone is completely unaware of their split, including their two kids (initially), so that Abby can continue lying to her fans at book events.

Photo Credit: Carole Segal Bravo
Photo Credit: Carole Segal Bravo

The only people who are in on the secret are Abby’s girlfriends Lyla (Janeane Garofalo) and Phoebe (Beau Garrett). Lyla is the ruthless Type A who is constantly at odds with her ex-husband, which is the complete opposite of Phoebe, the wildchild single mom. My problem with these two is that we don’t really know much about them other than that. They are walking stereotypes. For a show about a group of three girlfriends, it’s a little bit off-putting to have one woman (Abby, in this case) outshine the other two members in the group.

Another noticeable shortcoming was the predictability of the series of events. From the countless trailers on Bravo (and other NBC networks), the show was clearly about Abby moving on from her husband, and subsequently her popular book series. It was easy to detect from the trailer itself how the pilot was going to piece the story. It’s understandable that Bravo wanted to market their first unscripted series as a big deal, but their constant promos didn’t leave much open to interpretation.

Predictability and flat characters are certainly turn offs, but Abby’s story is really intriguing. She’s a very inspiring character, one that has the potential to encourage Bravo’s female demographic to be more receptive to big changes in their lives. Her empowerment and self-discovery will only bring about the desire to keep watching. Of course, I am continuing this show with slight trepidation, however, I have a feeling that my grievances will be improved before the season’s end. At least I hope so, because I’ve been dying for a new show like this to come along for quite sometime.

Rating: 7/10

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Lauren Stern is the managing editor of Pop-Break.com and is responsible for curating the site’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.

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