Divorce returned earlier this summer for a third season on HBO, which is great. The bad news is that it’s the last season and also has a very short amount of episodes. No matter the quantity, it remains an effectively bittersweet slice of life comedy about how two people try to maintain an amicable relationship during divorce and it stays that way until the end. I can already tell you’re at the edge of your seat. Understandably, it’s not as exciting as white walkers and dragons, but it’s interesting in its own way. Considering how quick the announcement came just before the season premiered could mean it was taken out just before it reached its logical endpoint. Having seen it, this is a pretty nice way for the series to leave on as it still maintains the same high quality humor and drama that it’s brought us in such a short run.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church return as Frances and Robert, respectively. Now living different lives, they find themselves wondering what they’ll do next. Frances is forced to get a new job after losing her art gallery last season while having a new relationship. Robert is now in a new marriage and trying to handle some new unexpected events in their relationship. While they’re both no longer together, both are trying to maintain healthy relationship as they both try to raise their kids. Thankfully, there’s no big revelation about how these two should be together and leave their respective others. For the better, this show has become more about both Frances and Robert’s existential journey than a romantic one. Sure, they have significant others but they’re just there to have them consider what they want out of life and figure things out. It’s nice to see how their new relationships differ from their marriage as it ended in a more disastrous way.
Henry, played by James Lesure, is Frances’ new boyfriend. While he may be charming, he might not be as committed to the relationship as Frances might be. An ongoing subplot features Frances working with the local bird society, which results in some very funny moments due to the eccentricity of that culture, whether it be the characters or the situations she gets caught up in as she pretends to be a bigger bird fan than she actually is to keep the job. Parker is very funny in the role and I have more appreciation for her as an actress after watching her here. She’s very charming and likable as she tries to navigate through life. Becki Newton returns as Jackie, Robert’s free spirited yet demanding wife, as she’s dealing with a new pregnancy, which puts strains on their marriage. Although Robert is somewhat the same person, it’s clear he’s actually willing to not make the same mistakes and tries to say and do the right things, no matter how stubborn he can be. Church is still very funny and find some interesting choices to play the role that makes him sympathetic at times. He finds new wrinkles in the character to either present a new side of his stubbornness or his vulnerability whenever he gets a chance. Nothing gets blown out of proportion or taken to extremes for comedic opportunities. The characters actually sit down, talk and listen like actual human beings do. They might not always agree with each other or get things resolved, but at least it’s out there and we don’t have to depend on it being dragged out to create unnecessary drama throughout the season. It’s clear they both want to have a healthy relationship for their kids and their commitment to that adds to some successful moments of drama. How things get resolved feels like a very healthy and logical leap forward for the characters.
By the end, it may not be epic but it doesn’t need to be. I’m just happy that they were able to give us fans some closure. Things just end in a very matter of fact way as things end sometimes. It fits the series’ down to earth but biting viewpoint they’ve committed to since the beginning. Even with a new showrunner, Liz Tuccillo, the series still has the same feeling as before. All the actors give great performances and are supported by wonderful writing and directing. It’s 6 episodes that go down pretty easy and will be satisfying to those who went on this very easygoing and smooth ride.
I am giving Divorce : Season 3 a 4 out of 5 Hairpieces!