Review of Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series DIVORCE

Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica parker New HBO series Divorce is the antithesis of her old HBO series Sex and the City. Whereas Sex and the City had universal & global appeal as well as longevity  (15 year old Parisian girls are raving about the reruns in 2018 – I kid you not!) Divorce appears to be a show of an entirely different stripe that will have a limited appeal and perhaps a much shorter shelf life.

The premise of # Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce seems to be that divorce is sad and depressing (especially when you are a middle-aged white woman). The main characters are Sarah Jessica Parker who plays a middle-aged woman named Frances Dufresne and Thomas Haden Church who plays her husband Robert Dufresne and they live in this very insular world and live a very culturally narrow existence.

Frances Dufresne is the anti-Carrie Bradshaw. Whereas Carrie was this  young, sexy, carefree, light, and “funny” Manhattanite with a summer place in Sagaponack (?)  Frances is portrayed as this complex, somber, “heavy” middle-aged woman living on the other side of the Tappan Zee bridge. The two shows could not be any different.  There is the Samantha-Esque BFF, true. But Frances is no Carrie and Robert Dufresne is no Mr. Big (except for his physical size and stature).

According to Wikipedia,  # Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce is a “comedy.” Well, okay. If you say so. I think it depends on the sense of humor of the viewer. The jokes can be rather subtle to discern but I suppose that is a lot having to do with cultural differences than anything else. Because for the most part, I find the show, at least so far, a bit bland, a bit depressing, and not all that funny. However, the new showrunner for the show, Jenny Bicks, a Sex and the City alum, promises to lighten things up in season 2. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

Bicks’ relationship with Parker helped when it came to taking over the show. Divorce, created by Sharon Horgan and produced by Parker and Alison Benson’s Pretty Matches Productions, was renewed a month after its October 2016 debut and not long after, the series landed a Golden Globe comedy actress nomination for Parker. “Even though she is the only person I know who still has a BlackBerry, she and I are very good at texting and emailing back and forth. We have a very easy relationship,” says Bicks of her fellow exec producer. Parker, who is called “S.J.” by everyone on set — and by Bicks in the conversation below — is involved in everything from script revisions to editing and casting. “It was really important that we had a previous relationship because it’s hard to jump into this kind of role unless you have a shorthand with each other.”

# Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce does tackle a lot of important and recurring issues that are probably universally familiar no matter what your racial or ethnic background.  Indeed, many of these themes have been covered on Divorce Saloon.  For example:

What is missing from #Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce is, frankly, diversity. She does nail down the #metoo demographic as her main cast is populated with strong white female characters. Nobody can accuse this show of discriminating against white women.
But it is still so predictably one-dimensional as far as inclusion in a significant and non-stereotypical way, of actors and characters who are not white. It’s the kind of casting that makes you go, really, Sarah? This is 2018. Do you really want to convey such a narrow character? Do you really think that only white people are fans of your work and your iconic style or that only white people could be your friends, neighbors, college-dorm mate, or the like? Really, there was no spot in your script which you took 4 years to develop that could have led to the development of at least one main character who was not white?

This is not the era of Sex and the City (and by the way, your fans then were almost as diverse as they are now!) This is the era of Trump. People point fingers at the President for not being inclusive enough and even for being a racist because he seems to see the world, and the country, in a very one-dimensional way (not admitting to themselves that Trump is an effect; he is not the cause).

That said, this is a very important moment in the making of the history of our country and world, one which we want to look back on and hopefully say, heck, at least I was not like Trump. But what can you expect when TV shows and influencers like Parker insist on presenting life in America in this one-dimensional way on television and continue to convey that as normative? Is it really Trump’s fault for being how he is? Or is it people like casting directors and producers of TV shows and influencers like Sarah Jessica Parker that are to blame for their passive participation?

Earth to Sarah Jessica Parker: divorce happens to all races and in this day and age people have diverse interactions that is not all based on skin and with a more inclusive cast, you may find that you get better ratings. And I say this with all due respect. Cause I like you, Sarah Jessica Parker. And on this point, you have really disappointed me.

#Sarah Jessica Parker New HBO Series Divorce is set in Hastings-on-Hudson, a village suburb of NYC city geo-located in Westchester County. From the looks of it, Hastings-on-Hudson is not so ethnically diverse. So, predictably, the cast of the show does not reflect the ethnic diversity that is so lauded in Manhattan where Sarah’s other show Sex and the City shot for about a decade (even though come to think of it, the cast of Sex and the City was not that ethnically diverse either?). It still does not make me feel any less disappointed to see how Miss Parker (a producer and director on the show) and the show’s creator Sharon Horgan, have taken such a narrow view of such a universal experience. Even in a context such as this, influencers like Sarah Jessica Parker should aim to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

So, for Season 3, I propose a massive sea change: (giggle) Let Sarah’s character have a friend who is not white (OMG!). Bring on a Halle Berry type. She is married to and getting divorced from a black CEO of a major US conglomerate. Homegirl is wealthy. She meets Sarah at the art gallery where she happens to walk in looking for some artwork for her second home in the Hudson Valley. (OMG!) The two women get to talking and find out that in spite of the skin they are in, they have a lot in common. They become fast friends. This character lives sumptuously and the husband and she are having a real War of the Roses divorce. Sarah happens to meet the soon to be ex one day when she is visiting with the new gal pal. Sparks fly between Sarah and the soon to be ex-husband.

Or, heck, bring on an Asian character. Or a Latino. And not in a role that is a stereotype. For heaven’s sake. It’s insulting. The idea is, the cast of Divorce is too white and for this reason, it is unrelatable and frankly, distracting unless you are white yourself. I give this show 5/10.

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