Over the last few months I’ve been self-medicating with Netflix on my iPad. I binge-watched Grace and Frankie and the first several seasons of Jane the Virgin. I wanted to keep it light and funny. Jane the Virgin is fairly ridiculous and it makes me laugh, which is what everyone needs sometimes, right?
Grace and Frankie is a laugh-shaped box that has tears inside it, though. I didn’t read about the series before I started it. I merely relied on the hearty recommendation of a few people, all of whom are older than I am. I feel older than I am sometimes, so this series about two 70-year-old women dealing with new life after divorce surprises me with its relatable jokes and drama. Also, Jane Fonda. She’s so, so good.
Then someone recommended Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. My east coast friend said she thought it was like Sex and the City but set in LA. And older, and about divorce. M’kay. I love me some Sex and the City. I once produced a show about Kim Cattrall so I watched ALL OF SEX AND THE CITY in like one weekend.
Anyway, with the hope that this show would distract me from reality and make me laugh, quite like Sex and the City did, I fired up Girlfriends’ Guide in the weeks between my grandmother’s funeral and Christmas.
Okay, yeah, it’s funny. And everyone is filthy rich and gorgeous and they live in impossible houses and drive midlife crisis cars, or better yet they just have their drivers drive them around. Very full of eye candy.
But! The show gets deep right away, exploring the rift in a family that gets wider and wider during a separation and divorce. Protagonist Abby McCarthy, played by Lisa Edelstein (“Cuddy” for you House fans…c’mon I know I’m not the only one) tries to keep everyone happy all the time, while struggling to allow herself to speak up and get what she wants, which is kind of the whole reason for divorce, right? Not ever having been divorced, I can only imagine. And while this show seems to portray divorce in a realistic way (even when its players live unrealistically comfortable lives), I wonder how true it all is. Can you really get through a time like that relatively unscathed?
I’m about 12 episodes in now, and I’ve gotten used to the kooky characters and their hard-to-comprehend spending habits. Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce is entertaining, and since there are 4 seasons, I have hope that the show can keep me distracted and laughing (mostly) for a while longer.