HBO’s Divorce returns for Season 3 as one of the most underrated ensemble comedies on television.
“I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing,” says Robert (Thomas Haden Church) in the second episode of Season 3 of HBO’s Divorce.
This phrase has been uttered by countless characters in popular culture, but what makes this statement most compelling is that it’s coming from a fiftysomething man on the eve of his wedding and not a twentysomething. The stakes are higher.
HBO’s Divorce has evolved from a singular plot about a couple’s demise (Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church) into an ensemble comedy about the complications of relationships and how, even in middle age, you never have everything figured out.
Big Little Lies’ Renata Klein has a fellow HBO comrade who feels her pain in Diane (Molly Shannon), who’s starting over after husband Nick (Tracy Letts) took money from clients and now sits in a jail cell. While Renata will not not be rich, Diane is forced to work as a cashier at a department store and crash on her friends’ couches. Meanwhile Dallas (Talia Balsam) deals with loneliness, when everyone from her son to her clients don’t want to see her anymore.
In Season 3 of Divorce, Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church continue to deliver some of their best career performances. Unlike Carrie Bradshaw, Frances gets called out for her puns when she takes on a new job, after her beloved art gallery goes up in smoke, literally, when the combination of bad wiring and an artist who works in neon causes an electrical fire. Church’s Robert is also forced to start over, when he and Jackie discover they’re pregnant. “Father or grandfather?” Robert asks himself when he spots himself in the mirror next to a small child.
Frances and Robert both got the lives they wanted following their separation, but the show examines that maybe what they got is even more complicated than what they moved on from. When Lila (Sterling James) leaves behind a “Petri Dish” pillow at the former DuFresne house, Frances pops back over to retrieve it and spies the new family enjoying time together like hers never did or never will have the opportunity for again.
But is there opportunity? While Season 3 marks the final season of the series, with word of cancellation landing on the premiere date, the finale leaves things on a positive note, with the viewer to decide what happens next.
Rounding out the excellent supporting cast is Robert’s fiance Becki Newton (Jackie), Frances’ new beau Henry (James Lesure), and Amy Sedaris as Robert’s revolting sister, Cathy.
“I thought we got rid of you,” says Cathy to Frances. But Divorce doesn’t sever ties, it only makes them more complicated, and in Season 3’s case, interesting. Too bad audiences won’t be treated to a Season 4.
Divorce airs on HBO on Mondays at 10 PM ET.