It's times like these when the idea of all series streaming immediately a la Netflix becomes even more attractive.
Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce is addictive. The characters are so well written and believable, especially Abby and Jake. It's impossible to pick a side, as they are both clearly in pain and at a loss how to move forward with the least amount of resistance. Even worse, it appears they don't want to move forward, but are letting outside influences form their decisions
It's not very often there is a portrayal of a broken marriage when I find myself cautiously rooting for the couple to stay together, but that's exactly what happens during Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Season 1 Episode 2.
Considering we picked up GG2D at just the moment a divorce seems the next logical step for Abby and Jake could be why it's so easy to understand both sides. In Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Season 1 Episode 1, the scene in which they expressed their views on how things fell apart was like a gut punch.
Now Jake is peppering his stints on the couch with nights at Becca's while he and Abby try to find a place for him to live. Unfortunately, her very public break has turned off her agent and Barnes & Noble, cancelling the 11-city book tour and a large portion of her income. That means the unemployed Jake's prospects for a new home dwindle.
With everyone around her already divorced and their stories hardly lessons in happy endings, Abby is finding it difficult to stay on track with her own desires to make the mediation process as "good as something awful can be."
Without the unneeded advice coming at them from all sides – whether for or against their impending divorce – Abby and Jake seem like a couple who have lost their way but desperately want to believe they can find their way back to who they once were. They clearly still love each other and want to believe only the best of each other. They both say more than once the other would never do something to harm them.
Yet with the constant plinking of friends and girlfriends piling upon their worst fears, it only makes sense they start to do exactly what the world expects of them. Their arguments turn ugly, they start making decisions without the support they previously expected and thing go horribly awry.
The closest moment to the earlier scene when they shared their feelings about their broken marriage could have been with the mediator, but that was emotionally tame in comparison to what happens after Abby learns Jake signed a lease from Becca of all people. She claims all the savings as her own, Jake shouts she never gave what he offered the family with as much weight as her financial gains and all hell breaks loose.
When the reality of where there were in that moment came alive, their desperation to make the other feel less than appreciated, the resulting calls to try to secure legal help by them both was heartbreaking.
Max told Abby Phoebe and Lyla were bad role models, and it's their advice carrying the most weight. Phoebe can't let go of Ralf, is still living off of his "gifts" for sex because he loves buying her and she wants a successful career like Abby and Lyla. Lyla is in a horrid battle with her ex, Dan. The hurt he imposed by going to a dominatrix is something she can't escape, and it makes her do crazy things to get back at him and light a fire under his ass to step up and take the same responsibility she feels she holds for the family and its future.
Lyla and Phoebe mean well, but their own experiences clearly color the way they see Abby's marriage with Jake. They don't see the love and trust remaining, but want her to prepare for the worst, all the while inadvertently causing it to come to fruition. It's really a mess.
Abby's emotional affair, Nate (portrayed by a still-hot C. Thomas Howell), wants to continue chatting with her. He does have a way with words, but his insistence on speaking with her at her child's school event, of all things, helps push Jake into signing a lease they clearly should not pay for at this moment in their proceedings.
Lisa Edelstein and Paul Adelstein are knocking it out of the park as war-torn partners. They can break hearts with a glance. Neither Abby nor Jake is right and it's impossible not to want to be their sense of reason, to reach in and shake them by the shoulders – look around! Your friends are miserable and not lending the best advice right now. Go with your gut! Your 17 years together means something and if you step back, maybe you can salvage it.
Max is the closest thing to reason they have and he's a bit too polarized because he loves them both and introduced them to each other. His hopes are mine, minus the inability to understand why Abby stepped out emotionally on Jake. That makes sense, and it seems Jake would be able to understand it, too, if he had a chance to try.
If Abby's desire to have Shabbat as a family with the kids every week isn't a cry she's not ready to let go, then what is? The more time she spends with Jake and the kids, the more obvious it is they're not ready to let go and we can only hope one of the rules is when to stop listening to your friends and start listening to your heart.
- Lyla may come off as over the top, but there's nothing worse than feeling you're too strong only to learn your partner likes being humiliated by a pro.
- Dan may want full custody of the kids, but with his paid sexual fetish alone he should just give up. Add to that the DUI and he's toast. Even if Lyla called the cops on him, he's the one who got behind the wheel while intoxicated.
- No. Hanging your hot piece of ass on your daughter's wall is not OK, even if she's a CW star.
- Abby about Gwyneth: "In person, is she reedy like Madonna, like she chose ass over face?" Love!
- I love the continued use of Hoda and Kathie Lee from Today. Fingers crossed their appearances remain.
Can Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce show us how to weather the traumatic peaks and valleys of an emotional breakup? More about the pain as a result of the death of a relationship than about divorce, I'm holding out hope for a happy resolution. Does that make me crazy? Sure, but no more than everyone else living through it themselves.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.