HBO’s ‘Divorce’ episode 3 review: It’s not enough

Divorce -

Three episodes now into “Divorce,” we will give the show credit for being one of television’s most emotional shows. The irony here is that this is a show we foresee the Emmys nominating in the comedy category, and that makes sense given that this is probably how HBO would classify it as well.

However, it’s hardly a comedy. We’re not sure that we laughed once during last week’s new episode, which largely told the story of couples’ counseling and the attempt by Frances and Robert (or “Rob,” as he briefly tried to call himself) to repair their fractured relationship. It didn’t go well, mostly because over the course of time that Robert had an emotional affair with a woman he first knew in college, one that led to him fabricating a story about what he did on September 11. Therefore, he couldn’t really get up on a moral high horse about what he did versus what Frances did. Both have made horrible decisions. We’re not out to compare one to the other, and we don’t think the show is out to do that, either. We just think that they are out to show the struggles of two people who have become adrift over time, and don’t see the love that was once there.

Even with a few bathroom-humor jokes at the end, the final scenes of this episode were the most heartbreaking as Robert tried to say goodbye to his wife as he prepared to move out of the house. He knew he loved her, but he didn’t know how to love her anymore. We do feel like in general Robert is the one who’s shown to be more inflexible during the process, which is why we find ourselves sympathizing more for Frances. It’s odd, given that her affair is really what got us to this place to begin with.

We are starting to think that “Divorce” is a high-quality show, given that it does take one to elicit the emotional reactions that it has. That just doesn’t make it a show that many people will be comfortable watching. As we’ve said, the authenticity of this will hit home far too much for some. Grade: B.

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