The traditional way of watching TV has been derailed by live streaming and binge watching.
That viewers have become more discerning has put added pressure on writers, who have seen the merits of weaving real-life scenarios into their storytelling.
Divorce, while laden with dark humour, explores the breakdown of a couple’s marriage, where communication has been reduced to the bare minimum and the roots of boredom have become firmly embedded in the foundation.
The second instalment sees Jenny Bicks joining the writing panel after the untimely exit of the previous writer.
Commenting on the show’s reception, Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Frances Dufresne, says, “I was surprised at how much people, um liked it. I guess what I mean is, people were watching it with partners. Some people weren’t. Some have said on Instagram: ‘I just can’t. It’s too painful, I don’t want to see it, and it’s not fun’.”
Divorce is by no means an easy watch. The series unearths issues that are uncomfortable and contentious.
In season 2, Frances finds her stride in her career and the dating world, which is no easy feat, since she has been with Robert since college. Although, he seems to be more in his element exploring the latter.
She notes, “I heard this is what men do; particularly men who are accustomed to being in a relationship. And I’m sure it felt competitive for Frances all of a sudden, that somehow she had to find partnership, too. But, I guess women are, perhaps, at the end of the day, more like cats.
"I mean, maybe they’re just simply more independent. I can see that Thomas’s character wouldn’t want to be alone. That he would feel ill-equipped to be in the world and dating. Like, he just wouldn’t know how to do that, which he kind of says, but to be alone is just not comfortable.”
And that’s a very telling statement because, as a couple, they got comfortable - a little too comfortable.
A very significant scene is where she asks him what he would think if they had met now.
She offers, “I think she finally sees him be a man now that he has this person in his life, and she is seeing him exhibit things that were appealing once. His relationship with Jackie highlights all the things that she had forgotten about and dismissed. It’s that thing about seeing a person through someone else’s eyes.”
Skip, the art dealer, is a guy she almost dates.
When asked if he was based on anyone, she responds, “He’s not, to my knowledge. Now, Jenny might have somebody in mind, but I think he’s sort of an archetype of the villains of the art world.
“But we have to be careful, because you can’t just paint everybody in the art world like these archetypes, because that exists in every industry.”
As for the guy she does date, she reveals, “It’s so objectionable for some. I guess for some women it would be hard to admit that, because that’s not the territory they’re supposed to operate in, which is so weird to me, I still struggle with that. I’m not condoning or advocating for people to have affairs. I’m just asking why is that so problematic (to accept), and so taboo.”
Divorce is ugly but, in this instance, it’s also sublimely entertaining, too.
* Divorce 2 is currently on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Fridays at 10pm.