Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce creator Marti Noxon thinks you should know there's a lot more to GGtD than just some Shondaland drama (our words, not hers). A good chunk of the show follows the characters' quest to navigate the ever-changing and hard-to-navigate gender politics and continued sexual awakening happening in America. Before we can get down to the nitty-gritty, though, it's important to understand what we're dealing with.
"I think that Marti created this really interesting, three-dimensional character in Abby," explained Paul Adelstein, who plays Abby's future ex-husband on the show. "You know, in the pilot, she and her husband (me) are still living together, and this is really just the very beginning of this process. So, in a way, the first season is really just the first six months of so of the split. And anybody [who's] gone through a divorce and through a reinvention in their early 40s... that's a long process and it takes really amazing twists and turns."
What kind of twists and turns? Noxon shared what kind of things Abby will experience as a recently separated woman by explaining what she went through during her own post-divorce restart.
"It's a different world when you come out of a long marriage," Noxon explained. "Abby's been married or with Jake for around 20 years or more. So for her, she's never even seen Tinder, you know? She has no idea what this dating landscape is. She has no idea. When she was younger, the idea of dating an older woman was, like, 'What?' It was very 'Stacy's Mom,' and now it's like... you know, I'm not a big Tinder person, but of the few times I've tried it... It's obviously about hook-ups, they weren't looking for a relationship. But, I was like, '18?! Go tell your mom what you're doing! That's not OK with me. If I were your mother, I would slap you.' And they're like, 'Exactly! That's why it's so hot.'"
Oh man, whether you're young or old, you've no doubt experienced that kind of shadiness on Tinder and beyond. If you're 40, you're being hit on by young'uns, presumably like Abby. If you're younger, it's a bunch of older dudes looking for girls with daddy issues. We totally get it.
But, Noxon shared, an even bigger part of the dating world is watching men trying to navigate relationships with successful women. She says it's an issue she's faced while out on the scene and certainly one Abby will come up against... starting in her own marriage.
"To me, it's much more about sexual politics right now," Noxon explained. "In Spanish history, how long have women been allowed to have financial power instead of men? Like... 15, 20, 30 [years]? Obviously, there are exceptions. But, in general, how long has that been a common experience where you have a household where a woman might have more financial power or at least equal financial power? It's nothing. It's not in our DNA. We're not built for that. We don't know yet the rules. I see it everywhere, I see it in every marriage: the negotiating of roles, the negotiating of who does what. And in households where the woman is the sole breadwinner, does the man stay home? So, to me, that was just something I see and I talk about it in my book, and we're always talking about negotiating that stuff. Even for me in dating, now that I'm single, men are like, 'How can I be with you when you make more money? How can I ever be your equal?' And I'm like, 'You can be awesome. It's not about that for me.' But there's all these old ideas about what our roles are."
Sound heavy? It is. But it's real life, and Adelstein swears there are plenty of laughable moments, too.
"[It's a] dramedy," Adelstein shared. "It's really both. It's an hour long and there's some very serious moments, but there's a lot of comedy with the absurdity that comes with splitting a 20-year relationship and a woman blowing her career up in her early 40s and some of these crazy friends she has. It's an organic kind of comedy."
So, why should we watch? The best person to answer that was the creator, of course.
"I think women — and men, by the way — should watch the show because I think that when you watch it, you're going to be like, 'Oh, me, too! I'm not alone. I know what that feels like. I laughed about that, too,'" Noxon explained. "[Or] 'Oh my God, I can't believe she said that. I said that, too, but in my inside voice.' I'm well known for not having a filter. So, I hope that people will watch it and see a reflection of their own experience."
Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce premieres on Tuesday at 10/9c on Bravo. We'll be watching. Will you?
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