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Meet your new bestie: 'Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce' premiere recap

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Rule #23: Never Lie to the Kids | Aired Dec 2, 2014

I am typing with happy fingers right now, because Bravo’s new show, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, is my new beat, and I couldn’t be more excited. I really like this show, so be prepared for lots of praise and gushy fangirling. The network’s first scripted show is about a successful author, Abby McCarthy, played by House alum Lisa Edelstein, loosely based on the trials of real-life writer Vicki Iovine. You or someone you know has definitely read one of Iovine’s Girlfriends’ Guides, and the show already feels familiar, but in the best possible way.

The first installment opens up as Abby’s husband, Jake rushes home in the early morning hours. Paul Adelstein (previously Dr. Cooper on the sorely missed Private Practice) plays Jake in an adorably rakish way, but still makes us hate him a little. Meanwhile, Abby watches her interview with Hoda and Kathy Lee on NBC’s Today, but when Jake crawls into bed, she whispers, “You smell like sex.” He replies, “Screw you,” and we are officially introduced to the marriage of Jake and Abby.

The family goes on to conduct their their morning routine, but Abby and Jake are exchanging mean and snarky texts that reveal they haven’t yet told the children about their situation.

Abby drops the kids off at school and notices she is getting “a face; a sympathy face” from all the other parents. Her friend Phoebe (Beau Garrett) tries to reassure her, but even the security guard offers a pep talk. Abby calls to commiserate with friend Lyla (Janeane Garofalo), a super-rich entertainment lawyer with the sort of humor I love to see in my TV ladies: biting, dry, and appropriately observational.

Lyla and Abby meet Phoebe, the former model, for coffee, and we get a glimpse of Abby’s hunky, incredulous brother, Max. Max thinks her new friends are having a negative, divorcey influence on her, but they are far more supportive than he is. As a matter of fact, Phoebe is the one who breaks the news to her that Jake has been seen with a CW actress. Abby asks, hopefully, “Does she play a parent?” She does not.

To comfort Abby, the ladies encourage her to send Jake a mean text, and she indirectly accuses him of being a child molester—then quickly forgets her mood when they participate in a little retail therapy. Phoebe suggests the ladies go to a club, but Abby is reluctant to start dating again. Everyone knows that that wasn’t really what Phoebe was suggesting anyway. This makes Abby even more worried about someone seeing her naked (baby boobs and all). Luckily, Phoebe knows a good boob doctor, and the scene ends with the girls seeing Phoebe’s girls.

Later, Lila’s ex, to whom she pays $50,000 a month in support, drops their children, and he breaks the news he is seeing someone else. This fuels Lyla’s silent rage, but she doesn’t tip her hand. She is one sneaky lady, in fact, and lures him into a wine-fueled sex romp, then calls the police to report him for DUI. Ouch.

Paul Adelstein as AbbyThe next morning at school, Abby gets into an argument with Jake outside their son’s classroom. Abby stress-smokes again, and decides to take Phoebe up on her offer. She calls her to tell her, “You win. Get me laid.” The ladies go to a very trendy club, which Abby calls, appropriately enough, “Hipster Disneyland.” Abby is smitten with the dreamy bartender (well, he’s actually the manager), and after a steamy kiss, they go home together.

When they get to the bartender’s house, Abby gets cold feet. Things get weird when he admits that he’s only 28, and the small talk is awkward. You can sense Abby’s discomfort, but the bartender is so sweet and tender, you start to root for their moment.

Abby and the bartender on The moment is totally worth it as we see Abby respond to his attention and praise. Even the video-game-playing roommates don’t damper the hot quotient, but Abby saying Jake’s name halts it pretty quickly. This makes me want to immediately cover my eyes and watch through my fingers. The bartender recovers gracefully, and they have an afterglow moment that would make any woman jealous.

Paul Adelstein plays AbbyAbby realizes it’s 5 a.m. Now it’s her turn to rush home in the early morning, mirroring the earlier scene with Jake.When she gets home, he is waiting up, and an ugly scene ensues. Jake wonders if she was out with the man she got caught emailing, and Abby is physically running away from the confrontation.

Lisa Edelstein and Paul Adelstein play a divorced couple in When they get to their bedroom, the situation worsens as Jake makes a pass at her. Abby recoils and when Jakes reacts, Abby attacks him, just around the time the children walk in. Jake confirms to the kids that they are getting a divorce, and it becomes apparent that they haven’t been doing a very good job of hiding their troubles. It’s a hard scene to watch, but one of the realest scenes of the hour.

Lisa Edelstein, Janeane Garofalo, and Beau Garrett in Later, at the book signing, Abby is distraught, and Lyla and Phoebe try to cheer her up. Lyla gives her a pill, and when Abby stands before the audience, she opens her mouth and her truth falls out. It’s freeing and destructive all at once, and she leaves the audience with their mouths open. Lyla theorizes, “She’s so screwed,” and the episode ends there. I can’t wait for next week!

I’m totally obsessed with this show right now. What did you think?

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on Bravo.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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