Editor’s Note: Babble and ABC are both a part of The Walt Disney Company.
There’s no more well-rounded tale of woe than the one that goes like this:
Boy meets girl.
Boy and girl fall in love.
Boy and girl get married and have kids.
Boy and girl start to lose touch.
Boy and girl fall out of love.
Boy and girl call it quits.
Unfortunately, it’s a tale many of us know by heart, with 40-50% of the U.S. population having experienced the sad reality of divorce (myself included). But now, ABC is getting ready to serve up a healthy dose of heart to the broken-hearted with its upcoming divorce comedy, Splitting Up Together. And I for one am saying, “Yes, PLEASE.”
Produced by Ellen DeGeneres and starring A-listers Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson, Splitting Up Together tells this classic tale of woe from a fresh — and hilarious — new perspective, by taking the theme of “conscious uncoupling” (ahem, Gwyneth) to an entirely new level.
When Lena (Fischer) and Martin (Hudson) amicably agree that it’s time to part ways after more than a decade of marriage, they decide to continue living together for their kids.
Well, kind of.
The show explores a practice known as “bird nesting”, a developing trend in custody arrangements that aims to cause less disruption to children affected by divorce. Instead of routinely shuffling kids between two separate residences, the children stay in the house full-time and the parents take turns rotating in and out to take on “single parent” duties.
If you’re raising an eyebrow at that arrangement, you’re not alone. But couples who’ve tried it IRL swear it works.
Still, Splitting Up Together shows that family and friends may not always be on board with this non-traditional approach, as we see with the couple’s married friends, Camille (Lindsay Price) and Arthur (Bobby Lee), and Lena’s sister Maya (Diane Farr), who all remain not-so-secretly skeptical of the whole thing. All three do their best to rally around the family and lend support (with sometimes hilarious results) despite it being a situation they aren’t fully sold on yet.
Splitting Up Together also shows the many awkward, uncomfortable, and straight-up confusing things that can happen while living in close quarters to your soon-to-be ex. Like making you privy to each other’s attempts at moving on by dipping your toes into the dating scene — which (spoiler alert) causes jealousy, old feelings to flare up, and ultimately raises some big questions about the couple’s decision to divorce in the first place.
As one of the broken-hearted masses that Splitting Up Together speaks to, I can honestly say I appreciate ABC’s tender take on the subject. I’ll happily take a break from my own reality every Tuesday night and curl up to a show that puts a humorous (and hopeful) spin on a painful situation I myself am trying to navigate through. And I have a hunch my kids will, too.
Watch Splitting Up Together on Tuesday nights beginning March 27, at 9:30|8:30c!