The pilot episode of HBO’s new tragicomedy Divorce aired last night to mixed reviews.


Created by Sharon HorganDivorce tells the story of two marriages on the verge of falling apart. The first, and main, is between Sarah Jessica Parker‘s Frances and Thomas Haden Church‘s Robert, and the second sees Tracy Letts‘s Nick paired with Molly Shannon‘s Diane. The setting for the episode is Diane’s 50th birthday bash, in which tensions are high and couples bicker. The evening ends with Diane pulling a gun on Nick, who then collapses and is rushed to the hospital.

The episode then brings us to Frances and Robert’s huge house in Westchester where she tells him that she “doesn’t love him anymore.” “Sometimes when I get home from work, I feel happy,” she says. “I actually feel happy. Then I see your car parked outside and I realize you’re home, and my heart … sinks.”

She tells Robert she wants a divorce, and Robert promptly throws up.

Frances speaks with her already-divorced friend Dallas (Talia Balsam) and admits that she’s been having an affair. We meet this man, Jemaine Clement‘s Julian in the next scene. The extra-marital couple are having a post-coitus pizza when Frances drops that she told her husband she wants a divorce. Julian freaks out and decides this is too much for him, and the two part ways.

Of course this leads Frances to consider what she has abandoned in Robert and their two children Lila and Tom. She goes back and Frances and Robert momentarily make up and make love. But we know this can’t last, as it is still the first episode of an HBO show called Divorce. Frances gets home one day to find the door locked. Robert has apparently gone through her phone and called up Julian, thus discovering the affair. And now Robert has gotten on the divorce-train that Frances had so very recently gotten off. “I’m gonna make you miserable. And more to the point, I’m gonna make your children hate you,” Robert threatens at the episode’s close.

Divorce is available to stream through HBO Go and HBO Now. New episodes will air this fall on Sundays at 10 p.m. See a clip from the premiere below.

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