Happy Wednesday before Easter and Passover, friends. Hope all of you who celebrate aren’t stressin’. (If you are, you might want to read the preceding post. )
Y’all know my fascination with Fran Drescher and especially her alter-ego Fran Fine. That means y’all know I jumped on the Happily Divorced bandwagon as soon as I got wind of it. I read some complaints; the show was set in LA vs. NYC, etc, etc and so forth. No matter what, I had to give it a fair try.
The show is based on Ms. Drescher’s real-life situation with her ex-husband and still reported best friend, Peter Marc Jacobson. They produce Happily Divorced together and, I believe, collaborate on some of the writing. Here’s the premise: eighteen years into marriage a woman is awakened by her husband who tells her he’s gay. On the show, said husband can’t afford to move out of the house, so he moves into the den until different living arrangements become possible. Within six months, said couple divorces but now ex-husband (‘Peter’) continues to live with his former wife (‘Fran’). (You can watch a clip here.)
So beside original use of names, this show started out okay and improved during its short debut season. John Michael Higgins’ portrayal of Peter is positively endearing: he’s naïve, funny and charming or, as we say in Italian, simpatico. (The literal translation is sympathetic, but that’s not quite accurate. Relatable is a little better but I tend to like ‘endearing’ the most. Oh, and he’s got adorable dimples too.) Love Tichina Arnold’s regular singing spots—the woman can belt out those tunes—and Valente Rodriguez (who really does look like my dad in his younger days) is as sweetly entertaining as Cesar as he was playing Ernie in George Lopez.
What I love best about the show is the deep friendship Peter and Fran share. Not only is it a lovely tribute to the one the characters’ real-life counterparts described on Oprah; I find it special because it reminds me of the relationship my own hubby and I have. Heck. If my guy and I weren’t friends and committed to our marriage (or ready to be committed, depending on the day), I might have found myself unhappily divorced and possibly writing this from a whole different perspective.
Ironically enough, the one beef I have about this show no one would expect me to have. As much as I could easily be a Nanny groupie, I wish they’d stop all the references to that show. Seems like the writers and producers aren’t sure they’ve got a hit on their hands without bringing back Nanny cast members (i.e., Renee Taylor and Charles Shaunessey) and capitalizing on a slew of Nanny lines. From what I understand, the same designer dresses Fran (and does a phenomenal job working with Ms. Drescher’s pear shape—amen and blessings to that lovely lady. Wish I had ten minutes with her and a few of those gorgeous get-ups from either show.)
Other than that, I’m already tuned in and loving Season Two.
What say you? Any fans out there? Those who’d rather the show, Fran and the rest of the crew go away? Air your thoughts here! And assuming you enjoyed the content, if you please, won’t you click on a share button below? As always, I thank you!
Happy rest of the week, Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all who celebrate it,