The new HBO show “Divorce,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, is a half-hour comedy. Dramas about divorce have a long history in film and television: think “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Scenes From A Marriage”, and “An Unmarried Woman.” Audiences have a huge appetite for drama, and divorce stories provide plenty of it. As novelist Leo Tolstoy remarked, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” As any family law attorney will tell you, every divorce is different.
But a comedy? “What’s so funny about divorce?” asks the Los Angeles Times. “Marital strife, and infidelity in particular, are practically required of TV dramas aspiring to the “prestige” label,” comments the reviewer. “But making a half-hour comedy charting a breakup over potentially many seasons represents a number of unique creative challenges—not the least of which is how to find the humor in subjects as grim as alimony and custody disputes.”
To which one might answer, have you never heard a single joke about divorce? Poking fun at marriage, marital strife, infidelity and break-ups is a time-honored source of humor in American culture. The divorce jokes may be disconcerting, even bitter, but they elicit willing or unwilling laughter. Google “divorce humor” and you will see countless websites devoted to divorce jokes.
Some divorce mediators maintain that natural, unforced humor or funny stories are keys to relieving stressful emotions and reminding divorcing spouses of their shared humanity, easing the negotiation process. Humor is a powerful tool for managing conflict and reducing tension when emotions are running high. It facilitates communication, and creates a sense of connection that can help people, even divorcing spouses, get past conflicts and take a different view of matters.
A TV comedy about divorce could even help viewers in their own, real situations. “There was a time when we talked about normal lives, and we found all sorts of virtue in those stories,” Parker, who is also an executive producer on “Divorce,” told the L.A. Times. “I was really curious about exploring marriage and everything that meant, … looking for something that was neither fish nor fowl, that sat in a world between comedy and drama. … It was incumbent upon us to find the humor.”
The seasoned family law and divorce lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by attorney Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the challenging divorce process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, pre-nuptial agreements, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of divorce law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (800) 283-1380.