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TV Review: Bravo’s ‘Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce’

Bravo, known for its bevy of Real Housewives and similarly aspirational reality programming, tries its hand at a scripted series for the first time with Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. The program follows marriage and family expert Abby (Lisa Edelstein)and her unraveling relationship with her husband Jake (Paul Adelstein). Former Mad Men producer Marti Noxon created the show, inspired by the book series Girlfriends’ Guide by Vicki Iovine,which premieres Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Above all, like the Real Housewives empire, it’s about the lengths people go to to put up a perfect facade, to stage their lives like high-end lofts for sale–and the dirt you see when you look behind the window dressing and strategically placed furniture.”
James Poniewozik, Time

“It’s a very solid drama (which it is, first and foremost) on a cable network not known for its solid drama. In fact, watching Girlfriends’ Guide, once getting past the initial shock of it being a good show, raises a lingering question of why this show is on Bravo and not HBO or Showtime.” 
LaToya Ferguson, A.V. Club

“In a sense, this first fictional (admittedly, anyway) drama represents a flip side to The Starter Wife, offering a jaundiced view of L.A. and the challenges of marriage.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“What stands out about Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce is not just that all the humor — and there’s plenty of it, a la Sex and the City — is nailed with precision by Noxon as someone who really gets the funny nuances of a multitude of relationship scenarios, but how that humor never undercuts the emotional realism.” 

—Tim Goodman, THR

More important, all the characters, including Jake and even his young girlfriend, are allowed an essential humanity; everyone and no one is to blame for the inevitable imperfection of human interaction.”
Mary McNamara, L.A. Times