Get ready to take another trip back to the domestic battleground of Hastings-on-Hudson, because “Divorce” returns for its second season this Sunday on HBO. The new season picks up six months from where we last left Henry and Frances Dufresne (played by Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker), and with their divorce finalized we now get to tag along as they delve deeper through their hilarious trip through post-marital hell.
I had the chance to sit down with Haden Church to see what we can expect from the second season.
Season two starts off with a pretty significant time jump from season one. The divorce has been finalized and it seems like Robert has been humbled by his fierce battle with Frances.
“The first season is largely defined by their egos that are in fight or flight mode. It’s either confrontation or conflict or hiding with friends or with work. Even with the kids, they’re dodging each other when they have to hand them off. The first season was so defined by conflict and upheaval. We had a whole year where we weren’t shooting. In that time span, I think I had lost perspective a bit by the time we had gotten to the end of how dark we had gotten. If you really try to remove any subjective notions you think to yourself 'Wow, these people are kind of attempting to ruin one another now!' Both personally and professionally. Initially, they were both like ‘maybe we can get through this?’ but by the end, it was like lions fighting over a scrap of antelope. So in the conversations that transpired, between Sarah Jessica Parker and I, we were thinking now that we’ve seen the dark side of the moon, what else can we see? If there really are two paths in the forest and you’ve already gone down that dark path, let’s see what the alternative is. That’s why within the first three minutes of season two it was: pens to paper, documents traded, the lawyers have some smirky bon voyage and we are just like 'F*ck it. We’re out of here. You guys send us the bill. See ya!'"
It could have been much worse!
"I think they make an effort to help each other find their independence while always being conjoined by the kids. I think that largely defines where we start the journey and where that journey continues. There are still a lot of questions to be answered after the final episode of this season, but there are so many windows of opportunities that are open. What is Robert going to end up doing? And Frances’ tableau is endless but also sort of hopefully defined by what she chooses and not what is forced upon her. At first, she’s resistant to it but then she’s like 'maybe it’s not going to be such a bad thing that I’m on my own for a while.' Even from the second or third episode from the first season, Robert is on his own a lot of the time. And when the divorce is done, Robert is at first living in his own flip houses, and then he gets a crappy apartment because of his blue-collar job."
His business project, the all-inclusive kid's activity zone “Fun space”, from season one is over.
"Fun space is dead! Robert has to pull himself up by his bootstraps and I think by the end of the second season Frances has got so many things available to her. The gallery is finding its way. Romantically, she’s been in a couple situations that didn’t quite work out. But she’s okay with it in the end."
The second season is almost a comeback story for each of them.
"Yeah, I think it is! Where the audience first met Robert and Frances was in these almost hopeless straights. And we wanted to show a very hopeful sea that they’re setting sail on. We’ll see where it goes in the third!"
Divorce Premieres this Sunday on HBO at 10 pm EST.