“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” moved forward with its new season focus on an Abby McCarthy who is scattered in all ways. Without a job, or even a clue what kind of project is right for her she needs a new way to center herself. It isn’t coming from a man although towards the end of the latest episode, “Rule No. 188: Mind Your Side of the Plate” she’s knee-deep in sexual fantasy about baseball coach Mike Brady. Yes, that’s his name which Abby mocked during a nasty performance at a sports bar, while supposedly acting as wing-woman for friend Barbara.
This season’s Abby McCarthy isn’t even close to the character introduced when “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” debuted. As noted in last week’s recap, Abby hasn’t given herself time to melt into the aftermath of her breakdown, which from the looks of it could return to something that puts her down for a while. Where’s the therapy? There’s plenty of wine, very little food, activity bordering on manic and a know-it-all attitude that belies her feeling of helplessness.
Yet, she’s got Jake paying the bills, which should give her some time to attend to the lingering emotional mess that she is, and not fret about jumping into another revenue stream. Instead she’s wallowing in the feeling that she’s adrift in a world she considers strange and a little scary. Her kids object to her hovering, constantly, and she’s pretty much running late to any of the girlfriend meet ups. Her attempt to reboot her writing career met with millennial scorn from the young agent sent to meet with her by her longtime agent who has bigger fish to fry at this point.
So what’s a girlfriend to do? Immerse herself in someone else’s issues and try to fix them. That would be Barbara who is writing Abby’s old SheShe column, but struggling to do so. Abby’s suggested cure to was to go out on the town, pick a guy for a hookup and write about it. In doing so, Abby thought, Barbara would get out of her post-divorce rut and pick up steam on a life that Abby sees as languishing.
Barbara agreed to give it a try, but not in Abby’s way. She asked that Abby be her wing-woman at a sporty bar, as she called it. When they met, Abby was dressed for a high-end club, strapless black dress and all, while Barbara was in her everyday dress at an ordinary sports bar. What occurred touched on all the hot button issues related to women, their sexuality and size. This season’s scattered and selfish Abby didn’t know the dress code for a sports bar? Barbara saw it as step one in making Abby the focus of the evening rather than her.
When it came time to eat Abby ordered a salad when she looked at the menu of wings, poppers, burgers and fries. She was forced into drinking a house wine as Barbara ordered a beer. She food shamed Barbara, then fat shamed her as she gulped wine and nibbled on lettuce. Anyone else wondering if Abby is always in a state of liquor buzz this season? Sure sounded like one as she rambled, hurting Barbara, but catching herself before laying it all out. That came shortly after.
After she ran over to the bar to see if she could interest a man in joining their table for Barbara’s sake, she discovered it was coach Mike Brady. Barbara and he were already acquainted because they are semi-regulars at the place and of course Abby got tongue-tied angry when he’s around. The attraction is at war with her anger of how dismissive and rude he is to her. She babbled, as she always does around her and the shaming of Barbara began. It drove the coach away from the table and Barbara had seen and heard enough. Outside the bar they really let it fly, with Barbara lashing back at Abby for her own food and male relationship issues.
One good thing came out of it all. Abby trudged back, with stilettos on AGAIN, to see the coach after Charlie’s game and admitted she was out of control at the bar. The two began to flirt, only barely, but this time with both knowing what was going on. Abby had a fantasy dream about him and decided to take the millennial agent’s advice to write a romance novel, despite having become a bestselling author for her how-to guides.
It was too facile an ending for us to observe Abby bringing an “I’m sorry” coffee to Barbara’s home the next morning, only to see a young man who we are told was Barbara’s hookup. Along with that plot resolution, Abby admitted her sad relationship with food and what it does to her. Here’s a challenge to the writers, can you get to the part where Abby has to sit in a therapist’s office and work through this stuff? Nah, that would be too easy. She’s going to get into it with the coach.
In Other News
Delia got shamed by her unruly client after she got him out of a jam, so to speak, when he needed assistance removing a plaster cast from his penis – don’t ask. He heard about her “reputation” and figured he’d get a little hand action to massage his member after a doctor on the law firm payroll fixed the problem. Her face said it all as the hurt and shock washed over it. Next week, Gordon’s back. Strap in for that.
Jo mourned Scott’s absence and had to be mothered once again, by her teen daughter. Without the help her bakery would have remained closed. A new talent was found, out of necessity and it came in the person of the dishwasher, who picked up knowledge from Scott. He bailed her out of losing a wedding cake customer and he’s got an eye for Jo’s daughter. Age appropriate, by the way.
Phoebe experienced her first non-glamorous vacation and it was a family event at that. Rarely have we seen her spend much time with her children, nevermind include them on a trip of any kind. With the alimony money dried up, and the ridiculous cutbacks she considers sacrifices (the bonsai gardener was a HUGE sacrifice) she chose a camping trip to give her kids some time to get to know her husband. He was a natural and kept everyone on an even keel, even after Phoebe learned that her daughter didn’t confide in her mother about starting her menstrual cycle. Oh, the horror! Do you notice that as Abby gets more emotionally unstable, JD gets more confident? What’s up with that?
“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” airs Wednesday nights on Bravo at 10 p.m. ET/PT Image credit: Bravo TV, used with permission