10:00am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
‘Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce’ Creator, Stars Talk Season-Two Themes, Jake and Abby's Fate
Secret hook-ups, surprise pregnancies and devastating break-ups: There's more drama than ever in the second season of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.
When Bravo's first-ever original scripted series, which mainly shoots in Vancouver, returned to Los Angeles in early November to film a few pick-up scenes, The Hollywood Reporter paid stars Lisa Edelstein and Paul Adelstein, who play on-again/off-again couple Abby and Jake on the show, a visit.
“Don't get me wrong, Vancouver is a beautiful place to spend the summer, but it’s nice to be able to drive to set,” laughs Adelstein as he crosses over Argyle Street in Hollywood on his way from one scene location to the next. The cast and crew are shuffling from a yoga studio, where they spent the first half of the day filming, to The Redbury just minutes away on Vine Street.
In its first season, the dramedy centered on the demise of Abby and Jake’s marriage. But now, in its sophomore year, Girlfriends is exploring the possibility of reconciling that same relationship. The pair are seeing each other again, but are doing so secretly, attempting to hide the news from their friends and family.
“Abby continues to lie, just like she did when we first met her in season one,” says Edelstein of her character. “She still can’t be the public face that she is in private, and it really bites her in the ass this season — it gets worse and worse. She very much falls apart in season two.”
Abby is particularly concerned about keeping her relationship out of the public eye for fear that she'll be labeled a hypocrite. Ever since her article, “Why Aren’t You Divorced Yet?” went viral last season, she’s been the face of divorce. And this season, she’s found a new way to take on that role by writing about it for editorial blog SheShe, which Delia [Abby's divorce attorney, played by Necar Zadegan] describes as “life hacks for busy gals.”
“There was a very clear will-they-or-won’t-they arc to season one, but now that they’ve decided to give their marriage another go, it creates a certain pressure on Abby to make sure that she’s not just getting sucked into nostalgia and that they actually have a healthy relationship that can work in the future,” Adelstein explains, adding with a smirk, “It’s complicated.”
Now that the pair have rekindled their relationship (or are at least trying to give it a second chance — the rendezvous becomes complicated when Jake finds out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant and he fails to tell Abby in time), the two actors have more scenes with each other, including the one at hand on a busy street in Hollywood where they share a kiss.
When the camera’s not rolling, Edelstein and Adlestein joke around the way Abby and Jake would onscreen, keeping the mood on set as light as the show itself. "We always said our patron saint is, like, Richard Curtis," says creator Marti Noxon of the show's tone. "There’s a lot of emotion and a lot of feeling in Girlfriends, but it’s presented where you also live in the light and people do silly things and they laugh a lot. That’s one of my favorite genres of romantic comedies."
The first season was a lot about discovery — finding the right tone, developing the characters and ultimately figuring out what the should would be. The writers were able to follow the major stages of divorce as they made their way through the season: mediation, telling friends and family, paperwork, etc. But without that roadmap, season two opened itself up to new themes. The central one this season? Where women — whether married or divorced or somewhere in between — are at in their lives right now.
The broad idea came from Noxon, who is juggling multiple projects herself (she’s also an executive producer on Lifetime’s UnREAL and CBS’ Code Black.) “When women are asked now if they think they can have it all, their response is, ‘I’m not even thinking about that — I’m just thinking about all the things I need to do to not lose my mind,’” she tells THR. “Men and women both are supposed to be all things to all people. And for women, I don’t think we’ve taken off the pressure to also be a pretty, pretty princess when we do it. It’s a lot to try to live up to.”
This season will continue to explore what happens when Abby tries to be everything to everybody around her. And while Edelstein hints that it doesn’t look good for her character, she insists the second season is “funnier” and “more raw,” adding: “We went deeper, we really did. You can’t just skim the surface. That was never the show we were doing.”
Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. Check out an exclusive clip from tonight's episode of the show: