Lena and Martin were once madly in love. But, like many marriages, time and circumstance eventually took their toll. Lena (Jenna Fischer, The Office), the perfectionist, fell into the role of caretaker for everyone, including Martin (Oliver Hudson, Scream Queens). Martin felt he could never do anything right and gave up making the effort. This created a romantic rift between them. Finding themselves in a platonic marriage and acting more like a pair of camp counselors wrangling their kids than a couple hopelessly in love, they decide that everyone’s lives would be better served if they got a divorce. Still wanting the best for their three kids and facing a daunting real estate market, the couple decide not to sell their house and to “Bird Nest” instead. One parent will live in the house as the “on-duty” parent taking care of the kids, while the “off-duty” parent will live in the detached garage, doing whatever he or she pleases. They will switch off every other week.
Their kids, 7-year-old Milo (Sander Thomas), 14-year-old pre-pubescent Mason (Van Crosby) and 15-year-old feminist Mae (Olivia Keville), seem to be taking the divorce in stride. While Lena, the consummate caretaker, has to learn to loosen her reigns, Martin, who has always taken a backseat when it comes to parenting, needs to learn how to step up his game.
Then there are Lena and Martin’s married friends, Camille (Lindsay Price) and Arthur (Bobby Lee). Camille, stunning and way out of Arthur’s league, is sad to lose their best couple friends. Arthur, aware he married up, begins to question the stability of his own marriage when his friends’ falls apart. And Lena’s sister, Maya (Diane Farr), a serial dater who often gets in her own way due to her terrible taste in men, thinks that her sister is too rigid and needs to chill out if she’s ever going start dating again.
As Lena begins to dip her toes into the dating waters, Martin begins to see his own culpability in his marriage falling apart. When Martin realizes that it all began when he refused to dance with Lena at their wedding, he wants to atone for it. He secretly takes dance lessons to surprise Lena by dancing with her on what would be their upcoming wedding anniversary. Could being apart ultimately lead to them getting back together? (synopsis via Spoiler TV)
Ya gotta love life.
On the surface, it looks really simple – get up in the morning, do stuff, go to sleep.
But, of course, it’s WAAAY more complicated than that, by a good long measure, and what looks like a simple and sane solution that should be easy to execute ends up being a whole lot more difficult than anyone envisaged.
That’s the theme, along with a good deal of the detritus that flows from the life won’t scripts epiphany, of ABC’s upcoming new show Splitting Up Together which tells the story of two people who think their lives can diverge and, well, NOT, at the same time, only to find life isn’t going to be so accommodating.
As an ongoing idea, it’s got legs – it’s partly from the creator of Suburgatory (Emily Kapnek), a show I loved – and frankly if the writing stays this heartfelt and sharp, and well downright goody at times, I am totally onboard.
AND I will stop underestimating life because, you know, SNEAKY.
Splitting Up Together premieres on ABC this March.