Splitting Up Together Series Premiere Review

Queuing up their programming with a bit more comedy, ABC premiered the pilot episode of Splitting Up Together. Ellen DeGeneres is one of the four executive producers, alongside Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory), Jeff Kleeman (Little Big Shots) and Dean Holland (Parks and Recreation). Based on the original Danish series, and with DeGeneres behind it, we had high hopes going into the series premiere!

To summarize the show, Lena (Jenna Fischer) and Martin (Oliver Hudson) are a newly divorced couple who are doing things differently. In an effort to want what’s best for their three kids, along with the ridiculous estate marking we all currently face, the two decide to “Bird Nest.” Each week, one parent will live inside the house to take care of the kids while the other will live in the garage to do whatever they want.

Of course, it isn’t always like this. Before getting to the end of their relationship, we’re first shown the very beginning of their marriage. Throughout different scenes and stories from each side of the couple, their relationship slowly begins to fall apart over the years. Lena ends up taking up much more of the responsibilities whereas Martin seemed to forgo making any effort. The more kids they had, the more their spark seemed to dwindle. In the end, they pretty much described their relationship less as a marriage and more as camp counselors.


Also in the show is Bobby Lee as Arthur, the best friend who questions his own marriage; Lindsay Price as Camille, Arthur’s wife, who is way out of his league; Diane Farr as Maya, Lena’s ready-to-date sister and their three kids: Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason, and Sander Thomas as Milo.

Off the bat, the very first episode set the premise for the rest of the season. I think it’s safe to assume that each week we’ll see how Lena and Martin do during their week of parenting. This week was Lena’s and she was faced with her first problem she didn’t have the answer to: her son’s pain in the balls. Naturally, Lena had no idea what this meant and didn’t want to turn to Martin for help. So who does she call? Their pediatrician, who she may or may not be flirting with.

In the midst of this, Lena tries to explain to her friends and family how the decision they came to is the best decision for everyone. Martin thinks so too until Arthur brought to his attention how Martin needs to take a look at things from Lena’s point of view. Because, of course, you should always do that after you officiate the divorce. Now, will this be enough for Martin to fight for love again with Lena? Not sure.

The show so far seems to be promising. This will be the first big series regular role for Jenna since The Office days. And as much as we’d like to compare her role to one another, you can’t. Lena is much more outspoken and ready to go, she’s not the timid Beasley we knew.


I think it’ll be funny to see how the two will go about parenting in roles they have no experience at all while trying to low-key show up one parent over the other. (My goodness, Lena made a “masturbation room” in the downstairs pantry for her son featuring Ruth Bader Ginsburg!) But I think what would really seal the deal is if the two characters or storylines brought a bit… more to the story. After watching, I wasn’t wishing to see the next episode right away. Of course, each show needs to find its niche, but there are some shows that will make you want more and Splitting Up Together isn’t one of these shows yet as it still hasn’t found its footing. 


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