‘Divorce’ reviews: Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church return to TV in ‘one of the best new comedies of the year’

Is Sarah Jessica Parker poised to stage a big awards comeback?  She returns to TV in “Divorce,” her first regular role since “Sex and the City” signed off back in 2004. In this new comedy-drama created by recent Emmy-nominee Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”), Parker and Thomas Haden Church play a married couple on the skids. Could “Divorce” be a hit at this year’s Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards?

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Parker claimed two Emmys for HBO’s “Sex and the City” — Best Comedy Series (2001) and Best Comedy Actress (2004) — but she did even better at the Globes, winning four times for her lead performance (1999-2001, 2003). That’s all the more noteworthy when you consider how fickle Globe voters are; they usually move on from a show after two or three years, but they loved “Sex” from beginning to end.

She also won a trio of SAG Awards: two for Best Comedy Ensemble (2001, 2003) and one for Best Comedy Actress (2000). But “Sex and the City” predated the Critics’ Choice Awards, so this will be her first go-round at that event.

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As of this writing the series has scored 62 on MetaCritic and 57% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, so not all critics are on-board for Parker’s comeback vehicle, but there’s still lots of love for this “Divorce.” Check out some of the reviews below, and then make your early Golden Globe predictions and tell industry insiders which shows and performers you have out front to win on January 8. You can keep updating your Golden Globe predictions until just before nominations are announced on December 12 at 5 am PT/8 am ET. But it is important to register your initial predictions now both to lock in those all-important starter odds and let Hollywood know who has the inside track for these kudos. (We will be launching prediction centers for the SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards in the coming days).

Dave Nemetz (TV Line): “If you’re tuning into Sarah Jessica Parker‘s new HBO comedy ‘Divorce’ hoping to see Season 18 of ‘Sex and the City,’ you might be disappointed. But actually, this might be better … Taking a hard look at love and marriage through a darkly comedic lens, ‘Divorce’ (premiering Oct. 9 at 10/9c) is raw and uncomfortable at times… but it’s also one of the best new comedies of the year.”

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Ben Travers (Indiewire): “‘How do you go from eight years of happy marriage to wanting to blow someone’s head off?’ … The new black comedy from Sharon Horgan (‘Catastrophe’)  takes the question very seriously and dwells on the answer for a long, long time; often to uncomfortable, honest and uncomfortably honest extremes.Thank God.”

Ken Tucker (Yahoo): “I’d say that Divorce is Sarah Jessica Parker’s triumphant return to television, but ‘triumph’ seems too celebratory a word to use in connection with the frequently grim, even depressing new HBO comedy, premiering Sunday. But it certainly does feature a performance by Parker that leaves ‘Sex and the City’s’ Carrie Bradshaw in the dust.”

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