TV Shows That Depict the Many Sides of Life After Divorce

divorce tv shows
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

The vows shared in a wedding ceremony are intended to be long-lasting and “till death do us part.” On a wedding day, there is endless love and hope for a bright future as a couple. Then, the marriage begins once the wedding is over, and that is the true journey of “love you forever.” But life can go in many different directions, and over the years, people change, problems arise, and love evolves. For some couples, divorce becomes a reality for a variety of reasons, and with a marriage ending, a new beginning awaits. 

When going through a divorce, it can feel like your whole world is caving in. This is when your village can step in and support you through this transitional phase for your family. Perhaps you are needing to hear from other moms going through a divorce or you are wanting to support a dear friend experiencing divorce. You may also just welcome watching stories in movies or TV shows that capture the many emotions you may experience in a divorce—the hope, the pain, and every other emotion in between—to uplift you as you embark on a new journey with your family.

But what is life like after divorce? Can you find happiness and love again? The following TV shows explore these queries in depth with humor, hope, drama, and reality checks infused throughout the episodes. These engaging TV programs prove life continues after divorce. These shows aren’t focused on happy beginnings and endings. Instead, they portray the many sides of this challenging and monumental new chapter in the couple’s lives. 

 

1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

Miriam “Midge” Maisel had it all: a loving husband, two beautiful children, and a carefree Upper West Side life with her family. However, her plans for her “happily ever after” are derailed when her husband suddenly decides to leave her for another woman. Set in 1950s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the story of a mother reinventing herself and discovering that not only is she a stand-up comedic genius, but her life after divorce can actually be marvelous and messy. The elegant period fashion, the laughs on and off the stage, the friendship Midge develops with her manager, Susie Myerson, and Miriam’s love interests make this show marathon-watching-worthy any time. The show currently has four seasons, so there’s plenty to binge.

 

2. Grace and Frankie

Where to Watch: Netflix

What is worse than having to have a relationship with your arch rival? Well, knowing that your husband is having an affair with your rival’s husband and leaving you to get married to him beats that by far. This is the story of an unlikely friendship between Grace and Frankie, played masterfully by the powerhouses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, who find themselves picking up the pieces of their lives after their husbands fell in love with each other.

The chemistry between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin is undeniable—if you need more proof, watch 9 to 5! You find yourself rooting for them not to find romantic love again but for the female friendship to grow. Grace and Frankie shows us that life after divorce can be colorful and vibrant if you have your best gal with you by your side to weather any storm. The show has seven seasons currently available to stream.

 

3. One Day at a Time

Where to Watch: Netflix

Based on Norman Lear’s 1975 comedy-drama with the same name, this series gives a modern take on the original by centralizing the storyline around a Cuban American family. A newly single mother and Army veteran-turned-nurse finds herself navigating the joys and challenges of raising millennial children with the assistance of her old-school mom, played by the extraordinary Rita Moreno, and her building manager. One Day at a Time brilliantly fuses laughs and drama to display the realities of life. Its message of valuing love of family and friendships transcends time and culture.  

 

4. The New Adventures of Old Christine

Where to Watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

Christine and her ex-husband have got the whole co-parenting and life-after-divorce down. She’s successful in her career and a dedicated mother managing it all. But all of that is turned upside down when her ex introduces her to his new girlfriend—also named Christine. The “Old Christine” finds herself struggling to keep up with all that life throws at her while also managing motherhood and her career. The New Adventures of Old Christine infuses Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ infectious humor, which we’ve seen from her Seinfeld days, and her quirky comedy as we join “Old Christine ” on her many life adventures. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has an uncanny ability to bring a smile to our faces when she’s on the screen.   

 

5. Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce

Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV 

Inspired by the Girlfriends Guide book series, the show opens with Abby, the main character and acclaimed author and guru of self-help books, attempting to hide that she is going through a divorce. After a public meltdown, Abby’s career is at a standstill as she is forced to re-evaluate the new version of herself. Abby enlists the help of her divorced friends to support her through this challenging transition where she makes mistakes but learns throughout the process.

The theme of female friendships and empowerment is evident in each episode as it invites us to believe in the power of second chances and of finding love (for yourself) once again. This series gives me Sex and the City vibes but with women in their 40s and divorced.  

 

6. Divorce

Where to Watch: HBO Max

What happens when you tell your spouse of many years you want a divorce? This dramedy series, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church, chronicles the five stages of divorce (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), which can occur when a married couple like Frances and Robert Dufresne decide to part ways. Propelled by Frances’ admission of having an affair, the couple finds themselves navigating co-parenting while going through an acrimonious divorce that brings laughs and truths about life after a marriage ends.


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