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Sarah Jessica Parker’s New HBO Series Will Make Couples Want to Talk About Money

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What’s a dark comedy about a failing marriage got to do with money? Plenty in Sarah Jessica Parker’s new HBO series, “Divorce.”

In a Times Talks held Tuesday evening in New York, the accomplished film, television and stage actress spoke candidly with The New York Times’ Patricia Cohen about the show she executive produced, which follows a couple coming to grips with the end of their union. The show premieres at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 — more than a decade after the finale of Parker’s beloved hit, “Sex and the City.”

“Divorce” stars Parker as Frances, an aspiring gallery owner turned corporate recruiter who has put her big city dreams on hold to help her husband, a struggling real estate developer named Robert (Thomas Haden Church). Sharon Horgan, whose scathing wit gave Amazon’s “Catastrophe” its edge, is this series’ creator.

As TV critics have noted, “Divorce” does not pick up where “Sex and the City” left off. Rather, in Horgan’s brutally honest style, it conveys the dynamics of human relationships, emphasizing the importance of finances.

In a clip aired at Times Talks, viewers caught a glimpse of a very different character than the one SJP played years before. Frances, who has discovered that Robert secretly re-mortgaged their house, is beside herself and lashing out at a restaurant. The couple is in serious debt, and her husband seems nonplussed, insisting the commercial properties he’s purchased, one of which was possibly the scene of a homicide, will net big returns. “R-O-I,” he tells her. Soon they could see millions. For now, all Frances can see is the mountain of debt and Robert’s duplicity.

Facing Financial Infidelity 

A divorce attorney in the audience later told Parker that the clip touched on a topic that hits close to home. Many couples she counsels suffer financial infidelity, and not every couple survives.

Infidelity can take many forms, but in terms of money it occurs when one partner isn’t being forthright about finances. Perhaps she’s embarrassed about her student loan debt or ashamed to reveal her obsession with online shopping. Whatever it is, she’s keeping key information away from her partner and setting them up for a tough conversation down the road.

It’s not easy to tell loved ones that your credit is not great or your finances are a shambles. But it’s even harder when they find out on their own, like Frances in “Divorce.” If you’re concerned that your partner isn’t being straightforward, it’s important to talk and put together an action plan right away. Part of that involves checking and understanding your credit scores, and you can see where they stand by viewing a free snapshot of your credit report on Credit.com.

Image: Nicola Bailey

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