Sarah Jessica Parker’s 'Divorce': How Frances Compares to Carrie Bradshaw

by Rachel Maresca 12:06 PM PDT, October 09, 2016
Photo: HBO

Divorce is not another Sex and the City, but fans of Sarah Jessica Parker's iconic show initially can't help but wonder -- when did Carrie Bradshaw have kids?

While watching Parker's return to television as Frances, she does, at first, bear a resemblance to the sex columnist we all know and love. But the more you tune in, the more the visions of designer shoes and cosmopolitans begin to fade away.

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Her marriage to Robert (Thomas Haden Church) has lost its spark (think zsa zsa zu) and she finds herself navigating the tough decision of pulling the plug on their life together.

"She has a different relationship to men, to romance, to money, to New York City, to children, to commitments," Parker, who also produced the series, told ET of the stark difference between her two leading ladies.

"Frances is not nearly as buoyant, as technicolor," she continued. "Still waters run deep with her."

Take a look at how Carrie and Frances compare:

Left: Sarah Jessica Parker poses at the season five premiere of Sex and the City on July 16, 2002, at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.

Right: The actress attends the Divorce premiere at SVA Theater on October 4, 2016, in NYC. Photo: Getty Images

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The Friendships

There may not be a Saturday morning coffee spot, but Frances has still got her girls. Her new group of gal pals is made up of Diane (Molly Shannon) and Dallas (Talia Balsam) and they have just as much candid banter and girl talk as we're used to seeing Parker have onscreen. But who says she has to choose? Cynthia Nixon, who played SATC’s Miranda, attended the New York premiere of the series earlier this week to support her friend’s big night. "I spent 10, 12 years with extraordinary, amazing, gifted women," Parker said. "These women are so wonderfully different and so much their own [person] … it's just another opportunity to be surrounded by great actors who I love and admire."

The Fashion

Parker's Frances is not strutting down the sidewalks of suburbia like it's a runway at New York Fashion Week, but that doesn't mean her clothes aren't one of a kind. "It's all vintage, thrift store clothes with the exception of the dress on the poster," Parker said. "The shoes are all used except for two pairs. I think the tube socks were brand-new, but everything else is from a thrift store."

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The Relationships

The tie that binds both of Parker's recent TV roles is that the focus is, indeed, on her personal relationships. The characters certainly have found themselves in a very different time and place, but if you close your eyes you may picture Carrie explaining herself to John Corbett’s Aidan Shaw, desperately trying to get him to see where she's coming from. "I guess I was simply interested in the idea of marriage and what does that mean, and relationships, and at a certain point in your life when you have invested time and you're really staring at your future, are you satisfied?" Parker said of what drew her to the project during a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I always say that this is a show, it's a portrait of a marriage and an attempt at divorce."

The Network

HBO, of course, is home to both Sex and the City and Divorce and when the network's signature noise sounds at the show's start, like all their original series, it won't be followed by Parker in a tutu -- far from it. But, hey, it's always nice to see a familiar face.

Divorce premieres tonight, Oct. 9, at 10 pm on HBO.

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