It’s all about womanhood, sisterhood and parenthood on the season opener of Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. It's a celebration.

Season two ended with major shifts for all of our favorite girlfriends. This allows season three to pick up with the premise of potentially positive changes. No worries though, the show is still as hilarious and heartfelt as ever.

A menopausal Abby (Lisa Edelstein), who is only beginning to cope with the symptoms, and Jake (Paul Adelstein) have been taking care of Becca’s (Julianna Guill) baby Christopher as the solid team of parents they’ve became. Yet, they both have a lot to deal with when it comes to their jobs. While Abby gets fired by the ‘SheShe tribunal’ following her indiscretion with the hustler and deception with Jake, he is up for a directing gig on a new movie. The catch here is a good one for once. He’s stepping up in supporting their family financially in order for Abby to take some time off to figure out her next move. This opens a world of possibilities for her and it’s a pleasure to see her so hopeful and excited for the future. At the end of the day, the premiere makes it quite obvious that Jake and Abby function better apart as co-parents than as a couple at this point in their lives. Their only spat was about Abby’s crazy idea to adopt the cuteness that is ‘the Taye-by’ and Jake bluntly shutting her down so she lets go. Divorce is about less commitment to one another. It’s actually impressive that they manage so well. The last frame of the episode sees Abby clearing her schedule on her laptop. It holds so much promises for Abby for the upcoming season(s). Edelstein is visibly glowing as Abby is finally set free, calm and confident with a stunning smile on her face.

It’s time for Jo (Alanna Ubach) puts on her big-girl-rock-star skirt on and handles Frumpkis (Maury Sterling) like she’s never done before for the sake of her daughter. Of course, she can count on hot Brit baker Scott (thank you, Will Kemp for exposing your bare buttocks for the audience’s delight) to make her life a little sweeter as they are christening every room at Rize. Scott won’t settle for being Jo’s dirty secret on the side but she’s been burnt before with Frumpkis and she needs to come to terms with him to pursue anything further with her new beau. Something she is able to achieve thanks to useful advice from her lady friends. Ubach is a tiny fireball of energy that nobody wants to mess with when she plays into the parental side of Jo.

Delia (Necar Zadegan) might be hitting rock bottom following her failed nuptials with Gordon (Matthew Glave) and we’ve never seen her messier but she has the support of her ‘sisters’ and she gives it right back. She loathes children and New York yet she offers to babysit mini Taye (it’s a sight to behold) while contemplating changing coast! She is a tough broad at the core nonetheless. Once she decides to fight for her job and confront Albert (Brian Markinson), it anchors her and it’s like watching a butterfly come to life.

As for Barbara (Retta), she’s up for the next exciting phase in her life: a promotion and dating! When she reveals to Abby that SheShe put her in charge of the column, there is no envy whatsoever from Abby. She is genuinely thrilled for her and happy that Babs is open to exploring her romantic life. (Be on the lookout for Malcom-Jamal Warner later this season) I love this relationship that values and respects the advices and successes of another woman. This is what female friendship and being empowered is partly about. These two women have grown together so much since they first met and we cannot wait to watch more of their dynamic. They are ‘Moon Sisters’ now after all. What a treat it is to have Barbara (Retta) as a permanent member of this close circle.

Phoebe (Beau Garrett) is enjoying being a newlywed with JD (Aaron Staton). In her quality of ‘Fairy Godmother,’ and since she’s all about peace and love at the moment, she wants to spread the joy to the rest of her crowd by throwing a Goddess ceremony. It doesn’t go as expected since every girlfriend is dealing with a bunch of issues and won’t take the ritual seriously. Teasing ensues. Nothing booze can’t fix or a heart to heart with Abby. “You’re the most giving person and this is lovely.” Phoebs just wants to help her sisters reach a happier place. Unfortunately, her own happy bubble bursts the next day when Ralph (Charles Mesure) takes away her alimony.

Now in its third season, there is a much deeper feel to the stories as well as an undeniable ease between this ensemble of actresses which helps really ground the characters they portray. Their chemistry and connection show on screen especially in the Goddess ceremony scene. Everybody is comfortable with each other and their voices feed into one another.

Notes:

  • First of all, how fun is it to have Kathie Lee & Hoda back on the show? (They are cast mates by now) Even if it is only in Abby’s imagination, it helps kick off the season and the episode by being a reminder of where we left of Abby and it also informs on her current state of mind. 
  • Kuddos to costume designer Cynthia Summers and Edelstein for making those tight yoga pants work – without a camel toe in sight!
  • Edelstein shows off her comedic chops quite a few times. Favorite moments: at the doctor’s office when she’s having a hot flash (her face is priceless); when she turns on the industry chatter to talk about Taye Diggs’ swimmers meeting Becca’s magic egg.
  • Abby’s monologue about not buying into the “everything happens for a reason” mantra is absolutely pitch perfect and cheer-worthy. Edelstein nails it!                  
  • The young ladies playing Lilly (Conner Dwelly) and Zooey (Alison Thornton) are missed but it seems we can expect to see a lot more of them this season. I find that their moments with their respective moms are always stirring a great deal of raw feelings.

Next week’s episode introduces a new suitor for Abby who is a real departure from her track record: Mike (James Lesure), her son’s coach, “a guy who is at an awkward time in his life” according to Edelstein. From her enthusiasm about the story line – and the fact that she had a hand in the casting – you know it’s bound to be engaging.