Jan 20 2015

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce – “Rule 17: Ask the Answer Lady!” Review. Tellin’ It Like It Is.


Season 1, Episode 8

Air Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10/9 on Bravo



You know, when we first started dating, you would have walked right over there, sat down, and let the guy buy you a damn cocktail…Go flirt with him! Make me jealous.” – Ford

Ubach (second from left) is a great addition to the cast.

Ubach (second from left) is a great addition to the cast.

Abby (Lisa Edelstein) awaits the arrival of her old college friend Jo (guest star Alanna Ubach) while working on her “new Abby strategy” to present to her literary agency WME. She’s also dealing with the “crazy pregnancy thing” from her one-night stand with estranged husband Jake (Paul Adelstein). In the meantime, Jake starts the job girlfriend Becca (Julianna Guill) got him directing her TV show Blood Sisters, so childcare is about to become an issue. Jake is going to need Abby’s help with the kids while working. Too bad he fails to tell Abby he signed Charlie (Dylan Schombing) up for a school field trip. Speaking of Charlie, his imaginary friend Chad is getting out of hand. “Mom, mom! Chad said your computer is thirsty.” Oy vey!

The combination of comedic and dramatic scenes is what Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (GG2D) does extremely well. In “Rule 17: Ask the Answer Lady!” (“Rule 17”), Director Brian Dannelly knows exactly when to mix humor into an otherwise serious scene, and when not to. As a matter of fact, the very first scene of “Rule 17” is total comedy at its best and had me laughing out loud from the first shot. From Abby’s various pronunciations of the word “divorce,”  to Jake’s description of Jo—“the noxious garbage can of a woman is now a vegan,” and “Auntie train wreck”—as well as Abby’s description of the vegan bakery Jo plans to open—“everything gluten free, sugar free, flour free”—while she does a little dance is very entertaining.

Jake the Director

First day on the job and already Jake is apologizing to Becca.

First day on the job and already Jake is apologizing to Becca.

Jake is taking his new gig very seriously but I can’t say the same for Abby. Her constant interruptions while he’s at work are one thing but letting her cellphone ring during one of Becca’s scenes is simply unconscionable. It’s obvious Abby thinks her pitch meeting is more important than what Jake’s doing. Jake is right; Abby needs to “figure it out.” After all, he supported her throughout her writing career so it’s about time Abby began supporting him.

Not So Vegan After All

Abby shares what's bothering her with Jo.

Abby shares what’s bothering her with Jo.

Jo is quite the character. First of all, she’s no longer a vegan; she is, however, quite outspoken and doesn’t pull any punches when meeting Abby’s friends. At first, Jo rubbed me the wrong way, coming off all authoritative, but by the time “Rule 17” was over, I realized I really like her. Jo and Abby’s discussion about their college days is touching until they begin discussing their husbands, and then the truth comes out in a rather heartbreaking scene. Then, there’s the matter of Jo’s daughter Zoey (unseen), who is coming to stay too, but for a reason that shocks Abby. At least Jo talks some sense into Abby about her pitch to WME. While Abby is rather unconventional, or should I say shocking, in the way she presents her idea for a new book to Warren (guest star Giles Panton), the head of WME, he loves it.

Grasping Reality

Toss those doll babies, Phoebe!

Toss those doll babies, Phoebe!

Admittedly, I felt sorry for Phoebe (Beau Garrett) when she met Ralf’s (Charles Mesure) new girlfriend Carla (Emily Swallow), an interior designer, in last week’s “Rule 67: Don’t Kill the Princess.” But I immediately knew Phoebe had an ulterior motive this week when she hires Carla to help with the design setup at Ralf’s club for the party to introduce her new jewelry line for babies, “Infant Fabuleux.” Phoebe gets more than she bargained for, though, and what she sees after the party really hits home hard. When you’ve always had someone in your life you can truly count on, it’s hard to accept that your rock is no longer available to you. “Sometimes, I feel like if I’m not attached to someone, I am just going to float away.” Standing on your own is not an easy thing, and I’m anxious to see where GG2D takes Garrett’s character next. At least Phoebe dumps those dolls, or “bag of nightmares” as Jo calls them, she’s carrying around.

Trouble in Paradise

I thought Max (Patrick Heusinger) and Ford’s (J. August Richards) problems were over after Ford’s heartfelt speech in “Rule 426: Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit.” That doesn’t seem to be the case in “Rule 17” when Ford unceremoniously dismisses Max’s romantic advances. There’s more to their marital problems than Ford being stressed at work, which Max learns when Ford takes him to a raucous club where they can barely hear each other.

Ford confessing he feels “suffocated” is like a punch to the gut for Max. I don’t know where GG2D is taking us with Ford wanting to give up the monogamy the two men currently practice but it can’t be anywhere good. I truly enjoy how GG2D portrays the couple’s marriage. The show doesn’t pull any punches and has no trouble showing homosexual couples experiencing the same problems heterosexuals do. I can’t remember any TV series doing this so GG2D deserves major kudos for the way it handles the topic. Perhaps the straight people who watch the show will learn a thing or two.

Disbarment for Delia?

Last week, I commented about Delia’s (Necar Zedegan) relationship with her client Gordon Beech (Matthew Glave) being unethical. But Beech turns it up a notch in “Rule 17,” asking Delia something she’s not ready to hear. The problem I have is how things go down during the settlement conference between Beech and his ex-wife Courtney (Virginia Williams). Delia finds herself backed into a corner and now must make one of the toughest decisions of her life. Will she make it with her heart or her head?

As an aside, I’d like to mention that in real life, a client is never allowed to speak to opposing counsel when they have their own attorney. So I don’t understand why Courtney’s lawyer (Pierre Wolff) never utters a word when the two parties meet. I know TV shows can’t be 100% exact with everything but writer Ashley Cardiff could have attributed at least some of the dialogue to Courtney’s attorney to make the episode more realistic.


One of the things I really like about GG2D is the way Abby almost always has a grin on her face when the episode is over. No matter how deep it goes, the show usually ends up in a place that makes you smile with her. As a divorced mother twice over, it is easy for me to relate to “Rule 17.” I also had to figure out how to split childcare duties with my ex-husbands, although I must say I never had to deal with a probable pregnancy. I knew that wouldn’t last long.

I’m glad I ended up liking Ubach’s portrayal of Jo since I enjoy the way our four leading ladies interact with each other. Also, I understand Ubach is replacing Janeane Garofalo who played Lyla. I haven’t a clue as to why Garofalo left the show since I enjoyed her acerbic wit and thought the chemistry between the leading ladies was great. Be that as it may, Garofalo’s loss is certainly Ubach’s gain.


What did you think of “Rule 17: Ask the Answer Lady!?” Hit me up on Twitter @SeasideTV, or leave me a comment below.

Tune in to Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Tuesdays at 10/9c, only on Bravo.

For more on the show, visit GG2D’s official website at http://www.bravotv.com/girlfriends-guide-to-divorce.

LIKE GG2D on Facebook.

Follow GG2D on Twitter @BravoTV using hashtag #GG2D, as well as @BravoGG2D, and @GG2DNews. You should also follow Lisa Edelstein @LisaEdelstein, Paul Adelstein @adelsteinPaul, J. August Richards @jaugustrichards, Beau Garrett @beaujgarrett, Necar Zadegan @zadeganand, and writer/creator Marti Noxon @martinoxon.

All photos © 2014-15 Bravo Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



© 2015, Linda. All rights reserved.


Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!

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