SJP's New Role Is Nothing Like Carrie

by Loretta Donelan

While fans might be hoping that her new show will be Sex and The City 2.0, Sarah Jessica Parker's Divorce character is apparently nothing like Carrie Bradshaw. At the 2016 Television Critics Association summer press tour, SJP and a panel featuring the show's creator and actors discussed the upcoming series, which is set to premiere in early October, and according to E! Online, Parker revealed that her new character, Frances, has little in common with her most famous role. Sorry, SATC fans, but it looks like there won't be a SATC revival anytime soon.

It makes sense why people would think that Divorce will be a second coming of SATC. Both shows have SJP, HBO, and the line between comedy and drama in common. However, Parker made it clear at Saturday's panel that the show is in no way like her previous HBO hit, and her character is nothing like Carrie Bradshaw. "I was always interested in the story of marriage," said Parker, according to E! Online. "And by virtue of that interest alone it was automatically different [from SatC]."

Divorce's themes are darker than those of SATC, and it appears more realistic and emotionally raw than Sex and the City. "The thing we discovered is, divorce is always thought of as this solitary endeavor, but to divorce you need the other person a whole lot,” Parker said. “You’re not in the experience alone, the exercise is so brutal, it can either be made better by the other person or much worse.” Series creator Sharon Horgan revealed that her husband was shaken up after reading the script — clearly, this show is gonna be an emotional ride.

On Divorce, Parker plays Frances, a woman looking to use her divorce as a chance to start over. The actor revealed that they didn't set out to differentiate Frances from Carrie, as the shows tell such different stories. "I think Frances was so much her own person from the moment I read the pilot," said Parker. "She was so distinct from not only Carrie but any character I’ve ever played.”

However, Parker did reveal that they made the decision to differentiate Frances's wardrobe from Carrie's. "The only time we were cognizant of distinction was when we started talking about the wardrobe," she said. Those expecting Divorce to achieve SATC levels of stylishness will be disappointed to see Parker in muted colors and bulky coats that Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't be caught dead in, though Frances does have her own sense of style. Parker revealed that much of her Divorce wardrobe came from vintage stores and Etsy, and that inspiration for her look came from the muted tones of '70s cinema.

Although some SATC fans might be disappointed that this show won't be basically an SATC revival, it sounds like it'll be a fun ride all on its own. Divorce looks more like the sequel to the dark comedic realism of Girls or Looking than to Sex and the City, and what's not to like about that?

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Horgan as Divorce's showrunner, when she's actually the series creator.