“SPLITTING UP”A TV Review by Tim Riley



A TV Review by Tim Riley

“SPLITTING UP TOGETHER” ON ABC The ABC television network is having a busy mid-season with a slew of new comedies and other series programming.  For one new show, ABC has adapted a TV program from Denmark for its comedic inspiration.

Similarly titled as the Danish version, “Splitting Up Together” stars two recognizable television faces as a couple with three kids that decides to call it quits but for financial reasons decides to share, to some extent, the family home. Jenna Fischer’s Lena and Oliver Hudson’s Martin, married for 12 years, apparently hit a dead-end long ago, and so they just matter-of-factly tell family and friends at a dinner gathering that they are “pulling the plug.”

It would appear that Martin wanted to be the “fun parent” and shirked a lot of his marital responsibilities, from taking out the garbage to other small chores.  When it was revealed that he didn’t even dance with his wife at their wedding, you wonder how they even got this far. Now the divided household requires each parent to live in the main house for a week, taking care of the kids, while the other takes up residence in the converted garage. Since they have an incredible Craftsman house, it’s no wonder that neither party wishes to relocate.

As with most situation comedies, “Splitting Up Together” should rely on its lead characters being more than one-dimensional while uttering the occasional funny circumstantial dialogue.After all, Jenna Fischer in “The Office” and Oliver Hudson in “Rules of Engagement” had good runs in network comedies which demonstrated their abilities to be a perfectionist and a self-absorbed egotist respectively, traits that work for both in the new series.

The underlying theme of “Splitting Up Together” appears to be whether this former couple, living in such close quarters, might actually reconcile their relationship and become a solid family unit.If that’s really the case, does this series have the ability to sustain a long run for the “will they or won’t they” dynamic?  I have no idea how this question was ever resolved, if at all, with the Danish program.