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"The Starter Wife"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Starter Wife" More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Better than the norm for made for TV mini-series

Author: Aaron Sticht from Farmington, MN
4 June 2007

Okay, so this is technically a new series on USA, but it certainly doesn't feel like one. It has the look and feel of a well made motion picture. The writing is well done and the characters are fleshed out and seem believable. If I were a person living the Hollywood life, I would be ashamed of the way that people in that lifestyle are portrayed, even if this program seems like it is a caricature of real life, just judging from all of the media hype surrounding many real life celebrities makes this program all the more believable and real. I am not one to usually sit down and watch what is usually advertised as a "chick flick", however, I was actually drawn into this new series and look forward to see what happens next. Its more like a comedy/drama than any other way of describing it. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Classy, funny, witty and sexy summertime mini-series!

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
29 June 2007

I must say that this summer I was really entertained by this USA cable network mini-series. "The Starter Wife" had a touch of many themes and elements starting from spoiled richness, hopelessness, love, problems, drama, and funny wit. Debra Messing was perfect and great as a sexy Hollywood trophy wife Molly who's world comes crashing down when she's suddenly divorced from her studio executive husband. So it's off to sorrow and pity, yet thank god she had a strong friend like Joan(Judy Davis) who gave a tough and commanding performance as a strong alcoholic friend. Yet romance and love went back and fourth with Lou a Hollywood big wheel in the movie business, and Sam a beach bum. Yet in the end Molly seems happy and content with herself showing that freedom and independence is important and that many are happy to be alone that's what this series taught us. The series was very witty and funny too often having dream parodies and comparisons to many Hollywood classics like "The Wizard of Oz", "Chinatown", and "Titantic". Really a pretty good series that was well written and it was nice to see a woman finally become an independence champ.

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Love it!!!! Debra at her best!

Author: Sarah from United States
6 June 2007

Definitely watch this one!

I've already watched it two times. Great acting, great storyline. Just sit down and enjoy it! It's more than just a comedy. I couldn't help but feel empathy towards the characters.

Already, after the first episode, I am hooked. Counting down happily to Thursday nights! It is grade-A quality and has the feel of a movie, not a mini-series. At the end of the episode, you'll be hungry for more.

Debra Messing sheds her Grace persona and takes on Molly Kagan, a Hollywood cast-off wife. She really shines and proves herself as a well-rounded, talented actor.

Don't miss the Starter Wife!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Funny very modern comedy about life in L.A. among the "in crowd"

Author: trpdean from New York, New York
19 October 2008

I've only seen two episodes - and hadn't seen any that aired last summer - but this is really a charming, funny series. Messing and Davis are the reasons to watch - and they really get to show a stunning variety of emotions. The plot is clear, fast-moving, and great fun. I've mixed feelings about the use of the dream sequences to indicate how she feels at particular moments - but I'm sure there are many who love them.

This is really a fine series - it seems the female counterpart to the male-oriented Californication - the quality is similar - and they're very much the same kind of series - very modern, witty, well-designed continuing comedy (each program's dilemmas, new characters, very much lead into the next). They're both programs about very superficial, selfish and materialistic people, set in contemporary Los Angeles obsessed with fame and fleeting success.

I'm a conservative Catholic man living in the East, clearly not the intended audience for the series - but I enjoy it. And I'm surprised there aren't more comments. (The series was heavily promoted in New York City -- and Messing and Davis are both famously talented).

It's hard to imagine that people who decide to tune in - won't be caught up in it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Utterly charming, great fun

Author: ducdebrabant from New York City, USA
1 February 2009

I love Hollywood insider satires, and this is a great one, with convincing atmosphere and characters. Messing is delicious as a high-functioning Hollywood wife who is dumped by her narcissistic and spoiled movie executive husband after catering to his every need and whim efficiently for years. Needless to say, he's dumping her for a bimbo -- a Britney Spears-ish singer/starlet. In a self-imposed exile in the Malibu home of her oldest friend (Judy Davis), she meets an enigmatic surfer (Stephen Moyer) and has an ambiguous flirtation with her husband's boss, studio head Joe Mantegna. The triangle is very, very satisfying -- you're not quite sure which of these men you want her to end up with, and you like them both.

Dropped instantly by all the grasping, climbing manipulators and their wives, non-person Molly ends up falling back on her core of friends -- the wife of a director whose husband wants her to to drop Molly for tactical reasons, her wealthy dipso friend, and her gay decorator friend (Chris Diamantopoulos, who is broke after having to eat the cost of 12 hideous custom chairs a client insisted upon and then wouldn't pay for). She also becomes friends with the young black woman who works as the Malibu compound's security guard, and her mother. At one point, they all end up holed up in Judy Davis's house, like the treehouse crew in "The Grass Harp." The series is very well directed (by Jon Avnet) and the characters are very sharply drawn. Messing's husband is a monster of selfishness, but not consistently so, and he can't let go his habit of calling on Molly for (now inappropriate) favors. There isn't a line or a bit of business that Messing doesn't play to the hilt. Again and again Molly demonstrates the resourcefulness and elan that makes her husband such a fool for ditching her. There's a scene where she catches a cricket her husband has assigned his executive assistant to remove from the house (until she locates the annoying insect, she can't attend her grandfather's 80th birthday party) in no time flat that was particularly piquant.

This is a woman's story, but I think a lot of men will appreciate the sardonic portrait of a materialistic and phony Hollywood milieu, and I don't know how anybody could not want to look at all these gorgeous residences.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I really liked the Starter Wife, but mostly because Judy Davis was in it.

Author: eartherealelf from United States
27 September 2007

I missed the Starter Wife when it debuted on USA in May. Then, in July, I became in all seriousness, obsessed with Judy Davis (she is really the best actress of her generation)and decided I had to see the Starter Wife just because she was in it. Truthfully, I didn't have very high expectations for it at the beginning because I thought it was just about some rich, stuck-up people who didn't give a crap about anyone but themselves. I had no idea why a genius like Judy Davis chose this project. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was about rich stuck-up women, but some of them actually appeared human. And it wasn't JUST about the stuck up women. Neither Lavender, Nana, Mrs. Caldecott, or Sam seemed the least bit stuck up, and they added depth to the story. (I say Sam wasn't stuck up, but that doesn't mean that I liked him.). The acting was superb (other than whoever played Shoshanna, who was not that great. But I guess she didn't have much to work with), Debra Messing, Judy Davis, and Miranda Otto all NAILED their characters and I was sucked in the whole time, and I watched the whole four and half hour block, only stopping to go get a glass of wine. I would recommend this to anyone!

NOTE: It would probably be best to familiarize oneself with basic high-tier culture before watching this. Someone not familiar would not catch some of the jokes (like one in reference to the United Colors of Bennetton).

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5 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

I couldn't believe it.

Author: M B from United States
8 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I read this book awhile ago and I was really looking forward to the TV version. Unfortunately the only thing that seems to hold true to the book is the title. I know that the movie is almost never as good as the book but I expected it to at least follow the story line a little bit. I mean according to the book point 1. She was dumped on her cell phone in her car. 2. Cricket's husband is not friends with Kenny and he certainly never cheated on her. 3. Joan really did go to France with Pappy and she did NOT go to rehab, hence Molly never dressed up as a hooker to break her out. 4. Molly actually goes on a date with Kenny's boss. He tells her that he wants to stage his own funeral so he can see what people say about when they think he's dead. She finds out the next morning that instead of just pretending he decided to kill himself. He already had the perfect ending planned for his story. Which if you've caught on means that the Sam was never suspected of killing him. The police where looking for him but for a different reason. 6. Molly's best friend the designer never goes broke and Lavender never get's evicted from her apartment, she gets hit by a car driven by a teenage punk living in the colony. I could go on but I think I have made my point. I have never seen a good book as completely butchered as this one. Now if you have never read the book and you don't know how much better it is none of this should bother you.

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7 out of 22 people found the following review useful:


Author: robert_vandine
1 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a horribly wasted series. It had such an odd flow and was really terribly put together and corny throughout most of the show. Debra Messing was good but she also seemed to suffer from the odd editing/ format of the show. There are times she just seemed like she was acting on a stage and not on a TV show- with her actions and words being very deliberate and hyperbolic.

It also just seemed so full of itself. Could the Sam character have been any more morally upstanding? And did the actor playing him have to say everything with the same intonation and staccato speech? And I hated the Joan character, she was just so abrasive and that whole scene in the rehab facility was absolutely ridiculous and not at all funny. Plus the whole story line with the security guard and her grandmother- please. Just gag me with their do-gooding. The best part of this show was Lou; Mr. Mantenega seemed to enjoy his odd little roll in the series to great effect on screen. I enjoyed this book but the series was just too disjointed and saccharine to hold up.

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6 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time

Author: jpooch00 from United States
14 October 2008

I sat through the whole first episode just to see if something good might be embedded in this story about some talent-free, self-absorbed, pathetic person who had been sponging off her equally obnoxious and worthless husband while raising her mouthy spoiled brat. Sorry folks, but there just wasn't anything there other than a bunch of catty, narcissistic, cutthroat losers with the usual assortment of tedious neuroses that, for some unfathomable reason, are supposed to be entertaining.

I suspected something was wrong when USA Network began to frantically run their continuous promos for over two months. I've noticed that they will do this whenever they're trying to convince viewers that some piece of cr@p they've spent a lot of money on is actually worth watching. They even ran the promo for the episode that was in progress while it was airing. Pretty sad!

My biggest regret is that my TiVo can't give this awful program more than three "thumbs down". There should be an infinite-number-button for shows like this.

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15 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

no gravitas

Author: precher-1 from United States
9 June 2007

Grazer is a spoiled self-centered Hollywood wife recently dumped by her producer husband...Her characters resemble her..shallow, too light-weight to be interesting. In Sex and the City, the female characters were actually struggling to understand life, but's sophomoric and silly... A disappointment

I've read her other two books, Rescue Me and Maneater and as much as I wanted to enjoy them...with both books, I stopped in the middle...because she couldn't sustain my interest. And the "potty" jokes are embarrassing for a woman of Grazer's age....It's as Stephen King says a quality writer doesn't have to resort to shock tactics...he/she has enough skill to ensnare the reader's attention in better ways.. Only the inept/starter/unskilled writers go for the sophomoric "toilet humor"...her main problem is the conflict is not deep or important enough....a silly airhead spoiled self-indulgent pampered wife gets dumped....for a younger version of same...where's the gravitas..the searing soul-deep conflict? a wrong that needs to be righted...she got what she deserved...end of story....It gets sillier and stupider as it goes along. Grazer, get a day job you can handle.

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