The Starter Wife, a limited run mini-series, starring Debra Messing and premiering Thursday, May 31 on USA Network is an adaptation of the New York Times bestseller of the same name by Gigi Levangie Grazer. The series takes a cynical look at the Hollywood underbelly and social circle memberships which are vied for by all based on who you are and who you’re married to and how divorce in this life could mean your end, if you let it.

The adaptation is a great melding of drama mixed with clever writing creating a black comedy tone throughout including a forecasting dream Molly Kagan taking place on the yellow-brick road complete with an evil wizard in the form of Molly’s soon-to-be-ex Kenny (Peter Jacobson). There’s definitely some substance to the comedy here with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments propelled by Messing’s abilities.

Debra Messing is the real star of the series in the scenes USA provided for preview as her experience in comedy, starring in Will & Grace, truly shines her as she embodies the role of Molly and her never falter, keep-your-head-up mentality as she struggles with the reality that she is, in fact, a starter wife and sees her life disappear around her. This doesn’t’ stop her, however, from living.

The supporting cast also performs admirably including Joe Mantegna, Judy Davis, and Miranda Otto among others in the little bits available for preview. Unfortunately the screener provided doesn’t show a wide range of the supporting characters, instead focusing on Messing’s centerpiece.

It seems almost unheard of, after reading the premise of the series, that a twentysomething male editor would find something to like in The Starter Wife, but the script is tight and if the scenes previewed are any indication, the six-hour series has a lot to offer both sexes.

The Starter Wife premieres Thursday, May 31 at 9/8c on USA Network.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!