The Starter Wife Episodes

2007, TV Show

The Starter Wife Episode: "Hour 1"

Season 1, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Molly Kagen (Debra Messing) is let go by her movie-mogul husband, forcing her out of the powerful elite circles she once commanded and into hiding at the summer home of a sympathetic friend. Joan: Judy Davis. Lou: Joe Mantegna.
Original Air Date: May 31, 2007

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Season 1, Episode 1
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Length: 01:29:00
Aired: 5/31/2007
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May 31, 2007: The Starter Wife, Hour 1, Hour 2 Season 1, Episode 1

I'm a huge fan of chick lit. I love stories where the female heroine has to learn about herself, and also gets to fall in love, maybe for a second time, for all the right reasons. And that's what this is. It's television's throwback to chick lit, starring Debra Messing, whose most recent foray into the romantic comedy genre was 2005's The Wedding Date (which I really liked). And can I say, I really enjoy Debra Messing as Molly Kagan, the jilted wife of a Hollywood movie boss. She's just so charmingly amiable, accessible in a way that makes you want to root for the characters she plays. Molly Kagan, whose seemingly perfect life falls apart before our eyes, is worth rooting for. She's not like the other rich wives who drive their matching SUVs, gossip abrasively, and worship at "the altar of perpetual upkeep." When she drops her daughter Jayden off at school, Molly actually gets out of the car to kiss Jayden and say goodbye, ignoring the annoyed honks of other drivers waiting to get around her. Molly is a good mother who appreciates her friendships. She's been caught up in the lifestyle that Kenny gives her and in the social circle that she gets to be a part of because of him. She's gotten used to it. Kenny seemed to me to be a stunted, obnoxious little loser who didn't really belong with someone like Molly, who is someone with an introspectiveness that could be deeper if not for the kind of world she's found herself in. She is someone who actually cares about being a mother and a friend. Yes, Kenny gives her a certain lifestyle that she wouldn't have otherwise. He's powerful and gets what he wants. As a boss, that's fine, but he treats his wife like a servant. She's more like a personal assistant than a spouse. How did she get to be the kind of woman who would marry a guy like Kenny? After a movie-premiere party, Kenny calls Molly on the phone and announces that he wants a divorce and he's staying at a hotel and will call her tomorrow. I couldn't imagine being dumped by a husband over the phone through a bad connection in the middle of the night. It just shows that Kenny's not a real man who can face problems. He's a wienie. People are expendable to him. He tells her, "I felt it was time to reassess," treating her more like an employee than a wife. I don't like him at all, but she obviously cared for him at some point. She says she married him because she was lonely and her world was black and white. Before Molly met Kenny, she was an uninspired writer. He excited her, gave her a ride in his European car, romanced her, and gave her adventure. Once she becomes a starter wife, everyone snubs her. The gym cancels her membership (did anyone else feel for her when they gave her a box of her belongings from her locker?), the cancer-research fund-raising committee sends her away, even her best friend Cricket (feeling pressure from her own husband to avoid being near Molly) backs away from her. She becomes a social pariah, which doesn't seem fair since it's Kenny who wants the divorce. What's worse is that annoying little Kenny is having an affair with Shoshanna, a Britney Spears-like teeny-bopper music artist. He's proud of it, too. He comes by Molly's vacation home (which her good friend Joan lends her) with a People magazine that describes him as a "mystery date." He says that Shoshanna is insatiable. What kind of guy does that? Did he love Molly at all, or just pretend to because it looked good, or because he could control her? And he brings Shoshanna to stay for a weekend while his daughter's there. I don't understand why Molly doesn't get more upset about Kenny dating Shoshanna and her being around Jayden. Maybe she's used to being polite and subservient, but I'd like to see her just rip into Kenny, yelling at him, and at Shoshanna, maybe punching them. She needs to get angrier, and hopefully she will. Kenny needs to get a butt-kicking. I thought that Molly would get together with Lou Monahan. (Who else loved the scene in the restaurant when the snobby women got an eyeful with Lou and Molly pretending to flirt for their benefit?) Unfortunately, that obviously didn't happen. I'm curious to know why he drank a bottle of liquor and walked into the ocean, especially when he had a date with Molly to go to. Of course, all of his comments about how he disliked Hollywood and how Molly got out of it (to which she said she got kicked out of it) could give us some clues. Maybe he just didn't like the lifestyle he was in and couldn't find another way out. I'm sure whatever he wrote in the letter will be really good. I don't know how I feel about the handsome stranger on the beach called Sam. I knew there'd have to be a handsome stranger that helps Molly through her divorce (there's always a handsome stranger involved). But Sam just seems, well, kind of odd. When he pulls her out of the ocean and she thanks him for saving her life, he says, "Let's see if it's a life worth saving." Who says that? He delivers medicine to old people and chases after thieves who threaten the colony. Maybe I just don't know enough about him, but I'm willing to learn, especially after that kiss between him and Molly at the end. When Lou stands her up (because he's walking into the ocean), she finds Sam on the beach and demands that he kiss her, which he does. And since she's never had an "earth-shattering" kiss before, I'm hoping it was good for her. It definitely looked good. I love her budding friendship with Lavender, the security guard with landlord troubles. I also love her friendship with Rodney, the buoyant decorator who's super-loyal. Cricket, of course, is not loyal. She, like everyone else, snubs Molly. She does it because her husband asks her to, but once Cricket finds out that her husband cheated on her with the nanny and that the nanny is demanding $50,000 in blackmail money, she may have a change of heart and beg forgiveness from Molly. And where is Joan? Was anyone else confused by this? She mentioned a guy named Papi and she showed up to a place called the Clarity Harbor where she started crying about a sister named Bambi (who I'm pretty sure is made up). Was she faking her way into the Clarity Harbor to be with Papi? I wasn't sure. All in all, I'm intrigued and I can't wait to find out what happens next. show less
I’m a huge fan of chick lit. I love stories where the female heroine has to learn about herself, and also gets to fall in love, maybe for a second time, for all the right reasons. And that’s what this is. It’s television’s throwback to chick lit, starring Debra Messing, whose most recent foray into the romantic comedy genre was 2005’s The Wedding Date (which I really liked). And can I say, I really enjoy Debra Messing as Molly Kagan, the jilted wife of a Hollywood movie boss. She’s just so charmingly amiable, accessible in a way that makes you want to root for the characters she plays.Molly Kagan, whose seemingly perfect life falls apart before our eyes, is worth rooting for. She’s not like the other rich wives who drive their matching SUVs, gossip abrasively, and worship at “the altar of perpetual upkeep.” When she drops her daughter Jayden off at school, Molly actually gets out of the car to kiss Jayden and say goodbye, ignoring the ann... read more

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Premiered: May 31, 2007, on USA
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (127 ratings)
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Premise: Unexpectedly dumped by her movie-mogul husband of 10 years, Molly Kagen must reassess her life and her friends when she finds herself on the outside of the elite circles she once commanded.

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