As anyone who is married will tell you, relationship strife is an ongoing issue and resolving it takes constant diligence. However, many couples reach the conclusion that the marriage just isn’t working anymore and separation and divorce are the only options.
Recently, a popular television series took up this very issue in a challenging format – the sitcom. The successful television series “Black-ish” takes on the common issue of marital strife and potential divorce in its episode titled “Blue Valentine” which aired on May 1. In the episode, parents “Dre” and “Bow” played by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross respectively, decide to separate in a heart-wrenching episode that no doubt left fans of the show reeling.
Marital woes exist in popular culture – whether through tabloid celebrity news, movies or TV – but rarely is the issue tackled in a sit-com setting. Taking on these difficult issues that many Americans face is important. Marriages end in divorce nearly half the time, but we rarely get representations of this in sit-coms. By addressing the tough issues with care and humor, many people will identify with these characters.
While fans of the show are hopeful that the end will be a happy one for “Dre” and “Bow,” the reality is that many people end up deciding that to be apart is better for everyone. Understanding that others encounter the same challenges and face the same difficult decisions can be comforting and assuring. Knowing that humor and sadness can co-exist when facing some of the more challenging life questions is helpful too. And even if the show doesn’t give the fans a happy ending, the lessons learned and people touched will be worth the journey.