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Second Helpings

If you happen upon Debra Messing flitting across your television screen with a gay BFF in tow, fear not! You probably havent fallen through a wormhole into an alternate universe where late-90s sitcoms still rule the Nielsen ratings. Instead, its infinitely more likely youve tuned in to USAs new series The Starter Wife, based on the 2007 miniseries of the same name. Messing stars as Molly, a freshly minted divorce attempting to navigate the choppy post-marriage channels of Hollywoods upper crust aided by her plucky friends -- Rodney (Chris Diamantopoulos), an interior designer with a thing for his hunky, wealthy new client (who has an excruciatingly straight persona); and the gruff-around-the-edges, charmingly neurotic Joan (Judy Davis, reprising her Emmy awardwinning role), whos headed back to rehab but this time with her name on the payroll. Rodney and Joan are like the angel and devil sitting on Mollys shoulder, explains Diamantopoulos, who modeled Rodney after a mix of several of his gay friends and fashion phenom Tom Ford. They often switch roles, but in both instances they really have Mollys best interests at heart. As for the inevitable comparisons to that other show that previously touted Messing as the fairest of the fruit flies, Diamantopoulos responds, I have nothing but respect for Will & Grace, but the only similarities between Will and Rodney are that theyre both a best friend and they both happen to be gay. When people see The Starter Wife theyll realize this show is a whole other ball of wax. The Starter Wife premieres October 10 on USA.Send a letter to the editor about this article.
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