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The Forty-Year-Old Virgin QueenThe Starter Wife Episode   Review by Pattye Grippo

If you watched The Starter Wife miniseries last year, then I don't need to tell you there was obviously much more that could be told in the story of Molly Kagan. If you didn't watch, you really missed out on a great show. The second season premieres on USA Network on October 10, 2008, which is the perfect time for both fans and newcomers to the show to tune in.

In the miniseries Molly Kagan, played by Debra Messing, seemed to have it all. She was was married to an upwardly mobile movie executive and lived with him and their daughter Jaden in a mansion in Brentwood. Then, out of the blue, Molly's husband Kenny decided he wanted a divorce, just before their prenuptial agreement expired, and took away her status as "Wife Of" and turned her into a "Starter Wife". Shortly thereafter, she gets pushed aside by society and is miserable until she decides to take control of her own life.

In the new series, Molly has decided she is through with men and must make her own way in the world, including trying to her own career by going to a writer's workshop. Her daughter gets upset with her mother for not having the money to get her the things she wants, the things everyone else has. Molly herself has to adjust to the change of a life lived in designer clothes, where cost was not an issue, to a life lived in off-the-rack clothing where every penny counts. Molly begins to keep a journal to help her get through everything. However, there is a negative side to keeping a journal when it is not kept safe and private. Molly's journal ends up on the Internet and soon everyone is reading her personal thoughts. She gets labelled as a "gossip" and a friendship is threatened by what has been exposed.

Although Molly's story picks up where the miniseries ended, there have been some cast and character changes. Judy Davis is back as Joan McAllister, Chris Diamantopoulos as Rodney Evans and Joe Mantegna as Lou Manahan from the miniseries. David Alan Basche takes over the role of Kenny Kagan and Brielle Barbusca takes on Jaden, while Danielle Nicolet joins the cast as Liz Marsh, Molly's new friend.

Debra Messing plays Molly as a bright, witty, and funny woman who tries to make the most of her situation but doesn't always succeed the way she wants. And that's what makes her so watchable. Give this series a try - you'll end up tuning in week after week!

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