TV critic David Bianculli says that the new CBS drama, about a couple's marriage and divorce, reminds him of the Wonder Years, Moonlighting, and Thirtysomething. The flashbacks to past decades are novel, but replete with unrealistic dialogue and stilted references to pop culture of the time.
Psychologist Judith Wallerstein completed a long-term study to learn the effects of divorce on families, especially on children. She says that kids often bear the responsibility of giving their parents emotional support, and that the impact on the children's own lives often won't manifest itself until years later.
Actor Timothy Busfield. He plays Elliot Weston on the ABC series, "thirtysomething." (he's the one with the red hair). He also appeared last summer in the movie, "Field of Dreams." Those roles follow a career that included commercials, parts in "Revenge of the Nerds," "Reggie," and "Trapper John M.D." Next week, Busfield is hosting a Lifetime cable special called "Don't Divorce the Children," about the trauma of childhood separation and divorce.
Historian Glenda Riley. Riley's new book, "Divorce: An American Tradition," looks at the long history of divorce. Among the book's revelations: the first divorce in America happened way back in 1639 (on grounds of bigamy) and that in 1880 as many as one in 16 marriages ended in divorce. (The book's published by Oxford university Press).
British author A.S. Byatt. Byatt is known by many Americans for "Possession," a Booker Prize-winning Victorian novel published here in 1990. Her new novel, "Babel Tower," is just hitting the bookstores (Random House). Set in the turbulent 1960s, the book is about Frederica, a young woman involved in a divorce and custody suit, as well as the prosecution of an "obscene" book. "Babel Tower" is the third book in a planned quartet of novels ("The Virgin in the Garden" and "Still Life") set in different mid-century time frames.
Gottman talks about what are some of the key factors that lead to either a good or bad marriage. He has studied hundreds of marriages, and found common behaviors that happy couples share. Gottman is author of "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail," "What Predicts Divorce" and "The Heart of Parenting." Gottman is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington.
John Gottman is the author of the new book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work." (Crown) As a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the founder and director of the Seattle Marital and Family Institute, he has studied the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over the course of many years. His previous book is "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail"(paperback, Fireside). (REBROADCAST FROM 5/5/97)
Shes a former staff writer for the Washington Post. Shes written a new memoir about divorce, Breaking Apart: Dreaming of Divorce (Hyperion). She writes about the slow unraveling of her 12 year marriage, and the impact on herself, her husband, and their two sons. She writes, "There are those who believe it is simple selfishness that leads people to divorce. For those of us who have lived it, its hard to see why anyone would rip out their veins for some immature or narcissistic desire to get what they want."
David Denby is a staff writer and film critic for The New Yorker. His new book, American Sucker, is a memoir about his brief obsession with the stock market — during the height of irrational exuberance in 2000-2001. It started with his wife's announcement that she was leaving him. Denby began an attempt to make $1 million so that he could buy out his wife's share of their New York apartment. (This interview continues into the second half of the show).