Ottawa influencer’s divorce TV series takes off

It’s not the end of the world, just the end of your marriage!

There are dozens of TV shows that centre on every glamorous facet of a wedding. There is only one show, so far, that examines, explains, and, yes, celebrates, divorce.

Ottawa influencer and TV producer Katrina Turnbull’s new TV show, “A Modern Girl’s Guide to Divorce” is a hopeful step-by-step guide to divorce where Turnbull shares advice from her personal experience and consults with a panel of experts. The show combats the stigma surrounding divorce and empowers women to live their best lives after the difficult process.

Turnbull’s own divorce process began in 2017. She soon realized the disconnect between her decision to leave an unhealthy relationship and the reactions of her friends and neighbours. “I basically was told ‘your life is over, you’re getting divorced… that’s it for you,” she explained. “And I didn’t accept that.”

Instead, she decided that one of the best ways to deal with the pain of her divorce and fight the stigma surrounding it was to talk— and laugh— about it.

Not only did she laugh about it, but invited others to laugh with her by creating funny videos for popular social media apps like Instagram and TikTok. Due in part to the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the TV producer adapted her skills for new platforms that she could use from home and quickly grew an audience, amassing up to 3 million views on her most popular videos.

She was startled by the sheer amount of people who were familiar with stigma and pain of divorce, and who appreciated her advice and encouragement.

“It was really important to me… to really live my truth.” Turnbull explained. Beyond laughing through the pain of a divorce, that truth is the existence of a hopeful and positive chapter of life afterwards, no matter how difficult and messy the process. After discovering this for herself, Turnbull wanted to share it with others. “I wanted to show people that divorce is not the end of the world, it’s just the end of your marriage.”

The message she wants to share is not simply “go get divorced, your life will be better.” Instead, Turnbull advocates for it as a valid option that people should not be ashamed of. “It’s about empowering people who want to get a divorce to go and do so and be proud of that decision.”

“It’s a positive thing,” she said. “You should be celebrated and congratulated for choosing to get divorced and leaving an unhealthy relationship instead of staying complacent in a miserable marriage.”

Though Turnbull originally started sharing her advice and positive outlook on social media and found an audience eager for it there, it wasn’t her original vision for sharing her experience. “I’ve wanted to make a divorce TV show for a really long time,” She said—a logical pathway for a veteran TV producer and presenter with something to say. “I just had a feeling that this was the time for it.”

The first season of “A Modern Girl’s Guide to Divorce” aired in February, 2021 and is available to stream online on Bell Fibe TV1. The six episodes range in topics from how and when to get a lawyer, selling your house, and even dating and relationships post-divorce with insights from a panel of various experts and Turnbull’s own experience.

Her experience shines through in each episode. While building the series, Turnbull asked herself: “What did I wish I had known when I started the divorce process, what have I learned having gone through it for so many years, and how can I condense it to help people?”

Though her own divorce was vicious and painful, she says it was worth it for the opportunity to help others struggling in this process. “Regardless if I had lost a bunch of money and a piece of my soul going through this divorce, I knew that if just one person would watch the TV show and if just one thing I said would help them, it was worth it.”

The first season of “A Modern Girls Guide to Divorce” was successful, and the show is currently in talks for a second season on an even wider range of topics.

Follow Katrina Turnbull on Instagram and TikTok!