Mumblecore-Com: Our Review of ‘Togetherness: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-Ray

Posted in TV, TV On DVD by - March 14, 2016
Mumblecore-Com: Our Review of ‘Togetherness: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-Ray

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It’s not easy to maintain that spark in any and every part of life because things can stale and very often things don’t go our way.

From indie darlings the Duplass brothers; Togetherness: The Complete First Season is a cathartic and accurate slice of life from those days we all have in our late thirties and early forties when things aren’t quite going as planned and we need to shake things up in order to not slide into an all too familiar rut.  Once again these two have turned life on its ear, made it award and totally believable as we see characters living their lives.

It’s the story of four adults all hitting a crossroads in their lives and living under the same roof as they struggle to get their lives, relationships and aspirations back on track.  Brett (Mark Duplass) and Michelle (Melanie Lynskey) love each other and their two kids but are struggling to put the spark back in their relationship and are just going through the motions of marriage, too stressed to do anything else.  In a turn of fate, Brett’s best friend Alex (Steve Zissis) and Michelle’s sister Tina (Amanda Peet) are stuck in a rut as he just got evicted and is about to give on his dream of being Hollywood star because he is pushing 40, overweight and balding while she feels hopeless that she’ll ever find a man now well into her forties.  Together they all struggle to maintain their personal dreams while being friends, spouses and siblings under one roof.


Proof positive that the ‘mumblecore’ styling’s of the Duplass brothers can translate into a 30 minute sitcom as Togetherness manages to be heartfelt, tender, frustrating and outright funny at any given moment as it is a show that has captured the ennui of an age group in a time period where reinvention isn’t only recommended but it is a downright necessity.

Mark and Jay Duplass have managed the transition to the small screen with a shocking amount of ease and clarity that makes it feel like they have been telling stories in this medium for years.  Along with co-writer/creator and co—star Steve Zissis, each episode flows with a certain manic energy that you can’t help but get behind as these characters aren’t navigating any problems inside any hokey sitcom tropes but stuff that can happen to you and me every day.  The writing is solid and very underrated, while the execution of it all never feels forced because they want us to know and acknowledge that as much as we are enjoying watching everything unfold for these characters…the exact (or very similar) shit is happening to those of us in that age bracket as well.

As Brett Pierson, Mark Duplass is a little understated, even at the best of times but it plays to his style and his writing as the more interesting characters revolve around him.  Melanie Lynskey just might be delivering some of the best work of her career here as the haggard housewife who desperately needs a kick start to get her back engaged with not only her husband but the human race as well.  Both Steve Zissis and Amanda Peet play their respective sad sacks to perfection and we are rooting for them to simply get any kind of a win that they can.  None of these characters play to any sort of A-typical molds and all feel genuine from the get go.Togetherness-togetherness-hbo-38113155-1200-801

That’s what ultimately makes this show work, Togetherness isn’t trying to hit us over the head with any grand arching narrative because it knows that these are people that we know, love and care about.  Rooting for them allows us to root for ourselves as we navigate the warpath that is life, and if anything it proves that no matter how alone we may feel, there’s always going to be some support to get us on our way, we just have to know how to look for it.

Special Features on this 2 Blu-Ray set include an “Inside The Episode” perspective as Jay and Mark Duplass bring some unique insight into each character’s journey throughout this 8 episode season, along with some hilarious interview and behind the scenes footage with Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis along with some deleted scenes.

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This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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