Togetherness – “Family Day”

Season One, Episode One

togetherness-family-day

Grade: B

Here’s a new HBO comedy from the Duplass brothers about a married couple, Brett and Michelle, who have two young children and are going through some problems, like not having sex. It’s nothing revolutionary to show on television, but it’s necessary to display where they’re at in their marriage. Then there is Alex, Brett’s high school friend, who is a failed actor and has just gotten evicted from his apartment. His depression leads him to eat all the time and he’s simply not in a very good place in his life. Rounding out the main cast is Tina, Michelle’s older sister who is somewhat of a trainwreck. She hastily moved from Houston to L.A. to be with a guy who obviously wasn’t that into her, and when that doesn’t pan out she ends up crashing at Brett and Michelle’s house.

Yes, the premise is that simple, but I have a feeling things are going to pick up real quickly for these characters. My favorite moment of the episode was at the end with Michelle and Alex, who sit on the deck, eat cookies, joke around, and laugh with each other. These are two people who just had a horrible day, but are able to find a way to smile while being together. If this is going to be the heart at this show, then I think I’m going to enjoy Togetherness thoroughly.

The show looks like it’s also going to explore the difficulties of marriage through Michelle and Brett. While they’re certainly a healthy family, something has changed that they cannot explain or understand. The episode’s first scene has Brett wanting some morning sex, but Michelle is too exhausted to oblige. Later on in the episode, Brett walks in on Michelle touching herself (and with clothespins on her nipples), which upsets him. Their sex life has hit a brick wall, but both of them are still craving the release of sex, so why aren’t they doing it together? Michelle doesn’t know and it’s not something she’s doing purposely. It’s a really sad moment between the two because it seems like their attraction for each other is drifing away. Will they be able to remain in a sex-less marriage?

I’m sure these characters are going to clash more than not, but I’m looking forward to the small moments between the four characters where they understand that they’re not alone no matter what kind of conflicts they have. Because when you think you’ve hit the bottom, there’s nothing like a friend to make a scene, act like a monkey, and assist you in covering a jerk’s house in toilet paper.

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