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Ghost Canyon

'Togetherness: The Complete First Season'
(Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Steve Zissis, Amanda Peet, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2016 / HBO Pictures)

DVD Overview: 'Togetherness' follows two couples living under one roof on the fringes of Los Angeles. Brett and Michelle (Mark Duplass and Melanie Lynskey) are struggling to rekindle the spark in their relationship, which has puttered out from the stresses of marriage and children. When Brett's friend Alex (Steve Zissis) and Michelle's sister Tina (Amanda Peet) move in with them, the foursome engage in a tragically comedic struggle to follow their personal dreams while still remaining good friends, siblings, and spouses to each other.

DVD Verdict: OK, I have to totally fess up here ... I knew absolutely nothing about this show going into reviewing it (which sometimes works in my favor) and this time, well, WOW! What a GREAT show this truly is. I LOVE this new TV show! There, I said it. Indeed, taking a quick glance at the list of actors involved with this TV show, you instantly see that the cast of 'Togetherness"'consists mainly of actors who are known from other comedies - playing secondary roles like Mark Duplass ("The Mindy Project"), Melanie Lynskey ("Two and a Half Men"'s Rose) and Amanda Peet; who among other TV shows had a small breakthrough to the big screen with comedies such as "The Whole Nine Yards".

Sure there's nothing wholly original about the premise of 'Togetherness,' but it is downright funny, that's for sure. Basically, it's the story of a married couple with kids, a loser (and stereotypically fat) best friend who sleeps on their couch, a sister who doesn't know what she wants to do with her life (and whose biological clock is ticking for a solid relationship), and other such "normal" facets of our lives in theirs.

OK, so to make it more personal to you, the viewer, let's break this down to who is what, and what is whom. 'Togetherness' revolves around the Pierson family set in the suburbs of LA. Brett and Michelle Pierson were high school sweet hearts who got married when they were young and now have two young children. They feel there is lack of romance and passion in their relationship and want to re-ignite whatever they had with each other. However, their relationship has long ago become a practical and sensible one and they are unable to get out from their entrenched responsibilities, worries and anxieties.

Brett's best friend Alex is an actor that has been playing small roles in Hollywood for years. He has been recently evicted from his apartment and is at a cross roads as to whether he should continue pursuing his acting career or to give up and do something entirely different. Alex thinks it is too late for him to do something new but he wonders how long he can continue in an industry that focuses so much on appearance and the reality of him being an overweight balding man. He understands his disadvantage in such a harsh, competitive reality, but he doesn't let himself fall into self-pity, quackery or self-help theories.

Tina, Michelle's sister, is an aging tanned LA beauty, that may be considered "hot" by some. She doesn't have a clear employment nor a stable relationship: both of which she is desperate to obtain. She has a clear idea of what she is lacking and how she is lacking yet her natural desire is to live as she likes. She is drawn to stable relationships because she thinks she should have someone. She is desperate to continue on a ridiculous business venture just so she feels she has "made something of herself".

Despite the title 'Togetherness' it doesn't have a cheesy "happy together" kind of message. It is a really cool show that shares the daily struggles of the thirties. As the characters explore, struggle and grow, we can empathize and laugh, at ourselves. Oh, and if you care about such things, you even get to see Amanda Peet's naked breasts ... for a few hot seconds! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Inside the Episode
Amanda & Steve [Interviews]
Deleted Scenes

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