A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Togetherness explores the realities of love and relationships, with a brutally honest approach that will strike a familiar chord with adults but probably won't interest teens too much. Sex is simulated, and there's implied masturbation and "sexting" but no real nudity. You'll also hear unbleeped language (think "f--k" and "s--t") and see some social drinking to excess.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
From the outside, married couple Brett (Mark Duplass) and Michelle (Melanie Lynskey) seem to have it figured out with kids, a caring relationship, and a stable income. But in the bedroom, things are bleaker than they've ever been, and no one's quite sure what the problem is. The plot thickens when Brett's friend, unsuccessful actor Alex (Steve Zissis), moves in temporarily just as Michelle's sister, Tina (Amanda Peet), decides to crash on their couch, giving TOGETHERNESS a whole new meaning.
Is it any good?
Mining married life for comedy on the small screen is nothing new, but filtering it through the Duplass brothers' trademark "mumblecore" lens puts it in a more potentially intriguing new light, daring us to laugh and wince in equal parts at commitment's darker realities. The main characters here are generally likable and relatable, depending on your perspective. But since their problems aren't likely to appeal to anyone younger than, say, 30, don't expect your teens to really care about what becomes of them.
So what is mumblecore, exactly? Starting in film in the '90s, its signature style includes dialogue-driven character studies and a lack of what you'd find in most Hollywood films -- most notably, stars and big budgets. A decade after their debut feature, brothers Jay and Mark Duplass are bringing their brand of mumblecore to the table with Togetherness and seeing how it plays out on TV, but whether it's gotten better with age is up for debate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Togetherness's take on committed relationships and how rosy a picture it paints of married life. Who's the show's target audience, and how can you tell? Are these characters meant to be role models?
How does Togetherness compare to other shows about sex, marriage, and personal relationships? Is it doing anything differently, and does it work?
What does it mean to have a "happy" marriage, and do you think most married people achieve it? What are the pros and cons of commitment?
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