Blu-ray Review: Togetherness: The Complete First Season

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HBO's series Togetherness debuted in January of 2015, garnering enough of a following to justify a second season. With the second season set to debut on the premium cable network on February 21, HBO has issued Togetherness: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray on February 16. With only eight 29(ish)-minute episodes, it wouldn't be too challenging to binge on the show in time to get caught up for the series' sophomore year.

Togetherness was created by multi-hyphenate filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass along with Steve Zissis. All three co-write the series, with the Duplass brothers serving as co-directors. If that weren't enough hats to wear, both Mark Duplass and Zissis are part of the regular cast. Duplass plays Brett Pierson, a foley artist based in L.A. who lives with his family, including wife Michelle (Melanie Lynskey, nominated for a Critic's Choice Award for her work here). Brett and Michelle are still adjusting, sometimes awkwardly, to life as parents. Zissis plays Brett's best bud Alex, a perpetually struggling actor.

The biggest "name" actor in the series is Amanda Peet, who plays Michelle's unlucky-in-love sister Tina. Fans of Peet take note: she's excellent, and her interactions with Alex are among the best moments of the season. Togetherness thrives on the subtleties of the relationships between these four characters. It's funny, but never uproariously so. It's observational style is mildly insightful, but always in a quiet way. 
 
togetherness S1 BD (313x380).jpg As for HBO's Blu-ray presentation, it can be summed up by saying the 1080p transfer is typically excellent. Images are sharp and the overall the show does a nice job of looking naturalistic. Also, as one might expect from a recent mainstream release, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes that accompanies each episode are suitably easy on the ears. The score is composed by Michael Andrews, no stranger to soundtrack work (he's perhaps best known his inventive cover of "Mad World" for Donnie Darko), and his music is one of the more prominent components of the generally uneventful soundtrack.

The two-disc set contains several special features. "Inside the Episode" shows up on each disc, offering standard behind-the-scenes looks at each of the season one episodes. The content isn't terribly revealing, but at a total of just over 20 minutes (both discs combined) it's worth a quick look for the show's fans. Each disc also has a few minutes of deleted scenes. "Amanda and Steve" (disc two) is a five minute interview featuring Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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