TV Review: HBO’s ‘Togetherness’

Jay and Mark Duplass created, wrote and directed Togetherness, the new half-hour HBO comedy premiering Sunday at 9:30 p.m. The series stars Mark Duplass and Melanie Lynskey as a married couple, with Steve Zissis (another cocreator) as his unemployed best friend and Amanda Peet as her neurotic sister who both move into their L.A. home. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“It's not the kind of show you've never seen before, and even the tone of it isn't all that revelatory, given all the recent Sundance-to-TV migration. But it's a really well-executed version of what it is (I enjoyed it much more than Married, for instance), and I happily devoured all eight episodes over a couple of days last month. It's a strong addition to HBO's library in general, and to this new Sunday lineup in particular.”
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“This is an old story, no getting around it, and Togetherness doesn’t always transcend that. But at its best, the series shows that–as with marriage, parenthood, friendship and all those other eternal, hackneyed tales–if you put your head down and just commit, it can still work.”
James Poniewozik, Time

Togetherness is easy to like on one level and probably a little more challenging as the Duplass brothers explore the quiet discontent among people who are just trying to do they best they can. It’s worth the effort. The emotional payoff is enormous.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Togetherness works because of the balance in the storytelling — knowing when to mine something for humor or play it more starkly. That kind of tonal awareness is essential for this kind of show to succeed — too light undercuts the deeper meaning, too heavy makes it an unwatchable pity party. Luckily, the TV landscape has a number of fine examples of this niche genre and Togetherness is a superb new entry that slides in almost fully formed right next to them.”
Tim Goodman, Hollywood Reporter

“Bawdy in places and melancholy throughout, the series — like its half-hour bookends — is a snapshot of a particular cohort at this moment, and there are universal elements woven into those feelings of confusion and longing.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

“But thanks to the chemistry between Peet and Zissis, it's endlessly engrossing. I binge-watched all eight episodes, only to feel disappointed that I'll have to wait to find out what happens to these likable oddballs. Togetherness is a charming surprise: It's set in the vicinity of Hollywood, but it doesn't feel ‘Hollywood.’”
Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly