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Entries in Togetherness (5)

Friday
Aug052016

The Duplass Brothers are Coming to HBO...Again

Kieran, here. Those who were saddened by the cancellation of the Jay and Mark Duplass-helmed HBO series "Togetherness" (if you haven't seen it, get thee to on demand and join in the mourning) may be at least a little bit heartened to learned that the writer-director sibling duo is returning to HBO. Their new project is an anthology series currently titled "Room 104" about a hotel and the different characters who occupy the room at different times. As if reacting to the now wide array of anthology series both on premium and basic cable (some excellent, others...not so much), the Duplass brothers will inject their brand of low-concept, observational human drama and comedy into the format. “We’ve all seen stories set in seedy motels and high-class international resorts, but for years we’ve been fascinated by the funny, weird, sad, scary, absurd things going down in that corporate chain hotel near the airport. That’s what ‘Room 104’ is after… finding some magic in the seemingly mundane," stated the brothers in a recent statement.

With the announcement of this new Duplass brothers outing as well as the upcoming "Divorce" (starring and executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker) and "Insecure" (created by and starring Issa Rae, creator of the very funny webseries "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl") it seems that HBO is trying to make a narratively bold statement with their programming choices. Despite the fact that the network's arguable flagship show is a high-concept genre series, they're not making the mistake of many feature film executives, which is to do lowest common denominator versions of what they think is successful. Yes, television and movies are two different industries and the latter relies much more heavily on mercurial but instant and quantifiable financial success. HBO isn't just looking at the success of "Game of Thrones" and saying "More of this and ONLY more of this." This is not meant to denigrate the quality of "Game of Thrones," so fans please retire your torches and pitchforks. Even "Game of Thrones" fans can agree that we don't need a watered-down version that's simply trying to capitalize on the show's popularity. While our excitement about "Room 104," "Insecure" and "Divorce" may vary, it's heartening to see a major cable network making a concerted effort at this particular kind of storytelling. 

Melanie Lynskey and Mark Duplass on HBO's "Togetherness"

No cast information has been released for "Room 104" which is slated to air in 2017. This leaves the door open for the fun game of casting expectations and wishlists. The plot of the series is so open-ended, one can easily imagine a wide array of actors inhabiting this new Duplass universe. 

Which actors would you like to see pass through "Room 104"? 

Thursday
Mar312016

The Sisterly Bond Between Leading Ladies of "Togetherness"

When the mood strikes, we'll be sharing our TV MVPs of the Week. Here's Daniel Crooke...

Before last week, Togetherness was simply that great show conducting the most shrewdly hysterical act of open-heart surgery on television. Of course, since then, HBO tragically axed the Duplass Brothers’ tender Northeast LA dramedy after two seasons. On Sunday’s “Geri-ina,” (replaying tonight at 11) Melanie Lynskey and Amanda Peet reminded us how their performances as sisters Michelle and Tina breathe with such a beautifully intimate got-your-backness. When Michelle needs Tina to create a diversion at a snobby fundraiser so she can snoop on her double-crossing charter school frenemy (who also happens to be the host) they exchange a lifetime of ocular shorthand as Peet shoos her along and humiliates herself for her sister’s dream: belting Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” to a roomful of upper crusters. Peet’s berserk timing and Lynskey’s deft, actualized determination belong to one another, fighting dirty in the name of justice.

Amy Jellicoe, you have two fabulous heroines heading your way in HBO Heaven.

Monday
Feb152016

Newish to Watch at Home: Crimson Peak, Trumbo, Grandma, Etc.

Newish on DVD/BluRay

The 33 Antonio Banderas / Chilean miner rescue story
99 Homes the other acclaimed housing crisis movie
Black Mass the gangster movie with Johnny Depp, buried under alien makeup, plays a gangster. Watch out for great performances on the periphery from Peter Sarsgaard and Julianne Nicholson
Crimson Peak from Guillermo Del Toro. Critics were divided or had many reservations but those who loved it really loved it. Here's a rabidly pro piece nicely titled "Ghosts are Movies".

LUNCHTIME POLL:
Would you rather...

- Be seduced by Tom Hiddleston?
- Gain access to all of Mia Wasikowska's money?
- Marry into Jessica Chastain's family?


Girls S4 -I've definitely lost track of this show. Weirdly I quit with an episode I couldn't have loved more (S3E7 "Beach House")
Grandma - Lily Tomlin gets her own well deserved star vehicle and drives it superbly
• Love the Coopers - Diane Keaton earns a paycheck
Spectre  -the first Bond I haven't seen in theaters in some time. It just kind of happened, the skipping of it
Steve Jobs -the intense three act drama starring Michael Fassbender & Kate Winslet
Togetherness S1 the highly undervalued HBO dramedy. Melanie Lynskey and the rest of the cast are just super
Trumbo in case you'd like to discover why it did so well in the precursors

NEW TO STREAMING
Netflix added Dope, The Face of Love (a romantic drama misfire from The Bening), Open Season, and the 2007 Best Picture nominee Atonement (tomorrow) and by the end of the month they'll add Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny which looks terrible *sniffle* despite being something we've looked forward to for so long. Amazon Prime added Solomon Kane a fantasy action film starring James Purefoy, Max von Sydow and Rachel Hurd-Wood that Radius TWC buried in 2009 (never opened in the States but played elsewhere). By the end of the month they'll add Digging For Fire from Joe Swanberg.

Which of these will you be catching up with?

Sunday
Jun212015

FYC: Melanie Lynskey for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy

Team Experience continues to share their individual dream picks for Emmy nominations. Here's abstew on TFE favorite Melanie Lynskey...

With this year's rule-change that half hour shows will be automatically placed in the comedy categories and hour-long ones in drama, we worry about the shows that don't necessarily fit so easily into either category, regardless of their running times. But then again, Melanie Lynskey currently giving one of the year's best comedic and dramatic performances in HBO's Togetherness, has always been an actress undefined by categorization. Equally at home in traditional sitcoms (playing kooky neighbor Rose on Two and a Half Men) as she is in dramatic film work (her film debut in Heavenly Creatures is still a haunting revelation), Lynskey utilizes her skills from both (along with a sure hand at improv, recently seen in Happy Christmas) to play Michelle, the unhappily married wife and mother on the Duplass Brother's relationship dramedy. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr022015

Finger-Linking Good


No Screen
Indie Wire Patricia Arquette will pen a memoir on her career and single motherhood  
EW A chocolate sculpture of Benedict Cumberbatch. eek.
Tony Awards what's eligible? We'll be revving up more theater posts for Tony Season (everything is about to open... April being the theater's December if you will)
NY Times profiles the "Hand to God" playwright Robert Askins. ("Hand to God" is the latest risque puppet comedy post Avenue Q -- though not really like it otherwise -- and it's very funny)

Big Screen
IndieWire Manoel de Oliveira RIP (1908-2015)

Small Screen
Buzzfeed the greatest article ever written about the Starz series Outlander Season 1
Melanie Lynskey teases a second season of Togetherness. Did you watch it? So funny-sad and endearing
AV Club the 7 defining pitches of Mad Men

Computer Screen
Dartboard Patton Oswalt goes on an epic twitter rant about comedy and our delicate sensibilities in 2015
Variety thinks Marvel & Netflix have nothing to worry about with the impending launch Daredevil though correct me if I'm wrong... this review of 5 episodes (no spoilers) doesn't really say if it's any good or not, does it? 

Today's Must Watch
MISSI PYLE WANTS TO F*** YOU UP. Watch this amusing commercial and then help Missi raise funds to shoot her music video (multiple celebrity cameos promised) for her awesome revenge anthem "I Wanna Fuck You Up" -- Consider your donation a thank you for her awesomely generous guest blogging day right here at TFE. Yes, I am donating. Although I haven't decided who I want to fuck up the most. You can name your target in her video!