March 27, 2015


Togetherness is a TV series that realizes the very tepid nature of young families. There is no more excitement, no more energy that clearly is shown deep underneath what appears to be the well-put together couple at the center of the film. While their friends are seemingly ship-wrecked, with one having been evicted as part of his struggling actor routine, and another who abandons her life in Houston on a whim because her lover abandons her, the couple is beginning to deflate. They are simply put tired of each other. Tired of a monotonous existence of work and sex.

The show demonstrates that they seek to resolve the strain by inventing new adventurous ways of exploring each other. This is clearly in an effort to rediscover themselves, or, more generally, to reignite what makes anything interesting in the first place: mystery. Novelty. That which is new. It is at the core of being human and what answers most plainly the reason anything ever happens in society. The human search for knowing what is mysterious is simply a wrinkle in the only constant being change itself. What is already known extensively, such as what occurs between the betrothed, becomes boring and meaningless and dry and flailing as opposed to the fiery embers of what can possibly be. Knowing what will be is consequentially meaningless to human freedom. Certainty does not provoke the necessary tension that exists with being free agents of creation. There is much excitement about experiencing the unknown even if the risk is that the consequences can be negative. This risk is perennially worthwhile in the end.

The ostensibly collapsing marriage isn’t something fresh in the annals of monogamy mind you, only now that there is no cultural fortification for such commitment do we see the agony in having to maintain something which was once spiritually prized, matrimony, and now is simply broken as impetuously as a common binding agreement with an employee and his employer. Coinciding itself is the platonic romantic tension of the two friends, each supporting each other amidst their wreckage. What they both have in common is feeling washed-up. Of having dazzling dreams of what their life would end up as and, having been indignant about fulfilling them, only now realize the potential permanence of their failure. This is more visibly seen with the actor who reminisces his adolescent stardom only to now look at himself in the mirror and see an overweight balding man of no importance who cannot even hold a job and may have to move back home in defeat. His female counterpart apparently runs or has run a steady and successful inflatable party rental toy business yet once the party is over there is no one to keep her warm and sheltered. She herself has begun to realize the ship might have sailed and that she has nothing to show for her time on Earth.

We may call the focal issues in Togetherness as emergent phenomenon of those beginning their middle-age. Where there is a self-awareness that begins to develop about how different they are from their younger selves, such as their early 20’s which they now would describe as “children” as judging from their participation with some hipsters. It is a time where there has been enough investment in the world for them to reflect “what have I done?” yet with still enough respiration cycles to leave themselves with a happy ending.

Grade: B



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