Girls Looking for Togetherness (1-11-15)

Girls Looking Togetherness
Girls and Looking returned with new series Togetherness for a Sunday night line up not to be missed on HBO.

Girls

The veteran show of the week, Girls continues on the roll it had going in Season 3 to be one of the most laugh out loud comedies on television. Girls has only wavered slightly in its run, but Season 4 is off to such a strong start I think we can feel comfortable that Lena Dunham and her team are keeping things rolling right along at the show’s high standard.

This was one of the most balanced episodes the show has ever had, with the show checking in on everyone while also giving everyone the attention they deserve.

Hannah is packing up and getting ready to head out and everything about her and Adam in the episode plays kind of sweet, but with an underlying sadness that her going away is really going to throw this relationship. Adam’s depression commercial was hilarious by the way and I wonder why they wanted to take success away from him so fast this season. Maybe it’s because he has to go play in a galaxy far, far away? We will see, but my diagnosis for Adam’s mental health is not strong with Hannah gone.

Jessa avoided incarceration for the attempted suicide of her art buddy and the show really built up their relationship beyond where it was. I wonder if an inheritance battle is coming between Jessa and Natasha Lyonne’s daughter character, Rickie. Shos’ parents are a nightmare in the best way possible for the viewer, but they also make her come across as melo and down to earth as she ever has appeared on the show. Marnie on the other hand is getting her ass eaten out by her cheating band member and showing her thin skin as a taunting child takes her down during a Jazz Brunch performance.

The star of the episode is Andrew Rannells’ Eli, isn’t he always, as every word out of his mouth had me rolling. Eli is the comedy rock of this show, he can say anything, and the more Eli on the show, the more successful the show has been in my opinion. Now somebody find his rescue kitten.

The only person not getting a ton of screen time is Ray this week, and well, I think that might be intentional. Something is off about Ray. Maybe its just that he is happy for once in his life, and I hope that happiness isn’t about Marnie because she is getting plenty of butt loving elsewhere, but part of me is wondering if something more is going on there. That was a really weird hug with Shos.

Girls is off to a great start, can’t wait for 9 more weeks of this!

Looking

Looking wasn’t seen by enough people last year and that is a real shame as it is one of the better shows on TV right now. The characters are rich, the show is often hilarious and there is plenty of emotional stakes and drama to please any viewer out there.

Tonight’s premiere takes the show out of “The City” for the first time and back into redwood country north of SF. Dom, Patrick and Augustine all go out to Lynn’s cabin in the woods that just so happens to be intersecting with a giant gay weekend out in the wilderness. The goal is to relax, not drink and play board games, but before you know it they are doing molly, getting drunk and into “trouble”.

Patrick is still hung up on Richie, but he also might still be more in to Kevin as the two have been apparently been sleeping around behind Kevin’s BF back ever since their first hook up. Patrick can seem so precious and naive at times, but I think the premiere did a great job at not letting us forget how selfish and deluded he can be about his reality. Yeah, he owns up to sleeping with Kevin at the end, but mainly it is because he wants his buddies to sympathize with him that Kevin is still with his BF.

Augstin is getting thrown under the bus by Patrick at the start in a non-intervention-intervention about his drinking, but he actually might show the most growth and maturity over the episode. Yeah, he’s depressed, smoking, dropping X and always ready for mischief, but his interaction with a bear that has a home in Virginia is the most sweet and grown up relationship we have seen him have yet. That scene in the river was very sweet and honest, something we don’t usually see from him and I like the potential of this turn around for a character that was often unbearable in the first season.

Dom doesn’t seem like he gets into much mischief this week, but even though he has an open relationship with Lynn he disrespects him at every turn. Sifting through his stuff, shrugging off his friends doing everything he asked them not to do in his house, plus he doesn’t seem to think twice about sleeping with the guy he met at the party. Don’t see this going well for Dom.

Speaking of that party, what a great scene, with a fantastic slow-mo tracking shot thrown in the middle with a great double take on the Richie look-alike at the end. The energy and fun of the party bled through the screen, but I still wish they would have found a way to interpret their trip a bit more. Also, the fairy dude killed me.

Also, it was nice to Doris in a big role again and continue to be as hilarious as she was when ever she got a chance to shine in season 1. Hopefully she’s not permanently lost to the lesbians.

A solid start to season 2 of Looking that recalibrates the three leads in all the right ways for the season ahead. Tell your friends they are missing out!

Togetherness

The new series premiere is a brain child of the Duplass brothers, staring brother Mark, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis. Peet and Zissis play Tina and Alex who both end up sleeping on Brett and Michelle’s couch by the end of the episode. The group is quite the shit show of life at the moment, but their dynamic is hilarious and I found myself really enjoying this pilot.

Putting Duplass and Lynskey in a show is a good start and neither of them disappoint in the premiere in the less showier parts on the show. Their sexless marriage is starting to become a problem, but the show does a great job of showing this struggle even though the two clearly still love each other. I also really appreciated the caught masturbating reversal, Lynskey killed it as it just kept getting worse and worse for her.

Peet’s character is maybe a bit childish and unbelievable for a woman her age, but I think the show makes it work for the most part. As the show goes on the character will have plenty of opportunities to gain some depth, but right now she is a fun to watch, yet kind of thin loose cannon. Her chemistry with Zissis is palpable though and I hope the two continue to get into a lot of trouble as they try to repair their broken lives. Zissis I had never seen before, but he had me rolling on a number of occasions. The bit where he saves Peet from further embarrassment late in the episode had me laughing harder than just about anything else on this night of television.

Togetherness does a great job of setting up its four main leads in its premiere and delivers plenty of humor making sure you come back for more. I have enjoyed a lot of the Duplass Bros. work and I do not think Togetherness will destroy that streak any time soon.

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