Also releasing on Blu-Ray and DVD from HBO today is season 1 of the new dramedy series from Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass and Steve Zissis. The series stars Zissis, Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey and Amanda Peet.
Brett (Duplass) and Michelle (Lynskey) Pierson have been married for a while, with two children, Alex (Zissis) is Brett’s best friend and would-be actor who is evicted from his apartment and ends up on Brett and Michelle’s couch. Tina (Peet), Michelle’s sister, was visiting from Houston, but decides to stay, taking up residence in the house as well.
From there, relationships, intimacy, marriage, love, and the daily struggle to connect are explored through humor and heartache. I was rather taken aback by this show, having just finished season 4 of Girls. This one seems to strike a little closer to home, these are thirty/forty-somethings trying to adult.
The heart of the series is the struggling relationship between Brett and Michelle, who, though they love each other, are struggling to be intimate and keep their passion alive, if it’s possible. It’s echoed in the potential of the relationship between Alex and Tina, as the actor falls very quickly for the Texan.
It’s sharp, it’s adult, it pulls threads connected to both the heart and the brain, and lets the viewers, of an age, see things that they can relate to, while still being both funny and touching.
You want things to work out for Michelle and Brett, as you can tell they both love and care for one another, but there is also so much more going on in their lives even as they try to connect.
Over the course of eight episodes, making up two discs, we see them make choices we can understand, but also ones that are bad for them, because, we as the viewer ‘know better.’ Each of the characters are fully formed, three-dimensional characters that are neither good nor bad, they are simply all human, complete with the foibles, faults, errors, and delusions that each of us carry.
The season seemed way too short, too easily binged over the course of a day, especially when it puts you through the emotional wringer with its writing. But as usual, HBO makes sure there are extras at play, with inside the episode featurettes, behind the scenes clips, and lots of things we’ve come to expect.
For me, this series came out of nowhere, I hadn’t even heard of it until it showed up from HBO. This is smart and enjoyable television, that gives us a look at family life, and those people that make it up.
Season 2 gets underway on the 21st of February, and we can find out how things go in the Pierson home, and the people who make up this interesting family.
Check out Season 1 on Blu-Ray and DVD today!