The Season 1 finale of “Togetherness” ended on a pretty serious cliffhanger for Brett (Mark Duplass) and Michelle Pierson’s (Melanie Lynskey) relationship. In the final moments of the episode, she consummates her season-long flirtation with David (John Ortiz) during a weekend trip, while Brett decides to drives north from L.A. to meet her in an attempt to save their marriage.
“There is a lot of me in both Brett and Michelle. Those two characters I relate to immensely and bring a lot of my own inner world to — not necessarily the events of my life, but that’s where I contribute a lot of my inner stuff. Tina and Alex are more like wish-fulfillment for me; I wish I could be that forward and that entertaining.
“I would just say that we are categorically against teaching lessons as filmmakers, but what we really want people to take away is we tried to create a very real show where you can recognize yourself in the characters and you can see yourself portrayed; you can have your deepest fears explored and validated, and hopefully you can giggle your a** off all the while while you’re watching it. Our goal is more to have fun, validate, raise mysteries and laugh.”
Mark Duplass (Brett, co-creator)
“Jay and I don’t have any agendas with our characters and who we feel like is right and who we feel like is wrong. … We’re just presenting these people. We try to present it as 50/50 as possible in our minds. We’re never going to nail that perfectly because it’s always arbitrary to where you’re at in your life. The perfect example of that is we listen to people talk about the show and we screen it for people and they come up to us afterwards, and the one thing we consistently get is one person will come up to us and say, ‘I love how you basically made all four characters even, but it in the end it really is Melanie Lynskey’s show.’ Next person comes up: ‘I love how you made all four even, but in the end it really is your show, Mark.'”
“There’s always that point where somebody could stop it or somebody could be like ‘We really need [help]’ — and they’re trying. They’re in therapy, and they’re trying to work out but sometimes it’s like a train is kind of going and there’s nothing you can really do. It was hard for me to go to that place, and I was super nervous about what is everyone going to think about Michelle? Is she going to be judged?
“It’s sad, because as a person who was married, once [an infidelity] happens, that’s it. That’s too big to take back. … I have to be [on Michelle’s side] a certain amount. I have to understand it, and I did understand it, and I understand that sometimes people just make mistakes. … She has this sort of fantasy version of herself, so it’s not necessarily that [David] is right for her, but this other fantasy [persona] that she has.”
Steve Zissis (Alex, co-creator)
“I co-created the show with Mark and Jay, so I love all these peeps. … I love all these characters. I love their flaws, I love how human they are. There’s so much pathos and humanity and humor and sadness and awkwardness.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of catharsis [watching the show], I think, for people that are married with kids. I think they’ll be able to relate; people that are pushing 40 that are single that might be feeling a little lonely and lost. I think there will be a lot of reliability and catharsis, and maybe that in itself is not the lesson, but it’s like ancient Greek plays. You go and have the catharsis so you don’t have to do it yourself. So maybe like a young couple will see our show and walk home together and maybe communicate more openly and honestly about feelings for the first time.”