Amanda Peet’s career has always been brimming at the surface of a really big breakout. I can recall watching her on WB’s Jack & Jill more than 15 years ago (along with other future breakout stars like Sarah Paulson and Jamie Pressley) before seeing her star in high-profile movies like The Whole Nine Yards (although the big deal with that movie was that she takes her top off).
As a 42-year-old mother of three, Peet takes her top off on HBO’s Togetherness, as well, but this time it means something more and is not just the work of a young actress willing to bare herself in a role.
As Tina, Peet plays the party girl we’ve seen in films like Body Shots, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Way Way Back. But this time, she’s older and tired, still doing the walk of shame and reminiscing about getting drunk at weddings.
Peet has two Emmy-worthy scenes in the pilot episode titled “Family Day,” the first being her breakdown on her sister’s (Melanie Lynskey) porch, after the week-old relationship with fuck buddy Craig (Ken Marino) ends over text message.
“Do you know what it’s like to be dating at my age?” she says, her makeup all smeared and running. “It’s pathetic. There’s nobody left.”
The second is her run-in with the Craig at a restaurant, he with a blonde on his arm.
She confronts him, even pushing him with aggression, until he snaps in front of a dozen innocent restaurant patrons.
“This is why I didn’t respond to your thousand calls and your fucking texts,” screams Craig. “Because you’re bat-shit crazy, lady!”
Even when Steve Zissis’ Alex intervenes, taking off his shirt to distract everyone from the altercation, you still can’t shake her look of disappointment following Craig’s admission, her knowing that this dude was just one of many cogs in her wheel of bad decisions.
I didn’t care much more for the HBO series past the fifth episode, but Amanda Peet deserves recognition for taking a character we’ve seen before and giving her a new side.