Scary Mommy

‘Togetherness’: An S&M Fantasy Goes Terribly Awry

January 19, 2005 Updated August 2, 2016


If last week’s premiere episode of Togetherness pitted adulthood (represented by married-with-children Brett and Michelle) against refusal to grow up (Tina, Michelle’s aimless sister, and Alex, Brett’s slacker best friend), then this week we’re invited to a battle of the sexes. And the women are clearly coming out on top.

Tina Takes Charge

For all her party-girl messiness, Tina proves to be the most together of the foursome this week. After Michelle reports that her sex life with Brett is predictable and boring—Brett’s “signature move” is getting a pillow to put under Michelle’s head before intercourse—Tina gets Michelle to confess her dominatrix fantasies and announces she will be taking the kids out that very night so Michelle and Brett can get it on.

Tina’s other project is Alex. When she finds him asleep on the couch in the middle of the day, she dumps a glass of ice water on him and bribes him into helping her with her party planning business by showing him her boobs. It works—five seconds of flashing and Alex is off the couch and in her employ posthaste. Her methods may be unconventional, but Tina’s getting shit done.

On babysitting duty that night, Tina and Alex find themselves at some kind of kidapalooza pizza parlor with a bouncy house, actually having fun together. Tina isn’t done with her “Live Your Best Life” Tour though, and after telling Alex that his male-pattern baldness looks “like a comma” and not the “Gilligan’s Island” style he says is intentional, she announces that she is going to train him so he can get leading man roles. She successfully gets him to throw away his pizza, but something tells us that this Pygmalion project is not going to be an easy one.

Brett and Michelle’s Botched Sexscapade

Brett’s hard work as a sound man on a cheesy TV series is going unappreciated. After a fight with the director, who opts to use geographically inaccurate wolf cries to soundtrack a suspenseful scene over the authentic coyote howls Brett hiked into the mountains to capture, Brett is sidelined and forced to stay off the soundstage for the rest of the day.

He comes home to Michelle dressed in a tight black dress and fishnets, but is unable to get on the same page with her role-playing. He wants a sandwich, he wants to be included in the scripting of the fantasy, he wants to make love, but Michelle tries valiantly to get him to play submissive to her tentative dom—she’s installed a new chain lock on the inside of the bedroom door and cajoles him into getting on his hands and knees. They dance back and forth over the line between real life and fantasy: Michelle tells Brett to stop talking and do what she says, Brett wants to “feel like we’re in it together” and requests a banana because he’s “getting a little sugar-crashy.”

It seems like the fantasy is going to gain some momentum when Michelle starts spanking Brett and he seems to be getting into it, but the whole house of cards comes tumbling down when she hits his testicles and they end up on the couch watching TV, Brett with a Strawberry Shortcake ice pack on his balls.

Best Hyper-Symbolic Gen-X Moment

Michelle getting dressed, putting on heavy black eyeliner, singing along to “Let’s Go to Bed” by the Cure with her gurgling baby sitting nearby.

Best Description of Alex’s Slackerness

Michelle explaining to Tina that Alex sleeping on the couch at noon is “like a beached whale situation: you have to wait for the tide to come and wash him gently back in.”

Best Quantification of How Long Tina Will Show Her Boobs to Alex

She tells him it will be a “Mardi Gras flash: ‘throw me something, mister’ and then down.”