TV Review: United States of Tara

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

Torrenting again and got the first 7 episodes of the new Showtime show - United States of Tara and it was good.

Written by Diablo Cody of Juno fame, United States of Tara is a comedy about a woman with Disociative Identity Disorder (DID) and how she and her disorder affect her and people around her once she decided to stop her medications.

The main character Tara (played by Toni Colette) is a mural painter with multiple personalities who lives in the suburb with her wonderful supportive landscape husband Max (played by John Corbett) and she's the mother of two teenagers; a rebelious daughter with promiscuous tendencies and a skinny nerdy artsy younger son who excels academically and who's gay.

Amongst Tara's multiple personalities (or alters), there's T. who's a 15-year-old girl, highly rebellious and sarcastic. Destructive at times and scantilly dressed at all times, T. gets along very well with Tara's daughter Kate and they love to use Tara's credit cards go on shopping sprees. Buck, who's another alter, is a vietnam vet, a dude and a lefty (while all others are righties). Buck wears thick glasses and smokes, love to pick fights and harass women, he also love to polish his gun collection. Another one, Alice, is the model housewife who bakes and cleans and irons. She's the only personality that believes in God but then she tries so hard to be perfect that she will break into a vicious streak when things don't get her way. She also wants to take over Tara's body 24/7. And then there are also other personalities developing...

The show reminds me a lot of Weeds, they are both about family lives of sururbia moms with big secrets that affect people around them. There are also traces of Six Feet Under here and there. Maybe reminded me of the Tracy Ullman Show too. Not extremely clever writing but pleasant and it puts people in some funny situations. There's also a big laugh moment by the end of episode 6 when Tara's sister showed her botched boob job, I laughed so hard. I'm thrilled to see John Corbett getting into yet another show, he's a good looking guy and he seems to always play the "good" guy. I guess I'm not too familiar with Toni Collette, I thought she's the one who played Jean Grey in the X-Men Trilogy but turned out I was wrong.

It's a good comedy. Somehow it makes having multiple personalities seems like a super power. The usual self cannot do what other personalities can. It'd be interesting to find out if the mother of her children is not her true self but one of her alters or if the one who give birth (which is in itself a stressful situation and a trigger for her disorder) is actually Buck, the dude. That'd be kinda funny. I hope you'll try and watch it. If Showtime comes out with these good show with a constant pace, I might just subscribe.

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