Tara is a career artists, loving wife and caring mother who also struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder, better known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Whenever she feels stressed or overwhelmed one of her personalities, or alters, manifest and take control of her body. Her primary alters are T, an oversexed and flirtatious sixteen year old; Alice, the perfect 1950's housewife; and Buck, a (male) redneck biker. At the beginning of the series she has gone off her medication and her alters are starting to manifest more frequently.
Her husband Max always goes above and beyond to be supportive and helpful to Tara, despite the actions of her alters. Her daughter Kate is largely self-absorbed and plotting to escape her life as she knows it and the negative stigma her mother brings to it. Her son Marshal very openly loves and is protective of his mother and tries to be understanding. But her sister Charmaine is in complete denial of Tara's condition and thinks it is all for attention.
When the series starts, everyone is readjusting to life with the return of the alters. Tara gets the idea of to finally start digging more into the past as to when she first started to manifest her alters. Charmaine starts helping after Buck helps her through her breast augmentation surgery. And Kate, who is usually very hostile, is the first one who is able to get Tara to come out of an altered state, giving her hope that Tara can get better. Max tracks down a man that Tara was involved with in college and believed to have raped her, causing Tara's mental break. But a suprise revelation requires the family to start digging deeper.
Over the course of the series, with every step forward in finding answers new problems form in the manifestation of other alters. Charmaine tries to find true love while trying to hide her lust for Max's portly best friend Neil. Kate continues to try and leave but circumstances keep bringing her back home. Marshal, and eventually Max, start getting worn down by the actions of the alters and find themselves lashing out at both Tara and the alters. At the end of sason two a long kept secret is revealed about their father's past that finally gives a name to Tara's original torment.
In the final season, Tara decides to back to college to finish her degree and learn more about her condition. Her college professor Dr. Hattaras doesn't believe in DID, but becomes fascinated with helping Tara. With his help, another alter manifests with the sole purpose of killing the alters and eventually Tara. This enables Tara to finally confront her inner demons before choosing to seeking the better mental care she needs.
The first season funny and real while never dismissing the seriousness of mental illness. The alters serve a purpose story wise and there are reasons for their manifestations. The family react to their situations as you might expect people to, except Max who seems too good to be true (this does get explained in season 3). Season two takes a more serious route, as some of the more gimmicky nature of the alters is removed, but with new alters also means some (T especially) get shafted. And while the final season does take an interesting dramatic turn, three years of build up leads to a confrontation that is wrapped up in just a few minutes.
'United States of Tara' is an intriguing show that touches upon a disease that is largely misunderstood and trivialized. With a short 36 episode run of half hour episodes, it can be easily binged within a short time span. Toni Collete does an amazing job of playing the various roles and deserved the Emmy and the Golden Globe that she won. But because of the short run, you feel like you are really getting to know and be comfortable with the characters when it just ends. The ending itself feels natural, but abrupt after everything that has happened to these people.
The writers of season one is not good because it talk about a teen boy who is gay for which I don't like it just not right for me, but it had great main title design and acting for Toni Collette in season one.
When I saw the first episode of United States of Tara, it felt so fresh and different. It was like the first few episodes of Weeds all over again. The show balances comedy and drama extremely well for the most of time; at times you're on the floor laughing, at others you're just staring at the screen in shock, and in others you don't know weather to laugh of cry - and you do both.
Almost all of the characters and actors are great: you might not like them, but there certainly isn't a boring one in this bunch. Tara/Alyce/T/Buck (played by the fantastic Tony Collette, she deserved those Emmy and Golden Globe awards) is of course the centre of attention. Marshall is fantastic as the wise-beyond-his-years -kid. I found Kate's character the least likable of the core family, but someway along the way she became pretty cool as well. Kate's sister, Charmaine, deservers a special mention here - Rosemarie DeWitt delivers some of the best comedy and drama in the show. Most of the minor characters don't disappoint: Kate's Barnabeez manager Gene Stuart manages to be absolutely hilarious and extremely creepy at the same time. Pammy works both comedically and as a plot device. Lionel Trane is your typical gay character, but you still grow attached to him.
The show survived a grand total of 36 episodes and three seasons, that's much more than some other shows. I feel the show was cancelled at pretty much the right time, as season three seemed to be a bit slow to get underway, and not as interesting as the two first ones - the last three, four episodes were great though, and the series wrapped up nicely and in a satisfactory way.
One aspect some viewers might dislike is the lack of outstanding episodes, instead there's just a constant stream of good episodes. Like the theme song says, just learn to enjoy the ride; here the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
The amazing Toni Collette stars as a wife and mother dealing with "Multiple Personalities". She has decided to stop medication to try and find the root causes, which obviously leads to much chaos for the whole family. Complex, funny, interesting.
I love Toni Collette, she is a fantastic actress and I was excited that she would jump into something like this. She is one of few actresses right now who could pull it off. I'm happy to say that it looks like it got a following even with the *horrible* teasers/advertisements it carried leading up to the premiere. Of course the alters and the drama that happens when Tara changes is interesting, but what really makes this show so great is that it deals with the aftermath of these episodes and the way the family copes. The whole cast is very strong, the teenagers are perfectly obnoxious at times and very real. No main character is shallow, they all have points where you like them or you don't. I like that the son being gay is not a negative thing, it's addressed and he deals with feeling ostracized at school, but it isn't a plot point that is negative. I cannot wait for the next season, and if they keep this up I can see it becoming a star for Showtime a la Weeds.
When I first got word of this show I was a little worried, this is a concept that seemed brimming with potential but very hard to pull off. But I knew that I would give it a few eps before I made my call on what the show would be. I am happy to report that this show not only works but is truely satisfying TV.
The nitty/gritty of the show is all about Tara, played flawlessly by Toni Collette, who suffers from D.I.D or multiple personalities. Basically in moments of stress a new personality can take over Tara and Tara is then left to figure out what problems her alters have left for her to fix. The personalities are Buck, T and Alice. Buck is a dirty trucker guy who loves hot chicks, cigarettes and booze. Alice is a classic 50's Housewife who wants her to take over Tara's life by starting a family with her husband and being a strong task master with Tara's wayward daughter. T is a teen who is obsessed with sex and drugs and is best pals with Tara's daughter.
The key to the show is that Toni Collette consumes all the characters and hts the spot perfectly with all of them but truely shines as Buck. But the show isn't all about Tara, the trials and tribulations of all the family members bring a great sense of drama and emotion into the show with the loyal husband who is always judged by Tara as to whether he sleeps with the other alters, her son who is an original but just as confused and disturbed as all nerdy teen boys are. Finally her daughter who personifies the rebel without a cause who always seems to jump from one drama to the next.
The show delves into some great issues and does it all with a really twisted sense of humor that makes me gut laugh almost everytime of trying. This show has only just peered its head in Australia so all those who haven't tuned in already really should, it is funny, it is original, it is engrossing, need I say more?
Amazing show with the outstanding Toni Collette. It's just incredible how she can play so many different characters. Of course they're kind of stereotyped, but that's exactly what you expect from a Multiple Personalities Disorder. The writing is brilliant. From one side in fact it shows how interesting and weird, and also sometimes funny, this very particular kind of disorder is, but on the other side it also shows how difficult, for both the affected person and their family, the every day life is. Main characters are well played, especially Marshall and the character of Max, the husband, is so sweet and tender towards Tara and the alters. His behaviour indicates a deep love for the family, and even with the simplicity of his personality he always try to make things better, showing how hard it is, but at the same time not impossible.
I didn't really know what to expect from this show, when a friend of mine recommended it to me...
At first, I thought it was kind of a bad comedy, where Toni Collette made every character in the show... (at least, that's what i thought because of the pictures i saw).. and then... i watched the first episode.
I was fascinated... from the beginning (with such great opening)till the end. I really loved every character; and of course, i was stunned for the great job that Toni Collette did with all the alters.
And that was yesterday... now, i just finished the season; and what a pity there are just 12 episodes for one season!! Now, if you are thinking about watching this show... dont doubt! Whatch it! xD
I adore Toni Collette. She's an amazing actress, and this show really highlights that. The problem is that I can't stand a single one of her personalities and as the show progresses, she keeps getting less and less likable. I also don't like the other characters much. The only one I don't get anger-aneurysms from watching, is her husband. I was very disappointed in this show and I stopped looking after I realized it just made me annoyed, sad and frustrated. Too bad - because there is so much potential here. Not only is the storyline original and interesting, but the actors are fantastic. (Especially, as I mentioned, Toni Collette who is one of my all time faves: AMAZINGLY talented and extremely beautiful, too.)
This time, Tara's husband tries talking to her about the new alter, who doesn't make a new appearance in Abundance.
TUSoT is one of the freshest new additions to american television, and this episode provides palpable character development. The alter in focus now is Alice, who believes to be pregnant with a baby girl, while Marshall experiences the opening night of The House of Hell, where he performs with his love interest, Jason.
This is my favorite episode. Now Charmaine's niece (Kate) is fired, but is rehired at the final sequence of Abundance. She had sex with her boss, who later mistakes their relationship with something greater than it actually is. I can see a very own UST version of Ross & Rachel creeping around Kate and her boss at the diner.
A mother of two and a wife, Tara is living with Multiple Personality Disorder. She is no longer taking her medicine to keep the alters away. And when the meds are away, the alters will play. Who will come out next?
Frankly I have to say that this is one of my favorite shows! I love how each alter comes out. All of the alters are fantastic. Buck and Alice are my favorite two. I love T as well, but I am beginning to find her slightly annoying. She is just a little too crazy! A little too fifteen year old for me. Buck is absolutley fantastic. I love that he is such a manly man. I just adore everything about him. Alice is AMAZING! I love her voice and how she talks. I love that she is the ultimate '50s house wife. Personally I adore her family as well. Her husband Max truly loves her and will do anything for her. Her daughter Katie loves Tara but they are having the typical Mother/Teenage daughter relationship. Marshall is wonderful to Tara. I love that he stays true to his style, and I love the fact that he is gay I think it adds another adoring factor to the show. This show is truly fantastic. You should watch it.
"Another twisted comedy about the unexpected nature of American families, this single-camera Showtime offering examines a wife and mother of two teens who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, which means she suffers from multiple personalities. Coping with it all is never easy, but it's always funny."
A promising start to an awesome show.. Toni Collette is awesome as the lead, and the rest of the cast are great too. I wasn't expecting much when I first watched because of the low rating it has, but after I finished watching it left me puzzled as to why this show is getting so much hate. To sum up, check it out and see for yourself, it really is worth a watch.
This episode was a big improvement it showed the shows depth and humor in new ways.It also focused less on Tara as the rest of the family are all great and they deserve their own screen time.The daughter is hilarious and her witty one liners make the show.Also the brothers geekiness proves to be fun and him being a gay teenager is a good storyline for the show.Also the husband he is fun and so understanding.John Corbett plays him amazingly.Although Toni Collete is the show her acting is amazing and the way she plays the alters are great.Great Episode 10/10.
the pilot alone is great. you'd never expect toni colette to pull off something like this. no, wait, of course you would. the multiple personalities are hilarious and the family interactions are just insane. the kid, marshall, is sooo great. t and buck are the best. nothing similar had been done for a really long time. showtime always pulls off the edgiest shows. i mean, the l word and weeds are just so great. united states of tara will add to the incredible comedy/reality drama that those shows have and build up an entirely new audience. this is probably the only new series i will probably watch. i highly recommend it.
I just downloaded and watched the first 3 episodes back to back - absolutely brilliant! Definitely my new favourite show. Tony Collette is outstanding as always and very exciting to see her in a tv role - what a treat for tv audiences!
The writing is very witty and refreshing and the main supporting cast are highly talented - a terrific ensemble. I am incredibly excited to see the show unfold - i'm sure it's headed for great success (and many Emmy nominations - Toni Collette is a shoe-in for Best Actress!)
Can't wait for the show to air in Australia, audiences here will be blown away by Collettes performance (although we've known how brilliant she is since Muriel!) - great to see yet another Aussie actor stealing the show!
I have found some great resources with more information about MPD / DID
AbuseConsultants.com has been developed as an innovative site for the online treatment of trauma, sexual abuse, dissociative disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and self injury. Our depths of understanding and creative approaches to healing are truly unique.
These pages are meant to serve as a source of information and hope to the MPD/DID community. . . to let every survivor of abuse know that there is hope for a better tomorrow. In this web site you will find links to others pages, information pages about many topics and questions MPD/DIDers have as well as links to support groups.
Welcome to Silent Symphony. This is meant to be a safe place for multiples, and their friends, significant others, therapists and anyone else involved with MPD/DID and related disorders/issues to come together to share information and ideas, to tell our stories, and to work together to help each other heal, in the hopes that one day sites like this will no longer be necessary and the world will be safe for every child.
Pilot: Meet Tara- a Mom who is trying to keep it all together while managing an interior cast of "alters" who present themselves when she is threatened. Despite this she is supported by her loving family who prefer her this way to being medicated.
Great pilot. An excellent premise with a strong and talented cast. Innovative depiction of a tight family dealing with unusual and trying circumstances, yet happily managing. Collette is given room to show the breadth of what she is capable of and it suits her. Great to see John Corbett back, he is convincing as a patient loving husband, and more dreamy now than ever. Both actors that portray the teens are clever and real. All in all they are a family I would be interested in knowing. United Sates of Tara is a funny, clever and compassionate show. It is a great start.
I did view the first episode, and it is my opinion and the opinions of many of us in the multiple community that the alters were over sensationalized and that this episode presented a very inaccurate picture of what living as a multiple is really like.
What I saw in the first episode, is that Mr. Spielberg is using "sex, sex, and more sex", to sell a series. I hope that Ms. Cody will choose to omit the over sexualized, soap opera aspect that pervaded the first episode, and will pay more attention to the causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
At least with the massive number of anti-Tara emails that Showtime obviously has received from DID sufferers, they have included an "informative" video from Dr. Kluft; however, even in his short documentary, he did not address the magnitude of the horrific childhood sexual abuse that causes Dissociative Identity Disorder. The so called "consultant" that the writer, Diablo Cody is conferring with, had DDNOS, not DID. Apples and oranges... sigh.
Imagine for a moment, if you can: A new Showtime series called, "The Deformed State of Tara" - a COMEDY about a girl who confronts comedic situations in her every day life revolving around her dealing with her inability to climb stairs, her sexual encounters, and her comedic experiences with people staring at her scarred and deformed face and arms. (As a child, her parents had physically abused her so intensely, that her repeatedly broken bones resulted in a leg amputation, and the repeated burns the parents inflicted on her arms and face resulted in grotesque scarring which made her face appear as almost inhuman.)
This scenario is NO DIFFERENT than creating a "COMEDY" about a person who suffers from a disorder caused by repeated, early childhood RAPE AND INCEST. One might say that the results of childhood physical abuse are apparent to outsiders, but the results of childhood sexual abuse resulting in Dissociative Identity Disorder are ALSO readily apparent to others in public. Raping young children is NOT comedic.
I was a bit worried about how the series would handle the sensitive and difficult issue of MPD, but it seems to be sailing along just fine! It doesn't over-dramatize, doesn't become tiresome, isn't predictably politically correct, yet on the other hand it doesn't ridicule the disease or misrepresent it. It's realistic yet at the same time entertaining.
I didn't know what to expect but after the first couple of minutes I started enjoying the episode, and after the first five I was hooked! Definitely worth your time and trouble! And Toni Collette is just amazing on the part.
After watching the pilot a few things are clear: Toni Collette hasn't lost her acting touch and Diablo Cody is as funny as ever. This is a really fresh comedy: the premise has never been done before, let alone anything remotely similar. The show has an enormous amount of potential, especially since Collette in essence plays 4 different characters, all of whom must build relationships with other characters. The problem I see facing this show in the future is originality: there are only so many suburban situations where a strange personality disorder can be funny, and then it becomes exhausting. Overall however, the show seems fresh, original and quite funny.
As I've watched the Pilot of this new show i really liked what i saw. The premise is not too similar to other shows and might even be considered original. The writing in my opinion is good and so are the characters, there's just one problem. Tony Collette is just not up to the task. That doesn't mean she would not me a good actress, she's great when she's Tara. It's the other personalities she just can't do very well. It just gets really irritating when she acts like a male hillbilly. She is trying so very hard that it looks really forced and unnatural. Maybe i will tune in again in a few months to see if she gets better, but for now the only actor who really can pull a thing like this off is James Nesbitt (watch Jakyll if you not already have).
First things first: it's difficult to juggle all the personalities and not give off an air of "well, this is ridiculous". However, Collette really pulls it off and then some. She uses every inch of her body and every bit of acting personality and it comes out very beilievable. Absolute cudos. But, what makes it even more accented are the reactions of her family. Corbett and Gilchrist, with their calmness about the whole thing (well, not exactly calmness, but as Corbett's character informs us, he's been living with Tara for 17 years, so there is definitely familiarity and experience in handling situations, which they do great) really keep the tension going but in soft gloves, like anything can happen but they're in basic control. I also like the fact that they don't pull any verbal punches (sort of like Californication) and give attention to details (T's porno lip gloss :-) Also really interesting is the reaction of the other personalities to the situation - they basically know their place and although they are "other people", they recognise the reality of their situations.
All in all, a VERY good start, I'll be delighted to add UST to my list of shows to watch. Recommended!
You have to wonder about the people at Showtime. How do they decide on the television content they're putting out there? Is it a case of 'well that's pretty messed up - let's do it!'?
In this offering Toni Collette plays a loving mother and a devoted wife, who happens to have multiple personality disorder. One minute she is Tara, a sensitive artist who paints murals for wealthy socialites, and then the next she is someone else. Entirely!
The first of her "alters" (as her family refers to it) is 'T', a teenage girl who steals her husband's credit cards to go mall-hopping with her daughter, but the characters get more diverse and a lot more out-there as the show progresses. It's a tough call for any actress, but of course Toni Collette pulls the transitions off with such resounding confidence it is spectacular to watch.
Her family walk a fine line between supportive and contemptuous, but their love and understanding for Tara's condition is what really makes the show so worthwhile. John Corbett has made a career out of playing a big, sensitive chunk of manhood so of course he is fantastic as Tara's easy-going husband.
Cody Diablo, who won an Oscar for penning Juno, is here as writer and exec producer, so frank, genius dialogue should come as no surprise. There is a hint of homo in the son and a loveable skank in the daughter, so the quirk is well and truly in overdrive.
The actual subject matter is fascinating, as you watch this kind of disease effect not only the individual but all of the people around her too. Much like Weeds, you're taken so convincingly into this engaging, twisted world you've probably never given much thought to before. And you start to wonder why you've never given it much thought before.
The United States of Tara is the sort of show that has you hanging for next episode as soon as the closing credits start to roll. Thanks Showtime, you've got me hooked again!
I was expecting more of a situational comedy, but USOT is quite a bit more than that. Certainly there are amusing dialogues, but the real draw here is the suspense of not knowing what to expect next. Toni Collette pulls it off beautifully. Method acting pays off in spades. The rest of the cast perfectly balances her over-the-top personae. You don't feel sorry for this woman's family, you feel that they feed of the drama that each new character brings into their lives. In a sense this is like MTV's Real World with one person playing the majority of the cast.
I'm not sure how long the series can maintain interest, but it has my vote for the most intriguing series of the new year.
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