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.