United States of Tara (TV Series) (Season 1-3)
Running Time: 30 minutes per episode
Created by: Diablo Cody
Starring: Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt, Keir Gilchrist, Brie Larson
United States of Tara is an American television series that follows a family, the Gregsons, as they cope with the various issues faced by the mother who is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or more known as MPD – Multiple Personality Disorder. The show begins with Tara (Collette), an artist, who decides to stop taking her medication at the advice of her therapist in an attempt to unite her ‘alters’ which consist of Alice (a 1950s style housewife), T (a flirty and wild teenager), and Buck (a Vietnam vet). With the constant support of her loving husband, Max (Corbett), daughter, Kate (Larson), and son, Marshall (Gilchrist), the family weaved through the unpredictable nature of Tara’s disorder as they try to discover the cause. Tara’s sister, Charmaine (DeWitt), is initially not very supportive of Tara and doubts her disorder, becomes more understanding of her sister’s dilemma as the show progresses.
I thoroughly love this show from the first episode till the last. It’s easy to binge your way through it since each episode is only 30 minutes long, making them easy to digest and leaving you wanting more after the end of each episode. Diablo Cody who is known for Juno, came up with what is supposed to be a dark topic and made it comedic yet still managed to humanize and highlight the struggles a family living with someone suffering from a psychological disorder goes through.
The casting was on point for this show. Toni Collette was amazing in this, the fluidity of her transitions from one character to another, and the subtlety of her acting as each of the alters was inspiring to watch. Corbett and DeWitt both gave solid performances throughout the three seasons. Gilchrist and Larson were wonderful as they showcased the range and ability they have as actors to portray these complex and struggling young adults. Furthermore, the guest stars in this show, from Patton Oswald to Michael J. Willett to Nate Corddry to Eddie Izzard to Viola Davis and finally Frances Conroy, were all an added bonus for the show.
All in all, I thought the show is brilliant and even though it was cancelled before we were able to find out whether Tara ever really managed to overcome her disorder, the show ended in such a way that is both satisfying and somewhat melancholic, with audiences hoping that the Gregsons will be able to overcome this ordeal one day and be a normal, happy family. It really is a rare gem, this show, there’s nothing quite like it since. I would highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a funny yet grounded show with great acting and writing, or anyone who’s interested in psychological themed shows/movies.
Rating: 9 out of 10