Well, it’s been a minute since we talked about anything around here, let alone something non-Homeland-related.
As always, I got your back with a cutting-edge, of-this-moment recommendation for the next thing you should watch.
That’s right, we are going BACK IN TIME to when Showtime still put that horrible watermark on all their shows and we are going to talk about United States of Tara, a show I recently entrely devoured in the span of a week.
That gif above is about 50% of the reason to watch the show which is to say: ALL THE AWESOME LADIES. Since the concept of United States of Tara is a suburban middle-class family struggling with the dissociative identity disorder (fka multiple personality disorder) of its matriarch, played by Toni Collette with total and utter abandon, we actually get four, five, six, sometimes seven awesome ladies for the price of one!
The central plot of the show is very late 2000s Showtime, in that “oh Carrie is just difficult? Can we give her some sort of pathology or….” way. But in the hands of Toni Collette, all is well.
The show was created by Diablo Cody and the characters and story bleed through with her signature “fucked-up suburbia” vibe (while I’m at, please go watch Young Adult and Tully. You’re welcome in advance).
Toni Collette stars as Tara Gregson, a sometimes-artist who spends most of her life trying to wrangle in her multiple personalities and give her two kids and husband a semblance of a normal life (the real thesis of this show is something along the lines of “normal is lame”). When the show starts, she’s got three “alters”: Alice, a 1950s-era Stepford wife; Buck, a Vietnam veteran/lethario; and T, a 16-year-old high school dropout.
(T is my favorite alter: This is T:
As the series goes on, Tara attempts multiple avenues to try to figure out why she’s like this and how to fix it (one of the really interesting subplots the show explores is the concept that so many people believe that DID is just… not a thing).
She’s surrounded by a truly incredible all-star cast. John Corbett plays Max, her ever-loving husband, a Mr. Fix It type who takes all the craziness in stride. He is a true Cool Dad and their love is the anchor of the show. Rosemarie DeWitt plays Tara’s sister Charmaine, a real hot mess of a person who is one of those people who denies Tara has an actual mental illness. She likes to get her hot mess on with Patton Oswalt, who plays Max’s employee Neil. BABY BRIE LARSON plays Tara’s older daughter Kate. I have no words for how much I love Kate ok she is perfect please act shocked at this information. Kier Gilchrist is pitch perfect as the younger son Marshall, the “adult” of the family who’s also trying to figure out his identity. This is just the main gist. The show features guest stars like Viola Davis, Zosia Mamet, Joey Lauren Adams, and Ezzie Izzard.
But you really come for the main cast and the Gregson family, who with each season grow messier and more fucked up and more absolutely and completely lovable. And love them I do.
(all three seasons are on Hulu, get into it!)