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United States of Tara : Season 1

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By Clint Morris

Toni Collette won copious awards – and with that good reviews – for her knockout performance as a suburban housewife with dissociative identity disorder in the one-time Showtime ratings blitzer. Much deserved winner there. Collette, though always good (in everything she does; she’s truly one of the most versatile actresses around), is especially great in “Tara”, proving just how easily she can slip in and out of a character by playing no less than half-a-dozen characters – all of whom, of course, are ensnared within the one body.

While juggling her family duties as a wife (John Corbett of “Sex and the City” fame plays the long-suffering, patient husband) and mother, Tara (Collette) is forced to accept that, at any moment, some of her alter-ego’s may emerge. Those other personalities include a flirty teenager, a 1950’s housewife, a beer-drinking womanizer (yep, a dude) and eventually, a half-brother (introduced in later seasons – – not that there were too many later seasons being that the show was shockingly cancelled at the end of season 3).

If it feels like I’m banging the ‘Collette is so good here’ drum too loudly, I am and it’s because she really is great in it but mainly, it’s for the reason that – quite candidly – her performance outshines everything else in the show. With “Juno” scribe Diablo Cody serving as the show’s creative force one might’ve expected the writing and plotting to be a little sharper, and more captivating, than what’s on offer here. As a result of the mediocre storylines, we’re left with little else but to admire Collette’s darn-fine performance.

13 episodes all up in this first season.

Extras :

There’s a series of podcast interviews with the cast and crew, an interview with Diablo Cody, a featurette and behind-the-scenes piece, and an audio commentary.

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About Caffeinated Clint

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

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