Someone better hand Toni Collette an Emmy in September. That’s my immediate reaction after watching the first four episodes of Showtime’s newest offering, The United States of Tara. Produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Diablo Cody, The US of Tara is about a woman dealing with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), or multiple personalities. Having gone off of her meds, because they make her feel terrible, Tara (Collette) and her family are left to pick up the pieces. Collette is SO good in the role as she takes on the various alters that Tara lives with.
Her alters come in three different forms – a 15 year old girl named T who wears thongs, and zebra print bras, and tries to rebel against everything; a 1950s era homemaker named Alice who wants to take over as the lead alter; and Buck, a coke-bottle glasses wearing hunter who bonds with Tara’s hubby Max (the wonderful John Corbett). Max, as well as their kids Kate and Marshall (my favorite part of the show), know each alter well, and deal with them all differently. Tara’s own sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt, love her) doesn’t fully believe that the alters are real, and doesn’t hold back her opinions.
What I think is great about the show is that it’s a topic that we rarely see covered in a completely raw way and with such open emotion. And the acting is fantastic! That said, some of the writing, especially in the 2-4 episodes of the series, is a little “trying too hard to sound like Juno”, and will probably wear on my nerves after a while, but I think the show has great opportunity to be can’t miss!