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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

United States of crazy

     United States of Tara returned to Showtime last night to begin its second season.  Centering on a woman with multiple personalities, it tells the story of a family and their struggles to get through life.  Tara is played by the superb Toni Collette, as are her alters, Alice, Buck, T, and Gimme.  Word is there will be a new alter soon, known as Shoshanna, a therapist.  Shoshanna was not to be seen in this first episode of the season, but the groundwork for her appearance was laid.

     As the episode begins, Tara has gone for three months without any of her other personalities asserting themselves.  This follows her stint in a heavy therapy situation where she sought, and failed, to discover the trauma that made her who she is in the first place.  However, by episode end, Buck made a come back, and began to woo the lovely Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), a barmaid (see picture).  How this will affect Tara's relationship with her husband, Max (John Corbett, Sex and the City) is anyone's guess, but I'd bet he'd be happier than if it was any of her female alters taking up with a new man.

     Tara's kids are also a major draw.  Unlike in other dramas, they are utilized as full characters in their own right, with intriguing plots.  Daughter Kate (Brie Larson) is done with her sexual harassment suit attempt and has switched her manipulative skills to debt collection.  Son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) has seemingly embraced his gayness in public, though that will be tested soon, and forgiven his mother, or rather T, for stealing his guy.  Equally fascinating, though not a child, is Tara's sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt), who after her boob job was corrected, finds herself torn between a dreamy guy who wants to marry her, and Max's portly friend Neil (hilarious, but also good at drama, Patton Oswalt).

     Bottom line is, there is plenty of crazy coming out of Tara and her crew, and I'm surely not going to miss a second.  United States of Tara airs on Showtime Mondays at 10:30pm.

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