'United States of Tara' sneak peek

I first became (painfully) aware of Toni Collette’s ability to shape-shift into various roles years ago, when I bet a friend $25 that there was no! possible! way! that the girl who played chubby Aussie teen Mariel/Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding was the woman who starred as Haley Joel Osment’s frazzled Philly mom in The Sixth Sense.

So it would seem that Collette would be the perfect choice to play Tara, a housewife with an acute case of dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a. multiple personality disorder) in the new Showtime series United States of Tara. Tara’s "alters" — prim ’50s housewife, gum-snapping teen, beer-guzzling good ol’ boy — are broad caricatures, really. But smart writing and nuanced performances from the supporting cast — John Corbett (Sex and the City) as Tara’s long-suffering husband, Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) as her shifty sister, and Brie Larson and Keir Gilchrist as her beleaguered teenaged kids — elevate the proceedings above Tracey-Ullman-in-a-funny-wig territory.

The series — which was created and co-executive produced by EW contributor Diablo Cody (Juno) — debuts on Jan. 18, but you can (and should) watch the first episode below and let us what you think.






Comments (19 total) Add your comment
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    Darn, I was really hoping this was another reality show about a drunken Tara Reid. Oh well.

  • jaime

    Im at work so i will have to watch it when i get home!
    Im a huge fan of hers she is an awesome actor!!! I already have my DVR set up to rec the series b/c im sure im going to love it! It looks so funny and different than whats on tv right now!

  • Taylor

    I LOVED it. Diablo Cody can do no wrong.

  • JackJack

    watched it – LOVED IT. buck is clearly my favorite. and the kids are awesome too – great acting all around! can’t wait to meet alice this housewife!

  • paige

    watched it and i enjoyed it thoroughly but i wonder where the show is gonna go

  • Becky

    Oooh, this was great! Love John Corbett =)

  • Moxie

    Thanks, Chad, for reminding me to call my cable provider to add Showtime to my service! United States of Tara AND the new season of The L Word starting this month? Count me in!

  • Bob Saget

    I’m usually extremely impressed with the programming on Showtime but this show is big disappointment to me. I love Toni Collete and not surprisingly she is fantastic in this, however, everything else in this show is horrible. I knew “Diablo Cody” couldn’t resist writing a hip character who is obviously some lame representation of how she sees herself (the rebellious teenage daughter). Also I don’t like the way she’s handled the whole DID issue. This could have been approached in many sad and funny ways and so far I could care less about Tara’s problem and how it effects her family. I’ll give the show another chance but after Jennifer’s Body comes out and seeing this I’m convinced “Diablo Cody” was a one hit wonder (not that I felt Juno was as good as everyone else thought it was).

  • Sadie

    I enjoyed it. I LOVE Toni Collette AND John Corbett… but I, too, wonder where it will go. I found “T” a little over the top and we didn’t really get to see Tara but Buck was a trip. Sigh. I wish I had Showtime…

  • bostonbean

    Ooh didn’t realize Diablo Cody was involved in this. But I was planning on tuning in just for Toni Collette. And whats up with Rosemarie Dewitt? After Rachel Getting Married where she did a phenomenal job, thought she’d be making headway in movies

  • Anonymous

    I love that Toni Collette is taking on a role like this. I just saw preview the other night after watching her in Emma of all things and Toni never fails to deliver in her roles. Having John Corbett and Rosemary on the same show will be a treat, Toni is the cherry on top. I’m so looking forward to a show (not a movie) on Showtime that doesn’t bore me to death.

  • jennab

    Is Cody incapable of writing anything emotionally authentic? This strikes me as the same one-dimensional, hipster patios-fest as Juno…yes, it can be a highly stylized take on multiple personality disorder, but can’t we CARE about any character? Everyone, except for Corbett, is annoying…not a fan of Toni in this. won’t watch…

  • Romes

    This was great. The humor is intelligent and the acting fabulous. Can’t wait for more.

  • nic

    I can’t believe people had bad opinions of this! I watched the pilot and it was hilarious! Families have so many problems and it’s great to watch one you can actually laugh at, even though this situation would be hard. Loved it!

  • Linda

    Don’t think I’m going to be a fan of this show. I gave it a go and watched the show but I was not impressed. I will see if it grows on me during the regular season but I’m not holding out very much hope for that.

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