Friday, May 27, 2011

United States of Tara: A Show Canceled to Soon

The recent news that this lovely gem of a show that is obviously being missed by a majority of people is being canceled was not surprising but disappointing news. What first got me into this show actually had nothing to do with the show at all. I was intrigued by a show that was actually suppose to be taking place in my home town for once. Set in Overland Park, KS the the United States of Tara was a surprisingly interesting show when I first started to watch it. I was not so sure how a show where the main antagonist suffered from D.I.D. Would actually play out. What was presented was a surprisingly good and surprisingly humorous show.

The show is one of the few that has successfully altered the type of show it was. Originally a very uppity and friendly show over the course of two seasons it has managed to become a very dark drama. While still managing to keep its quality up the show has made a successful transition.

The United States of Tara is a show that was created by Diablo Cody and first aired on Showtime back in 2009. Now nearing its third and final season its become one of the few shows I look forward to seeing on a weekly basis. Toni Collette plays the title character of Tara Gregson. Throughout the show Tara displays seven separate personalities at different times throughout the course of the show. The first one introduced to the audience is T. T is a sexed up teenage girl that often gets into mischief whenever she is able to take over Tara's body. Alice is more or less a 1950s house mom that is one of the most frequently seen alters on the show. Buck is a male alter who is also a Vietnam veteran who happens to be a redneck. Gimmie is basically an alter that is nothing more then a person broken down to their most primal nature. Chicken is a young five year old representation of Tara. Shoshana is a therapist and often seen as one of the most helpful and wanting to cure Tara alters. The most recent alter was introduced late in the third season, he is a fifteen year old boy named Bryce. Bryce wants nothing more then to see Tara suffer and to kill the other alters.

Some of the other regular characters on the show are the rest of Tara's family. Her husband Max who owns a landscaping business and has been Tara's rock throughout the majority of her life. Tara's sister Charmaine is her best friend and often times the person most effected by Tara's various switches into her alters. Charmaine is somewhat promiscuous and not very supportive of Tara, as she often expresses doubts about the validity of her sister's disorder. Also on the show are Tara's kids Marshall and Kate. Kate is the eldest child that is trying to find herself in the world and often feels held back because of her mother's disorder. Marshall is the teenage gay son of Tara that is often the glue that holds the family together.

Through the course of the show Toni Collette has earned both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Tara on the show. Most critical reception of the show has been positive throughout it, it just seems that Showtime has done a lousy job advertising the show and is unsure of how to properly advertise it because of its subject matter. Its sad that the show really seemed to be hitting its groove this season when the cancellation hit. I am worried as this seems to be another great show that will not get a proper final episode as the news of the cancellation came after the filming of the season finale had already been completed.

This third season saw the introduction of Eddie Izzard to the cast as psychology professor Dr. Hattaras, who takes a professional—yet skeptical—interest in both Tara and her multiple personalities. There's always been a mystery element to the series, with viewers being drawn closer and closer to the root cause of Tara's condition. It's the most compelling reason to watch and something that the recent cancellation may ensure that the fans of the show may never fully find out. I do not want to get into the plot of the show too much, looks like I will be saving that for the unfortunate series finale set to air in a couple weeks. While the show may not get a proper send off like so many other good shows canceled before their time, it is worth a watch. Hopefully some of you can enjoy the brilliance of this show by picking up one of the DVD sets of the show. You won't be disappointed.

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