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And T, and Buck, and Alice, and Shoshana, and Chicken.
Televisions most complex main character is back on our screens.
United States of Tara is back for its third season, with the entire Gregson family reeling from the denouement filled finale and struggling to begin their lives again.
For those who haven’t watched the show – here’s a brief recap. The show centers on Tara (Toni Collette), a Kansas based suburban housewife with two teenage children, Kate and Marshall and a loving husband Max (John Corbett). Tara suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which means in situations of high stress she ‘transitions’ into a variety of other personalities who live inside here.
These include Buck, a cigarette-smoking, hog riding, hard drinking man, Alice, a demure and conservative housewife and Chicken, which is Tara from her childhood.
I want to be honest and say I love this show. I also love the newest addition to the cast, Eddie Izzard, who has come onboard as Tara’s psychology teacher who is completely skeptical about Dissociative identity disorder, as a serious mental illness.
Eddie Izzard, for those who are unfamiliar with his history outside of films such as Ocean’s Thirteen and TV shows like the Riches, is an immensely successful and gutburstingly funny comedian. A transvestite comedian in fact, though I don’t think we should be in fear of him rocking a frock for his role on Tara.
But if you haven’t seen his comedy go and look it up now. I’ll wait.
Funny right? Totally worth a look.
But back to United States of Tara, which is also gutburstingly funny and involves some light cross-dressing. The family are all trying to find their way forward this season, Max is worried about the future of his business, Marshall is attempting to get his boyfriend Lionel to acknowledge their commitment, Kate is trying to get a job that’s not gluing sparkles onto headbands with her aunt Charmaine, Charmaine is still holding onto her memories of her failed wedding, still hugely pregnant, and still refusing to acknowledge her serious relationship with the father of her baby, Neil and Tara has decided to go back to college because she’s ‘tired of being the boring one’ in the cavalcade of personalities inside her.
This is one of those rare and amazing shows that can either be a drama with moments of comedy, or a comedy with moving dramatic moments. It’s funny, it’s real (it’s also filled with large amounts of swearing so be warned younger viewers) and it’s very, very clever.
It’s also one of the rare comedies or drama’s that has real and complicated characters. Not always totally relatable, (and I’m not going to comment on whether the representation of DID is up to psychological standard, because frankly I don’t know enough detail about the condition to judge) and not always totally likeable. But that’s part of the fun. This is watching regular people, with flaws and foibles in a very strange and stressful family situation, and the ways they deal with it and the ways the story of Tara’s past comes to light are amazingly clever, funny and real.