This newbie has gotten a lot of buzz since it's created by Steven Spielberg, developed by Juno's screenwriter, Diablo Cody, plus stars Toni Collette and John Corbett. And not only that, but the promos make it look like a whole bunch of quality fun and drama, which put this one hands-down on our Midseason Mania: Most Exciting Premieres & Returns list.
So, in case you've missed the rundown on this one, Toni Collette plays a mother with multiple personalities including a boy-crazy teen her daughter's age, and "Buck," the smoking, gun-shooter who hits the range with her husband and very passive son.
Showtime hosted some preview showings of the first two episodes around the country this week, so we jumped on in to check it out! So did it deliver?
The answer is that it delivered what was promised in the previews, and it has great potential. The premiere episode, as happens with many shows only a half hour long, seemed like an extended promo as we met the family and a few of Tara's "alters," as her family calls her alter-egos. The second episode dug further into the family issues and Tara's issues around these alters, all while portraying the funny, tragic, but thankfully not overdone incidents that come up because of and around Tara's alters.
It had seemed from the promos Collette would pretty much be and make the show, but while she is excellent, she doesn't overshadow the rest of the family, and there was an interesting balance created where by the end of the episodes, I didn't feel like I knew Tara very well beyond that she needs these alter egos to deal with her life issues, but I did feel like I knew (and was impressed by the character development and acting) of her daughter, Kate (Brie Larson) and son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist). John Corbett was perfect as Tara's husband, Max, being a good fit chemistry-wise with Collette and a perfect fit as a calm, sensible, and caring man who could actually deal with all the drama and oddities.
So the while the plot is fun and interesting and so are the characters, the issues fell to some lack of explanation around Tara's disorder, how all these alters work separately and together, a lack of sensible flow to how the family deals with the alters, and where the plot will go once the alters and family are properly introduced within the first few episodes.
Of course, there's plenty of time for all that to develop, but it seemed there were some elements of all that missing that should have been a more present in the first episodes. But, all that said and done, I would definitely have tuned in again after the first episode, and now after two, most definitely will watch more to see where the story goes. The cast and those behind the show are strong enough to carry this out as long as those holes in the show are filled in soon.
So check out The United States of Tara for yourself Sunday nights at 10PM on Showtime! For those of you who watched the early release of the premiere, what do you think? Will this be a hit or miss for the midseason line-up?
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