THE UNITED STATES OF TARA

The reason to watch The United States of Tara, the new Showtime series written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, is the multiple personalities. Not the four belonging to the titular character (Toni Collette)—who suffers from dissociative identity disorder—but those of the members of her family, who serve as straight men to her "alters."

Photographs courtesy of Showtime

The reason to watch The United States of Tara, the new Showtime series written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, is the multiple personalities. Not the four belonging to the titular character (Toni Collette)—who suffers from dissociative identity disorder—but those of the members of her family, who serve as straight men to her "alters." When Tara transforms into T, a promiscuous teen, her husband (John Corbett) must decide whether sleeping with his wife's sluttier persona constitutes cheating. When Tara becomes Buck, a beer-swilling dude, her daughter watches her emo boyfriend take a public beating, courtesy of Mom. When Tara's Betty Crocker-happy alter ego emerges, her effeminate son is pleased to find a muffin-baking buddy. As foils to Tara's over-the-top avatars, these costars don't just hold the show together, they make it. Without them, Collette would be little more than a woman playing dress-up—and everyone knows that, on Showtime, that's Tracey Ullman's job. David Walters

The trailer for the series

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