United States of Tara Multiple-Personality Smackdown: Who Won This Week?

United States of Tara citizen Diablo Cody may have thrown down in an interview yesterday, revealing that the first season of her Showtime series did not meet her own standards as a "picky" viewer, but there are packs of Tara viewers out there who would argue otherwise. After all, what could be better than watching five different characters created by Toni Collette battle it out each week inside the ongoing cage match in Tara's mind. Occasionally, Tara's family jumps over the ropes to smack some sense into their proud matriarch or convince her that getting the word "slut" tattooed across her stomach might not be the best idea (they got matchy mother-daughter ink instead!), but the ugliest take downs occur between Tara and her varied personalities.

This season, join Movieline ringside to keep score of each pinfall, disqualification and knockout beginning with last night's premiere, "Yes."

When we last saw the Gregsons in April, the Kansan family of four (plus four part-time alters) had finished a hellish roller coaster ride through pill addiction, sexual harassment, lopsided boobs, strange poncho-wearing creatures that urinate on the elderly and arson -- all on top of psychiatric disorders. It was a bumpy season for everyone involved, especially showrunner Alexa Junge, who left the series last March.

United States premiered last night with everyone hypothetically "in control" of themselves. Tara was on a diet of antipsychotics, Kate trolled the internet for jobs, Marshmallow hung out with a girl he was not interested in sexually, Charmaine shopped for mattresses with her beau and the unsinkable Max pitched the hell out of his landscaping designs. And then a gunshot signaled the beginning of last night's slow but steady take-down.

Round One: Dinner with the Neighbors


Neighbor Hubbard offs himself, inciting guilt-motivated socializing between the two most f*cked-up families on the block -- the Gregsons and the gay couple -- over creme brulee.

Risk: Further social humiliation for Tara's family.

Potential Weapons of Destruction: Torch (for the creme brulee); Tara's spontaneous dessert performance of "Jai Ho."

Outcome: Even though Tara's spontaneous Hindi song causes Max to look concerned, the gay neighbor couple is charmed by Tara's lack of inhibition and shares therapist information with her. None of Tara's alters appear, although Max keeps a distractionary Apples to Apples board game close by just in case.

Winning Personality: Tara

Round Two: Drinks at the Neighborhood Bar


After neighbor Hubbard's sister entrusts Max and Tara with the keys to her dead brother's house, the Gregson parents skip over to Cat Five's and discuss whether they should buy Hubbard's house. A friendly waitress (Joey Lauren Adams) comes onto Max.

Risk: Further social humiliation for Tara's family.

Potential Weapons of Destruction: A Coors bottle, intimidating quips about being on antipsychotics, death stares.

Outcome: In spite of the waitress's flirty smiles, Max reassures Tara that she is his "old woman" and turns the conversation back to the couple's latest aphrodisiac: death real estate.

Winning Personality: Tara

Round Three: Hubbard's Fortress of Solitude


After exploring the Hubbard house alone, Tara cannot sleep, returns to the neighborhood bar and seduces the waitress played by Adams.

Risks: Further social humiliation for Tara's family, Tara's marriage, sexually transmitted diseases.

Potential Weapons of Destruction: Killer come-ons, alcohol, Buck's libido.

Outcome: Who knows? The episode ends as Buck and the waitress take shots.

Winning Personality: Buck

Overall Score: Tara: 2, Buck: 1

Cautionary Lesson Taken From Tonight's Episode: When your DID-afflicted mother says that she is ready to dispose of her alters' clothes because she is "certain [the personalities] are gone," they probably aren't.

Bonus: Relive the fight with the entire episode available below.


  • schumway14 says:

    So...am I alone in thinking that this show is terrible? Aside from the replaying of five boring steretypes nothing ever seems to be resolved by show's end leaving me thinking...Why the hell did I just waste my time? If you want some hot steretyped action pop in the Simpsons episode with the Pin Pals. Stereotyped bowlers at their finest...yar!

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    I think Toni Colette is talented, but doesn't have much original material to work with. I watched about half of the first season, but couldn't get into it. Boy, am I happy to find out that the show's creator was in the same boat! (WTF?)

  • Your comment proceeds for much too long in a manner barely tangentially corresponding to the matter, very often veering straight to personal details of the commenter's life which were definitely really more beneficial not discussed in a general public website.