United States of Tara: Season 1 (2009)

SEASON:

Season 1
United States of Tara

Critics Consensus

United States of Tara manages to avoid gimmicky pitfalls, relying instead on strong performances and witty, surprisingly heartfelt writing.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 23

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 53

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 18, 2009

Toni Collette stars as a housewife with a personality disorder and a dysfunctional family. John Corbett costars as her husband. The show was penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody ("Juno"), who serves as executive producer with Steven Spielberg.

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Air date: Jan 25, 2009

Tara's alternate personality, perfect housewife Alice, steps in to deal with a disagreement between Marshall and his English teacher (Tony Hale), as well as a behavioral problem involving Kate.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2009

When their physical relationship ebbs, Tara worries that Max is more interested in some of her alter egos than in her, so she heeds the advice of her therapist and schedules a "sex date" with her husband.

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Air date: Feb 8, 2009

Tara and he new friend Tiffany join Charmaine for a girls' night out, where Tiffany asks to "meet" one of Tara's alternate personalities.

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Air date: Feb 15, 2009

Marshall seizes the opportunity to throw a big bash when his mother turns into "T" and hightails it away in her car with Max and Charmaine in hot pursuit. One of the teen's ulterior motives for having the party is to get closer to Jason, on whom he has a crush.

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Air date: Feb 22, 2009

Tara's parents (Pamela Reed, Fred Ward) visit, ostensibly for Charmaine's birthday, but Max discovers that they are there to take the kids to live with them while Tara deals with her mental-health issues, and Max tries to keep his wife from finding out the true purpose of the visit.

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Air date: Mar 1, 2009

After getting her breasts done, Charmaine wakes up in the recovery room, where she is surprised to find "Buck" at her bedside, and even more surprised when they bond. Meanwhile, Kate's romantic advice to Marshall is for him to play hard-to-get with Jason (Andrew Lawrence).

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Air date: Mar 8, 2009

Max has his hands full while "Alice" is out again; Marshall fears Jason's father knows about his crush on Jason.

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Air date: Mar 15, 2009

Kate and Tara take an impromptu road trip; Max searches for answers about Tara's past.

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Air date: Mar 22, 2009

Tara has a total meltdown when Dr. Ocean unexpectedly terminates her treatment; one of Tara's alters betrays Marshall in a way that could destroy the family.

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United States of Tara: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The first season of this comedy-drama executive produced by Steven Spielberg and created by Diablo Cody follows Tara Gregson (Toni Collette), a Kansas mother-of-two who has dissociative identity disorder. Stopping her medication to figure out the cause of her disorder brings out Tara's alternative personalities of wild teen T, 1950s housewife Alice, Vietnam veteran Buck, and later in the season, Gimme, an goblin-like expression of id. Tara and her supportive husband Max (John Corbett) deal with her dramas and the problems of their wild-child daughter Kate (Brie Larson) and son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), who is discovering his sexuality. Her sister Charmaine Craine (Rosemarie DeWitt) believes Tara is faking her disorder to get attention. When her parents pay a visit to celebrate Tara's birthday, they come armed with a plan that could split up the family for good.

Critic Reviews for United States of Tara Season 1

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (19)

It will be interesting to see if future episodes address [the] trauma while maintaining the half-frivolous tone of this smart aleck's answer to Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and sundry other sitcoms about the voodoo of domestic happiness.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

It's got a good shot, and at its best, it reaffirms an observation by that wise folk philosopher Kinky Friedman: Anything worth crying can be smiled.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

I'm on board with "Tara," but so far mostly for the supporting characters.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

The performances are the main reason to seek it out --Collette is a revelation, and the supporting cast is sterling. The writing, while often high-caliber, is also spotty and somewhat colorless.

Dec 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Some of these characters are stereotypical, to be sure, but Cody, Junge, and their writers give them all revealing storylines, and most of them are interesting.

Dec 7, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…

If one can simply check disbelief at the door, Tara's wacky world starts to make some sense and to draw the viewer in.

Dec 7, 2018 | Full Review…

A flawed but fascinating series.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

Problem is this dramedy is neither funny nor sad. What next? Fun with diabetes?

Jan 18, 2009 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

It's a disposable half-hour - fun and frothy, only weighted down by more profanity than allowed on the networks. But that's also its biggest fault: With the talent behind it, I'd hoped for something darker, more riveting.

Jun 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Stick a laugh track on it and it wouldn't feel much different from a generic family sitcom with a gimmick, where one-liners trump characterization.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

While the portrayal of the disorder is gimmicky, the show sustains a particular charm, thanks to solid performances and its honest treatment of the complex relationships in this unconventional family.

Jan 18, 2009 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

"Tara" has something lacking in other Showtime series: heart.

Jan 18, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for United States of Tara: Season 1

  • Jul 03, 2020
    I can't believe I bearly found this, I was stuck on it from the beginning. Another great show that I wish had more seasons. Where does one go to petition for more seasons?! Someone needs to make a site for this reason. Let's get you guys back out there and bring more episodes please.
  • Jun 02, 2020
    This show is entertaining and the acting was excellent-I watched all 3 seasons in one week! I hope there will be a follow up to the last season because it kind of left you hanging but what can you do? I felt bad for Max and the kids because Tara was selfish, even when lucid and I wish they had a better life but hey, it's just TV. And to everyone saying that this portrayal of DID is false and it's triggering them well, it's just a TV show. No one said it was based off of real life. Everyone is much to sensitive these days.
  • Nov 29, 2014
    UST is very clever and well-acted, but I feel it would survive better as a serialized show.
  • Feb 07, 2014
    Thanks to the brilliant writing from screenwriter Diablo Cody and an excellent lead performance from Toni Collette, US of Tara is a stand-out in the world of TV sitcoms. The premise is interesting and the characters are intriguing; I particularly enjoyed seeing the many "alters" of Tara, but the other members of the family are equally as entertaining. The show manages to be supremely hilarious, but it also has a dramatic body to it too that works equally as well. Season 1 is excellent!

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