ByDarren Teo, writer at
Born in Vancouver, raised in Singapore. Screenwriting Major at LMU's SFTV. Part time Seth Rogen body double.
Darren Teo

The series, which aired on Showtime from 2009 to 2011, while critically acclaimed, was cancelled after its 3rd season due to low viewership. I'm still not over it.

The series, based on an idea by Steven Spielberg and created by Diablo Cody, follows the life of Tara Gregson (played by Toni Collette), a woman trying to juggle her life as a wife and mother with her dissociative identity disorder. (Which, essentially, means that she has multiple personalities)

Hijinks ensue.

Here are 24 reasons why United States of Tara was the best damn show on television:

1. The show's opening title won an Emmy.

2. Toni Collette

Collette won a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for her role as Tara, and for good reason. Before Tatiana Muslany played different clones in Orphan Black, Collette was playing 7 different 'alters' with starkly different personalities.

3. There's Alice...

Alice, the Stepford Wife-esqe domestic goddess, is Tara's oldest alter. She's equal parts devout Catholic and politically incorrect control freak.

4. And Buck...

A male war veteran who justifies his lack of a penis by saying it was blown off in Vietnam. Besides being a high-functioning alcoholic and a sex-addict, Buck spends most of his time at the shooting range.

5. T...

'T' is Tara's 16-year-old alter who's basically just her at 16. Promiscuous and wild, T likes to spend her time drinking, playing Dance Dance Revolution, and rubbing herself on household objects. Oh, and she always hits on Tara's husband, Max.

6. Gimmie.

So...she's a feral human who wears a poncho and pees on people's beds. Yup.

7. Shoshana Schoenbaum.

Psychologically proficient and stable, Shoshana's based on a famous therapist Tara read about. Basically, she keeps Tara's shit together.

8. And who could forget Chicken!

If 'T' is Tara's 16-year-old self, 'Chicken' is Tara when she was 5. Her hobbies include poking people and making cat noises. What's not to love?

Sure, the alters are great, but there's more to the show...

9. Like Tara's perfect daughter, Kate.

Well...not quite.

In season 2 she plays comic-book heroine 'Princess Valhalla Hawkwind' to become famous. When that doesn't work out, she records herself sitting on pies for erotic peep shows.

It doesn't go very well...

10. Then there's Marshall, Tara's son.

Characterized as sensitive and thoughtful, Marshall is in many ways the moral compass of the show.

Which isn't to say that he's a pushover.


11. And of course, Tara's husband Max.

He stands by Tara's side, no matter what. And his patience and understanding for her condition knows no bounds...

Well...maybe some bounds...

I mean, he has a point. This is Max throwing a Turkey out of frustration. You do you, Max.

12. The writing...

It get very real.

And at times...very, very dark.

Tara, possessed by her evil alter.
Tara, possessed by her evil alter.

13. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Bryce Craine.

Earlier I mentioned Tara had 7 alters. I've mentioned 6.

Bryce is 7.

Most of them exist to help Tara deal with various aspects of life. Bryce exist to destroy Tara. Bryce Craine is Tara's half-brother who molested her as a child.

He's terrifying.

Apart from trying to kill Tara, Bryce also tries to kill the other alters. Collette brings Bryce to life in the most twisted, psycho-sexual way possible. You have been warned.

14. But let's not forget one person...

Beyond all the personalities, there is Tara. A loving wife and mother who just wants to have a semblance of a normal life. Her struggles are heartbreaking. Her triumphs are awe-inspiring.

And Collette plays her beautifully.

And all the others, too...

15. Seriously. Watch this show.


Latest from our Creators