• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 30, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Vulgar and brazenly racy, it's unlike anything else on TV.
  2. Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
  3. The episodes, each supposedly one day in the life of America, should leave viewers squirming, not just with laughter at the failings they portray, but with anticipation that Ullman and Showtime will hurry up and make some more.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    At least within Ullman's cutting overview of America, in fact, it can be reported without reservation that the "State of the Union" is strong.
  5. The fantastic Ms. Ullman is as funny as ever, depicting a new slew of characters in sketches that mock the way we are.
  6. 80
    The beautifully filmed half-hour comedy, lets Ullman clown around with her face and her voices and her wigs without confining her to too much story line.
  7. 75
    Though fun, the opener's skits are too short, and the characters too numerous, for any one joke to register. But give the show a week to settle, and the strengths of Ullman's concept come to the fore.
  8. 70
    As with any sketch show, it’s all ultimately a hit-and-miss affair, but Ullman’s circus-freak virtuosity as a shape shifter-- and director Troy Miller’s rapid-fire pacing--are enough to carry you past the rough spots.
  9. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    70
    A sharp if uneven Whitmanian sampler.
  10. It's a showcase for Ullman's remarkable skill, but it is done too fast for the comedy to percolate. We barely have time to figure out who the character is before there's another one. And another. Things are better in succeeding episodes.
  11. Reviewed by: Clark Collins
    67
    Many of the sketches are not funny per se--but some are not meant to be. [28 Mar 2008, p.63]
  12. 63
    I don't know why Tracey Ullman's State of the Union isn't funny. Maybe it's just that the whole thing comes across as too jaded, or maybe impersonating and skewering people also requires that the comic walk the fine line between funny and cruel. And honestly, cruel stops well short of knee-slapper.
  13. Which isn’t to say that State of the Union is merely wicked fun, mean games, and goofy looks. Ullman’s America needs work.
  14. Not surprisingly, given the scope of the show, some topics are nailed brilliantly--Chanel, the airport security agent, is perhaps among the greatest TV characters in recent history, and the adoption of an American child by an African actress is equally hilarious--while others, like local newscaster Alvarez or the pregnant senior citizen, are flat and trite or flat and weird.
  15. For all the show's missteps, there's always Ullman's undeniable talent to entertain. Her parodies of women (e.g. Renee Zellweger, playing a movie character who suffers from "chronic narcissistic squint") generally succeed better than her men.
  16. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    40
    We know Ullman has range. What this Union needs is focus.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 4 out of 8
  1. allysont
    Apr 14, 2009
    1
    Not funny, mean spirited, and boring. I was very surprised, I wanted to like it.
  2. [Anonymous]
    Apr 21, 2008
    4
    I just do not find it at all funny....a laugh or two at best.,but I liked her old show characters much better. This show is flat.
  3. AlP.
    Apr 11, 2008
    2
    I wanted to like it, watched first two weeks. This show needs to be put out of it's misery.