• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 18, 2009
Season #: 1, 2, 3

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    It's smartly written; clinically interesting (Why is Tara this way?), and maybe even a metaphor for the challenges all women face.
  2. Anyone who makes it past the pilot is in for a pleasant surprise: Things greatly improve as the show settles into a comfortable rhythm through Episodes 2, 3 and 4. United States of Tara breaks new ground when it comes to warped dramatic family comedy.
  3. Cody's gift is for characters who do and say the unexpected while remaining real, but without Colette, it's easy to imagine Tara as a train wreck, or, worse, an acting exercise. Somehow she imbues Tara's alternate personalities--known as the "alters"--with enough substance to make them interesting, without making them so real that we forget they're a manifestation of an illness.
  4. 80
    The high-caliber storytelling is what separates United States of Tara from just another kooky romp of a dramedy, teetering precariously on a superficial premise.
  5. As a comedy, it’s surprisingly entertaining....But what ultimately kept me watching, through every screener Showtime provided, was this audacious bit of acting from Collette.
  6. 80
    It's a testament to the remarkable performance of Collette that it will never occur to viewers that Tara's behavior is anything but a mortal compulsion. Her remarkable moment-to-moment morphs from teeny-bopper slut to Stepford Wife to biker brute and then back again beggar the imagination.
  7. As entertainment, United States of Tara succeeds through humor, vivid characters and a stunning performance by Collette, who disappears into the roles of Tara's alters.
  8. 80
    Whatever it is, it's fascinating, the television equivalent of the book you can't put down and maybe the jigsaw puzzle you never quite complete.
  9. 75
    The show is fun as is, but rise to Collette's level, and it could be great.
  10. It's one of those series with overabundant potential and early hints of provocative brilliance, but it may take a while to truly arrive.
  11. 70
    The three alters are broad stereotypes, but Collette makes the moments of transition surprisingly touching, and sometimes subtly comic.
  12. While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    As the show progresses, the stronger moments indicate that Showtime has a more durable commodity here than just the sales pitch for "Sybil: The Series." That's in part because the producers have done an exceptional job of casting beyond the central roles.
  14. 70
    I'm on board with Tara, but so far mostly for the supporting characters, whose number expands in the coming weeks to include a self-empowered "Vita-self" saleswoman who is overly curious about Tara's disorder.
  15. United States of Tara, a flawed but fascinating series about a women with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  16. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Tara has the potential to be a great comedy about identity, but it needs to be less self-conscious about its strangeness.
  17. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Tara doesn't yet show the same emotional depth as Juno--not in its first four episodes, at least--but if you have the fortitude to make it through the tonal assault of its first 10 minutes, then you'll get to see some recognizable human feeling seep up through the wisecracks.
  18. Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.
  19. United States of Tara, which features Toni Collette as the title character and whose executive producers include Steven Spielberg, takes a riskier tack, giving the story a wide vein of comedy. In many ways, they pull it off.
  20. 60
    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.
  21. 50
    United States of Tara plays like surface feminism with an added gloss of snark and a bewilderingly blah sentimentality.
  22. 50
    The brittle hipster lingo that almost all the characters spout at one time or another gives Tara a patina of cleverness, but it doesn’t add a thing to our understanding of the characters or their plights.
  23. Perhaps Tara will, over time, find something interesting to say. Perhaps it will be about the trauma that presumably led to the split in Tara's personality. Right now, however, what makes the show so painful is the abuse of her children, inflicted by Tara both in and out of split mode, and abetted by her pathologically laid-back husband.
  24. 25
    The series from Academy Award-winning "Juno" screenwriter Diablo Cody and Steven Spielberg smacks of smugness and self-congratulatory cleverness.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 77
  2. Negative: 8 out of 77
  1. AlexioF
    Nov 30, 2009
    This show might take a few episodes to grow on you but is extremely well written and addictive. It has some of the best lines I've ever This show might take a few episodes to grow on you but is extremely well written and addictive. It has some of the best lines I've ever heard come out of the mouths of any TV character ever. Full Review »
  2. JennetP.
    Jan 20, 2009
    Better order up some coffee and doughnuts; the jury's gonna be out for a while. In an era of stultifying imitation (how many CSI's Better order up some coffee and doughnuts; the jury's gonna be out for a while. In an era of stultifying imitation (how many CSI's are there, again?), it's hard not to celebrate a show with such an original premise. Plucking a serious psychiatric disorder from the usual movie-of-the-week format and exploring its comic dimensions, not to mention its social and political resonances, is a bold move that deserves cheers and support. I just wish I liked the results more. I'm going to have to disagree with the critics dazzled by Toni Colette's performance; I find it hammy and overwrought--and way too dependent on costume changes. All that twisty-body look-at-my-thong stuff she does as a supposed 15-year-old is more characteristic of a 40-year-old who has gone to a bar to get laid but has only gotten drunk and desperate. And the alters themselves are stereotypes, which doesn't help her performances. Colette should take a look at Sally Field's chilling transformations in "Sibyl," occasionally managed with just a shift in facial expression. If she could bring that kind of subtlety to the show, it would be greatly improved. In addition, having cheered the show's avoidance of melodrama, I'm hoping its tone will grow more complex still. I'd like to see more darkness and desperation amid the fun. So far, it's the children who best register the tension between levity and horror, as one moment the existence of the alters lets them get away with a scam, while the next moment it pulls the earth out from under them. Their dad, on the other hand, is pretty one-dimensional, so far. I keep waiting for John Corbett play someone other than Handsome Q. Laidback, but he's showing no sign of weariness with the role. Nonetheless, I'm interested enough to keep watching, and I hope I'll be back soon to change my rating to a "10." Full Review »
  3. Oct 20, 2013
    United States of Tara tem uma grande premissa, e só. O problema que este drama não engraçado, nem triste o que o torna desinteressanteUnited States of Tara tem uma grande premissa, e só. O problema que este drama não engraçado, nem triste o que o torna desinteressante apesar de ter em seus créditos o todo poderoso Spilberg. Full Review »