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United States of Tara: Season 2

159 customer reviews

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(Dec 28, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

United States of Tara stars Academy Award® nominee Toni Collette, recent Emmy® winner for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Golden Globe® nominee for her role as Tara, a woman who juggles being a suburban wife, mother and sister while also having DID (dissociative identity disorder), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. This season starts with a bang – literally. Just as Tara decides to move on from her past, a sudden neighborhood incident opens the door to her family’s shocking secrets. Her alters – some returning and some new – will help unravel the mysteries while simultaneously infusing their own chaos into the mix. Meanwhile, the rest of Tara’s family explores their own identities as Max hits a boiling point; Marshall questions his sexuality; Kate takes on an online fantasy persona; and Charmaine finds herself in a complicated love triangle.

There can be such a thing as being too clever when it comes to screenwriting, with even the most distinctively quotable writers (see: Aaron Sorkin, Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon) sometimes unable to keep their individual characters' dialogue from melding into a hyper-literate homogenous mass. While it's unlikely that Diablo Cody came up with the premise of United States of Tara as a way of suppressing her own tendencies towards quippy sameness, the continually shifting nature of its main character shows that this Oscar winner has range beyond Juno's hipper-than-thou patter. Anchored by Toni Collette's phenomenal performance, these 12 episodes serve as a happy improvement over the intriguing first season, with the considerable moments of quirk largely balanced by a growing sympathy for its characters. Picking up several months after the previous season, the story finds dissociative personality disorder sufferer Tara (Collette) in a condition of something approaching normal, with her various alter-egos (including the overly macho Buck, '50s housewife Alice, and hysterical id-monster Gimme) all kept in check by medication. When faced with a variety of new stressors, however--including the impending marriage of her flighty sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) and the decision by her husband (John Corbett) to purchase the house next door--the suppressed residents of her psyche all come bubbling back. As a rule, Cody and Co. rarely allow a moment of narrative downtime, with results that range from realistically hectic to annoyingly frazzled. (The most Juno-esque element, a subplot involving Brie Larson's immersion into the world of webcam modeling, could have come off as unbearably twee were it not for the terrific grounding presence of guest star Viola Davis.) Such tonal blips are easy to forgive, however, when countered with Collette's astonishing warmth and physicality. (Case in point: the standout sixth episode "Torando!," in which she somehow quick-draws between four separate personalities with only a slight shift in expressions.) Whenever Tara gives Collette room to run, 30 minutes in her company seems like far too little time. --Andrew Wright

Special Features

- Chats with the cast
- Cast Bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt, Keir Gilchrist, Brie Larson
  • Writers: Diablo Cody
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Showtime / Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003FSTN7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,128 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "United States of Tara: Season 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Douglas King VINE VOICE on July 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Since I loved the first season of United States of Tara so much, I was surpirsed to find out that creator/lead writer Diablo Cody wasn't really happy with it, and felt the need to, if not revamp, perhaps tweak the series. Since I thought it was great the way it was, if it ain't broke, why fix it, right?

The main difference, right off the bat, is in Tara. Although the titular character, in Season 1 Tara herself was usually subdued, frazzled, overwhelmed, or embarrassed, and it was the alters who stole the show. It seems like Season 2 finds the show taking great pains to make Tara more interesting, even without her alters. I'm not sure this always works. Like the Bob Newhart of her personalities, Tara is perhaps better off playing straight man and letting T, Buck, Alice, etc play their outrageous archetypes for all they're worth.

The storylines in Season 2 probably succeed about 2/3 of the time. And even when they don't, they're not terrible. Tara's creation of an alter who's a New York psychiatrist is one of the season's best storylines, as well as how it ties into the revelations that finally allow Tara to find the source of her DID. Buck's romance with a barista, Marshall's awkward attempt at heterosexuality, and Kate's friendship with an eccentric artist are all some of the season's other highlights. Charmaine's wedding storyline is probably the weakest, and a waste of Rosemarie DeWitt's acting chops, and the introduction of the Gregson family's gay neighbors added nothing.

The performances are what continue to elevate the series and compensate for any unevenness. Toni Colette continues to knock it out of the park, while playing what is really a series of distinct roles. (She's like a subtler Tracy Ullman.) And the actors who play Marshall and Kate are probably two of the best and most underrated actors on television.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By NeonTiger on December 30, 2010
Format: DVD
I was compelled to write this review after reading some of the other reviews for the second season of United States of Tara. I absolutely loved the first season of U.S. Tara and I have been anxiously awaiting the second season. I do not have Showtime so I had to wait until the DVD set of season two was released this week. After having watched all of season two (in one night) opinion is that on a scale of 1-10, season one was a 10, and season two is a 75.

Before seeing season two myself I read the reviews on here that noted that "Tara is faltering," that this season was altered or tweaked, etc. I too also read the interview where creator Diablo Cody said that she was not happy with season one and wanted to make some changes. I was nervous, as I didn't think there was anything wrong with season one. Well now I have seen the changes made to the show and the result is that season two is much deeper, more complex, more interesting, and overall much more richer than season one.

One reviewer said that in this season they try to make Tara "more interesting" and that it doesn't work. Well it's not that the writers are trying to make her "interesting," but rather they are delving deeper into the character and exploring her struggles and pain. In season one Tara was mostly a one-dimensional character, and frankly she is not dramatically different in season two, but she has much more depth and we begin to relate and empathize with her emotionally. We get a look inside at how this woman has handled living her entire life with her disorder.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Ducette on December 10, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Wish this show didn't come to an end. I'm picky about television, but after watching this show, I could have easily gone for another 9 least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. A Scovel VINE VOICE on February 24, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not a show that you can jump into the middle of. If you have seen season 1 I would say buy season 2. It is even funnier than the first season. Tara and the whole gang are back. Hilarious and touching moments throughout this whole season. Tara and her family get closer to figuring out what happened to Tara that caused her personality to split. Her kids are coming into their own, her sister is stumbling her way through romances while her husband is always there. A great great show!
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By Kaitlin Kelly on January 6, 2011
Format: DVD
I love this show. I loved season 1 and felt like I had to wait for this season forever. I don't feel, like many other reviewers do, that this season is inferior to the first. Maybe some people felt like that because some of the excitement or novelty wore off for them. For me, though (again, maybe because I had to wait forever) this season was as interesting and exciting as the first.

I like this show because it's sweet and sad and smart. It's like reading a really good book, where you almost feel like you could cry but you're happy at the same time. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I got so attached to the characters on this show. Every one of them is compelling in some way. Also, it's such a unique concept.

I agree that all of the characters evolved this season. I especially loved getting to see more of Kate. Some of the evolving happened a little too quickly for me, though. Part of that was probably because there were only 12 half-hour episodes. *SPOILER ALERT* Kate breaking up with her rich boyfriend didn't ring true, possibly because it happened so fast. I get that she was being defensive of her family, but he was disapproving of them all along and she was planning on moving out. Also Moosh's relationship suddenly beginning with someone he mostly disliked before also seemed forced. Whatever - still enjoyed the season.

I hope other people are watching this show.
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United States of Tara: Season 2
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