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October 6, 2015

United States Of Tara: Aftermath

by Brett Love, posted Jan 26th 2009 10:02AM
Toni Collette - United States Of Tara
(S01E02) Last week we were introduced to T and Buck, and this week we got to meet Alice. While T may be the most outrageous, and Buck the strangest, this first impression suggests that Alice is the most dangerous of Tara's alters. Along with learning about Alice, and her future plans, it was also a big night for guest spots. Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt, and Nathan Corddry were all along for the ride.

First off, it was pointed out in the comments last week that I didn't make any mention of Toni Collette's performance in my review. That's a fair point, I should have mentioned it. So, let's start there this week. With Alice, we now see her working with her fourth character, and it is very impressive just how different each of them are. As much as I enjoyed T and Buck, though, I'm most looking forward to seeing more of Alice.

And it all really comes down to that one line Alice said to Marshall. "If things go the way I'm hoping, I'll be here all the time." I didn't see that coming at all, and it's a little scary. I was operating under the impression that the alters were there when Tara couldn't deal with things, as we heard from Alice at the restaurant, "Tara is not equipped to manage this family at this moment." The idea that one of the alters is planning a coup adds a whole new twist.

Not that Alice is all bad. I suppose if it has to be any of them, she would be the choice. She means well, and she does get things done. The scene with Marshall's teacher was great. Tony Hale was perfectly cast, and the calmness in Alice as she went on was almost a little creepy. "Poor little Oral, sitting in the back of the class, daydreaming about sports he'd never play ... girls he'd never touch ... "

With Kate, as crazy as the soap in the mouth was, it's hard to side completely against Alice in the exchange. Again, she means well, and did take the time to explain Tara's part in all of it. Kate shares a little responsibility because she was clearly pushing Alice's buttons. She was provoked, sure, with talk of guarding her flower and being called a graceless ingrate, but still, no back door shyness? There are lines, and alter or no, that crosses one, I'm sure.

It does move us down the road a little more where Kate's story is concerned. We saw her talking to Gene (Nathan Corddry) about a job, and given the fact that they hired Nathan Corddry for the job, I'm going to go ahead and assume that she gets it. What I like about Kate's story, though, is how uncertain it is. She goes from "God, I want out" to looking back longingly at the photo album.

Max is quickly becoming my favorite part of the show. He's a guy dealing with more than most, and managing it as best he can. There's a sadness to it, like we saw when he was looking for Tara in Alice. But there is also an underlying hope, which we see when he compares the return of the alters to a Genesis reunion. It's the path he has to take to get things back to where they should be. He also appears to be the most tolerant man on Earth, as we saw him dealing with Neil (Patton Oswalt). It was another very good cameo.

Overall, another solid episode. They now have me hooked on the story of the Gregsons. Theirs is a crazy world, and I'm looking forward to learning more about it.

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Tiffany Fletcher

Although this show is funny, it does not fully portray what life is like living with a mother who has DID. I am the second oldest of six children, born to a mother diagnosed with DID, and I have written a book about my experiences with her. My agent is currently soliciting the manuscript to publishers. If you are interested in knowing more about what life is really like living with a mother with DID, please go to my blog and read the first two chapters of the book "Mother Had A Secret", http://motherhadasecret.blogspot.com. Don't forget to include your comments.

January 28 2009 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wikipedia: "Prolonged childhood abuse is frequently a factor." It stops short of claiming that the disorder is always caused by abuse. Remember, also, that a TV drama does not attempt to be a documentary, and USOT is here to entertain, not to inform.

Max is pretty saintly. Someday he's going to break and that'll be interesting to see.

January 28 2009 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently Showtime doesn't want to know the REAL facts about DID, and what a person who has DID struggles with on an hourly basis. I feel insulted to have received an obvious "form email letter" in response to my heartfelt email to Showtime. What I saw in the first episode, is that Mr. Spielberg is using "sex, sex, and more sex", to sell a series.

At least with the massive number of anti-Tara emails that Showtime obviously has received from DID sufferers, they have included an "informative" video from Dr. Kluft; however, even in his short documentary, he did not address the magnitude of the horrific childhood sexual abuse that causes Dissociative Identity Disorder. The so called "consultant" that the writer, Diablo Cody is conferring with, had DDNOS, not DID. Apples and oranges... sigh.

Imagine for a moment, if you can: A new Showtime series called, "The Deformed State of Tara" - a COMEDY about a girl who confronts comedic situations in her every day life revolving around her dealing with her inability to climb stairs, her sexual encounters, and her comedic experiences with people staring at her scarred and deformed face and arms. (As a child, her parents had physically abused her so intensely, that her repeatedly broken bones resulted in a leg amputation, and the repeated burns the parents inflicted on her arms and face resulted in grotesque scarring which made her face appear as almost inhuman.)

This scenario is NO DIFFERENT than creating a "COMEDY" about a person who suffers from a disorder caused by repeated, early childhood RAPE AND INCEST. One might say that the results of childhood physical abuse are apparent to outsiders, but the results of childhood sexual abuse resulting in Dissociative Identity Disorder are also readily apparent to others in public. Raping young children is NOT comedic.

Does this life seem like a comedy?


January 27 2009 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susa's comment

I agree with all you have said Susan.

I was dx, in early to mid 1980's when it was MPD, it was suspected and I was studied extensively, since late 1970's.I have written along with others to not only Mr. Stephen Spielburg, but also Ms.Diablo Cody..I have also written to the "expert" Diablo Cody did her homework with, as you said, she was diagnosed with DID, but under a variety of Otherwise specified classifications, supposedly sucessfully then intergrated ,( when she wewt back on medication) unlikley she was ever DID but that said, even she is unhappy with the direction the show has taken.

She admitts she has had a a number of other conditions, which require strict schedule of medications that she must stay on ( or she probobly would percieve herself to be having 'alters-') e-nuff said there , she is a nice lady who as very pleasent and has done alot of blogging in the DID community and has suffered much..
Still I do not call this SHOW-TIME extensively working with DID's community and or doing their homework or research at all.
As you know there is no medication for MPD/DID just anti anxuety short term use like anyone else when experiencing , stress or panic or insominia and many a pts with Bi-polar as well as schizoid affective disorders have talked themselves into having DID, so they could go off meds , Schizophrenics and bi-polars the most.It is also confusing becaus eduring the eveluation time often people with bi-polor wil begiven several labels of DD( delusional disorder), as well as DID, till they go on meds and its figured out

I personally know of three cases of women who are clearly Schizophrenic, always were from adolescents and back in 1990's when it was epic, an very 'chic' to be DID switched up their Dx to being 'misdiagnosed as Schizoid' when really is was DID... they did this when they learned Multiples did not reqiure medications and medicating them could make "switching " and communication worse..their Dr's know they are Schizophrenic , their families know this too, but allowing them to go about saying their MPD or DID to show producers and SHOW-TIME not digging is not the Stephen Spielburg I have grown to love for accuratcy

Families and Phycisians I have spoke to about thsi problem say yes its wrong for Scizophrenics and others to go about saying they are "multiple" but times does tell,m people who need to know differnce usually do they let it go honestly because they cannot stop them , not really and since they have to live with them daily its how they cope. I explained but when real DIDs first encounter a paramedic or Hospital staff and say they are , they are at times given Hacion and haldol to calm them when switching.. There is far too much confussion out there SHow- time is adding to it

There are plenty of self dx 'multies' on Internet as well, for whatever reason , not wanting to accept they were abused , denial or repressed wanting to move forward and just deal with how it is now or deniying witnessed trauma, or really "natural- I am looking at all of these groups and issues on YOUTUBE, our group decided after losing EVERYTHING that mattered to a misunderstood , label-to be totally "out' not just about medical profession and DID, but Churches, families, Empoyers Schools and everyday life

My name is Maria I wil be 50 soon, I have been multiple since childhood, my papers from Psychiatrist say since "infancy", symptoms first shown in childhood, becoming a ' diagnosable known condition' suspected first signs in 1977's dx in 1986 .

I have been in therapy with group a long while, as well as co -faciliated groups for support, managing and recovery as education also.I am also a Social Worker who functioned well for a long time as multiple, until I became chronically phsyically ill..I agreed to have my children go live with my cousins informally while I purseued accelerated therapy,in hopes of stabalizing or intergration and uncovering of trauma...We all got lost in that process, as it only upset this group as we grieved the loss of kids and being MOMs on a daily basis for those who were... this label reduced many of us to unseen , unheard..It stripped us of our personhood , human rights so forth.

We aslo write and recieved a form letter about hanging in with the shows , develpments, Nothank you I haveseen enuff to know where this is going. We have taken our story to 'You tube' called 'THE MOM SERIES- The Misunderstanding of me..I had begin writing this years as a manuscript of our life together years ago with group, we went to You tube after seeing so many media misportrayls, and so much misinformation, spoofs , comedy, and hurtful garbage on Youtube not because of TARA- however we are now using TARA for a tool for discussion, to further educate , breaking down episisde by episode , talking of what is not at a

January 31 2009 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Kate (and Max and Marshall) very, very much love their mother and wife very much, and they love her so much they are willing to endure this disruption in their lives. However, what I read into Kate, why she is so angsty (or whatever) is that no matter how she rolls her eyes at her mother (normal teenage stuff), she really only wants her mother, not four different people, even though she likes two of them (two out of three isn't bad at all). I certainly did not agree with Alice putting her hands on Kate for a couple of reasons: I don't like being physical (battery/assault), but also, this is Tara's daughter, not hers.

What made Alice even more sinister (I saw her as more sinister than other people, I think) is that I am not sure she means well. She wants to hijack this family because she wants to, and I think her tolerance for understanding other people's needs is low (does she think she is going to make Max, Marshall and Kate love her full-time? How exactly is she going to achieve that? I think she'd do it by force/manipulation as necessary). Scary.

You know, I want to see a flashback where Tara and her family had to tell people what to expect (I mean, I suspect they must have had a conversation with pertinent people, if the teacher and a few friends/acquaintances know about her DID).
I guess I also want to see flashbacks of what Tara was like before, and why basically her family is willing to go through this.

January 26 2009 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kate is a graceless ingrate and deserved some soap in the mouth.

I'm still not sure where I stand on the show, but the actors do good work.

January 26 2009 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone else notice that when "Alice" gave the cake to the two women, one fo them said something to the effect of "Is that a" and it was cut off before she finished.

January 26 2009 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I digging the show, but please don't have Patton Oswalt smoke another cigarette on air, it was the most awkward thing I have seen it a LONG time.

January 26 2009 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd read Nate was doing 10 episodes, that will keep me interested. Hopefully, he'll have a bit more to say in upcoming episodes and they won't keep him looking THAT young.

January 26 2009 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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