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September 1, 2015

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Which Showtime Leading Lady Are You?

by Michael Wandling, posted Jun 27th 2011 3:00PM
Weeds, The Big CLet's be honest. Many of Showtime's programs can be boiled down to one common theme: they're all about quirky women with secrets.

We're not complaining -- we love a good mystery as much as we love a complex leading lady. There's cantankerous bully Jackie with her drug problem; Nancy with her ... um ... "dealings"; Cathy, who's still keeping her 'Big C' secret from a few loved ones; and many, many more.

To celebrate the return of 'Weeds' and 'The Big C' (tonight starting at 10PM on Showtime), AOL TV is here to help you determine your spirit Showtime woman. Are you a Cathy or a Nancy? Find out in our handy chart!

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 12 (Series Finale) Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Jun 20th 2011 11:05PM
Toni Colette['United States of Tara' - 'The Good Parts']

It's the end of an era -- or at least the end of an excellent, and sadly underwatched, show, one that took more risks and offered more insight into the human psyche than most series could even dream of.

And though 'United States of Tara' suffered an unexpected cancellation after filming for Season 3 was completed, I still found myself satisfied by the way the loose ends were tied up, even though I would've gladly seen the show continue for many years to come if the TV gods answered to me instead of eroding ratings.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 11 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Jun 14th 2011 4:45AM
John Corbett and Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Crunchy Ice']

I hate to say it, but the penultimate episode of 'United States of Tara' felt a little bipolar to me, no pun intended.

The season was completed long before the show's cancellation was announced, but the episode still had a frantic, breathless quality that made me feel like the writers were rushing to tie up loose ends but hadn't left themselves enough time to do it, as if they needed 13 episodes instead of 12 to get themselves to the finish line.

Perhaps it's because I had the benefit of receiving screeners of the whole season at once, and I blew through them as rapidly as Bryce picked off Tara's other alters, unable to quite help myself.

When watching episodes back to back, seeing Marshall dramatically leaving home for parts unknown at the end of one episode and then winding up right back under the same roof ten minutes later at the beginning of the next felt a little anticlimactic. Watching the Bryce storyline build up to its climax, on the other hand, was anything but.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 10 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Jun 7th 2011 4:45AM
United States of Tara cast['United States of Tara' - 'The Train Wreck']

When a literal "train wreck" pales in comparison to a metaphorical one, you know you're having a bad day. But two crises for the price of one is just another day at the office on 'United States of Tara,' and as we approach the series finale, things are escalating far past a little harmless attempted murder by shellfish. Bryce Craine has made himself nice and cozy inside Tara, and he clearly doesn't intend to leave without a fight.

Toni Collette's physicality is revelatory -- she's never looked more unattractive than she does as Bryce (and I mean that as a compliment), unafraid to look unglamorous and even a little monstrous at times for the sake of the character.

I truly hope she receives some awards recognition for the show's last season; the role has been a true tour de force for her, the likes of which most actresses will never encounter.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 9 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted May 24th 2011 5:30AM
Toni Collette and Eddie Izzard['United States of Tara' - 'Bryce Will Play']

Before we get to the recap portion of tonight's proceedings, I have some terrible news to impart: 'United States of Tara' was officially cancelled on Monday, meaning that this season will be the show's last. Let's have a moment of silence for our quirky dramedy, and savor these last few episodes while we still have them.

If we thought Bryce was scary in the brief glimpses we've caught of him before, this week's episode was an eye-opening demonstration of just how homicidal Tara's new alter truly is, since Chicken was merely the first step in a larger and more ominous plan.

Bryce told Jack that he's only toying with Tara, but actions speak louder than words, and his actions this week skirted dangerously close to actual murder.

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Showtime Cancels 'United States of Tara'; Renews 'Nurse Jackie,' 'The Borgias'

by Chris Harnick, posted May 23rd 2011 2:00PM
United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie'United States of Tara' is coming to an end. Showtime has canceled the Toni Collette comedy.

According to Variety, the third season, which is currently airing, will be the last. Fellow comedy 'Nurse Jackie' has been renewed for a fourth season.

Freshman period drama 'The Borgias' has also been renewed.

'Tara' follows Collette as a suburban mom and wife who struggles with her multiple personalities. The show, which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Diablo Cody, got Collette an Emmy. However, the series has been shedding viewers since its premiere.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 8 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted May 17th 2011 9:20AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Chicken 'n' Corn']

After weeks of mystery and speculation, we finally caught our first glimpse of the dangerous Bryce Crane last night, and he was every bit as terrifying as we've been anticipating. This episode is the first true step into one of the darkest storylines 'United States of Tara' has ever tackled, and it was impressive to see how effectively the show managed to build suspense and palpable menace.

Elsewhere, Max faced his fear of flying in the hope of being a supportive dad for Marshall, but ended up undermining his son's confidence instead, while Kate met Evan's obnoxious son Monty, who made his feelings about his dad's younger girlfriend perfectly clear.

Even Charmaine got a little development, realizing just how much she missed Neil (shocker!) and making the serious mistake of entrusting Tara with the baby in her sister's fragile state ...

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 7 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted May 10th 2011 12:20PM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'The Electrifying & Magnanimous Return of Beaverlamp']

Now that we've crossed the halfway point, 'United States of Tara' is kicking the story into high gear, as the dangerous new alter we heard at the end of last week's episode finally made a real appearance.

It seemed as though Tara was making real progress with Dr. Hatteras -- which is probably exactly why the self-harming new personality chose to emerge now, just as Tara was starting to find her footing. It was certainly enough to panic the other alters, as Tara caught Alice and Shoshana talking about her instead of to her, in yet another perfectly executed scene (we've come a long way from the "opposite sides of the screen" tricks that shows used to employ when an actor was portraying two different characters at once -- Phoebe and Ursula from 'Friends' always spring to mind for me).

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 6 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted May 3rd 2011 5:50AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'The Road to Hell is Paved with Breast Intentions']

We're at the halfway point of Season 3, and 'United States of Tara' is gleefully picking up momentum as we roll into the latter half of the year, a fact reflected in the fleet-footed script courtesy of David Iserson.

Tara's ongoing therapy sessions with a skeptical Dr. Hattaras lent plenty of levity to the proceedings ("when the kittens eat the bacon, this bit will come over and stroke its back, and they will live forever!") while the return of Tara's mom offered a new source of conflict, culminating in an ominous final scene that will doubtless stay with us all until next week's episode.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 5 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 26th 2011 1:30AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Dr. Hatteras' Miracle Elixir']

This week's 'United States of Tara' saw a make-up, a break-up, and a serious wake-up call for several characters, and despite the speedy pace that always seems to accompany any half-hour series, this week's episode seemed to pack a lot into its running time.

From Tara's agreement with the exuberant Dr. Jack Hatteras to her will they/won't they with Charmaine, not to mention Marshall's confrontation with Lionel and Kate's adventures in flight attendant hell, it seemed like every character was well-served and laying the foundations for larger story lines that hopefully will be paid off later in the season.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 4 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 19th 2011 8:00AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Wheels']

Farewell to the United States of Tara -- long live the king! This week, our heroine took a big step forward in terms of asserting her independence, and made the unexpected decision to draw up a contract with her alters in order to keep a little control, setting up a sort of timeshare agreement for her body so that they'd stop hijacking it for joyrides whenever the mood struck them.

Many actors note how difficult it is to play opposite one version of themselves, so it's a true testament to Toni Collette's well-established skill that she managed to shoot a scene with all the alters interacting while still managing to keep them all distinct and responding to each other in a believable way. I can't even fathom the technical difficulty that must've been involved in the conference scene, let alone how long it must've taken to film. Collette and the 'United States of Tara' production team always make it look so effortless, we take for granted how much work goes on behind the scenes.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 3 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 12th 2011 8:00AM
Frances Conroy in United States of Tara['United States of Tara' - 'The Full F*ck You Finger']

We've witnessed Tara traversing the trials and tribulations of the academic world for the last two weeks, but the third episode of the season sticks much closer to home, far more concerned with the drama inherent in domesticity than that derived from external forces.

First, we had Kate's ill-conceived attempt to fly the nest for Japan, then we met Max's kooky mother, Sandy (Frances Conroy), who clearly needs to be featured on TLC's 'Hoarding,' stat. One of them is desperate to leave home, the other is terrified of ever stepping outside her front door -- and Tara, the only person who actually has any justification for curling up in a ball in the corner and never leaving the house, is having her body hijacked and dragged all over the country by Buck, who is currently on the hunt for the mysterious Bryce Crane.

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Should Showtime Pull 'United States of Tara' Japanese Earthquake Story?

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 7th 2011 2:45PM
United States of TaraThe characters on 'United States of Tara' often find themselves in tough situations. After all, it comes with the territory of living with a mom with dissociative identity disorder. Right now, though, it's Showtime that has to deal with a sticky situation.

On Monday, the network will broadcast an episode that will feature a Japanese earthquake preventing one of the characters from leaving Kansas (see below for further details).

Given the country's devastating earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear problems in March, along with news of today's 7.4-magnitude quake, should Showtime pull the episode or do some immediate altering to its content?

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 2 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 5th 2011 5:45AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Crackerjack']

Admit it, who among us would have passed up a little extra help with our homework back in our school days -- especially if we could leave the thinking up to someone else altogether? If you just happen to have an alternate identity who is a published author on psychology, I say why not defer to the expert?

Study buddies are one thing, but as much as we all might have believed that we knew better than our teachers when we were kids, most of us probably stopped short of actually attempting to teach the class ourselves.

Apparently, Tara Gregson isn't so discerning.

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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 1 (Season Premiere) Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Mar 29th 2011 6:30AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - '...youwillnotwin...']

Few shows currently on television -- network or cable -- have a quirkier premise than Showtime's 'United States of Tara,' the familial dramedy centered around a woman, her husband and kids, and her multiple personalities.

We last saw the Gregson clan back in June 2010 (no wonder I've been in withdrawal!), at a typically eventful almost-wedding. It's been a long nine months, but this show is always worth the wait. The season opened on a slightly more successful social event -- a Labor Day barbecue -- but despite outward appearances, not much has changed. Charmaine is pretty much ready to pop with Neil's illegitimate lovechild, Kate's still a brat, Marshall's still involved with Lionel, and Tara's still going AWOL at inopportune moments when one of her alters hijacks her body for kicks.

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