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'United States of Tara': Getting to know you ... and you ... and you

January 18, 2009 | 11:34 pm

"Oh, no, 'Juno'-speak," I thought as soon as Tara opened her mouth as teenager "T."  Though not a fan of the first 10 minutes of Diablo Cody's Oscar-winning film, after a down-to-earth, could-be-my-best-friend phone interview with Cody, I was ready to let go and move on.  But not ready for her new show to be full of the same cadences and teen-speak. 

Thankfully, after a few minutes, "United States of Tara" (or maybe me) relaxed and found its pace and voice.  Or maybe it's that Toni Collette could convince me of anything.  The pilot episode introduced us to two of the other three (known) faces of Tara.  Watching "Buck" beat up Kate's boyfriend was worth any and all teen/T discomfort.  I can already tell that I'm going to have a hard time connecting with T. 

I have no problem connecting with John Corbett's character, Max, though it's hard to separate him from Aidan Shaw in "Sex and the City." Is Tara who he married after Carrie broke his heart?  Corbett has perfected the art of the long-suffering, supportive husband.  But there's drama inherent in any marriage, and especially one where the husband never knows who he's going to get.

Could some of that drama come from Rosemarie DeWitt as Charmaine, Tara's sister?  Her back story is rife with jealousy, sibling rivalry and disbelief about Tara's DID (that's dissociative identity disorder).  And did I pick up on a flirtatious vibe with brother-in-law Max in their scene in the garage?   After seeing DeWitt in "Rachel Getting Married," I'm officially a fan and looking forward to what she'll do with her "Tara" character.

What do you think?  Did the pilot get you hooked?  Is Charmaine making a move for her sister's husband?  If you didn't catch it on Showtime, check it out online here.

-- Rebecca Snavely

Related:

Set visit: You never know which 'Tara' you're going to get

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