This was the central conflict of this week’s episode of The United States Of Tara:
Tara thinks her husband Max is more attracted to her alters than he is to her.
This is treated with the appropriate ridicule by Max’s landscaping employee, played by Patton Oswalt, who asks Max if he’s “ever fucked the dude” and compares his marriage to a variety pack of cereals, but still: we, as the audience, are still supposed to sympathize on some level — you can tell by the music. This show is still ridiculous, blah blah blah, BUT episode three did have one truly amusing scene.
First though, this week we saw Tara’s transition from an alter (Alice the housewife) back to her normal self, which is just like any movie ever where someone is possessed and becomes un-possessed, but my favorite thing to compare it to is Whoopi Goldberg when she kicks Patrick Swayze’s spirit out of her body in Ghost:
I also like that she is exhausted by this transition.
The show is starting to branch out to other characters, which is what it desperately needs to do — this week, the son Marshall, driven by his apparent crush on a male student, goes with him to his theater group and learns that the production in question is one of those crazy Christian Hell House things (“Can you take off your shirt? We need an AIDS patient to be flogged in hell.”)
The smug daughter Kate gets a job at a restaurant called Barnabeez, the entire experience of which so far is an exact cross between the Jennifer Aniston parts of Office Space and the entire movie Waiting, but Nate Corrdry, as Kate’s new boss, Gene, is really funny here:
So true! For real. I’m not making fun of that scene, because that is true to life.
So Tara and Max decide to have “date night,” but when he gets home, he finds that Tara has turned into Buck instead. So, duh, obviously, they have a talk about women and sex, and then watch porn together. By the way, Buck got his penis blown off in ‘Nam, but he still managed to hook up with some drunk skank and get crabs, to which Max answers “I remember.” Ha! Another legit “ha” from this silly show.
As it did in the first two episodes, the show goes to tedious lengths to explain Tara’s condition and why it is untreated. This week’s expository dialogue on that subject took place in Tara’s therapy session, where she reminded her shrink that when she was on meds she “couldn’t eat, couldn’t paint, couldn’t fuck.” Well. Those are shitty side effects, but considering that she’s spending what appears to be most of her time as unpleasant and self-destructive alters, she’s not getting a lot of painting or fucking done anyway, and she could just drink a lot of Ensure or something. Tara, take your meds!