Review: "United States of Tara"

When/Where: Second-season premiere Monday at 10:30 on Showtime

'United States of Tara' back on Showtime

Toni Collette stars as Tara in the Showtime

Toni Collette stars as Tara in the Showtime series, "United States of Tara." (Credit: Showtime )

Tara Gregson (Toni Collette) - who is also Alice, Buck, and T - suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder stemming from childhood trauma. Her family suffers too, although they have gotten used to the other people in the house, who turn up at the most inconvenient moments. Family members include hubby Max (John Corbett), kids Kate (Brie Larson), and Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), plus Tara's sister, Charmaine (Rosemarie De-Witt). Last season, Tara got the whole multiple personality thing under control with anti-psychotic drugs. (Or did she?)

This week: In the opening seconds, the happy family is tossing out all those clothes that have accessorized Tara's other lives for so many years. But back home, a gunshot rings out, and tragedy strikes the peaceful little neighborhood. As people gather near the scene of the tragedy, the Gregsons meet their new neighbors, a gay couple: "We're the gays," one man jokes; "We're the crazies," Tara says, unsmiling.

My say: I guess it's not spoiling anything to say that Buck - the bumptious boozing good ol' boy - or Alice - Donna Reed with a touch of malice - will be back this season. But expect a few more "alters" and an intriguing "co-conscious alter," in which Tara is actually aware that she's slipped off into another personality. Collette (an Emmy winner for Best Actress) should ace them, too.

Bottom line: An addictive show, with great cast, excellent writing.

Grade: A

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