United States of Tara Review –
This show was phenomenally done. This viewing was a rewatch for me, and a first for my fiance, but we were both left floored and wanting more. All 3 seasons are available on Hulu and are a testament to the phenomenal acting chops of Toni Collete of Hereditary (Tara Crane/Gregson), and the pheonmenal supporting cast made up of Keir Gilchrist of Atypical (Marshall Gregson), Brie Larson of Captain Marvel (Kate Gregson), and John Corbett (Max Gregson).
While I sing this shows praise, I have to acknowledge that it also does a lot of things wrong at times. This article at Psychology Today is a good dissection of media and the portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder which USoT hits the cliche nail on the head of almost every trope.
The acting in this show is phenomenal as well as the writing (at times) but I also become frustrated with the lazy attempt at having characters appear edgy by them occasionally dropping words like “Retard” and “fag”, while it may be characteristic for the teenage characters at a time like that, there are a number of other times it feels forced and pulls the viewer out of the immersion of the otherwise great dialogue. There are also a number of other moments where you may want to scoff at the overly zealous attempt at cleverness by both Brie Larson and Keir Gilchrist’s characters; this series is created by Diablo Cody, creator of Juno, and there is a very common thread of nerdy-ironic quips that land most of the time.
Overall, this series is well worth the binge, and at only 3 seasons and 30 minutes per episode, it’s pretty easy to digest!
I have a theory about the ending that I will post below, and would love to hear your feedback!
Overall I highly recommend this one and give it a 9/10
Stop reading here if you haven’t seen it yet, STOP!
I know many people feel like the ending is pretty cut and dry (and I agree) but I also think that the signs are there that the creators could take a different direction if they wanted.
My theory is that Tara actually dies when she jumps off of the bridge in the second to last episode of season 3 which causes Max to snap and be sent away by his family.
One clue of this is that Max never hallucinates about freaking out on others until the final episode.
When they are driving the truck away, there are the three altars that are supposed to be dead in the truck, whos not to say that Tara is also dead and that Max is heading off to check himself into a facility..
This would also explain why everyone wants a fresh start even though Bryce was supposedly “defeated”, and why Neal and Charmain want to take care of Marshall.
This may be a reach and is certainly more depressing but its an alternative way of looking at the finale.
The other possibility is that Max jumps after Tara and he also dies. The “final supper” is a gathering of the family as they remember those they lost, and then they all “send them off on a trip to Boston” with Taras dead altars.
!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!