Friday, April 09, 2010

My Weekend Crush

They say all actors are chameleons, which to an extent is true. But not all of them go to the extent that Toni Collette does to prove it. I had not watched the “United States of Tara” until last weekend – even one little episode. Part of this is because I don’t have Showtime anymore, and part of this is my continued stubborn instance on being behind in everything. But then, as I gloated before, the entire second season screener fell into my lap and it just seemed beyond callous not to at the very least give it a peek. Two nights and 12 episodes later, I am hooked like a flounder.

Now, it isn’t just the neat party trick that Toni can pull off, switching from alter to alter that makes this show so interesting. Instead it’s a combination of excellent writing, rich characters and undeniable realness no matter how surreal the situations get. And, if I may gloat once more, I have seen the future and it is pretty freaking fantastic. I think the highest compliment I can give this season is that it makes me desperately want to watch next (and, of course, catch up on last season). As odd as this sounds, given her frequent unhinged behavior, Tara is the glue that holds the show together. Which is all thanks to Toni.

I’ve loved Toni since “Muriel’s Wedding” – how could you not? As the awkward daydreamer with a thing for ABBA, she was the underdog who inspired one of the great underdog solidarity lines in cinema: “I’m with Muriel.” Through her career she has shown off an uncanny ability to melt into a role, though none more so than as Tara and her alters. With a tip of the head, a roll of her shoulder she can transform into another, fully formed person. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this season Buck gets (and goes, ahem) down with Pammy. Oh, baby, indeed. Happy weekend, all.

[Slightly NSFW, so you know, watch immediately.]


Penny Cillin said...

I *love* this show. Toni Collette is amazing, and the rest of the cast is fabulous.

If you have not seen it, you really should check it out!

Norma Desmond said...

So glad you're finally, FINALLY deciding to catch up with this show... And, clearly, it's time for me to get on watching s2... Just a touch behind.

Great weekend pick, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Toni Collette is so underrated. You should check out Cosi (Geoffrey Rush features as well) and Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger which also has Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Steph said...

I don't know. I can't do this show, no matter the acting. I know someone with DID. Every portrayal I've seen on TV and the movies, especially Sybil and "Three faces of eve" were wrong, and in ways that do a great disservice to people struggling with this illness. Using a serious illness that is highly misunderstood and very difficult to recover from for a sensationalist drama sucks.

From all the previews and all the reviews I've seen about Tara, it uses the same awful tropes about DID. And despite the fact that I loved Juno, Diablo Cody seems like a fame-chaser and pop-culture crass princess willing to dash off something crappy that harms people with a mental illness to get some cash. So I can't do this show.

Misty. said...

Two words... Poncho Goblin!

Vikki said...

I agree with Steph. I watched the show early in the very beginning but as a mental health profession, I grew concerned about the portrayal of dissociative disorder.

That to this clip.

Anonymous said...

the t shirt is different but it seems repeat
same scene at the beginning and the end.


by the way, can I laugh,
o my.

the actor's voice ds, voice.

thanks for the post,
something interesting, whatever go!

Alicia said...

'Bout time, Snarker. :p
Love this show.

Steph said...

I went back and watch the clip (I didn't before my first comment) and now I'm even more emphatic - this show is a problem. There's so much wrong information there, and so much that would be cause someone who is interacting with a real person with DID to handle things wrongly. It's very disturbing to me.

I had kind of avoided the show, but now I feel like I've failed in some fundamentally moral way in not being vocal about how wrong it is. I should have been actively campaigning against it.

Anonymous said...

what really surprises me on these show is the way they treat all characters, i mean, these is not a light subject but it's tv show and must be treated like that. it's amazing how they are a family with all that love, the way they treat the gay son an buck without any prejudice just as another fact in their lifes is something we should think about.