We here at The Little Red Umbrella are devastated over the news of the cancellation of one of our favourite shows: The United States of Tara. We fell in love with the show within the first five minutes of episode one in which suburban wife Tara Gregson (played superbly by Emmy winner Toni Collette) transitions into her teenage alternate personality “T” and raids her daughter’s closet. We've stayed along for the ride. Throughout the three seasons we’ve experienced the ups and downs of the Gregson family and feel in love with Tara's sometimes kooky alters Buck (the MALE Vietnam war vet), Alice (The '50s housewife), Shoshana (the psychiatrist), Chicken (the five year old), Gimme (the animal) and Brice (Tara's scary brother). It's a show that only got better over the years. It's a shame it will not see a season four when shows like One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and Two and Half Men are still on the air.
As you can probably tell we're not ready to let this show go. We know the ratings were poor and we imagine it's not a cheap show to produce and Collette probably got a nice paycheque, but we are, again, going to suggest a few spin off ideas to keep the characters we love alive in hopes creator Diablo Cody and producer Steven Spielberg want to keep this going.
The Gregson Family Business
After Tara’s decision to become institutionalized, Max (John Corbett) is left with a lot of time on his hands. Instead of feeling sorry for himself he decides to return to landscaping and keep his mind off his troubles. Feeling sorry for her father, daughter Kate (Brie Larson) decides she’s going to chip in and together they tend to the yards of the upper class and some times famous clients. It’s a Party Down, landscaping style with a father-daughter twist.
This gay teen drama follows Marshall Gregson (Keir Gilchrist) to film school in New York City after he’s accepted early. Leaving two exes in Kansas has left young Marshall with an empty heart, but all that is going to change when he hits the big city. Watch as Marshall deals with the dramatic changes in his life and explores having to grow up even faster and the sexual awakening post-secondary education brings.
Wonk Boobs and Wheels
Charmaine Craine (Rosemarie DeWitt) is tired of living in her sister's shadow. Having dealt with mental illness in her family for so long and now having to be a single mom to baby Wheels, everyone's favourite botched boob job victim is packing her car and moving to Connecticut. Unfortunately, her new life isn't as easy as she hoped. And she has to prove herself to the wealthier class so she can bring Wheels up in a suitable environment she’s always dreamed of – it’s too bad she couldn’t outrun her baby daddy Neil (Patton Oswalt).
The Padded Walls of Tara Gregson
In this heart-wrenching movie event we experience Tara's time in the institution as she battles her alters for control of her body. Filmed mostly in monologues, alone in her cell, Toni Collette gives a tour-de-force performance, showing once and for all show who is in control of Tara Gregson and why she has been put through so much misery for 20 years.
Photo: Toni Collette, Toni Collette, Toni Collette and Toni Collette
Cody McGraw is many things but the thing you can actually call him to his face is the Managing Editor of The Little Red Umbrella. See more posts from him here or follow him on Twitter (@cody_mcgraw).