Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

United States Of Tara: "Inspiration"

Illustration for article titled United States Of Tara: "Inspiration"

I feel like United States of Tara goes to great pains to make sure we process various scenes per episode, but I have no idea to what end. Tara catches Max jerking off in the shower, which may mean they're having sexual tension in their marriage, or that he's just a guy. It's unclear. Their son Marshall is gay, although why he was written as such also doesn't seem to serve much purpose, plot-wise, other than for Katie to prove her edginess at the breakfast table. I guess we're supposed to know that the family is cool and liberal but it would seem just gross though if Marshall were straight and Katie were talking about him chasing pussy in front of her parents. While the conceit of the uptight don't-understand-this-rock-music parents in television is played out, that doesn't make the ultra-cool liberal parents seem much better. Meanwhile, Tara discussed God in the beginning of the episode—I'm not going to break down her belief in "faith" versus her belief in God because the topic didn't really seem to have anything to do with the rest of the episode.

There's just so little to hang onto and look forward to thus far for me on the show, beginning and ending with Tara. I understand that she's supposed to be an incomplete character in her own way but I don’t have any sort of idea what she's even supposed to be like, other than mildly pleasant and funky. For someone who is edgy enough to encourage her son to "infiltrate" the Hell House, how does she think that Tiffany St. John, her shallow, self-involved client, is a friend, much less a "real friend" to get excited about with her shrink? Obviously one of her alter personalities (which one?) knew well enough that Tiffany was a yuppie cunt (not my words) but Tara's an annoying person if she's so wishy-washy and lame that she thinks that any person who finds her interesting is a good friend.

So we also learned that Tara's "been through trauma," which was partially why the "system" of her DID was created—to protect her. I was excited to learn, finally, what it was that caused the disorder in the first place. So what was the traumatic event? According to Tara's sister Charmaine, "At boarding school she had sex with a guy she didn't wanted to have sex with" and Tara doesn't contradict her, really. So, is that it?

That's kind of the note I feel is best for leaving this review on.

Grade: C

Stray observations

—The "irony" of the Hell House thing, like the "irony" of a lot of other aspects of the show irks me more than makes me laugh or feel smart.

—Tara and Charmaine play hand-clapping games, because that's what sisters do. Right?

—I get the impression that you-all and I share similar levels of enthusiasm for this series, which does not give me pleasure to state—hence this will be the last installment of Tara for the TV Club.