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Drama . Comedy . Romance

Max is delighted by Tara's suggestion that he reunite his rock band, Beaverlamp; Tara is turned away from further sessions by a strangely depressed Dr. Hattaras; Kate connects with frequent flyer Evan; Marshall and Noah stage a tense, revealing interview with Max for their film festival project.

Episode Title: The Electrifying & Magnanimous Return of Beaverlamp
Airs: 2011-05-9 at 10:30 pm
  • Verne Gay

    It's smartly written; clinically interesting (Why is Tara this way?), and maybe even a metaphor for the challenges all women face.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ray Richmond

    Anyone who makes it past the pilot is in for a pleasant surprise: Things greatly improve as the show settles into a comfortable rhythm through Episodes 2, 3 and 4. United States of Tara breaks new ground when it comes to warped dramatic family comedy.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Cody's gift is for characters who do and say the unexpected while remaining real, but without Colette, it's easy to imagine Tara as a train wreck, or, worse, an acting exercise. Somehow she imbues Tara's alternate personalities--known as the "alters"--with enough substance to make them interesting, without making them so real that we forget they're a manifestation of an illness.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Heather Havrilesky

    The high-caliber storytelling is what separates United States of Tara from just another kooky romp of a dramedy, teetering precariously on a superficial premise.

    Salon Full Review
  • Aaron Barnhart

    As a comedy, it’s surprisingly entertaining....But what ultimately kept me watching, through every screener Showtime provided, was this audacious bit of acting from Collette.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    It's a testament to the remarkable performance of Collette that it will never occur to viewers that Tara's behavior is anything but a mortal compulsion. Her remarkable moment-to-moment morphs from teeny-bopper slut to Stepford Wife to biker brute and then back again beggar the imagination.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    As entertainment, United States of Tara succeeds through humor, vivid characters and a stunning performance by Collette, who disappears into the roles of Tara's alters.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    Whatever it is, it's fascinating, the television equivalent of the book you can't put down and maybe the jigsaw puzzle you never quite complete.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    The show is fun as is, but rise to Collette's level, and it could be great.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    It's one of those series with overabundant potential and early hints of provocative brilliance, but it may take a while to truly arrive.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Nancy Franklin

    The three alters are broad stereotypes, but Collette makes the moments of transition surprisingly touching, and sometimes subtly comic.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    As the show progresses, the stronger moments indicate that Showtime has a more durable commodity here than just the sales pitch for "Sybil: The Series." That's in part because the producers have done an exceptional job of casting beyond the central roles.

    Variety Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    I'm on board with Tara, but so far mostly for the supporting characters, whose number expands in the coming weeks to include a self-empowered "Vita-self" saleswoman who is overly curious about Tara's disorder.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    United States of Tara, a flawed but fascinating series about a women with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Tara has the potential to be a great comedy about identity, but it needs to be less self-conscious about its strangeness.

    Time Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    Tara doesn't yet show the same emotional depth as Juno--not in its first four episodes, at least--but if you have the fortitude to make it through the tonal assault of its first 10 minutes, then you'll get to see some recognizable human feeling seep up through the wisecracks.

    Slate Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    United States of Tara, which features Toni Collette as the title character and whose executive producers include Steven Spielberg, takes a riskier tack, giving the story a wide vein of comedy. In many ways, they pull it off.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Kirsten Markson

    While the portrayal of the disorder is gimmicky, the show sustains a particular charm, thanks to solid performances and its honest treatment of the complex relationships in this unconventional family.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    United States of Tara plays like surface feminism with an added gloss of snark and a bewilderingly blah sentimentality.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    The brittle hipster lingo that almost all the characters spout at one time or another gives Tara a patina of cleverness, but it doesn’t add a thing to our understanding of the characters or their plights.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    Perhaps Tara will, over time, find something interesting to say. Perhaps it will be about the trauma that presumably led to the split in Tara's personality. Right now, however, what makes the show so painful is the abuse of her children, inflicted by Tara both in and out of split mode, and abetted by her pathologically laid-back husband.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    The series from Academy Award-winning "Juno" screenwriter Diablo Cody and Steven Spielberg smacks of smugness and self-congratulatory cleverness.

    New York Post Full Review