|Toni Collette as Tara Gregson|
God, I hope I'm not the only one who's excited over this, because, dear reader, I have made my selection: Tara shall be the show that I will be recapping here for the next twelve weeks or so. It's rather perfect, actually: a dramatic comedy with short seasons on cable. And honestly, I've written about Showtime babies so much in the past, it's only fitting that I return to the source of so many of my favorite shows slash blog fodder.
Season 3 premiered last night and quickly caught us all up to speed on the various goings-on since Charmaine's non-wedding last season and however long it took for her pregnancy to reach false labor stages. Kate is now moved out of her parents' house... and into her aunt's. Neil is in Charmaine's life now, but in a much less glamorous capacity than he would want, which became more obvious than ever when she coldly rejected his earnest marriage proposal in front of her whole family. Marshall and Lionel are together but aren't putting any labels on it, because according to Lionel, "'boyfriend' is just another one of those gross words, like 'vagina' or 'love.'" I can usually pick out within minutes the episodes written by Diablo Cody, and "...youwillnotwin..." was replete with the too-clever dialogue and cynicism that characterizes her writing. The episode title is in reference to a creepy yet intriguing moment when one of Tara's possibly heretofore unknown alters briefly hijacks her essay on somatization. Why is Tara writing an essay on somatization? Because this season appears to be all about her unfulfilled wishes, both conscious and unconscious: to find her newly discovered half-brother and to finish her undergraduate degree, which conveniently requires her to take a course in—what else?—abormal psychology. Her professor is a curmudgeonly academic type played perfectly (and, dare I say, sexily?) by the hilarious Eddie Izzard, who, according to the sneak peek for the next episode, does not believe in dissociative identity disorder (DID). Interesting.
In the episode's most surprising twist, it was also revealed that Tara had attempted suicide at least twice in college, prompting her to drop out in her last semester. But if the hijacked essay scene is any indication, it was most likely not Tara who wanted to check out early but one of her other personalities. So who is this suicidal (homicidal?) alter, then? Her existing alters have historically been pretty protective of her, so my money's on one we haven't been acquainted with yet.
But Tara is not the only one with problems. In fact, all the main characters seem to be at some sort of impasse this season. Kate can't find a real job with just a GED and a tawdry internet past, Marshall can't get his spawn-of-Satan boyfriend to commit, Max can't retain his business clientele, Charmaine can't seem to manage being an "independent fucking woman," and Neil can't seem to abandon his shrew of a pregnant baby mama in her time of need.
Right now I am feeling very excited about college student Tara and her future interactions with her psych professor. I expect his skepticism regarding her condition will provide a new kind of challenge for Tara and hopefully some insight into herself. I also anticipate some awkward yet sweet moments between Charmaine and Neil, perhaps even a slight cut in her narcissism now that she's on the verge of motherhood. And is it just me, or is it looking like Kate might be back in the Barnaby's uniform pretty soon?
What other thoughts or predictions do you have after this first episode? And who's with me in rooting for the quick dissolution of the Marshall/Lionel union?