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United States of Tara Dropped

After writing in-depth reviews of the first two episodes of Showtime‘s series United States of Tara, season two, I’m officially announcing that the show will no longer be in The Signal‘s review rotation.

Why? The reason is somewhat complicated, but I’ll try to explain…

The show, which I watched with enthusiasm in season one, took a distinct turn in a different direction come season two. Alexa Junge exited the series as showrunner (though not creator – that’s Diablo Cody), and the effect was immediately noticeable. The stories went darker, the tone shifted completely, and generally the show lost a lot of its fun.

Perhaps this was a natural shift in direction, but it must be noted that my interest in writing the show slowly shrank, and finally disappeared, by end of season. The show, as always, balanced a number of excellent, well-drawn characters (Pammy, the gay neighbours) with irritating, over-the-top caricatures (Lionel, Courtney); also, intriguing plots (everything to do with Tara and her backstory, as well as Max’s struggles with it) alongside shoddy/obvious ones (like Kate, Marshall and Chairmaine’s plots). I think Junge‘s careful hand in the balance of tones, as well as the simplicity of season one’s stories, were missed.

I would not say the show is now worse, or even worse off, as it will be returning for season three in the summer. However, though I’ll be watching, I won’t be writing on the show beyond inclusion in the Weekly Roundups, if at all.

Fellow Showtime shows Weeds and The Big C, however, will remain in rotation.

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