Welcome to Toni Collette Online, your premiere web resource on the Australian actress and singer. Best known for her iconic performances in "Muriel's Wedding", "The Sixth Sense", "United States of Tara" and "Hereditary", Toni Collette has emerged as one of her generation's greatest talents. In its 13th year online, his unofficial fansite provides you with all latest news, in-depth information on all of her projects on film, television and the theatre as well as extensive archives with press articles, photos and videos. Enjoy your stay.
S01E01: Pilot
Showtime  ·  28 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: January 18, 2009

Directed by: Craig Gillespie  |  Written by: Diablo Cody

Official synopsis: Tara has discovered her teenage daughter’s morning after pill prescription. After speaking into a camera, she takes off all her clothes walking down the hall. Kate comes home to findT, the alter she is closest with, looking through Kate’s clothes. Max comes home, not that surprised to findT instead of Tara , and neither is their son, Marshall . Charmaine comes over, annoyed that plans with her sister are broken sinceT has taken over. In the garage with Max , Charmaine expresses that she doesn’t feel her dissociative identity disorder is legitimate. Later that night, T and Max share a brief moment of lust on the sofa. Max stops it, since Tara is not comfortable with him having sex with the alters , and makes T go to the shed, where she calms down and changes back to Tara . Kate meets up with her Visual Kei boyfriend and explains her mom’s condition to him. The next morning, Tara drives by Kate’s school and catches her boyfriend pushing her around, and she gets out to confront him in front of everyone, with zero success at all. This episode pushes her into becoming Buck . When Marshall and Max find Buck , they are intimidated, but convince him to go to a dance recital Kate is performing in that night. After the show,Buck starts a fight with the boyfriend for what Tara saw earlier. Marshall discovers why Buck is beating him up and joins. The episode ends with the family bowling, and Buck and Marshall having a moment.

Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Ray Richmond for The Associated Press, January 14, 2009

Showtime’s big-ticket seriocomic half-hour from the DreamWorks TV stable is no doubt the first series to include an insert on Dissociative Identity Disorder in its media kit, and the first episode leaves viewers feeling a bit disconnected. But 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 Blessed with dazzling acting and the dynamic pen of creator-exec producer Diablo Cody (Oscar winner for “Juno,” no one-trick pony), the show about a woman struggling to keep her life on track while beset by multiple “alters,” in the “Tara” lingo, turns out to have nearly as much heart as it does envelope-pushing sass. But it’s also clearly an acquired taste that won’t be for everybody.

Beyond Cody, the trump cards in this deck are the presence of Steven Spielberg as an executive producer and the marvelously versatile Toni Collette as the lead. In a turn that has to make her an early favorite for a 2009 Emmy, she demonstrates uncanny range as a Kansas housewife and mother with a not-so-secret secret life. She has DID, and various triggers can bring out three very different personas. There’s “T,” a sexed-up teenager with an attitude; Buck, a beer-swilling trucker and Vietnam vet with a love of brawling; and Alice, a ’50s-style Betty Crocker housewife who seems to have stepped out of “Pleasantville.” Tara has little control over the alters or memory of their antics. When they show up, they typically cause trouble and complicate her family’s lives. The drama, and indeed the comedy, that drive “Tara” is her relationship with her long-suffering, alternately empathetic, bemused and resentful family: her obliging husband Max (John Corbett), her rebellious teenage daughter Kate (Brie Larson) and her brainy, somewhat effeminate teen son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist). Only Tara’s sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt of “Rachel Getting Married”) has absolutely no patience for the alters’ antics.

The supporting cast blends superbly with Collette, establishing memorable characters in their own right (particularly Gilchrist). But there’s no question that the entire premise defies credulity, which could prove a significant hurdle over the long haul. I mean, Tara’s husband has hung around, and been heroically understanding, for 17 years despite living in a situation akin to “Big Love” with one woman. While the kids have apparently found their own coping mechanisms, it’s difficult to imagine their the embarrassment that Mom tosses at them with regularity. And based on what Tara’s alter egos do in Episode 1 alone, her staying out of either prison or a mental hospital likely would require feats of magic. Still, if one can simply check disbelief at the door, Tara’s wacky world starts to make some sense and to draw the viewer in. Beyond the sexy, spirited dialogue and effortless irreverence, the real question is where the story takes us from here. Future story lines suggest it will continue to play on the family dynamics and the lead character’s increasing feeling of isolation and her attempt to get a handle on her short-circuiting brain. And that makes sense, so long as the show retains its sense of fun and mischief: Think Marshall hiding a copy of “Sybil” from his mom, or Kate’s quip, “Why can’t she just be manic depressive like all the other moms?” (Answer: because she’s on Showtime, silly!)

After the success of “Juno,” Cody had her pick of projects. This is the idea she chose, which demonstrates that she has no interest in playing it safe.

Guest Cast: Shiloh Fernandez (Benjamin Lambert), David Costabile (Fishman), Heather Miller (Ballerina), Dee Ryan (Maddy), Mim Drew (Mayor’s Wife), Phillip Collins (Dancer)