RAVE and WRECK of the week: April 5, 2010

Matt Busekroos

RAVE of the week: ‘United States of Tara’

Showtime’s “United States of Tara” recently returned for its second season and it hit the ground running. Toni Collette portrays Tara Gregson, a middle-aged housewife with Dissociative Identity Disorder. This is a severe condition that alters Tara’s personality, and turns her into different people. Tara’s current four known  alters include a 15-year-old girl, T; Buck, a cigarette-smoking, combat-boot wearing man; Alice, a prim and proper housewife from the ‘50s; and some unknown animalistic creature that is not quite human. It is no surprise that Collette has recently won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her performance, which allows her to completely sink her teeth into such meaty characters. Credit should be given to Brie Larson, who plays teenage daughter Kate, and Keir Gilchrist, who portrays teenage son Marshall. Gilchrist specifically plays one of the more layered characters as Marshall struggles to come to terms with his sexuality after his experience with church enthusiast Jason (Andrew Lawrence) when the two shared a lip-lock last season. John Corbett and Rosemarie DeWitt are fine supporting players as Tara’s husband and sister. Specifically, DeWitt is criminally underused and deserves more screen time after her dramatic breakthrough in the 2008 movie “Rachel Getting Married.” “United States of Tara” is funny and dramatic, just like Tara’s alters, and is one to watch.

WRECK of the week: Kate Gosselin, ‘Dancing with the Stars’

This season of “Dancing with the Stars” is not without drama as Kate Gosselin of TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” has joined the reality show.  Kate is not so much a dancer as she is an entertainingly dramatic, shriveling mess who keeps us glued to the television. Waiting for Kate to actually not annoy us is like waiting for the disco ball to fall on her head—it will never happen. As Kate shimmies in her sequined outfits every week, we like to reminisce back to the old Kate. There was a time when Kate did not have any nannies and actually worked a 9 to 5 job as a nurse.  Now, she is spending her days rehearsing, tanning and doing publicity. Meanwhile, her eight children lack the permanent presence of their father (which may actually be a good thing since he is a child himself) and are surrounded with a troop of nannies. Watching Kate dance is akin to sitting through one of those painful film strips from elementary school: painful and never ending. Kate and dance partner Tony Dovolani have a frustrating relationship. At one point last week, Tony walked out on Kate and said, “I quit.” When he returned, Kate felt the need to mention that “A lot of people quit on me in life” (a surefire dig at ex-husband Jon). Let’s see how much longer this reality show diva lasts on a show featuring other “stars” past their prime. (All except   awesome astronaut Buzz Aldrin)