Parents' Guide to

The United States of Tara

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Smart but mature dramedy about living with mental illness.

TV Showtime Comedy 2009
The United States of Tara Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

GENUIS-from a Producer in Film

I love the writing-I love the characters...and Toni and John are surreal parents...that make this project rock. Even though you deal with a sensitive subject disassociation disorder-Toni pulls it off via her lovely persona-and the writer blends and taps into each character-and dazzles us. THANK YOU!!! Mary Gleeson
age 2+

Before you view

Just to set the record straight, there is no "DID medication." The therapeutic process in learning to live with DID is painful, arduous and long. The reasons that people develop DID are horrific. While people with DID should not be ostracized or feared, we need MORE understanding of the facts, not this glossed-over version that asserts that DID can be managed with a pill! Get real!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

This sensitive, smartly written dramedy successfully addresses the seriousness of DID while normalizing its existence through humor. But although there are many funny moments, the series also highlights how difficult it can be to live with a mental illness and/or to live with someone who has psychiatric problems. It also addresses the embarrassment and shame often felt by those whose lives are impacted by a mental disorder.

The series also uses DID as a metaphor for the multiple roles that all women play in their daily lives as they juggle things like careers, motherhood, and marriage. As a result, viewers may find themselves relating to Tara's character despite some of her alters' over-the-top behavior -- including drinking, smoking, swearing, and engaging in some violent and/or sexually provocative behavior. Overall, the show succeeds in de-stigmatizing a very misunderstood condition and provides some thoughtful, heartwarming -- albeit mature -- entertainment.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate