At the start of tonight's screening party for Showtime's "United States of Tara," Robert Greenblatt graciously thanked the packed house at the Directors Guild theater for coming out on the night after the Golden Globes when we really should've been catching up on sleep.
Screening consisted of the first three segs of "Tara," which bows Sunday. The half-hours played very well back to back in the theater, thanks to the incredible perf from Toni Collette as a suburban wife and mother who shares her mind and body with three very different personalities -- or "alters" as her family calls them. The post-screening party was cleverly set up to reflect the different aspects of the Tara quadrangle. One thing's for sure: all of her alters like to indulge in comfort food (fried chicken, mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, buttermilk biscuits, cole slaw, apple pie, etc.), judging by the array of eats that were spread around the DGA lobby.
Collette is ably supported in the show by a strong supporting cast that includes John Corbett (her hubby), Rosemarie DeWitt (her sister), Brie Larson (her teenage daughter) and Keir Gilchrest (her younger teenage son). And it doesn't hurt to have a concept that sprung from the mind of Steven Spielberg, was executed by Diablo Cody and seasoned showrunner Alexa Junge.
I made a point of finding Larson (pictured left with Collette) at the after-party to tell her how impressive she is in her role. Some early reviews have made mention of the show putting dialogue in the mouths of the kids that is a little too erudite at times to be authentic, but Larson pulls it off with the great slouch and insouciant pout of teen ennui that is real enough, angsty enough and maddening enough to make any mother's skin crawl.
Judging by the genuine enthusiasm of the industry crowd after the screening, it's hard to see "Tara" becoming anything but another home run for Showtime.