“United States of Tara” mini-cap: Bucking the labels


Let’s talk Tara.

As we’ve been telling you, this season of United States of Tara presents a conundrum about sexual identity. Episode 1 of Season 2 ended with the beginning of that storyline and I think we should talk about it, even though the brief scene was little more than a harbinger of things to come.

First, a bit of background. Season 2 begins with Tara on her medication for DID — and all seems right with the world. She seems to be integrated and the family is adjusting to life without Tara’s alters. And they are getting to know their gaybors.


Of course, as Toni Collette has noted in pre-season interviews, if Tara stayed alter-free, we would have no show.

What disunites Tara’s united states is the suicide of her next-door neighbor. Hubby Max loves the deceased’s domicile and decides to buy it and flip it, but something about being in the house is a trigger that eventually brings out Buck.

Buck heads to the neighborhood bar that Tara and Max had visited earlier that evening, and proceeds to put the moves on Pammy, the bartender (Joey Lauren Adams).

And that’s where the episode ends — with the beginning of the conundrum. Buck most definitely is a man. And yet he is one of Tara’s personalities, so is an expression of Tara, who most definitely is a woman. So, is the relationship between Buck and Pammy straight or lesbian?

I know, I know — we don’t have to label everything. But I think this situation is worth some consideration, especially since the relationship between Buck and Pammy is central to this season’s developments. I want to know what you think.

BTW, this episode had a whole lot of gay that our brother site AfterElton.com recapped, so hop over there to keep up with those storylines. If you haven’t seen the episode, you can watch it for a limited time at Showtime’s site using the password “habit forming.”

What are your thoughts on the Buck/Penny relationship? Can we call it “lesbian” or does Buck’s self-identity define it?

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