Cut From the Same Cloth – ‘Hulk’ and ‘Tara’

by | January 27, 2009 at 7:53 PM | General

With an ultra-keen observant eye, the new Showtime series ‘United States of Tara‘ has many uncanny similarities to the TV classic, ‘The Incredible Hulk.’ I’m not kidding. In fact, fans of the ‘Incredible Hulk’ might even consider the Diablo Cody-produced Showtime series as an updated version of the large, green, superhero’s tale.

Bear with me on this one.

One story follows a fugitive scientist who has the curse of becoming a powerful green monster under extreme emotional stress. This would be the ‘The Incredible Hulk.’ The other follows a wife and mother with dissociative identity disorder, who has the curse of becoming one of several alternate personalities that emerge every time she is under extreme emotional stress.

The similarities don’t end there. In the pilot episode, Tara (Toni Collette) decides to take a break from her medication in order to discover the real cause of her mental ailment, thus resulting in her dissociative identity disorder.

Dr. Bruce Banner (Bill Bixby), on the other hand, while studying incidents of people who summon superhuman strength when in extreme danger, bombards his body with gamma radiation, thus, resulting in Banner’s Incredible Hulk disorder.

Coincidence or something more?

On ‘United States of Tara,’ Tara becomes an emotional mess when she discovers a morning after pill prescription in her daughter Kate’s (Brie Larson) pants pocket. Unable to emotionally deal with it, Tara transforms into one of her alter-egos: T, Tara’s wild, pot-smoking 15 year old personality, who relates well with Kate. T takes Kate on a shopping spree using Tara’s credit cards.

Meanwhile, Dr. Banner, injures himself while trying to change a flat tire during a rainstorm. The resulting anger triggers a transformation into his alter-ego: The Hulk; a seven feet tall, hugely muscular creature with bright green skin. The Hulk destroys Banner’s car and wanders through the woods all night.

Still not satisfied?

Dr. Banner’s The Hulk morphs back to normal human form with only amnesia and tattered clothing as evidence of what just transpired. This situation causes him problems to no end.

Suburban mom Tara has a similar situation. She is made to sit in the shed when T becomes too unbearable and morphs back to being a suburban mother with no recollection of what she’s done. This situation also causes Tara problems to no end.

To top if off, I don’t even need to get into how Buck, Tara’s war vet alter-ego wages whoop-ass on Kate’s d-bag boyfriend, when he gets out of line.

Yes, the ‘United States of Tara’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’ are two very similar shows – perhaps only if you spend way too much free time thinking about it!