In between playing video games and preparing to take Indiana Jones on one last adventure, Steven Spielberg has decided to return to cable television -- this time, setting up a show at Showtime based on his own original idea. What's that? A show based on an original idea? Is that legal? The United States of Tara (which, in case you're wondering, has nothing to do with The United States of Leland,The United States of Spielberg or The United States of America) will follow the format of a half-hour single-camera show, and will be similar in tone to the channel's other hit show, Weeds.
With a pilot written by stripper-turned-scribe Diablo Cody (Juno), The United States of Tara will revolve around a wife and mother who suffers from multiple personality disorder (or, as they're calling it now, dissociative identity). I imagine most of the episodes will show her husband and two teenage kids trying their best to cope with a woman who goes from normal mom to chipmunk hiding behind the wall in the span of two minutes. Word is two of her personalities ("a lascivious teen girl" and "a macho adult man") appear in the pilot, with more set to emerge as the series plays out.
While this disorder is very serious to some, the best comedy often comes out of the most dramatic situations -- and, with Spielberg involved, I'm sure he'll play it safe and not offend too many people. Heck, a number of fantastic scenarios are already playing through my mind -- most of which involve mom embarrassing her poor kids. No word yet on what Spielberg's role in the series will be; chances are he'll wear an executive producer hat, but it would be cool if he directed the pilot. Though Showtime purchased the script, they won't decide whether to move forward on it until later this summer.