Alynda Wheat

'United States of Tara': A breakdown of Tara's personalities

Tara (Toni Collette) may seem fine when Showtime’s United States of Tara returns on March 22, but soon she’s a sacrifice to her ”alters” again. Here’s an update on her various personalities and an introduction to her latest uninvited guest.

BUCK Tara’s roughneck alter pummels her husband, Max (John Corbett). Why? Buck’s in love and Max is mucking it up. Says executive producer Justin Falvey: ”It’s the first time we see one of the alters in a relationship with someone.” Aww, that’d be sweet if Tara weren’t, y’know, married.

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Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: The Last Patrol

There’s no way I’m going to get this right. We never say precisely what we ought to when we part, the words are never perfect enough — not even for those of us who get paid to write them…or used to, anyway. I’m sorry to say that this is the last time we’ll walk the Beat together as I’m leaving EW. So I’ll tell you what, Coppers, let’s save the hugs for the end, stuff down the tears (I grant that they’re probably all mine), and take a stroll.

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Jeff Goldblum, Garry Shandling, ...

”This is the theme to Garry’s show…,” went the opening bars of Shandling’s Showtime sitcom. When even the music is this self-obsessed, you’re in for something inventively meta. Playing himself, Shandling (and castmates) often interrupted the plots to talk to the camera and studio audience — a savvy gimmick that let the star toy with the format, and also redefined a tired genre. The copius EXTRAS in this complete-series set include six featurettes and commentaries with co-creator Alan Zweibel and former writers.

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Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: 'Law and Order' or high and mighty?

Law & Order is touchy. Maybe it’s age—after all the show is an admirably ancient 20 years old, which in TVworld means Willard Scott should’ve offered them congratulations about five seasons back. But this past episode had the reigning Queen Mum of procedurals wagging a bony finger in all sorts of directions, including—perhaps unwittingly—its own.

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The best procedurals on TV

BEST WRITINGHouse No show takes bolder risks, from last season’s hallucinated affair between House (Hugh Laurie) and his boss, to his addiction, to his stint in a mental facility.

BEST ENSEMBLECastle Rick Castle’s (Nathan Fillion) chemistry with his partner Beckett (Stana Katic) and daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) gives the show its retro charm.

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