Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reviews: Ullman’s impersonations are best of British imports

Ullman’s impersonations are best of British imports
By Dale McGarrigle
Saturday, March 29, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

One of Britain’s sharpest exports returns this Sunday in the form of Tracey Ullman.

Now a naturalized U.S. citizen, multiple Emmy winner Ullman celebrates the many quirks of this country in her new Showtime limited series "Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union," debuting at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Her sketch comedy smorgasbord features her dead-on impersonations, ranging from celebrity mom Dina Lohan to political pundit Arianna Huffington to soccer superstar David Beckham to actors Renee Zellweger, Tony Sirico, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren.

Then there are her own creations: airport security agent Chanel Monticello, Jamaican caregiver Marion Churchill, WNBA coach Sandra Stevens, prescription drug-smuggling retiree Doris Basham, Andy Rooney’s less-known brother Ronnie and pharmacist Padma Perkesh, whose gives her clients information in the form of a Bollywood musical.

Ullman tackles societal ills through satire, whether they be a crumbling health-care system, illegal immigration or environmental destruction. When she appears as Malawi’s most famous film actress, who is adopting a young boy from Appalachia (whether he’s interested or not), she makes a wicked point about well-meant cultural imperialism.

With only five episodes planned in this series, Ullman fans needed to hop aboard early. They’ll definitely enjoy this cross-country ride.
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