Review of "State of the Union" Season 2

April 07, 2009


'Tracey Ullman's State of the Union,' 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime


Ullman has quite a knack for impersonations and accents in this show, which takes us around the nation, spoofing American archetypes.

She moves with ease from being a champion pig-caller in Illinois to a weary flight attendant on a trans-Atlantic flight. But one of her best new impersonations this year is as a chain-smoking Laura Bush, freshly transplanted to Crawford, where it's always 110 degrees.

Laura is in the midst of planning a presidential garage sale, and it appears that she might be getting a price tag ready for the Lincoln family portrait and other stolen property, which Michelle Obama thinks should be returned to the White House.

As her husband gets his daily 20-hour nap, Laura chats via phone with former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, even though he "did an et tu Brutus on my W."

Ullman also pokes fun at other recent Lone Star news while portraying the hymn-singing No. 1 wife at a recently raided polygamist compound in "Wildspunk, Texas." Ullman then goes on to impersonate Ren?e Zellweger, who's trying to capitalize on current events by staging a polygamist musical called "Seven Brides for Every Brother."

But Ullman's sharpest jabs, some of which push the boundaries of taste, are reserved for the reality TV craze. In one skit, she plays Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Paul McCartney, who's starting a reality show in Palm Beach, Fla. And to drum up enthusiasm as the opening credits roll, Ullman's Mills throws her prosthetic leg into the air, ? la the cap-throwing introduction to "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Then there's "So You Think You Can Die," where contestants vie for the ultimate prize: free euthanasia in Oregon.

The best reality show skit, however, focuses on a new celebrity dance show. And after watching, you'll agree with the judges: The Dalai Lama needs to swivel his hips a bit more if he's ever going to master the samba.

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