The fabulous United States of Tara (recently finished after three seasons) not only included a Doom Cake in its opening credits — the nefarious treats appeared in two different Season 2 storylines. (Clip is spoiler-free until about 2:00)
The fist coming out of the first cake belongs to Buck — one of the multiple personalities housed within Toni Collette’s main character. As the go-to representation of feminine aesthetic perfection, the cake provides an immediate understanding of Tara’s relationship with Buck — his rude masculine presence demolishing Tara’s “perfect” life from within. Naturally the cake is presented by another personality: Alice, a prissy Stepfordian whose sugary affectations barely conceal her toxic personality.
In Season 2 we see Tara’s mother, sister, and daughter each falling prey to Doom Cakes as they struggle with their respective identity issues — all of which relate to the emotional damage they’ve inflicted on each other. Each of these women imagines herself a victim, as a fundamentally damaged person struggling to “pass” for normal in healthy, wealthy suburbia. The ways they choose to cope, however, differ widely.
(Click here for season 3’s Doom Cakes…)