NCIS (the original) is a must cuddle up and watch on TV hour at our house. 10 years on it's going strong, but it makes me snort sometimes how much they are overexposing/lighting/vaseline-smearing the film now. I gather the camera-people are desperately trying to compensate for the aging actors. Abby is still a Mega-Goth-Geek-Babe, and NCIS is still a nasty abortion we refuse to acknowledge.
The United States of Tara is totally awesome, and every single episode we despaired that it was only half an hour. They seem to have plenty of material to do a full hour, especially with all the dysfunctional/functional difficulty-resolutions they explore. And dammit, it's just so good, that we want more of it!
I think Toni Collette is one of those interesting faced actresses that can look totally gorgeous when treated to the right make-up, clothes, camera angles and expressions. (See some of her shots when she's playing Alice). But yes, she's very much a "character actress" with a broad range, part of which comes from her ability and willingness to do ugly faces of despair, rage and bone-deep tiredness. I thought she was amazing in The Sixth Sense, and in some of her small Australian indy films.