TV Reviews

Transparent – TV Review


Starring:  Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Gabby Hoffman

Streams on Amazon Prime only

I recently purchased Amazon Prime, and the first show I watched after buying was Transparent.  I had heard good things about it, and it won a few Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

Transparent is the story of Mort Pfefferman, a retired college professor and father of three who realizes at 67 years of age that he has been living a lie.  Mort is divorced from Shelly (played by Judith Light), an overbearing, overdramatic woman whom her children find grating and annoying.  He has three children – Sarah, a married mother of two; Josh, a single man who is a music producer and Alli, the youngest and a serial underachiever.

Mort realizes his unhappiness stems from the fact that he feels he should be a woman, so at the age of 67, begins living as a woman.  He struggles with telling his children, and introducing them to “Maura”, his female self.

I’m going to say this right now – his children are pretty awful people.  Sarah is married to Len and has two children.  Pretty early in season one, she runs into old flame Tammy and promptly leaves her husband to be with Tammy.  She pretty much abandons her children upon leaving her husband, while shacking up with her girlfriend.  Josh is extremely self-centered person with a ridiculous need to be loved.  Josh had a long-term fling with his adult babysitter, Rita, and his entire family knew about it.  And Alli, the youngest daughter, is extremely smart but can’t manage to get or hold a job, and is very confused when it comes to her sexuality.

I enjoyed the first season of Transparent, with Maura finding herself in the LGBT community and dealing with people and their ignorant views towards transgendered people.  The second season focused way too much on the Pfefferman children; and it pretty much sucked.  Sarah decides on her wedding day to Tammy that she doesn’t want to be married to her – who does that?  Meanwhile, Alli decides to begin a relationship with her female best friend.  There is a TON of nudity in this show.  To the point where you wonder why there is so much.  It’s unnecessary.

I wish the second season would have focused way more on Maura.  There were some interesting side bars in the second season about Maura’s mother’s upbringing in 1930’s Germany – which made some things kind of clear.  But this second season was kind of a waste.  I hope the third season focuses more of the trans community and their struggles to fit in.

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