Tuesday, January 12, 2016
TV Tuesday: Transparent
As you may have heard or noticed from its promos, Transparent is about a transgender person, transitioning from man to woman and coming out to her family. But the show is so much more than that. It is a family drama that is both poignant and often laugh-out-loud funny. Jeffrey Tambor stars as Mort, now known as Maura, who has known his whole life that he is really a woman but who just got up the courage to live as one, at the age of 77.
But Maura's not the only one in the family with long-buried secrets. The show is just as much about her three adult children who is each dealing with his or own issues. Oldest daughter Sarah, played by Amy Landecker, seems normal on the outside - married with two children - but she has her own secrets from her past which soon come bubbling into the present. Brother Josh, played by Jay Duplass, is in the music business, but both his career and his love life are in danger of falling apart when he falls in love with the latest of his many female conquests. Youngest sibling Ali, played by Gaby Hoffman (who was on Girls), is at loose ends, unemployed and unsure what to do with her life. The siblings' mother (played hilariously by Judith Light), long divorced from their father, is now married to Ed, a man with fairly advanced dementia.
Into this mix of oddball, dysfunctional family members comes Mort, now Maura, gradually telling each family member that, at age 77, she is actually a woman. Maura actually seems the most stable of the family members, as each deals with their father's news plus their own rapidly unraveling lives.
I have watched 6 episodes from the first season so far (season 3 just started), and I am totally hooked. All of the characters are interesting, their problems and issues are complex (and often somewhat extreme), and I often find myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of the situations they find themselves in. One warning, in case this sort of thing offends you: there is quite a bit of explicit sex in this show. It is not, as you might expect, on the part of Maura - her sexual preferences haven't come into play yet - but the three siblings each find themselves in some pretty wild and varied sexual situations. Seriously, the transgender person on the show probably has the least turmoil in her life!
If you like funny, warm dysfunctional family dramas, this is the show for you! I am thoroughly enjoying every episode and can't wait to see more. From its continued award nominations, I am guess that season 2 was just as good as season 1.
Since this is an Amazon original program, it is available exclusively through Amazon, free to Prime members and $1.99 an episode (or $16.99 per season) - you can use the link below to access it.