The new Amazon original series “Transparent” is a bittersweet dramedy that has some rough edges but is worth watching.
The title of the show serves two purposes in defining the series.
Transparent, as in trans-parent, to describe the lead character Morty, who is transitioning into Maura late in life. He’s actually been dipping his toe into the waters for years, but only recently has decided to go public to his family, and the world at large.
Transparent, as in “easy to perceive or detect,” can also used to describe the way Maura’s new life choice is processed by his kids. To her face, the grown children seem to be fine with it, but we can tell they are having a bit of trouble with being fine with it.
I enjoyed following the story of Maura, played brilliantly by Jeffrey Tambor with grace and integrity. I also liked the way he interacted with his ex-wife, Ali, played by Judith Light. They are the perfect Jewish couple, even after the marriage is over.
It’s the children that annoyed me a bit.
The eldest, Sarah (Amy Landecker), is in a marriage that isn’t thrilling her anymore when she reconnects with a lesbian ex-lover. Soon her she’s living with her ex, but still keeping in contact with her now ex-husband because of their kids…and because she still has feelings for him.
The middle child, Josh (Jay Duplass), is a record exec who beds any woman that interests him, but then falls in love with the new female rabbi helping his mother. His inability to control his sexual urges also causes other problems in his work and personal life.
The baby of the bunch, Ali (Gaby Hoffmann), acts just like a baby, and refuses to take responsibility for her life. She mooches off “moppa” (the hybrid of mother and poppa the three children like to call Maura), has random sexual encounters, and behaves like a spoiled brat.
I get that the family is dysfunctional, but the way the siblings are written, all of them have no control over themselves or their lives. Almost as if by having them so out of control, it makes Maura’s story seem normal.
It also seems as if it’s mandatory to have one or more of the three naked or having sex every episode (be prepared for several instances of full frontal).
I’d rather watch the story of Maura than her children, so hopefully the series will concentrate more on that in the future season.
I just binge-watched the entire season in three days, and I’m still not totally sold on the show, but I like it enough to check out season two.
The entire first season of “Transparent” is available online at Amazon for streaming, with the Pilot episode available for FREE.
Here is the trailer to give you a taste of what to expect:
[images courtesy of Amazon Studios]
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