I talked about Transparent when Amazon did the pilot show and was looking for feedback and support to continue the series. We were successful and the first ten episodes of Transparent aired on Amazon Prime on 28 September. I’ve watched them all.
“Transparent” is a drama that centers around an affluent Jewish Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that their father, whom they’d known as Mort, is a transgender woman named Maura. The show stars Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender woman (formerly a crossdresser) who is transitioning in his 60’s and is coming out to his 3 dysfunctional adult children. The show gives us a spectrum of trans characters to choose from: a butch, a transman, two transwomen, and Maura, a transwoman at the beginning of her transition who may or may not “medically” transition.
“Transparent” doesn’t just aim to tell the story of a trans character, but of an entire family questioning their understandings of gender, sexuality and identity, and learning to accept and love one another as they each evolve into who they are. Each of the characters has their own gender story as the show unfolds the lives of Maura and her children.
I was a bit disappointed as the show was slow to develop Maura’s role but she comes on stronger in the later episodes. Judith Light (from the long term comedy sitcom Who’s the Boss), playing Mort/Maura’s ex-wife, Shelly, is marvelous and the children are amazed that she knew all about Maura. In fact the friendship is strong as Maura is there for her, when her self-centered children were not, at the death of her second husband. It will be interesting to see how they develop this relationship in later shows.
The show is receiving broad acclaim, deservedly so, for Tambor’s portrayal of a trans woman. I personally can relate to the many conflicts from the bathroom scene to the crossdressing camp that Maura attends. Although I thought some of the scenes were a bit contrived, the character of Maura rings true. One scene in particular you will relate to. His daughter, Sarah, asks him, ““Are you saying you’re going to start dressing up like a lady all of the time?” “No, honey,” Maura replies. “All my life, my whole life, I’ve been dressing up like a man. This is me.”
Tambor had fun doing the show. Here’s another true incident we can all relate to. “There was a time when I was wearing nail polish, and some evening after filming I didn’t take it off and went shopping after we wrapped, and I’d get clocked,” Tambor remembers. “People would look at me. I remember one guy just staring at me and shaking his head. And I went, ‘Remember this.’ A lot of that was my way in.”
This film could prove to be a milestone for our community so I encourage everyone to support the show
There were many good reviews. Here are a few of them. You will be remiss if you don’t watch the show.
Finally, Jeffery talks about What’s it like to play an aging Jewish transgender woman His preparation was so intense and his portrayal so convincing that I’m sure we’ll see a second season.