TV Series Review : Transparent, Produced by Amazon

Transparent: Does Not Live Up To Its Promise

I wanted to like this show. I thought it would be about a person shedding the skin that never really fit, and how she is able to work through the issues that will most certainly come up in that transition. There are small, brief glimpses of this, and when that happens, it's really good. Unfortunately, they are few and far between. I watched 7 of the 9 episodes before I gave up.

Most of the story centers on Mort/Maura's horrible children. All adults, all awful, dysfunctional people. Not one of them is a sympathetic character, nor are their assorted lovers and partners. I think the writers are trying to bludgeon us over the head with their belief that the Mort character, living as a man although he feels that he is truly a woman, married to a bossy, pushy, slightly crazy woman, turned out horribly damaged children. I felt sorry for Maura as she kept promising things to her children that couldn't happen- if one got what he wanted, the other wouldn't get what she wanted, which was already leading to disaster. All of her children use her terribly.

The most enjoyable parts are Maura's visits to the LGBT Center, and the time with her friends from the center. The most sympathetic character is poor senile Ed, the husband of Maura's ex-wife. The show is full of gratuitous sex scenes (even the Rabbi wants to give a blow-job on a first date), alcohol and drug abuse, unnecessary cussing and hatefulness. It's so frustrating to see some really good actors and such interesting, fraught subject matter wasted like this.

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