Review of "Transparent" on Amazon Prime From The TV MegaSite

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"Transparent" review by Suzanne
Airs Thursdays on Amazon Prime

You can watch the first episode of this series now. Just click on the link above in the title. I don't watch too many online shows. I prefer to watch on my TV set if at all possible, since the screen is bigger. I don't even watch Netflix too often.  However, this show got so much media attention and rave reviews, I had to check it out for myself.

Jeffrey Tambor stars as an older divorced man in L.A. with 3 grown children. He's in that large grey area between "middle-aged" and "elderly". Tambor always does a wonderful job in any role, and I especially loved him as Hank Kingsley in "The Larry Sanders Show".  He also starred in "Arrested Development", but I didn't care for that show. Other than that, he's been in tons of movies and TV shows. Tambor's character is living as a woman, but he hasn't told his children yet. He calls them all over, but he loses his nerve. Everyone in the show is kind of neurotic.

The show is very realistic and believable; more than most TV shows I've seen.  The only part I really didn't like is when they're eating ribs and getting it all over their faces. I hate when people do that in TV or movies. It's just gross. That was a very small part of it, though, and the rest of it was great.

It's a half hour show, but it's really more of a drama than a sitcom, although it's sort of funny, too. It's more like real-life humor than telling jokes. It has kind of a quiet irony to it. I don't normally like half hour shows that aren't very funny, but this one is so good that I will have to suspend that rule. I guess if we can have hour-long comedies, then we can have half-hour dramas.

Judith Light plays Tambor's ex-wife; she's another one that's always fabulous in any role.  His children are played by Gaby Hoffman ("Girls"), Amy Landecker ("Louie") and Jay Duplass (he's mostly a producer and writer, from what I can tell). They all look and sound like real people, not TV characters. They're not beautiful or glamorous.  The acting and writing is really good.

Of course, this show is ground-breaking because there's never been a show before about a  transgender person.  They're rarely even seen on TV or movies, aside from the occasional prostitute or other "weirdo".  However, they do live among us, many in secret. I'm sure you'll find many more that are "out" in urban areas.  A lot of them aren't gay, which is hard for us straight people to understand. Harder than being gay, actually, and I think even a lot of people in the gay community are not that accepting of the transgenders (or even of bisexuals).  The pilot didn't really reveal whether Tambor's character is gay or not.

Anyway, it's an interesting show and I look forward to seeing more of it. It does have a lot of nudity, four-letter words, and some sex. It's like something you might see on HBO (but probably with less sex and nudity).  Most of the nudity is not even sexual. It's just part of the realism. It's the casual, every-day nudity that people have when they're around their family, or in the bathroom, or changing clothes.

If you're open-minded, and you love good TV, check it out.

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Page updated 9/25/14

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