Although Netflix has been the leader in producing original, critically acclaimed streaming series, Amazon Prime Instant Video is giving Netflix something to worry about with the release of its newest series “Transparent.” Critics are buzzing about this show, and here are five reasons why you should be watching, too.
- It’s a rare depiction of a transgendered woman’s story. “Transparent” chronicles the life of Maura (previously Mort) Pfefferman, who comes out as a trans parent and learns to live life as an out woman. For example, in a painful scene in one of the show’s first few episodes, we see Maura face the fear and danger of attending a women’s restroom.
- “Transparent” is also a beautiful family drama. “Transparent” is not only Maura’s story; it’s also about her three children, who struggle to find happiness in their daily lives. Sarah, the eldest, is in a loveless relationship and finds solace in the arms of a former girlfriend. Josh, the middle child, has never had a functional relationship with a woman. Ali, the youngest, is always restless, constantly moving from idea to idea. Their stories make Maura’s journey into womanhood less personal and more familial. Whether she likes it or not, she is tied to the children she raised as a man. Whether her children like it or not, they must accept who their father has become.
- It’s often very funny. Even though there are heavy moments in the ads for “Transparent,” the show can be quite funny. For example, when Ali describes what “spit-roasting” is, she places a candle in between a salt shaker and a pepper shaker.
- The cast is fantastic. Considering Jeffrey Tambor’s previous roles as a boorish sycophant (“The Larry Sanders Show”) and a neglectful father (“Arrested Development”), there might have been some hesitation to cast him as Maura. But Tambor is transformative, and he plays Maura with such delicate earnestness. Also worth noting is Gaby Hoffman who plays Ali, and she channels a lot of angst and restlessness.
- It’s already been renewed for a second season. With more “Transparent” episodes coming next year, you don’t have to worry about the show’s future or unresolved cliffhangers. Just sit back, relax, and immerse yourself into the wild world of the Pfeffermans.
Contact Marty Semilla at mesemilla “at” stanford.edu.