Have you watched Transparent, the Golden-Globe-winning Amazon series? After a few of you recommended it last Friday, I started watching it and find it incredibly real, funny and poignant. Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort Pfefferman, a divorced 70-year-old father of three grown children, who has a secret he has always wanted to share: He’s actually a transgender woman named Maura. All three kids are completely self-involved in their own messy lives, which are equally compelling.

Vulture calls it “damn near perfect,” saying:

The plot has a very small footprint—it’s just this family, really—but the ideas it covers are really huge. Stories about people who are trans feel newsy and timely, but the stories about not truly knowing your parents until you grow up, and even then just barely, are completely familiar. Transparent is a crystalline bird’s nest, beautiful and fragile and a little bit dreamy and magical, where you hatched and from whence you’re obligated to fly away.

Here’s the trailer, if you’d like to see:

Thoughts? Have you watched it? I’d highly, highly recommend it.

P.S. 25+ best documentaries, and a moving speech about the word “gay.”

  1. I loved it! Have not stopped thinking about it since I watched the last episode and now feel bereft!

  2. I binged on all the episodes last week and loved it. The characters are still in my head and I want more!!

  3. I just finished binge watching Transparent on Monday! What a great show. The cast is superb, and Jeffrey Tambor as Maura makes this series shine. I don’t have a lot of experience with the trans community, but Maura is so endearing.

  4. I love this show! The best to come out in a long time, I think, and I’m SUPER happy to see you feature it here! I just wanted to second a previous commenter’s note about referring to Jeffrey Tambor’s character as she/her/hers… it’s a huge plot point in the show (proper pronouns) and something that a lot of writers (including the NYTimes!) are still having a hard time with. Such a great conversation to have, and again, so psyched to see this here.

  5. Absolutely in love with this show. What struck me is that even though my own boring suburban family could not be more different, the family dynamic felt so familiar.

  6. Hmm, I haven’t seen this series put your post definitely is peaking my interest! I haven’t been hooked on a TV series since Lost. Since i don’t have a television, I need to be inspired to seek out a series. Transparent might be the one I have to look up! Thanks for the tip.

    Circus & Bloom

  7. It’s a brilliant show about love of all sorts. The fantastic music was a great surprise. I also wanted to thank you for the recommendation of high maintenance, it’s lovely.

  8. It is the best ever. I don’t think I have ever seen such an empathically told story on a TV show. I just loved it.

  9. I loved it! Watched the whole season in one day. It was so compelling and seemed to address a complicated issue from many different angles and in a very compassionate way which I appreciated. I’m interested to know how people in the transgender community view the show.

  10. Abbey, I totally agree, but I heard the show creator address this in an interview on NPR fresh air, and I think it’s something about being because it was based on her father/mother, she wanted to show that particular journey starting from when They (a gender-neutral pronoun) had a male body.

  11. I really wanted to love transparent, and I will keep watching it, but I just don’t love it as much as I want to.

    I like the concept, and the little moments, but I guess my biggest problem is I don’t feel sympathetic at all towards the self-involved children. I feel like I should, since I’m sympathetic to the girls in GIRLS and the couple in the Before Sunset/Sunrise/Midnight series and am generally sympathetic towards antiheroes. And the children aren’t entirely to blame. but still, I don’t know why I just hate them. Maybe they remind me of myself in some manner?

  12. It looks wonderful, but I’m so sick of all this pay television. I don’t have Amazon Prime, I don’t have HBO, I don’t have Showtime, I don’t have Netflix! It’s all expensive and too many things and accounts to have. Rant over.

  13. I’ve just started watching…only the first episode so far. I enjoyed it and look forward to continuing.

    I had to look up the term “cisgender”…

  14. I started it over the holidays and never finished it…just might have to go back to it! xoxo

  15. I liked it and binged watched it, but I am such a prude, and all the sex really irks me. But it is sooooo much a part of their self involved lives. Wish it was more “implied sex”, or just laying in bed scenes. Would be just as good I think. Jeffrey Tambour is the best part. Well written and well acted.

  16. I love the show, but I find Mort’s children SO frustrating. They are all so self-involved, as you say, and I just want to yell at them, “Grow up!” They are very flawed, and hence, real, people, but sometimes I guess I just want an escape from that. (I deal with a lot of irresponsible adults who refuse to grow up in my daily life.) So then I go watch Downton Abbey :)

  17. We just watched the whole season over two nights–it was that compelling. Just deeply human and moving–it manages to be very, very funny while also honestly emotional and very tender about family relationships. Jeffrey Tambor is flawless and the rest of the cast is amazing.

  18. Those people suffer all their life and deserve to be accepted as every other human being.

  19. LOVE this show. Thought it got to be a little much towards the end of the season with all of the issues with the kids but i’m really looking forward to next season!!

  20. I binged watched it a couple months ago – it’s amazing! Hilarious and heartbreaking and everything in between. And how about Jan from the Office?! That caught me off guard for those first few episodes!

  21. I do watch it–thought I’m not through the first season yet. It’s amazing! It’s super funny, and–even though this is a topic I have zero experience with–it still feels very real. I’ve been most impressed with the acting. It’s probably some of the best acting i’ve EVER seen. definitely worth seeing!

  22. I binged on this last week! At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but kept watching and after a couple of episodes I was hooked and was amazed at how real it felt. Although it is very different, I felt similar after watching Boyhood recently.

  23. Do you have to pay to watch it? Or subscribe to Amazon Prime? How does it work? thanks xx

  24. I found it a few months ago on Amazon and got sucked in by the characters/story and watched all of the episodes in quick succession.

  25. best show i’ve seen all year. really great to see you sharing it here!

  26. Thanks for the recommendation! I have been looking for a good show and after watching the first episode, and loving it, I think this is it!

  27. This sounds like a great show! Can you only watch it on Amazon?

  28. I started watching Transparent over MLK weekend and finished it by the end of the long weekend! It was filmed beautifully and the story was so powerful. Glad that you are enjoying it!

  29. Yes! I watched it all in a week! So brilliant and witty and endearing. xx Katie

  30. Yes! It’s so good. And the soundtrack is fantastic as well.

  31. I’ve heard great things about this. We are currently into 24 (which is free on Amazon Prime)–late to the game, but totally enthralled nonetheless. In fact, last night I dreamt we were fighting assassins. And we were awesome.

  32. My husband and I binge watched Transparent a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it! The whole cast is incredible.

    Side note: It’s interesting to see Gabby Hoffmann as Ali in Transparent if you know her from Girls. Haha!

  33. I haven’t watched it yet. I like Girls more than I thought I would, and that taught me, “don’t knock the show until you’ve seen it.” Hubs and I are looking for some new ones to follow since Parenthood ends tonight. Probably will watch Big Bang Theory or Parks & Rec from the beginning!

  34. I haven’t seen Transparent yet, although I’ve heard all great things. One thing that annoys me, though, is that the role was given to a (presumed) cisgender male when there was opportunity to give the role to a real trans woman actor. It annoys me that another award winning transgender woman’s role is played by a cis male instead of allowing the trans community to represent itself! I don’t think it’s enough to stop me from watching it if I get a chance, but I haven’t gone out of my way to watch it either.