“Transparent TV Show” : Transparently Ridiculous


I’m just going to state it right up top: the show is just a lurid excuse to show a man in drag and attractive young people  naked.

If the main character weren’t wearing a dress, we wouldn’t bother watching him/her at all.

Not to mention that “drama” (or in this case “dramedy”)  usually means something is actually at stake for the character. Oh sure, Moira’s psychological well being is “at stake,” I guess. But let’s see. What else might be at stake for a man who comes out at trans?

1. Maybe he will lose his love relationship with his spouse/mate?
Oh, that’s right. He has no mate.

2. Maybe he will lose the right to see his kids?
Oh, that’s right, his kids are all grown up.

3. Maybe he will lose his job and end up impoverished?
Oh, that’s right, he’s already retired and has plenty of dough.

I’m not even complaining about the lack of likable characters. We’re all sophisticated consumers of story now and we’re used to modern anti-heroes who are unlikable but are compelling. The problem is that the protagonist is not compelling. Not when s/he is Mort, not when s/he is Moira.  Nor are the kids. Nor is the ex wife.  If any of these folks could hold my interest maybe I would keep watching.  But as far as I am concerned, the most interesting thing about all of them is that their ex or their parent, is trans.  And that just isn’t enough.

The first rule of story telling, across all genres, is to be interesting.

Putting a man in a dress is not, in and of itself, compelling or entertaining. It’s a cheap shot. And it’s as old as…. Uncle Miltie.

Jill Soloway’s man in a dress is just that and only that : a man in a dress.
A lame excuse to create a TV show. Which is why they had to have pretty young things having sex and staring at themselves naked.

After episode two I turned it off.

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