Transparent

 
(i)

 

Darkly comic series tours gender identity, family dynamics.
Golden Globe

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Outright "messages" are a little murky, but there's a overarching sense of searching for truth and a desire to live more honestly, with varying degrees of success. Family is another important theme.

Positive role models

The main character is navigating a major life change linked to his gender identity and serves as a complex but likable parent figure. Most characters are harboring secrets and living somewhat dishonest lives, but there's a genuine sense of love and connection among family members, even though it can veer toward dysfunction and selfishness.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

The plot deals heavily with sexual identity and follows characters in same-sex relationships and in relationships with multiple partners. Scenes include simulated sex and full frontal nudity. 

Language

Unbleeped swearing includes "f--k" and "s--t," but it's not constant.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some adult characters smoke pot and drink alcohol, at times to excess.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Transparent focuses on a divorced father of three who's navigating a major life change: transitioning to living life full-time as a woman. You'll see some simulated sex and occasional full-frontal nudity, and hear unbleeped swearing in the form of "f--k" and "s--t." Some characters also smoke pot and drink socially.

What's the story?

Neither Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) nor his three grown children (Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffman) are living fully TRANSPARENT lives, keeping closely guarded secrets in spite of their mutual affection. But when Mort gathers the family to announce a "big change" in his life -- that he's transitioning to living full-time as a woman named Moira -- their dynamic takes a turn toward something refreshingly honest.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Written and directed by Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara), Transparent is partly autobiographical -- and maybe that's why its characters and their relationships feel so real. Sure, you may not relate to the specifics of Mort's "big change" and the ripple effect it has on his family, but you're bound to relate to their emotions thanks to the series' artful writing and honest acting.

Transparent is about a whole lot more than being "trans," by the way, in the sense that every major character is somehow transitioning. Sex and relationships play a major part in that, however, so the content is better aimed at adults and the most mature teens -- and even then, there will be things some parents will object to.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about parent-child relationships and how those relationships change -- or don't -- as kids become adults. Does Transparent take a realistic approach when it comes to depicting family dynamics? How does it compare to the way you and your parents interact?

  • How are transgender characters typically portrayed in television and movies? In what ways does Transparent's central character break new ground and expand the definition of what it means to be transgender in America? Does Mort/Moira transcend or simply reinforce existing stereotypes?

  • How well would Transparent play on network television? Does the fact that the series airs on Amazon allow it to explore subject matter that other shows can’t?

TV details

Cast:Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman
Network:Amazon
Genre:Drama
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:Streaming
Award:Golden Globe

This review of Transparent was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byhenryb1 June 21, 2015
 

Must watch

It's a great show but iffy scenes plague it throughout
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bylamb12345 May 15, 2015
 

Great series (maybe just not for kids)

After watching the first season, I was really enjoyed the storyline. I could connect with the characters (although I've never had to deal with majority of their problems). Although at first glance it seems that the whole family has a lot of issues, they all have to keep in things they are dealing with and are overall pretty complex. The show really got me thinking. However, I will say that I was very shocked at some of the content. The frontal nudity wasn't an issue for me, but some of the sex scenes were just so explicit! The only part they didn't include was actually showing genitalia... EVERYTHING else was shown/talked about. It was all very blunt. There is some drinking, smoking pot, and swearing which is probably okay for most kids. And there are transgender characters (obviously) and gay characters which wouldn't raise the rating for me personally, but for some people it might. I would say if you are mature enough to handle the content, then this a great series with good role models and messages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

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