Transparent

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Transparent TV Poster Image
Darkly comic series tours gender identity, family dynamics.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

The main character is navigating a major life change linked to her 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
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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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 as a woman. You'll see a lot 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. It's a deep and funny show but deals with complicated emotional issues that are probably best for adults and older teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySadman July 2, 2016

Shouldn't have limited its audience

My main criticism with streaming and premium cable is far too often the people making the shows take the attitude "Hey, we aren't bound by broadcast r... Continue reading
Adult Written byviper_wings October 25, 2015

Finally The transgender item in a series

I think this to be a very good series A " normal" family where the father feels like a woman and is coming out . The consequences bring out more than... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 11, 2016

Interesting and brilliant but slightly slow drama has tons of sex and nudity.

My rating:R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and pervasive language and drug use.
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... Continue reading

What's the story?

No one in the Pfefferman family is living a fully TRANSPARENT life, all keeping closely guarded secrets in spite of their mutual affection. But when patriarch Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) gathers the family ( (Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffman) to announce a "big change" -- that she's transitioning to living full-time as a woman named Moira -- their dynamic takes a turn toward something refreshingly honest.

Is it any good?

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 Moira's "big change" and the ripple effect it has on her 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.

Talk to your kids 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 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

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