Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I’m Watching: Transparent

Transparent: Season 2, Episode 8 “Oscillate” (B+)

I like this show and where it’s headed, but I’m finding these flashes to 1930s Berlin a bit disjointed. It’s intriguing to think that there is a history of transgender exploration in the Pfefferman family dating back to a time when things were far more dangerous for them than any kind of gender or sexual discrimination. It’s both interesting and distracting to have actors, like Bradley Whitford and Michaela Watkins, who we’ve seen in other tangential roles playing those parts to give a bit of added but confusing context to the drama. Back in the present, Maura is having a tough time adjusting to her life without Davina’s friendship, but she seems to have given herself an important pep talk with Shea’s help as she prepares to volunteer for the suicide hotline, which for obvious reasons should not be referred to as the graveyard shift. Shelly’s relationship with Buzz, who hilariously brands his steaks, has progressed quite quickly, and her enthusiasm for the least kosher of cruise buffet options is palpable, a sign that she’s trying to indulge in as much excess as possible to distract herself from the bad news about Josh and her breakup with Maura. Josh is in truly bad shape, and I hope that he’ll get to a better place soon. I don’t understand Ali’s obsession with Leslie, but it’s definitely driving a wedge between her and Syd. Seeing Ali, Sarah, and Maura drive off singing together was an affirming ending to the episode, and a sign that maybe these forward-thinking Pfefferman women do have happy futures ahead.

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