Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What I’m Watching: Transparent (Season Premiere)

Transparent: Season 4, Episode 1 “Standing Order” (B+)

Last year, it took me a whole lot longer to finish season two, so very little time passed between when I wrapped it up and when season three started. This year, I’ve had more time off after reaching the end of season three in early December. This show notably missed out on an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Series for the first time this past season, but it continues to go strong in terms of charging ahead in the exploration of its complicated family dynamic. This premiere shows just how chaotic things are in getting back to the original characters, especially as perceived by Ali, whose mental state has already been called into question in previous circumstances where she didn’t seem to experiencing the world around her in the way the audiences does. Renting out the house on Airbnb doesn’t seem to be going too well, and the renter’s initial reaction to her being there wasn’t very polite, nor were his follow-up questions. Shelly’s presence in Josh’s house is more than a little much, and I can’t imagine he’ll be able to take that for much longer. Sarah testing her siblings for sex addiction was a weird activity in itself, and the three of them attending a support group meeting together was even more peculiar. I’m excited by the addition of Alia Shawkat, recently great in “Search Party,” as a former teacher of Sarah’s children and a member of the group, and I hope we’ll get to see more of her. And popular professor Maura is headed to Israel! I’m intrigued to see where that goes and how this show handles its continued Jewish self-exploration, previewed through video footage in the opening credits.

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