Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Transparent Brings the Pain, Beauty

Transparent gives us Jeffrey Tambor as a woman.  Actually he is not pretending to be a woman, he is pretending to be a guy, who pretends to be a woman.  This is not a black face moment.

When you see the digital ad for Transparent recommended on your Amazon Prime, you think: Tambor, cross dressing, Arrested Development, laughs.  Think again.  This show is not funny.  Transparent is sad.

It is about the pain of wearing your false self, the pain of shedding your false self and then ultimately the pleasure that comes from wearing your new skin.  The primary vehicle for showing this theme is a divorced father of three who likes to wear lady's clothes.  Can you relate to this character?  Yes, everyone has had the same experience, doing something that causes you the pain of standing out and the pain of being different only to find the sweet release of being your true self, of feeling lighter for having done it.

The complimentary characters are equally as unique yet universally relate-able.  You can relate with the middle-aged queer daughter who initiates an interracial three way on psychedelic mushrooms because you've ordered pizza with white sauce.  Sure, it doesn't actually taste better than real pizza but now you know.

Check it out, there's a lot going on in the world; violence in Paris, violence in San Bernadino, 21,000 people dying of starvation everyday but reading about those things doesn't illustrate a life lesson.  You already knew the world was fucked up, the various daily manifestations of that are as uninteresting as they are tragic.  What is interesting is the personal notion that in order to experience pleasure you must experience pain and although something may have been eating at you for a lifetime, it only takes an instant to destroy it.  So smash a printer, wear a dress, try the white sauce.  Whatever you do, don't read the news.