By Austen Macalus
Here's the thing — I loved season one of “Transparent”.
That is by no means an unique statement; the show was unanimously praised by critics and nominated at last year’s Emmys for tons of awards, including “Outstanding Comedy Series”, “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series”. Jeffery Tambor was appreciated (deservedly,) winning “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” for playing Maura Pfefferman.
Season one of the Amazon-produced show centered on the outlandish Pfefferman family and how their dynamic shifted when Maura revealed she is transgender. The story was equal parts poignant, analytical and funny, tactfully tackling the complexities of coming out.
Each character was earnestly complex; the Pfeffermans were the perfect mélange of privilege, wealth and selfishness, yet seemingly ordinary humans needing emotional attachment and acceptance.
So after consuming the first season in under two weeks, I excitedly anticipated the second installment — patiently waiting for all the episodes to come out so I could devour them in one sitting.
Yet, I have failed to watch more than the first episode, predominantly due to the fact that I really, really (like, really), did not like it.
The first episode, “Kina Hora”, focused on the marriage ceremony of Sarah Pfefferman. After recently re-discovering her lesbian college lover, divorcing her former husband and deciding to marry that lover, Sarah rashly determines she does not want to go through with the marriage. No biggie, right? But she comes to this decision after throwing an extravagantly expensive all-white wedding and going through with the ceremony. This sort of fickle behavior is typical for the Pfeffermans and in the first season it may have even made them even more human. With the first season, the Pfeffermans, each in their own way, were disadvantaged underdogs — people to root for even when they mess up. But in this episode they just came off as entitled, self-indulgent idiots. In no way were these the same compelling characters who used to make me empathize with their changing circumstance. Instead, I ended up resenting all the time, effort and money (so much money) that was put into the wedding just to have Sarah cry and pity herself in a bathroom stall.
With any luck these 30 minutes will remain a small misstep in the otherwise amazing show. However, it may be a while before I muster up enough willpower to continue with “Transparent”.