Transparent—Season 1

transparent season 1 poster review and episode guide
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great story and acting

Has to be sought out since it is on Amazon


The short and sweet of Transparent

Mort Pfefferman’s life is changing…because he’s now Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor).  With a decision that he needs to tell his family that he’s transgender, Maura learns that his actions could cost him the family he loves.  Her ex-wife Shelley (Judith Light) is dealing with her dying husband Ed ( ), her daughter Sarah (Amy Landecker) is reconnecting with her former lover Tammy (Melora Hardin), her son Josh (Jay Duplass) is chasing whoever shows interest in him, and her daughter Ali (Gaby Hoffman) can’t decide what she wants.  Maura’s life is changing rapidly and it is unclear if her family can or will keep up.

Transparent was an Amazon Prime original and the complete series was released on September 26, 2014.  The series was praised by critics and most of the cast was recognized for their acting.


I’m someone that you used to know

Transparent is a new world type of TV series.  Not only is it dealing with a topic that previously was untouchable (actually it is dealing with multiple topics), but it also is only available in a format that didn’t even exist a few years ago.  With so many paid sights nowadays, it can be tricky to navigate the series that you have time to watch…and buy.  With a strong cast and great writing, Transparent should gain your attention.

The story for the series is quite edgy.  It presents transgendered people in a real world environment where they aren’t freaks, but also not understood or accepted.  It follows a character that over the course of his life has realized it is acceptable for him to be public with what many would see as a disease or mental problem…including his family.


Dad…something is different about you

The show is a comedy but a dramatic comedy that doesn’t pull any punches both dealing with the issues of gender and sex but also family relations in general.  The Pfeffersmans are messed up and probably would have been messed up regardless of Mort’s condition…though the secret lives of the characters (not only Mort) do have unintentional effects on their lives.

The acting is top notch.  Jeffrey Tambor gives it all as Maura and isn’t afraid to look goofy while his character tries to learn how to be a woman.  He has great back-up from his children who all have really developed characters who are flawed…you can’t say you really like or hate any of them.  In addition to the family, there is nice secondary characters from Melora Hardin, Carrie Brownstein, Alexandra Billings, and Bradley Whitford.  The only weak link in the cast in my opinion is Judith Light to plays it a bit too hard as the old Jewish woman.  Maybe I just see her as Angela from Who’s the Boss?, but it seems like she’s trying too hard.

Transparent is a great series.  I hope that the series gets seen since it is a brave new world being explored in the series.  With so many viewing options, Amazon doesn’t seem to have as big of following as Netflix and Hulu, but if the company continues to produce like this, Amazon could become a major player in the original series market.  The series is only ten half-hour episodes and leaves you wanting more…and looking forward to season 2.

Transparent—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Pilot Airdate:  09/26/14

Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) calls his children Sarah (Amy Landecker), Josh (Jay Duplass), and Ali (Gaby Hoffman) to a dinner and reveals a big secret…he’s decided to sell his house.  Unfortunately, it isn’t the secret that he hoped to tell.  Mort is planning on a sex change and cannot come to tell them.  When Sarah makes an impromptu visit with her former lesbian lover Tammy (Melora Hardin) to assess the property, Mort secret it is about to be revealed.


“The Letting Go”

1.2       The Letting Go Airdate:  09/26/14

Sarah learns that her father is living partially as Maura while hiding her own affair with Tammy.  Ali works with a trainer Derek (Cleo Anthony) to try to develop her own fitness program.  Josh learns that his girlfriend Kaya (Alison Sudol) is pregnant and considers his future with her.  Maura is invited to the home of Davina (Alexandra Billings) and learns her apartment building the Shangri La might have an opening for her.



1.3       Rollin’ Airdate:  09/26/14

Maura prepares to move and realizes it is time to come out to Josh and Ali.  Josh faces works problems due to his relationship with Kaya.  Ali tries to set up a threesome with Derek and his roommate.  Sarah admits her relationship with Tammy to her husband Len (Rob Huebel) and makes a big jump.



1.4       Moppa Airdate:  09/26/14

Maura comes out to Ali.  Josh starts a secret relationship with Ali’s friend Syd Feldman (Carrie Brownstein) but also questions his long term relationship with his former babysitter Rita (Brett Paesel).  After a rough trip out with Ali and Sarah and stress at the Shangri La, Maura begins to question her decision.



1.5       Wedge Airdate:  09/26/14

Sarah and Tammy adjust to their new relationship and Sarah meets Tammy’s ex-stepdaughter Bianca (Kiersey Clemons).  Shelly (Judith Light) loses her husband Ed (Lawrence Pressman) when he wanders off, and Josh, Ali, and Sarah set out to find him.  When Ali reveals their father’s secret new life to Josh, Josh tries to cope with the big change.  Maura tries to get Davina to join her in a musical number in Trans Got Talent and runs into an old friend.


“In the Wilderness”

1.6       The Wilderness Airdate:  09/26/14

Ali investigates her father’s nature by taking a class and meets a transgendered woman named Dale (Ian Harvie).  Josh meets up with a female rabbi named Raquel Fein (Kathryn Hahn) while searching for his own answers.  Sarah decides it is time for her children to meet her father as Maura but finds objections from her estranged husband.


“Symbolic Exemplar”

1.7       Symbolic Exemplar Airdate:  09/26/14

Ali goes on a sex date with Dale as things heat up between Josh and Rabbi Fein.  The Trans Got Talent show is on and Josh, Ali, and Sarah are forced to face their father’s new life.  Josh learns that Tammy is updating the house against her promise.


“Best New Girl”

1.8       Best New Girl Airdate:  09/26/14

On one of his first trips out as a woman, Mort and Mark (Bradley Whitford) head off to Camp Camellia under the pretense that they are on a business meeting leaving his wife and family behind.  With Sarah going to a protest, and Josh leaving with Rita, Ali finds herself alone and searching for someone.


“Looking Up”

1.9       Looking Up Airdate:  09/26/14

Josh reconnects with Raquel and tries to develop a relationship.  Sarah meets with Len and questions the break-up of their marriage.  Ali learns from Syd that she’s been having sex with Josh.  As Ed grows closer to death, Maura and Shelley debate hastening Ed’s journey despite Ali’s objections.


“Why Do We Cover the Mirrors”

1.10     Why Do We Cover the Mirrors Airdate:  09/26/14

It’s is Ed’s shiva and Sarah and Tammy are hosting.  Maura is facing people she’s known for years for the first time and Sarah makes a big decision after an encounter with Len.  Josh finds his connection to Rabbi Fein shattered when Rita arrives with a big surprise.  Ali confronts her father about her childhood and is faced with the truth of their relationship.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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