Transparent Season 2 (2015)

Transparent Season 2 Review………………………………………………………………….

Transparent Season 2 Review

The second season of Transparent is a weaker, yet ultimately a satisfying season with more than enough intriguing developments and great storylines in it.

I first have to say that I found this season to be way too inferior to the first one. Whereas the first one was original, this was original just in some parts and even there, that originality wasn’t as accomplished. Also, the choice to have the family members get mostly entirely separate paths robbed it of a great family dynamic that the first season had.

But it is still pretty good and at times quite artistic and also very fascinating with the flashbacks once again. It once again contains of ten episodes and the majority of those episodes are at least very good, if not excellent.

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Transparent Season 2 Review………………………………………………………………….

I will now go through each and every character and what they’ve gone through this season. Let’s first talk about Sarah. Her part here was troublesome. It was excellent in the first half, but then it became tired and repetitive afterwards. What I loved is the fact that she suffered for her terrible actions back in the first season and at the beginning of this one. Her leaving Tammy right after the wedding felt real as there were hints of that before and it was the only truly great thing about that very subpar opener.

 Yes, Tammy, no matter how bad a person, did not deserve this and I really felt sorry for her which is why I loved her crashing the party scene and telling Sarah how hurt she is. That was a great reminder to Sarah that she hurts people and not only her, but she hurt Len too which is why his terrible behavior towards her here never felt unfair, but almost appropriate. Both Tammy and Len never received too many scenes here, but given that they were no longer with Sarah, it was understandable and the sequences that they’d got were all great.
But even though her story was appropriately dark and devastating here, her eventual path into BDSM and role-playing sexual fantasies was in character, but became too repetitive and slight in terms of the substance. Her entire part in the second half of the season revolved around that and it was very disappointing.
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Transparent Season 2 Review………………………………………………………………….

Ali is even more troublesome. I first have to admit that I never for a moment bought her shift to the gay side, absolutely never. I just never pictured her as bisexual and I felt that she show creators just threw that without thinking as it never felt real to me.

 But that did lead to a lot of interesting new plot points and characters. Leslie is a very interesting individual indeed. While seemingly predatory and creepy, she became much more human near the end and I liked that her characterization never went into full villain/caricature mode. And the relationship between the two was interesting.
 But her relationship with Syd is devastating. And no matter how much Syd suffered in this relationship, I was glad that she ended things off as that was so brave for her and it is only a good choice for this poor soul who got trapped with this awful family and a horrible friend/lover.
 
Josh is by far the most interesting and most well realized character of these three which is interesting because he was the least developed in the previous season. But now he got a lot of emphasis and I really liked that. I liked his relationship with Colton quite a bit and the scene where he had to say goodbye to him was just heartbreaking and perfectly executed. And even though it all happened too fast, Colton’s adoptive family had a great role here, Rita was well realized and creepy and I loved the point that Transparent made here – there is basically a double standard when it comes to rape as men getting raped is somehow more appropriate or silly in many people’s heads. I loved that critique and I loved how we finally saw that pretty much his toxic relationship with Rita destroyed his life.
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Transparent Season 2 Review………………………………………………………………….

As for Raquel, she was definitely bitchy and sometimes quite awful to him, but having in mind how he treated her and how she lost the baby and how she was basically dating a child, it was understandable and it was only good for her to break up with him. Yes, all three of the children were single in this season and that they deserved.

 As for Buzz’s newfound relationship with him, it was sweet. However, the issue that was brought about Maura seemed disappointing and somehow not true. Yes, Josh definitely lost his father and that must be tough, but it should have been brought upon much, much earlier and Buzz’s insisting that that was the thing that troubled him was troublesome as he had much bigger worries during this season. But it was still refreshing to see as Maura’s transitioning effect on others was ridiculously only glanced upon before and I hope to see more of this issue explored in the future.
 
Speaking of Buzz, he is a welcome new addition to this cast as he will hopefully help Shelly who got some horrible treatment in this season. Yes, what she did with Josh was just bad and she is a terrible parent as is Maura, but it was still heartbreaking to see Maura treat her like that and dump her when she just started to feel happy. But given how awkward that sex scene was and how annoyed Maura felt, it just wasn’t working and it was an obvious next step.
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Transparent Season 2 Review………………………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about Maura. Whereas she was just frustrating and sometimes annoying before, now she is just as bad as the rest of the people here are. She’s such a terrible and selfish person and I loved that the show finally acknowledged that. Her condescending attitude towards Davina in particular was just awful and I just loved that Davina managed to defend herself. She has always been rich and she’s had a family whereas other trans people don’t have those privileges and it was excellent to finally have her realize that.

 Her arc in the women’s festival was excellent and perfectly mirrored the cross-dressing camp storyline in the previous season. And the introduction of Vicky played by Anjelica Huston was great and I really enjoyed those two as they look like a fitting couple.
 
As for the feminist overtones, they were too much as the show is obsessed with women and an introduction of more male characters is much needed by this point. But those issues were still solidly explored and although that whole festival episode wasn’t the greatest, the exploration of women’s hypocrisy there was great.

And of course, I have to touch upon those flashbacks. I have to say that I liked them overall. Some connections were too obvious and the actors weren’t the greatest and the dialogue was too modern, but it was heartbreaking to witness those Berlin scenes and that end sequence was powerful and so sad. The parallels were too on-the-nose, but still interesting and that ending in particular was such a great, artistic sequence that ended the season in such a great way and with many hidden meanings.

 Overall, Transparent Season 2 is nowhere near the quality of the first season as it is too repetitive and also too feminist, but most of the characters got great storylines here, the flashbacks were very intriguing and some parts were very dark and well explored.
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Worst Episodes: Kina Hora and Oscillate. 

Best Episodes: Cherry Blossoms and The Book of Life.

My Rating – 4.1

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