Transparent Season 3 (2016)

Transparent Season 3 Review

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Transparent Season 3 Review

The third season of Transparent is another strong season for this very good series that is actually an improvement over its predecessor.

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I’m sorry I’ve been such a shitty parent

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Let’s go through each and every character and what happened to them here. So Maura is strong here and I liked how a great focus was once again put to her journey. I don’t know what is going to happen with her as in the last episode it is hinted that she is probably going to abandon her journey to womanhood and that is troublesome as it is so obviously a plot ploy to keep Tambor to play the lead as he is a man and cannot play a woman no matter what. That is problematic and the reason why his casting was troublesome from the first moment.

But even though I disliked that choice, I liked her episodes quite a bit actually. Her breakup with Vicki was so well executed as the two just were not a good fit from the beginning. I loved their final argument. I also really admired that she finally acknowledged her terrible parenthood to Josh and of course the flashback episode into Maura’s childhood was excellent. Visually arresting, moving and so well acted by a trans child actor, that episode was a success all around and one of the best the series has done of that type.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Sarah continues to be obnoxious. Her BDSM part with Pony is somewhat ridiculous and underutilized and her relationship with spirituality and Raquel is all wrong and I did not like that storyline to be honest. She is a mess as she has always been, but at least her relationship with Len deepens and complicates once again and those scenes were the best concerning her character.

As for Josh, Rita’s death was an obvious plot device as they just did not know what to do with his character. He continues to be a mess just like Sarah is and his relationship with his son is well established and that final moment between the two was certainly tragic, but I thought that this story was prolonged too much and it thankfully ended finally. His episode with Shea is interesting and I liked their adventure and conversations, but it ended in a typical, though true to character fashion.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Ali is problematic. She is the most likable and happy that she has ever been and that is great for her, but not for us viewers as she is easily the dullest part of this season. She basically has nothing to do here apart from having relationship issues with Leslie who is such an obnoxious character whom I dislike more and more as the episodes go by. I would love to see Ali dump her in the next season to be honest.

Shelly, surprisingly enough, was the finest part of this third season and that I did not see coming. Her flashback was as great of an insight and even more important than Maura’s was in the same episode and I liked her growing confidence and it all led to that wonderful final sequence in the final episode where she sang beautifully to her family audience. Her relationship with Buzzy ended and I really liked Buzzy’s deceiving nature and it seemed realistic to me as there are a lot of men that are perfect seemingly, but are actually deceiving and broke. I loved her story here and she truly is the most tragic character on the show if you ask me.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Rabbi Raquel is also very strong here and I really liked the examination of her faith and how  shaken it became. A very complex character beautifully played by Kathryn Hahn who continues to be the best actress in Transparent which is no easy task as everyone is great here. Jeffrey Tambor is excellent as usual and Judith Light is especially strong during this season. Transparent truly is an exceptionally well acted, directed and edited series.

So this third season is a success despite its couple of obvious shortcomings such as Ali’s wasteful storyline, but I loved Maura, Raquel and especially Shelly here and this season is surprisingly poignant and filled with a lot of emotionally resonant and even tragic scenes. It is uneven, but so well acted and another strong addition for this great show.

Worst Episodes: When the Battle Is Over and Life Sucks and Then You Die.

Best Episodes: To Sardines and Back and If I Were a Bell.

My Rating – 4.3

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