I can only really speak for myself, but “Transparent” is such a heartbreak. The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning comedy roared on to Amazon in 2014, and there was nothing like it. It instantly became one of, if not the best show on television and that remained true for two seasons. But then “Transparent,” sharing the lives of the Pfefferman family after their parent comes out as a transgender woman named Maura, started to really unravel hard. The series, created by and often written and directed by Jill Soloway, went from wonderfully empathetic and funny and raw-nerve human, to something less and less interesting until season four which is something I just couldn’t even bear to finish and continue with it was so directionless. (To be fair, it might not just be me. Every season of “Transparent” is 90% or higher on Metacritic, and season 4 has a 74% grade).
Then disaster struck. The series’ lead actor, Jeffrey Tambor, had his scandal on the show— alleged harassment and facing accusations of inappropriate behavior on set that made for horrible optics and bad headlines. After months of debate, Tambor actually “quitting” before he was officially fired, and the show’s future up in limbo, the actor was ultimately fired from the show. Where did this leave the series? Without many options and they apparently considered lots of options.
Ultimately, Soloway and the creative team on the show decided to kill Tambor’s character off—not a spoiler, it’s in this trailer and been in the headlines for months—and conclude four seasons with an extended one-episode/two hour movie musical finale, despite the show never having really had any musical elements to it (bar, maybe the finish of season three which ended with a character singing a song on stage, but it was real).
The whole thing just seems, to me, anyhow, extremely unfortunate and a bit of a sad ending to a once terrific show. Hopefully, I’m wrong, there’s redemption to be found in this conclusion, but the concept, when you see it below, seems wacky. And what’s now called “The Transparent Musicale Finale” is coming in the fall.
Here’s the official synopsis:
THE TRANSPARENT MUSICALE FINALE takes the beloved Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series TRANSPARENT to new heights as a dazzling two-hour movie musical fantasia. When the Pfeffermans face a life-changing loss, they begin a journey hilarious and melancholy, brazen and bold. As they face this new transition, they confront grief and come together to celebrate connection, joy, and transformation.
“The Transparent Musical Finale” is coming September 27. Check out the full-length trailer and see how “Transparent” is transitioning into a musical. *Amazon’s use of the bad “transitioning pun” in their press info, not ours.