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6 things we'd like to see on season 2 of 'Transparent'

If you haven’t yet watched the Amazon original series Transparent, I highly recommend that you do so. Yesterday, the show won two Critics’ Choice Awards: Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Jeffrey Tambor, and Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series for Bradley Whitford.

Beautifully written and tremendously acted, Transparent tells the story of Maura Pfefferman, a woman who, up until now, was known by her friends and family as a man named Mort. Though she has known for years (maybe forever) that she is Maura, she is only now, in her 70s, finding a way to share this information with the world and live life as her true self.

If you’ve already watched this show, then you know that Maura’s journey has not been an easy one. Transparent does a remarkable job of bringing us inside Maura’s experience while at the same time allowing us to see the unique way that each member of her family processes her news. Particularly moving is the revelation—shared through a series of flashbacks—that Mort’s ex-wife, Shelly (a brilliant Judith Light), has known his secret for decades. The state of their current relationship is one of the more poignant aspects of the season.

There is so much still to be uncovered in this deeply complex family. The end of season one left me eager for more. Here are six things I’d love to see happen on the upcoming second season of Transparent:

6. More insight into of how Maura’s secret has affected her family

One of the most interesting flashback sequences of the first season revealed to us that Maura allowed Ali, her then-13-year-old daughter, to cancel her own bat mitzvah. Though Maura framed this as an opportunity to empower Ali, Maura really did this so she would be free to attend a weekend getaway for cross-dressers. Through Maura’s eyes we understand that it was the first opportunity she’d ever had to be open and honest about who she was. But the flip side is that, for completely selfish reasons, she let her young daughter make a major life decision that she ultimately regretted. What else did Maura do back when she was suffering as Mort that has had lasting repercussions for her family?

5. Deeper exploration of the differences between cross-dressing and transgenderism

When Maura attended her weekend at camp, she was so relieved to be dressed as Maura. She was, for the first time, in (semi-)public as herself. That freedom was quickly tarnished, however, when she heard her fellow campers speaking harshly against a woman who had brought hormones with her to camp. These men did not refer to themselves as women, as Maura longed to do. Rather, they called themselves “men in skirts.” Their masculinity was still important to them; their desire to wear dresses did not diminish their male identities. This confused Maura, who thought she had finally found people who were like her. Hopefully season two will explore more of these confusing moments and give us more insight into the different ways that people experience gender.

4. Real look at Josh’s sexual past and how it impacts his behavior

So much of the commentary on Transparent categorizes Maura’s son Josh (Jay Duplass) as an asshole. It is understandable; he treats women terribly, he is immature, and he is erratic. But this unattractive behavior comes from somewhere. A key component to understanding this character is recognizing the very disturbing reality of his history with Rita, his former babysitter. Season one has only just begun to scratch the surface of how that relationship affected Josh, and I am hopeful that season two will delve deeper into it—especially now that his teenage son with Rita has been thrown into the mix.

3. More realistic B-plots

One of the biggest criticisms I have of Transparent is the lack of attention paid to some of the non-Maura arcs. Specifically, Maura’s daughter Sarah’s (Amy Landecker) shift from being married to Len to living with Tammy was jarring. On the one hand, the fluidity with which Sarah moved from a relationship with a man to a relationship with a woman was refreshing and honest. The fact that there was no discussion with her children, however, was bothersome—not because she used to be married to a man and now she is with a woman, but because she used to be married to their father and now she isn’t. That kind of major life change requires at least some conversation. If there is no time for it onscreen, then making at least some reference to that coversation would be helpful.

2. Maura’s friends

Early on in their relationship, Davina tells Maura not to expect her family to stick around once she’s been honest with them. It is a devastating reality that, for members of the trans community, coming out often means losing many important relationships. However, something beautiful is also happening: Maura is making new friends. She is branching out and trying new things, and while her old life struggles to make room for her, her new life is just beginning. It would be wonderful to see more of these women in season two, and perhaps learn a bit more about their stories as well.

1. Sibling time

The dynamic between Maura’s three children is one of the best parts of Transparent. They are three unique individuals who live their lives in distinctly different ways, yet there are similarities that make it clear that they are related. Their simultaneous love for and frustration with each other is precisely what makes sibling interactions so complex. Their ability to forget whatever tiff they’re in the middle of to deal with something more pressing is exactly what brothers and sisters do. Thus, the scenes when all three of the Pfefferman children (Duplass, Landecker, and Gaby Hoffman) share the screen are some of the most fun and enjoyable moments of a very fun and enjoyable show.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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