This is how the Pfeffermans say goodbye – in bold, brazen, unabashed style … with show tunes.
After a life-changing loss, the family goes on a journey of grieving and forgiveness, learning how to come together again and, despite everything, to celebrate life.
This time, it’s Shelly the matriarch’s turn in the spotlight – after four seasons of living in Maura and her children’s shadow, now is her time to shine. As The Guardian writes: “What begins as hand-over-mouth hilarious ends as a howl of pain at a mother’s sacrifice until, with tears in her eyes and throat, Shelly (Judith Light, who deserves every award going) whisper-sings: ‘I don’t know boundaries / Never knew I should have them / So how could I know yours?’ Tragicomedy, as only the greatest musicals can sing it.”
Dubious about the move from a comedy-drama series to a feature-length musical? The Guardian goes on to say, “As for the genre shift, Transparent was always a musical without songs when it came to tone. The hysteria that loving and dysfunctional families induce in us has always been its emotional high note, so it feels entirely normal for Sarah, Josh and Ari (who has transitioned from Ali) to break into song after [loss]. ‘What the fuck?’ ‘What the fuck?’ ‘What the actual fucking fuck?’ they sing, one by one, charging down the family stairs. It’s neither toe-tapping stuff nor delivered with Broadway polish, but it is spot-on.”
If you loved and grieved for Transparent after Season 4, and if you adore musicals, or, frankly, if you’re keen on really good TV, you can’t miss this one.
IMDB rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%