A show whose politics are as progressive as Transparent always confronts the potential for indulgence. The showrunners’ own progressiveness can blind them. They can fall into a self-congratulatory hole, where once they dare to be politically savvy, they don’t bother to dare anymore. But Transparent, whose subject matter really is as progressive as they come, never stops daring. Rather than offering flat characters solely defined by their marginalization, we are given real people who struggle with their identity and who, like all of us, often feel unfulfilled, question themselves, and fear the future.
Why aren’t we seeing movies about growing up in the twenty first century? Has film lost its ability to convey a collective experience? How does film hold up in an age of television and Internet? Rebecca, Ryohei, and Parth ponder the fate of traditional coming-of-age films and where the genre might be headed in the future.