Since its creation in 2014, the Amazon series Transparent has been praised for its representation of transgender characters in a time when trans representation was hard to come by. A 2016 review from The New Yorker called the show “a TV series that makes revolutionary art seem both irresistible and inevitable.” Vulture described the show as “damn near perfect.” The show has a 98% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has won 8 Emmy Awards and 2 Golden Globes.
However, Transparent became a center for controversy when the show’s lead actor, Jeffrey Tambor, was fired in 2018. Tambor, who played Maura, the transgender matriarch of the show’s cast, was dropped from the show after sexual harassment claims from fellow cast member Trace Lysette, accusations which Tambor himself denies. Additionally, Tambor’s cast-mates from one of his previous shows, Arrested Development, described Tambor as verbally abusive in a New York Times profile in 2018. Because of his past behavior, Tambor will not be present in the Transparent finale.
Rather, the musical finale of the award-winning show will follow the rest of the family as they process Maura’s death. An advance review from Robyn Bahr for The Hollywood Reporter gives a glimpse as to what this finale special will look like. The reviewer notes that “the conceit of Maura’s death would have made a poignant denouement, but the musical element completely frustrates the storytelling.” Bahr goes on to point out some of the moment in the special that hit an uncomfortable note, and calls the whole special “hastily composed” and a “cringey Brady Bunch parody”. Bahr concludes by stating that “the Soloways [the show’s creators] have just lovingly crammed too much in here.”
Amazon Prime publicized the musical finale of Transparent on Twitter last July. You can view the tweet, along with a teaser for the special, below. Transparent: Musicale Finale will premiere on Amazon Prime on September 27th.
— Amazon Prime Video US (@PrimeVideo) July 27, 2019