I’m high but I’m grounded
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby

Life is complicated. It’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans. And it’s rare you see it encapsulated on screen.

Tears are in my eyes, I just finished the third season of “Transparent,” if it were on HBO it would be bigger news, but stuck behind the paywall of Amazon Prime it gets accolades but few views, and that’s a shame.

One of my favorite shows was “thirtysomething.” If you disagree you can tune out now, that’s fine. Kind of like friends, some get you, some don’t. But those who do make all the difference, they get you through, because lovers come and go, it’s family and friends that remain.

I started eighteen months ago, after finishing the latest season of “House Of Cards.” I wanted to do something important, I wanted to matter, I wanted my life to be one of visceral excitement, everything they do on “House Of Cards” COUNTS! And, at loose ends, trying to keep the feeling going, I pulled up “Transparent.” It took a couple of episodes to find its footing and then…

It was the opposite of “House Of Cards.” There were no big stakes, nothing mattered, other than our little lives.

When Sarah laments that she tries out for everything but is never picked… Cheerleading, student government, ultimately the synagogue board… I resonated, all my endeavors were not failures, but when you try so hard to belong and make a difference and they won’t let you it HURTS!

Forget the trans narrative. I mean don’t let that turn you off. That’s not what the show is about, that’s just the hook, the linchpin, “Transparent” is really about a family, we’ve all got one, people we rely on and despise and love all at the same time, the only ones who stick around, forever. They grew up in the same house, they have the same neuroses, and the parents of the baby boomers were just trying to get along, not get it perfect, something their progeny have been trying to right ever since even though they cannot, the truth is kids are screwed up, stuff happens, it changes your viewpoint, your life course, you’ve got to accept it and change it all at the same time.

So, Jeffrey Tambor is PHENOMENAL as the trans Maura. Even if you’re skittish with the topic, you’ll be intrigued. It’s stunning the same guy who played Hank on “Larry Sanders” can inhabit this character. And he’s on his own journey and his ex-wife Judith Light just cannot get over this fact. You place all your faith in someone, and they don’t place all their faith in you, it happens all the time.

And Sarah has everything, or does she? She rekindles a gay relationship from college and…

The youngest daughter, Ali, is lost. Birth order matters. The youngest is always the baby and this has consequences.

And in the middle is Josh, who works in the music business, successfully. You should see him negotiate for the band van, that’s how it really works, winners in the biz are rough and tumble people creating their own rules.

But everybody’s screwed up, everybody’s got more questions than answers.

As do we all.

Everybody’s putting on a brave face. Everybody’s sucking it up. Everybody’s a brand. Everybody’s on the pathway to glory. When the truth is no one really cares what happens to you and me, we live inside our heads and sometimes the world works, and then it doesn’t.

It’s fall in L.A. Even if it’s near triple digits. It reminds me of the past. Arriving here for the first time during this season. When the light is at an angle and everything is laden with meaning. You’re searching for new friends, trying to find your place, believing the destination is key when the truth is the journey is everything, because if you ever get to where you want to go the high will only last for a minute.

The holidays. The family trips. The things you don’t want to do that end up the hooks which prop up your life. They’re all here in “Transparent.”

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be freaked out, because you’ll see yourself.

You see we’re all unsure, we’ve all got more questions than answers, we’re doing out best but so often we’re failing. Am I cheap? Do I rage too much? Do I have sexual peculiarities? Can I follow through? We’ve all got an underbelly we do our best to avoid peeking at, but when we see it right in front of us we tingle with recognition and then our stomach gets queasy, do others see us this way?

Relationships come and go, because they’re hard to maintain.

What are the deal-breakers? Income? Trust? Sex?

Wish I could tell you, all I know is you know when something is over the line, when there’s no coming back from something said. Then you’re single once again, despite aching for the companionship of the person left behind.

And then there are the people who just can’t commit, who have to move on to something better. Even though their significant other is dedicated to them, through thick and thin.

And then there are those taken advantage of.

All of this is swirling around inside our heads. We’ve got no outlet for it. We’ve got to play the game, get along, at school, at work, in social situations, whereas we’re dying to tell our story, to be known, to feel so not alone.

Somehow Jill Soloway has wrapped this all up in a TV show. Given free rein by by Bezos and company she didn’t make a show to play overseas, a big tent to include everyone, rather she got personal and ended up universal.

“Transparent” is a secret hiding in plain sight.

Like all great art those who are believers will testify.

And those who are not don’t care.

But if you’re a member of my tribe…

P.S. I’m leading with “Hand In My Pocket” because it ends season three, sung slowly, with emphasis on the lyrics, it’s amazing how much wisdom the words contain, by expressing her angst, Alanis Morissette became the biggest star in the world.

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