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Fed's Review of FX's "Pretty/Handsome"

From Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy comes a new drama pilot based on the life of a family man who realizes he's a transsexual and opts for gender reassignment surgery. "Pretty/Handsome" stars Joseph Fiennes ("Shakespeare in Love") as Bob, Carrie-Anne Moss ("Matrix" Trilogy) as Elizabeth, Blythe Danner ("Huff") as Bunny, and Robert Wagner ("Two and a Half Men') as Scotch.

FX has done it again, my dear readers. They have continued to raise the bar on their original programming and brought us something fresh and original. "Pretty/Handsome" is definitely something unique, it most certainly does not fall into the typical cookie-cutter drama that most of the networks churn out season after season. The show centers around Bob, an upscale Gynecologist in an ultra-conservative, very wealthy New England town. As Bob puts it, most of the women in his practice "voted for Bush, all four times." Did you catch the names of Bob's parents? Bunny and Scotch? So you can imagine how hard it must be for Bob to come to terms with his gender issues. His struggles are really put to the test when a transsexual man who used to be a woman visits his practice seeking a full time ob/gyn. Bob visits with the man and his trans-gender spouse in their home and his personal struggles really begin to surface. Later on in the show, Bob uses the cover of a Halloween party to dress up as a woman to test the waters and he sees just where his family and friends stand on the matter.

And Bob certainly isn't the only one in his family with problems. Bob's wife has struggled with marital emptiness from her distant husband, she even finds herself seeking comfort in the arms of a very inappropriate suitor. Bob's high school son is expected to continue the greatness of his family name but has personal issues of his own with his girlfriend. Bob's younger son is a prodigy, attending high school at the age of ten, who desperately wants to grow up and fit in with his peers. The young lad makes such a huge mistake chatting online with strangers that I'm thinking about never letting my kids sit in front of a computer with an internet connection. Bob's parents live in an empty marriage. Suffice it say, I'm always a sucker to see just how flawed and human the tightly wound, ultra-conservative, judgemental, "better half" of society really lives behind closed doors.

The show is solid all the way around, the production value is visually appealing, the acting is very strong, and the writing is of course unique and grabs hold of you. I was impressed by the fact that the minor storylines had me just as interested as the main ones.

Bottom line: Very impressive show. You should give it a try. If FX has impressed you in the past with at least half of their original programming, "Pretty/Handsome" should deliver. For a show to be Season Pass-worthy on my DVR speaks volumes from this blogger.

"Pretty/Handsome" premieres this fall on FX

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