Set deep in the heart of Brazil, September Mornings is a short and sweet series depicting the trials and tribulations of trans women. Specifically, the series centers on a woman named Cassandra who finds her life turned upside down when a face from the past appears.
Cassandra ekes out a living as a delivery courier, ferrying items around Sao Paulo. She’s shacked up with fling/boyfriend Ivaldo while spending her evenings singing. She’s just rustled up enough money to cast out on her own and begins to enjoy her newfound freedom in an apartment. What could go wrong?
Fate has a funny way of rearing its head though and it doesn’t take long before Cassandra’s past catches up with her. It turns out ten years back she had a one night stand with a woman named Leide. The result of this brought little Gersinho into the world. The trouble is, Leide is poverty-stricken and living out the back of her car.
Desperate and with nowhere else to go, she turns to Cassandra for help. After several flat-out “No thank you, see you laters” to start us off, Cassandra slowly starts to warm toward her son. It’s tough for her to acclimatize to this earth-shattering realization and those around her don’t really help matters.
There’s plenty of juxtapositions between Cassandra’s current situation and Gersinho’s isolation and the five episodes do a great capturing that around some of the more dramatic elements of the story. As one may expect, the series does dive into xenophobic attitudes towards trans.
This is especially evident early on when Leide continues to call Cassandra “he” instead of “she.” These tensions spill over in a big way late on in the season, bringing with it a messy and suitably dramatic finale.
As a slice of life drama, the show doesn’t do an awful lot different but the diverse approach to casting – especially with Liniker in the main role – helps to give this series an air of authenticity.
Ultimately, September Mornings is a show about acceptance. These themes are prevalent right the way through the story, with the second half leaning into the drama a bit more than the slow-burn opening.
While it won’t be for everyone, the series does shine a light on a topic that’s disappointingly sparse in mainstream media. It’s not perfect but the positives certainly outshine the negatives, making for a decent drama
Verdict - 7/10