Amazon Studios’ new television series, Transparent, is the story of a father revealing his true self as a woman to his three adult children. Creator and director, Jill Soloway, brought the production to life from inspiration of her own “trans-parent” and states that the show is more than just a source of entertainment, it is a civil rights movement in its own light.
Renown actor, Jeffery Tambor, carries Transparent as the patriarch of the Pfefferman family. Beginning the series as Mort, Tambor’s character transitions into Maura Pfefferman as she learns to accept herself for who she deems she was always meant to be. The struggle furthers when Maura is faced with the challenge of revealing herself to her children. Amy Landecker plays Sarah, the eldest child with a family of her own whose marriage is failing and causes her to yearn for fiery passion once again. Jay Duplass plays Josh, the middle child, who is an extremely successful record producer, but lacks the ability to become emotionally intimate with a mate. Gaby Hoffman plays Ali, the youngest, who never seems to land on her feet and is in constant need of a handout.
Director Jill Soloway created the idea for Amazon’s Transparent when her own father came out to her as transgender. The series is a reflection of Soloway’s own life in a sense. The creator was thrilled when Amazon Studios agreed to take the project on, as she stated on multiple occasions that this is a story that has never been seen before on television. Soloway expresses the lack of acceptance society still tends to have towards LGBT community members, the transgender individuals, in particular. With Amazon bringing the transgender community to the featured limelight, Soloway believes a movement has begun.
A civil rights movement sounds very extreme when talking in the sense of a television series, but when a character that has always been seen as the joke, featured player, or at most, the sidekick, becomes the leading figure in a mainstream source of media, there is more movement happening than one would think. Amazon’s production in conjunction with Soloway’s vision presents a very feel-good, indie-like style of “dramedy” that anyone of any background can relate to and find enjoyment in.
With a statement as strong as Transparent, the use of Amazon Prime as an outlet for viewing television may become more popular as the production continues to expand. The likes of Halle Berry’s Extant have drawn a sizable crowd away from their Netflix accounts for the time being to check out what is going on in the world of Amazon Prime. Transparent, like Extant and other popular series such as Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards is available to stream online at Amazon Prime only, as opposed to a cable or network provider. Soloway may consider herself very lucky for Amazon to pick up the series, as one anticipates the great move of television to the internet to happen sooner than later.
Amazon’s Transparent is a new type of media that has great potential to begin a new stage of a civil rights movement for the LGBT community. The entire first season will be available for streaming on September 26 exclusively on Amazon Prime. The trailer for the series can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier