Transparent (TV series)
|Created by||Jill Soloway|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Jim Frohna|
|Running time||27–31 minutes|
|Original network||Amazon Video|
|Original release||February 6, 2014 – present|
Transparent is an American comedy web television series created by Jill Soloway for Amazon Studios that debuted on February 6, 2014. The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) is transgender. Transparent's first season premiered in full on September 26, 2014, the second season on December 11, 2015. the third on September 23, 2016.
At the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, the show won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, while Jeffrey Tambor won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. This is the first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first show produced by a streaming media service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series.
- Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman (born Morton Pfefferman), a retired college professor of political science who finally opens up to her family about always identifying as a woman.
- Amy Landecker as Sarah Pfefferman, the oldest sibling. She is married and has two children. She leaves her husband for Tammy, a woman she fell in love with in college. She is initially the most accepting of her father's transition.
- Jay Duplass as Joshua "Josh" Pfefferman, the middle sibling. A successful music producer who has troubled relationships with women. He seems to have a hard time accepting his father's transition at first.
- Gaby Hoffmann as Alexandra "Ali" Pfefferman, the youngest sibling. She is perpetually unemployed and has a tendency to be immature for her age. Hoffmann also plays Maura's mother Rose in flashbacks.
- Judith Light as Shelly Pfefferman, Maura's ex-wife and the mother of Sarah, Josh, and Ali. She has been aware of Maura's desire to express her inner femininity for years.
- Kathryn Hahn as Rabbi Raquel Fein (recurring Seasons 1-2, main cast Season 3) Josh's ex-fiancé and rabbi at the Pfeffermans' synagogue.
- Melora Hardin as Tammy Cashman, Sarah's ex-flame.
- Alexandra Billings as Davina, an educator at an LGBT center and Maura's best trans friend.
- Trace Lysette as Shea, an educator at an LGBT center and one of Maura's friends.
- Kiersey Clemons as Bianca, Tammy's daughter from her first marriage.
- Rob Huebel as Len Novak, Sarah's husband and father of Zack and Ella.
- Zackary Arthur as Zack Novak, the son of Sarah and Len.
- Abby Ryder Fortson as Ella Novak, the daughter of Sarah and Len.
- Lawrence Pressman as Ed Paskowitz, Shelly's husband.
- Amin Joseph as Mike
- Emily Robinson as Teenage Ali (Season 1-present)/Young Rose (Season 2)
- Dalton Rich as Teenage Josh
- Kelsey Reinhardt as Teenage Sarah
- Alex MacNicoll as Colton, the son of Josh and Rita
- Brett Paesel as Rita, the Pfefferman kids' former babysitter and Josh's ex-flame.
- Cleo Anthony as Derek
- Carrie Brownstein as Sydney "Syd" Feldman, Ali's best friend.
- Deborah S. Craig as Kristin
- Sawyer Ever as Zack
- Bradley Whitford as Marcy (Season 1)/Magnus Hirschfeld (Season 2)
- Alison Sudol as Kaya, Josh's ex-girlfriend and ex-client.
- Cherry Jones as Leslie, an academic with whom Ali wants to study.
- Anjelica Huston as Vicki, a cisgender woman who forms a connection with Maura.
- Hari Nef as Gittel (born Gershom), Maura's great-aunt who never made it out of Berlin.
- Michaela Watkins as Connie, the wife of a crossdresser (Season 1)/Yetta, Maura's grandmother (Season 2)
- Jason Mantzoukas as Dr. Steve, the Pfefferman kids' marijuana dispenser.
- Tig Notaro as Barb, Tammy's second ex-wife.
- Jiz Lee as Pony (Season 2)
- Luzer Twersky as Mendel
- Richard Masur as Buzz, a synagogue board member
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||February 6, 2014||September 26, 2014|
|2||10||November 30, 2015||December 11, 2015|
|3||10||September 23, 2016||September 23, 2016|
Soloway created the pilot Transparent for Amazon.com, which became available for free streaming and download on February 6, 2014 and was part of Amazon's second pilot season. She was inspired by her transgender father.
The pilot for Transparent was picked up by Amazon Studios. Tambor had previously portrayed transvestite judge Alan Wachtel on the police procedural television show Hill Street Blues in the 1980s. Soloway wrote Hoffmann's role after seeing her performance on Season 3 of Louis C.K.'s show Louie.
Transparent premiered all ten episodes simultaneously in late September 2014. In Canada, where Amazon's video streaming service is not available, the series premiered on the Shomi platform on January 23, 2015.
Soloway has said that she hopes to use the series to explore ideas of gender identity through a "wounded father being replaced by a blossoming femininity" and that she pictured Tambor as Maura when writing the character.
As part of the making of the show, Soloway enacted a "transfirmative action program", whereby transgender applicants are hired in preference to cisgender ones. As of August 2014, over eighty transgender people have worked on the show, including Zackary Drucker and Rhyhs Ernst who are transgender consultants and co-producers.
In 2014, Our Lady J was chosen as the first openly transgender person to be a writer for the show. All the bathrooms on set are gender-neutral.
|1||98% (54 reviews)||91 (28 reviews)|
|2||97% (36 reviews)||94 (28 reviews)|
|3||100% (26 reviews)||90 (15 reviews)|
Transparent has received acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 98% with an average score of 8.8 out of 10 based on 54 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "As much about a change in television as it is about personal change, Transparent raises the bar for programming with sophistication and sincere dedication to the human journey, warts and all." On Metacritic, the first season received an average rating of 91 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
"... [The] show looks gorgeous and displays an instant command of both tone and this particular pocket of life in Los Angeles; Soloway is incredibly confident in introducing us to the parts of the show that are more universally relatable (a marriage gone sour, a disappointing child), knowing that we'll then follow her into more unfamiliar territory—not just with Maura, but the many disreputable behaviors her kids get tangled up in."
The second season of Transparent received even greater acclaim from critics as well as a 2015 Peabody Award. The second season holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 9.2/10. The consensus reads: "Transparent's second season ups its dramatic stakes while retaining the poignancy and humor that have made the series such a consistently entertaining example of the best that modern serial drama has to offer." On Metacritic, the second season received an average rating of 94 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Reviews for the third season have indicated similarly positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes surveyed 26 reviews and judged 100% of them to be positive. The website's critical consensus reads, "Uniquely its own, and compelling and poignant as ever, Transparent continues to transcend the parameters of comedic and dramatic television with sustained excellence in its empathic portrayal of the Pfefferman family." while Metacritic granted the season an average rating of 90 of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Amazon Video, which was not available in Canada at the time, was launched on the Shomi platform.
On December 11, 2014, the series was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best TV Comedy. On January 11, 2015, Transparent won two Golden Globe awards for the first season of the series. Tambor dedicated his win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series to the transgender community, while Soloway dedicated her award to the memory of Leelah Alcorn.
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