Culture / Media

Nothing Opaque About Transparent

After suffering through the last season of The Fosters, ABC Family’s Little House on the Prairie treatment of parenting while gay, I was desperate to watch a queer series about queers and families made for grown ups. In other words, I wanted to see some boobs! No, that’s not really what I meant …. to say out loud. In other words, I wanted believable characters and nuanced plot lines and funny dialogue that was not taken out of my father’s shoebox full of cliché one-liners. I had often wondered what The Fosters would have looked like if HBO got a hold of it. I got one better – Amazon.

Amazon put a bunch of pilots out to a vote earlier this year to determine which shows to produce and discovered a clear winner in Jill Soloway’s (Six Feet Under & United States of Tara) Transparent. The pilot is available here, and the series launches on September 26th.

Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort/Maura, a divorced father of three adult children who is working towards coming out to them as transgender. While the show’s title implies a focus on Maura, it’s clear within the first few minutes of the pilot that Soloway uses all her characters to explore the complexities and struggles with gender, sexuality, and relationships.

Daughter Sarah is married to Len, and they have two children together, but when Sarah runs into her college lady-lover Tammy (Melora Hardin), we wonder how committed Sarah is to the life she has created for herself. Josh (Jay Duplass) and Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) are Sarah’s twin brother and sister who are looking for love in all the wrong places. Judith Light plays their mother and Mort’s ex-wife whose current husband Ed is dealing with early onset dementia.

The difference between The Fosters and Transparent is that I can see a part of myself in every Transparent character whereas I am nowhere to be found in any of the Adams-Fosters, not even in the hot gay moms… And also there are, in fact, boobs…and booty… and even bush. Big bush. But mostly there are deliciously flawed characters: parents, children, spouses, and partners all searching for love and validation. Based on Soloway’s track record and the pilot, I’m more than cautiously optimistic about this one. There will definitely be some binge watching in my future.

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4 Comments

  1. It’s on my calendar. Thanks!

  2. And…. now I watch the pilot. Thanks for telling me!

  3. I’m dying to see this. But what do I gotta do to get it? I know it has something to do with amazon prime…but I have to watch it on my phone??? Help.
    Signed,
    Meshugah in Maplewood

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