I'll be the first to admit I am not really a TV person and love bragging about how I don't even have cable, but my goodness! There sure are a lot of shows out right now that I am obsessed with. Let me start by telling you about Transparent on Amazon.
The show premiered on September 26, so I hope you've all seen it by now. Can we talk about how good it is? I binge watched it in nearly one sitting (actually, I would have sat through the five hours of it, but had plans to go see Boyhood with a friend that night. Yes, that was an insane amount of screen time for me that day. But that's another story...)
I guess I'll start off by addressing the criticism the show has received. The big one being that the character of Maura is played by a cisgender actor, not a trans one. While I completely understand that that's a huge missed opportunity, there are plenty of other really intelligent blog pieces on that (here, here and here.) So I'll just tell you about all the stuff I love about it.
1. The complicated family life
The Pfefferman's are a pretty dysfunctional bunch, but sorta in the best way possible. As the show progresses, we learn about family secrets and lies, and yet, they are still close and really love one another. The children are pretty selfish, but that's also kinda refreshing to see because no one is perfect. I like how despite all their imperfections, they're still a tight-knit unit. Sibling relationships are always one of my favorite dynamics to see played out on the screen and I think Transparent pretty much nails it.
2. Jeffrey Tambor as Maura. Moving on from the aforementioned miss on casting, I have to give Tambor a lot of credit here in terms of acting. I think his portrayal of Maura is just so touching and vulnerable and just, ahhh. There were so many scenes where I wanted to cry and hug Maura, mostly because her kids are kinda terrible. And yet, Maura gives them unconditional love and is a devoted parent. I have only seen Tambor in a handful of stuff and I missed the Arrested Development boat, so I didn't expect a whole lot in this show, but he has pretty much blown me away. I hope he wins every possible award for his performance. You can read more about how he prepared for the role here.
3. The music on the show. I love it so much and just when I think a scene can't get any better, an amazing song comes on. Can we talk about the first episode where Josh and Ali listen to Operator by Jim Croce? My heart nearly exploded. Flavorwire recently posted an awesome piece where they interview the show's music supervisor, Bruce Gilbert. Check it out here.
4. Carrie Brownstein as Syd. Don't have much to say here except she's awesome in everything she does, so I'd love to see her more.
5. Jill Soloway, the show's creator, is an incredible storyteller. The story is actually loosely based on her real life, as her parent came out as transgender somewhat recently. The NYT did a great write-up on Soloway and it's a fascinating read.
ALSO. No big deal guys, but I recently Instagrammed the cover of the Jim Croce album and Soloway not only regrammed it, but she is now following me! Maybe it's silly, but this totally makes me feel famous and important. I mean, right?
So yeah. Those are my thoughts on Transparent. It's by no means a perfect show, and some scenes kinda annoy me, but overall, it's definitely one of my new favorites. Please watch it so we can discuss! I'd love to hear what you think.