Amazon Has a Bona Fide Hit with “Transparent”

There are plenty of times where “the critics” and I don’t agree on things.

Happily, this is not one of them.

Amazon’s Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) and created by Chicago-native Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under), is every bit as good as it’s 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes suggests.

Transparent revolves around a dysfunctional (though what does that even mean anymore?) LA-based family and the revelation that their father (played by Tambor) is transgender. The dramedy is more drama than laugh-out-loud funny (as Six Feet Under fans are used to)– but, there are some genuinely hilarious scenes, mostly featuring Gaby Hoffman (Ali, the youngest of Tambor’s character’s three kids) and Judith Light (Who’s the Boss).

While some (including Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan) have criticized Amazon for using a transgender character to compete with Netflix, as a fan of both these web-only shows, I just don’t see it. While I doubt anyone can deny that Laverne Cox’s work on Orange has cast a spotlight on the transgender community, I’m not certain that Amazon wouldn’t have gone-ahead with Transparent without her starring on the Netflix show first.

Comparisons aside, Transparent is an entertaining half-hour of television; Tambor is a brilliant actor (as Arrested fans can attest), and watching his character “transform” into a woman, with three, dare-I-say, spoiled rotten kids to boot, is worthwhile Fall viewing for an older audience. Note, Transparent isn’t exactly kid-friendly– not because of the transgendered theme, mind you, because that alone is nothing to keep children away from IMO; but, the show does have an abundance of sex scenes throughout.

With only ten episodes, Transparent covers some solid ground in the first season; luckily for us fans, Amazon has already announced the show has been picked up for a season 2, to air in 2015.

Transparent is an exclusive for Amazon Prime subscribers. Don’t have Amazon Prime? The company is offering a $3, 30-day membership here.

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