Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Do you have Amazon Prime? Then watch Transparent.
Do you not have Amazon Prime?
Then get Amazon Prime here.
And then watch
In case you do not know, and most people do, but I may as well tell you: For 99 bucks a year, you get all your Amazon stuff shipped to you for free, two-day. And, you get all the Amazon Entertainment that is free, for free.
Transparent is a free one. Ten episodes. Gulp them down over a weekend.
Created by my sort-of friend Jill Solloway--I used to do Sit N' Spin in LA with her--Jill has done something wonderful here and I would like you to watch it.
I give away very little when I tell you the father of Transparent, played by the brilliant Jeffrey Tambor, has decided in his 70s to follow his true nature and live full time as a woman. Then, it's pretty much Jewish King Lear, with the three horrible kids vying for the spoils of an upcoming very fancy house sale. (What, No Cordelia? Ah, modern times.) Sure, I just summed it all up, too much. But honeys...it's all in the playing. And the playing here is amazing.
These smart yet clueless people are doing the best they can. They are ill-formed and need each other desperately to finish up the baking of their personalities. It's a slow burn shit show. Funny. And sad. And nothing beats watching Jeffrey Tambor become the woman he was meant to be.
Friends, it is time to get behind the Trans beings of this world. They are as real and wanting as you, me and the Mormon next door.
The three actors playing the three grown children, well, all of them hit their marks brilliantly, with the right tone.
The ex-wife of the father, played by Judith Light, is a bit cliche, but I bet she is modeled on someone who is a cliche. Plus, Judith eats the scenery. In this case, a large stainless refrigerator in a large white kitchen in a weird condo in the Marina.
Jill wrote and directed most episodes. The ones she did not write stay within the tone, spot on.
I love this show. Not every bit of it. And certainly not the final episode. Come on, Jill!
But you will see things here that are so human and funny and real, it can only happen when some new entity like Netflix or Amazon Prime says to an executive producer of a show: Go for it. We don't have any notes for you.
And what do you get when you don't get notes? You get incredible human originality. In this case it is Jill Solloway's. And it is non-cynical. It is reaching for the truth about what it is to be a human being facing your hellish self, hellish others, love and death.
You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wish you were a trans retired Jewish professor.
Tell your friends.
And Jill, give me a job.