Transparent: Pilot
September 27, 2014 1:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

An LA family with serious boundary issues have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone's secrets to spill out. Starring Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffmann.
posted by iamkimiam (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, good. I was going to post a Talk about this because I want to follow it but I'm not sure I'm the best person to post about it -- I have very little identification with the genderqueer side of things and mainly I'm grooving on the acting and writing.

There seem to be a lot of really positive press responses about this show, with some calling it basically Amazon's breakout moment, from the second pilot "season" premiered earlier this year. (Interestingly, one of the actors needed to be replaced; Gillian Vigman got "very pregnant" and was replaced by Melora Hardin, best known from The Office. Another oddity is that this is digital content, so the reshot footage with Hardin is already the only one you can see.)

The creator is Jill Soloway, a veteran of Six Feet Under and other shows, who had a similar experience with her own father coming out as transgender. (This is barely a spoiler. The show isn't about plot or drama but emotions and relationships.) Tambor is simply amazing, taking on the role of a lifetime with an emotional depth you probably didn't expect if you know him as Hank or George. He's done a lot of prep work with TG advisors, some of whom I believe are shown in the group session. He and Hoffman also have some really great chemistry, portraying an intimacy and emotional compatibility that is very convincing. Landecker is also terrific, breaking out of her soccer mom persona (e.g. from Enough Said) by playing a soccer mom who is literally breaking out of her persona. Duplass I don't know (I know his brother though), but all three of Tambor's "kids" are great at showing a family with history and in-jokes and running quirks that drive each other a bit crazy. (It's also being touted as a superior depiction of Jewish life in California.) You also probably won't believe how good Judith Light is portraying the mother. But really, this show's bar is set by Tambor and Hoffman, who is fearless, as some of her other work will tell you.
posted by dhartung at 4:09 PM on September 27, 2014

I'm not sure where to put this comment (and can't find the relevant info anywhere), so my apologies if inappropriate here… Am I responsible for creating the other episode threads, since I kicked this pilot thread off?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:55 AM on September 28, 2014

I just finished the entire season, so I don't want to spoil anything. But I loved it. The pilot is a very good introduction to the season.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2014

Tambor is transplendent.
posted by kinetic at 12:42 PM on September 28, 2014

I'm not sure where to put this comment (and can't find the relevant info anywhere), so my apologies if inappropriate here… Am I responsible for creating the other episode threads, since I kicked this pilot thread off?

Nope, but if you (or anyone else) wanted to post the remaining 9 episodes at once, I think there would be general support for the idea, given that's what mathowie did with Orange is the New Black, more or less (Season 2 Episodes 1-6 were up in a scatter-shot pattern, and then Matt posted 7-13 at once).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 AM on September 29, 2014

I liked the pilot. The acting was good. The dialog was convincing. The cast has good chemistry with each other and resonates as family.

I'm a little worried about the actual plot. The infidelity, selfish kids, coming out story didn't spark for me as super compelling. I mean, it's great if we end up getting a compelling trans woman character out of this show but just in terms of plot arc, I wonder what they're going to do with it.
posted by latkes at 3:12 PM on September 29, 2014

Mod note: it'd be best to do each episode as a new post if you want to discuss the rest of the series. If they all go up in quick succession, we can do a Netflix-style dump of them all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:00 PM on October 21, 2014

I've wanted to finish making the posts, but I haven't had time to watch all of the episodes yet and so don't want to read the summaries, no matter how vague they might be. If somebody else wants to make the posts, that'd be great!
posted by iamkimiam at 2:26 PM on October 22, 2014

I just watched the pilot and am extremely taken with the show; I don't know when I'll have time to watch the whole series and generally have the same problem as iamkimiam. But if no one else has done it by the time I'm finished...which may be a while...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:16 PM on October 30, 2014

(In other words, someone else should do it. But if no one else has done it within a few weeks, I'll...probably do it?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:17 PM on October 30, 2014

We just finished episode 8. in 7 and 8 there were some things I was taken with, in particular the use of a particular Dylan song at intro and credits in 8.

The introduction of subjective in-camera for Ally's segments is cool. I'm struck by how much older than her character the actress playing her is and wonder if that's a deliberate choice. Whatever, I'm cool with it.

Josh seems like a pop-lit stock character, the oversexed nebbish, from Roth and Allen and even Junot Diaz, that I have to say fails to hook me in all his incarnations, possibly the character's point in all his incarnations.

I think maybe the show is going to be difficult to talk about, not least because of the all-at-once presentation.
posted by mwhybark at 8:04 PM on November 10, 2014

I just binge watched the whole series. I hate ALL the characters (except maybe the security guards) but every time I stopped watching I spent the next few hours wondering what happened next.

On a more meta level, what is the deal with watching endlessly unlikeable, narcissistic people interact? There are dozens of movies featuring this dynamic. Did it start with Woody Allen or were there people doing it before him? I thought it was an east coast thing, but this show is in LA.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:33 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Is anyone else still watching this? I just started and am a few episodes in. Should I put up posts for all the other episodes?
posted by Jacqueline at 8:00 PM on January 5, 2015

are there more episodes past the first season? or do you mean more of the episodes of the first season? Due to binge watching, all the episodes are blurred into one big one in my brain.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2015

I meant the rest of the first season. I checked with Matt and put them up and he consolidated them.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Jacqueline. I'd been meaning to do that for ages, but been too busy.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:27 AM on January 10, 2015

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