Fall TV Preview: TRANSPARENT

transparent amazon

Starring: Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”), Amy Landecker (“Louie”), Jay Duplass (“The Mindy Project”), Gaby Hoffman (“Girls”) and Judith Light (“Who’s the Boss?”)

Genre: Half-hour dramedy

Premiere Date: Friday, September 26, Amazon Prime (all 10 episodes)

Direct Competition: N/A

Premise (in 140 characters or less): A transwoman (Tambor) struggles to come out to her children, who are each suffering their own identity crises.

Initial Reaction: One episode of “Transparent” just isn’t enough to decide whether I’m in it for the long haul, but there’s an intriguing foundation in place.

Conclusion: “Transparent” was developed during Amazon’s last pilot cycle, but it remains the most promising of its original programming choices. It might also amount to be the best new show of the fall, but that has yet to be seen.

Though I haven’t received additional episodes for review, I’m excited for what comes next. Creator Jill Soloway has already established one of the best casts on television here, with Landecker, Duplass and Hoffman finally getting the right kind of vehicle to showcase their talents. Each of them are well-established character actors who’ve seemed capable of so much more than they’ve been given previously, and I look forward to seeing what comes of them – and their characters – in subsequent installments.

Tambor takes on the riskiest role of his life here, a role that’s bound to be met with praise as long as the writing remains honest and sensitive to the transgender community. His monologue at the transgender support group halfway through the pilot is its most memorable, and its best acted. If Soloway can duplicate the sincerity of that moment in future episodes, we’ll all be hooked in no time.

“Orange is the New Black” put Netflix on the map, and “Transparent” appears capable of doing that same thing for Amazon.

Watch Live, DVR or Skip?: Watch this one, and give it time to grow. Episode one is available for free.

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