If you spend all your time on the Internet obsessively reading thought-pieces about shows that don’t seemed to be watched by many people not writing about them, as I do, you’ll have heard of Transparent by now. Everyone loves it! They all say you need to watch it, ASAP! They are not wrong!
The one episode of the original Amazon series, which has been released as part of their “Pilot Season” along with nine other programs, is being called the streaming service’s answer to Netflix’s House of Cards. (By which I think they mean “It’s really good,” because the two shows have literally nothing else in common.)
So even though the show has only been out (for free!) for about a week now, I’ve had enough friends badgering me about how amazing it was that I still feel like I’m coming in late to the game. But they were right, I was wrong (or late): Transparent is incredible. Here are the five reasons you need to just plug in your headphones and watch it now, if you haven’t done so already.
1. It stars all your favorite people: Jeffrey Tambor! Gaby Hoffmann! (Admit it, you miss Caroline on GIRLS.) Jay Duplass! (Otherwise known as the hotter Duplass.) Amy Landecker! Someone who, from a wide-shot, looks like it may be Natasha Lyonne! If you’re a fan of indie actors, this is a no-brainer. The cast plays dysfunctional siblings Josh, Ali, and Sarah, whose father Mort (Tambor) walks around his house in Los Angeles like a somnambulist with a secret. Sarah (Hoffmann) is a depressed slob who wants her trainer to “punish” her, Ali is a former lesbian currently married to Rob Huebel, Josh is the photographer who is having too much sex with models. I mean, already, what’s not to love.
2. It’s written by the woman who wrote all of the Claire scenes for Six Feet Under: Jill Soloway is the best. If you haven’t seen her other work–The United States of Tara and Afternoon Delight–then you are very, very late to the Soloway bus. Toot toot! Last chance! All aboard!
3. It’s actually going somewhere: We should have a separate category for shows like Louie and GIRLS, which, while great, stake their reputations on the fact that nothing ever really happens to them. Transparent, for the first half, sort of meanders around that territory–selfish, older children of a depressed single parent! Look at how neurotic they all are! Watch them yell at each other about cancer with barbecue sauce on their faces!–but by the reveal at the end shows that this show has just been toying with its navel-gazing ennui. There’s actually something going on here, which is nice, for a change.
4. This shot:
5. It feels like Amazon’s first real attempt to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu in original content: Sorry Alpha House! But you’ll know the difference when you see it. Transparent is quality programming that Amazon could do well by investing in. As evidenced by the fact that everyone is telling you how much you have to watch it. (Re: Must-see TV.)
Oh yeah, here’s the link. Enjoy!