The star of the Amazon Studios series Transparent is Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show). He plays Mort/Maura, the father of an unconventional family who comes out as transgender. Tambor is not transgender, but the show’s creator Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara) did enact a “transformative action program” on the set. She reports that “20 trans people had been hired in the cast and crew and more than 60 had been employed as extras.” All the bathrooms on the set are gender-neutral and Soloway likes to point out that on the coffee tables at work, they have a copy of Trans zine Original Plumbing as well as books like Whipping Girl
by Julia Serano.
The beauty of Transparent is that it’s not just about Maura and her journey of transformation. It’s really about Maura’s family. Her eldest daughter Sarah (Amy Landecker) is married to a man but falls back in love with her lesbian lover from college, and Maura’s son Josh (Jay Duplass) is screwing the family’s baby sitter. Transgender has the perfect balance of melancholy and comedy. Transparent was picked for a full season by Amazon Studios. It is premiering in full (ten episodes! or five hours) on September 26.