Transparent (TV series)

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Transparent Title Card.jpg
Created byJill Soloway
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Victor Hsu
Production location(s)Los Angeles
  • Catherine Haight
  • Annette Davey
  • David Bertman
  • Hilda Rasula
Camera setupJim Frohna
Running time27–31 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkPrime Video
Picture format4K (2.00:1 UHDTV in high dynamic range)[1][2]
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseFebruary 6, 2014 (2014-02-06) –
External links

Transparent is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Jill Soloway for Amazon Studios that debuted on February 6, 2014.[3] The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) is a trans woman named Maura.[4] Transparent's first season premiered in full on September 26, 2014,[5] the second season on December 11, 2015,[6][7] third season on September 23, 2016, and the fourth season on September 21, 2017.[8][9]

Amazon picked up the series for a fourth season ahead of the premiere of the third.[10] The fourth season premiered on September 22, 2017.[11] Shortly before the premiere, Amazon renewed the series for a fifth and final season, which ultimately took the form of a feature-length finale with the subtitle Musicale Finale.[12][13][14]

At the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, the show won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, while Jeffrey Tambor won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. This is the first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first show produced by a streaming media service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series.[15]

The series began airing on Sundance TV starting August 9, 2017.[16]

On November 19, 2017, Tambor hinted that he was leaving the show, announcing "I don't see how I can return to Transparent", after two sexual harassment allegations were made against him.[17][18] He was officially fired from Transparent on February 15, 2018.[19] Tambor's character Maura will be killed off in the fifth season.[20]


The cast of Transparent. Clockwise from top left: Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffmann

Main cast[edit]

  • Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman (born Morton Pfefferman), a retired college professor of political science at UCLA who finally opens up to her family about always identifying as a woman.
  • Amy Landecker as Sarah Pfefferman, the oldest sibling. She is married and has two children. She leaves her husband for Tammy, a woman she fell in love with in college. She is initially the most accepting of her father's transition. Kelsey Reinhardt portrays Sarah as a teenager.
  • Jay Duplass as Josh Pfefferman, the middle sibling. A successful music producer who has troubled relationships with women. He seems to have a hard time accepting his father's transition at first. Dalton Rich portrays Josh as a teenager.
  • Gaby Hoffmann as Ali Pfefferman, the youngest sibling. She is perpetually unemployed and has a tendency to be immature for her age. Hoffmann also plays Maura's mother Rose in flashbacks. Emily Robinson portrays the younger version of both characters.
  • Judith Light as Shelly Pfefferman, Maura's ex-wife and the mother of Sarah, Josh, and Ali. She has been aware of Maura's desire to express her inner femininity for years.
  • Kathryn Hahn as Rabbi Raquel Fein (recurring Seasons 1–2, main cast Season 3) Josh's ex-fiancée and rabbi at the Pfeffermans' synagogue.

Recurring cast[edit]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
110February 6, 2014 (2014-02-06) (premiere)
September 26, 2014 (2014-09-26)
210November 30, 2015 (2015-11-30) (premiere)
December 11, 2015 (2015-12-11)
310September 23, 2016 (2016-09-23)
410September 21, 2017 (2017-09-21)


Soloway felt inspired to create Transparent after their father came out as transgender.[21] They created the pilot for, which became available for free streaming and download on February 6, 2014 as part of Amazon's second pilot season.[22][23] Amazon Studios picked up the pilot for Transparent in March, 2014, ordering a ten-episode season.[24][25][26]

Tambor had previously portrayed transvestite judge Alan Wachtel on the police procedural television show Hill Street Blues in the 1980s.[27] Soloway wrote Hoffmann's role after seeing her performance on Season 3 of Louis C.K.'s show Louie.[28]

Transparent premiered all ten episodes simultaneously in late September 2014.[29] In Canada, where Amazon's video streaming service was not available, the series premiered on the Shomi platform on January 23, 2015.[30]

Religious themes[edit]

The series depicts several Jewish characters and deals with spiritually and culturally Jewish themes. Jill Soloway, the series' primary creator, is Jewish and uses Rabbi Susan Goldberg of Wilshire Boulevard Temple as a consultant for the show. They also seek advice from Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie of New York, describing him as "a God-optional patriarchy-toppling Jewish modern mind. There’s a mandate among religious and spiritual thinkers to be thinking about the binary, the gendered, the feminist, the goddess, and Amichai reminds me of that every day."[31]


Soloway has said that they hope to use the series to explore ideas of gender identity through a "wounded father being replaced by a blossoming femininity" and that they pictured Tambor as Maura when writing the character.[5]

Soloway, the writers, and the cast developed, workshopped, and rehearsed both seasons with consulting producer Joan Scheckel at Joan Scheckel Filmmaking Labs.[32]

As part of the making of the show, Soloway enacted a "transfirmative action program", whereby transgender applicants are hired in preference to cisgender ones.[25] As of August 2014, over eighty transgender people have worked on the show, including Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst who are transgender consultants and co-producers.[25][33]

In 2014, Our Lady J was chosen as the first openly transgender person to be a writer for the show.[34] All the bathrooms on set are gender-neutral.[35]

The original pilot made available in February 2014 (with Gillian Vigman in the role of Tammy) was partly reshot after the series was approved.[36]

On November 19, 2017, Tambor quit the show amidst sexual harassment allegations made against him.[37]


Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 98% (59 reviews) 91 (28 reviews)
2 98% (40 reviews) 94 (28 reviews)
3 100% (35 reviews) 90 (15 reviews)
4 90% (20 reviews) 74 (10 reviews)

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 98% based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 8.83/10. The site's consensus reads: "As much about a change in television as it is about personal change, Transparent raises the bar for programming with sophistication and sincere dedication to the human journey, warts and all." [38] On Metacritic, the first season received an average rating of 91 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[39]

Alan Sepinwall from HitFix named Transparent the best new show of the Fall 2014 season and Amazon's "most impressive volley yet".[40] He added:

"... [The] show looks gorgeous and displays an instant command of both tone and this particular pocket of life in Los Angeles; Soloway is incredibly confident in introducing us to the parts of the show that are more universally relatable (a marriage gone sour, a disappointing child), knowing that we'll then follow her into more unfamiliar territory—not just with Maura, but the many disreputable behaviors her kids get tangled up in."[40]

The second season of Transparent received a 2015 Peabody Award. The second season holds a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 9.17/10. The consensus reads: "Transparent's second season ups its dramatic stakes while retaining the poignancy and humor that have made the series such a consistently entertaining example of the best that modern serial drama has to offer."[41] On Metacritic, the second season received an average rating of 94 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[42]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 100% based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 8.44/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Uniquely its own, and compelling and poignant as ever, Transparent continues to transcend the parameters of comedic and dramatic television with sustained excellence in its empathic portrayal of the Pfefferman family."[43] while Metacritic granted the season an average rating of 90 of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[44]

International broadcast[edit]

In Australia, the first two episodes of the series premiered on the Nine Network on January 27, 2015, and all subsequent episodes premiered on streaming service Stan upon its launch.[45]

Prime Video, which was not available in Canada at the time, was launched on the Shomi platform.[46]


On December 11, 2014, the series was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best TV Comedy.[47] On January 11, 2015, Transparent won two Golden Globe awards for the first season of the series. Tambor dedicated his win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to the transgender community,[48] while Soloway dedicated their award to the memory of Leelah Alcorn.[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 4K Ultra HD Guide
  2. ^ Could 18:9 displays become the new smartphone standard?
  3. ^ "Amazon's new pilots: Which should you watch?". Entertainment Weekly. February 10, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "Amazon Has Finally Made Its House of Cards". Slate. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Prudom, Laura (July 12, 2014). "Amazon's 'Transparent' Season 1 to Debut Late September, 'Bosch' Premiering Early 2015". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  6. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (October 9, 2014). "Amazon Renews 'Transparent' For Season 2". HitFix. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Travers, Ben. "'Transparent' Season 2 (Finally) Lands Release Date; Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Soloway Preview a 'Year of Revolution'". Indiewire. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Haithman, Diane; de Moraes, Lisa (August 7, 2016). "Woody Allen Series Gets Title, Premiere Date As Part Of Amazon Fall Comedy Push". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  9. ^ Loofbourow, Lili (September 23, 2016). "In Transparent Season 3, A Fragile Family Gropes for a New Identity". The Week. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (May 31, 2016). "'Transparent' Renewed For Season 4 By Amazon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "Transparent: Season 4 Premiere Date Set, Show Slams Trump's Military Ban". TVLine Media. July 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "'Transparent' Renewed for Season 5". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  13. ^ Lawrence, Derek (May 7, 2018). "Transparent to End with Fifth Season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (June 5, 2019). "Transparent Musicale Finale: First Trailer Teases Maura's Death, Epic Performance by Judith Light — Watch". TVLine. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  15. ^ " Announces Fourth Quarter Sales Up 15% to $29.33 Billion" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. January 29, 2015.
  16. ^ " original series Transparent coming to Sundance TV" (XBRL). Sundance. April 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "Jeffrey Tambor Exits 'Transparent' After Sexual Harassment Allegations". Deadline Hollywood. November 19, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "Jeffrey Tambor Officially Dropped From 'Transparent' in Wake of Harassment Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Jeffrey Tambor Officially Dropped From 'Transparent' in Wake of Harassment Claims The Hollywood Reporter, February 15, 2018
  20. ^
  21. ^ Wilson, Stacey (December 17, 2014). "'Transparent' Boss Reveals the Moment She Decided to Make a Show About a Transgender Parent". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  22. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (February 15, 2014). "Interview: 'Transparent' creator Jill Soloway discusses her Amazon pilot". HitFix. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  23. ^ Lyons, Margaret (February 13, 2014). "Talking to Jill Soloway About Her Wonderful Amazon Pilot, Transparent". Vulture. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 12, 2014). "Four Amazon Pilots Go To Series, 1 On Hold". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (August 29, 2014). "Can Jill Soloway Do Justice to the Trans Movement?". The New York Times. NY Times Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  26. ^ Willmore, Alison (February 7, 2014). "Why 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Feels the Amazon Pilot Process is 'Revolutionary'". Indiewire. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  27. ^ Burlingame, Jon (April 11, 1990). "'Wiseguy' uncorks a rousing season finale". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  28. ^ Katz, Jessie (March 11, 2014). "Pret-a Reporter: Dynamic Duos: Jill Soloway and Gaby Hoffmann are Ready to Inhabit Your Brain". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  29. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 12, 2014). "Amazon's 'Transparent' Season 1 to Debut Late September, 'Bosch' Premiering Early 2015". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  30. ^ "TV series Transparent coming to Shomi". Toronto Star, January 12, 2015.
  31. ^ Klein, Amy (September 2016). "Jill Soloway on Jews and 'Transparent'". Hadassah Magazine. Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  32. ^ Valentini, Valentina I. "Shooting 'Transparent': From Rehearsal to Lenses to Intimate Family Drama". Indiewire. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  33. ^ ROCHLIN, MARGY (November 27, 2015). "In 'Transparent', a Heroine Evolves Further Still". New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  34. ^ Dawn Ennis. "'Transparent' Creator on Show's First Trans Writer". Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  35. ^ Martin, Denise (September 2, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann on Girls, Growing Up in '80s New York, and Her Amazon Show Transparent". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  36. ^ ""Transparent" Original pilot". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  37. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (November 19, 2017). "Jeffrey Tambor Exits Transparent, Slams 'Politicized Atmosphere' on Set". TVLine. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  38. ^ "Transparent: Season One". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  39. ^ "Transparent: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  40. ^ a b Sepinwall, Alan (September 24, 2014). "Review: Amazon's 'Transparent' clearly the best new show of the fall". HitFix. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  41. ^ "Transparent: Season Two". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  42. ^ "Transparent: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  43. ^ "Transparent: Season 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  44. ^ "Transparent – Season 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  45. ^ Knox, David (January 20, 2014). "Airdate: Transparent". TV Tonight. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  46. ^ "'Transparent' debuts in Canada as top series on shomi". Global News. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  47. ^ "Golden Globe Nominations: Birdman, Boyhood and Imitation Game Lead Film - Variety". Variety.
  48. ^ "Jeffrey Tambor Dedicates Best Actor Win For 'Transparent' To The Transgender Community". The Huffington Post.
  49. ^ "'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Dedicates Best Comedy Series Win To Leelah Alcorn". The Huffington Post.

External links[edit]