When Amazon Studios unveiled its new pilots in February, one stood out as a promising potential series for not only the streaming service, but for all TV in general.
"Transparent," created, directed and written by Jill Soloway ("Six Feet Under") follows Mort (Jeffrey Tambor), who is undergoing his transition to becoming Maura and attemps to reveal his new identity to his self-occupied children, played by Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker. The pilot was picked up to series by Amazon and the show is currently filming. Soloway and the cast appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday, July 12, to reveal some new things about the show. This is everything we know so far:
All 10 half-hour episodes will be released at once in September. Watch out Netflix; Amazon will pose some serious competition. All 10 episodes of "Transparent" will be released at once for your binging pleasure in just a couple months.
Gillian Vigman's role was recast. In the pilot, Vigman played Tammy, the ex-girlfriend of Sarah (Landecker). Soloway said at the press tour that since Vigman is "super duper pregnant" they had to recast her with Melora Hardin from "The Office." Her scenes have been reshot. Here's the new Tammy and Sarah:
Carrie Brownstein will play Gaby Hoffmann's best friend. We don't think there could be a better casting match for Hoffmann's onscreen BFF, much less for the series in general, than Carrie Brownstein. The "Portlandia" actress reportedly joined the show last month in the role of Syd.
Kathryn Hahn will appear as a rabbi.
Jay Duplass originally turned down the part of Josh. The writer, director, actor said at the TCA panel that he was at first just helping Soloway cast the role of Josh. When she said she wanted him, he said no to the part, but once he did a reading he said it was the "most natural and freeing" experience he's ever had in film and TV.
Jeffrey Tambor is the only Jewish cast member. "Transparent" may be about a Jewish family, but Saturday's panel revealed that Tambor's the only Jewish one in real life.
According to Soloway, "there has never been a Jewier Transier show on television."
Soloway wants to subvert the Disney trope of a parent dying. The death of a parent is a big theme in Disney movies, but Soloway's idea for "Transparent" was driven from her desire to subvert this with a new concept: the birth of a new parent. "The idea of replacing a wounded father by blossoming femininity would be an interesting source of comedy," Soloway said.
The series isn't low-budget. Soloway said that the budget for "Transparent" was bigger than what she's gotten for some films. The cast also mentioned that their salaries are equal to what they'd be on a network show. Soloway also described it as more of an indie film than a web series.