'Six Feet Under' vet talks gender identity, Jewishness and the Amazon process
[Warning: Read this interview after you've watched Jill Soloway's Amazon pilot "Transparent." It discusses the "surprise" of the pilot. Really, you can watch and enjoy the half-hour family comedy knowing the surprise, but if you like being 100 percent unspoiled, just check out the pilot and then come back.]
Usually there's a finite number of things to discuss when it comes to a half-hour comedy, but I probably had enough questions for "Transparent" writer-director Jill Soloway to fill an hour.
"Transparent" has been generally hailed as the cream of Amazon's most recent crop of pilots, which dropped last week. As with the first round of pilots, which yielded series orders for "Alpha House" and "Betas," Amazon is letting viewers watch all of the pilots and then weigh in with their feelings. That public sentiment will then factor into the decision-making process for the website.
So far so good, then, for "Transparent," the story of a dysfunctional group of siblings (played by Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) who are about to learn that their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) is actually Moira, a trans woman.
Soloway, a "Six Feet Under" and "United States of Tara" veteran, has layered the pilot with sometimes sensitive, sometimes trenchant (sometimes both at once) observations about gender identity, sexuality, family ties, religion and Los Angeles. It's a pilot with a lot on its mind and a pilot that finds itself in the middle of a much bigger societal conversation.
I only got to the tip of those conversations, so you'll have to watch "Transparent" and rank it highly so that I can broach some more topics with Soloway after Amazon picks up a full season. Future topics will have to include the punny title, Gaby Hoffman's comeback, LA's East Side and more. But we covered some good ground.
Click through for the full Q&A...