Amazon’s first foray into television, Transparent, looks like it will be good for the Jews, especially if it succeeds. In the first season, three self-involved, adult Jewish siblings in Los Angeles will discover that the person they know as their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) identifies, and wants to live publicly, as a woman, Maura. Tambor has plenty of experience playing patriarchs: as the head of the zany Bluth clan, he helped raise the profile of the FOX’s Arrested Development. Can he play a Jewish mother without descending into farce? Will mainstream America tune in to see?
Signs point to yes. Time calls Transparent “Fall’s best new TV show.” And show runner Jill Soloway has both experience and credibility: as an MOT (with Reboot, she founded East Side Jews), as a prize-winning writer/producer/director (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara), and as the daughter of a transgender parent who only recently came out. Though the show isn’t autobiographical, it seems to be as informed by Soloway’s experiences as the Netflix series Orange is the New Black is by Piper Kerman‘s.