This Show Is, at Last, Amazon's Winner

Willa Paskin loves 'Transparent'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2014 12:43 PM CST

(Newser) – Amazon has had some success with its original programming, but it hadn't hit on its version of, say, Netflix's House of Cards—until now, with new pilot Transparent. Netflix long ago learned what Willa Paskin at Slate calls "the House of Cards precept": It doesn't matter how original and fresh your programming is, you need to give viewers a show "that looks like one they already happily pay for"—something a viewer could easily imagine being on HBO. "Amazon has finally made one of those."

Transparent stars Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light as the divorced parents of Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker, "a cast that makes for as good company as it sounds like it should." By the end of the pilot, Paskin was "completely invested" in the characters, who are all "hiding feelings they only think they are hiding." This is one of those shows that will probably have as many "think pieces" written about it as it has viewers, she quips, but "as Netflix has demonstrated, in this brave new TV world, it doesn't matter what the ratings are ... so long as a company gets the right people on Twitter chattering about the addictive properties of one of its shows." Click for Paskin's full piece.

Jeffrey Tambor is shown in a scene from Transparent.
Jeffrey Tambor is shown in a scene from "Transparent."   (Amazon.com)
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