Transparent Is 'Best Show of the Year'
Jeffrey Tambor stars in Jill Soloway's new series
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 30, 2014 12:30 PM CDT
In this image released by Amazon Digital, Amy Landecker, left, and Jeffrey Tambor appear in a scene from "Transparent," a new series on Amazon Digital.   (AP Photo/Amazon Digital, Beth Dubber)

(Newser) – Critics are applauding Transparent, the new 10-episode series that's putting Amazon Prime in the spotlight. Multiple reviews call the show, which tells the story of a family whose patriarch has begun living as a woman, "transcendent": It's touching, believable, and extremely funny. Among the comments:

  • "Start hitting up your friends for that Amazon password now," writes Willa Paskin at Slate. "To call (Transparent) Amazon’s first great series, or the only great series of the new fall season—both of which are true—is to damn it with faint praise." Members of the show's Pfefferman family "are all so recognizably human, that despite their idiosyncrasies—or rather, because of them—they have the feel of archetypes, characters that dozens of other characters from here on out will be like."

  • In Time, James Poniewozik calls the show the year's best. "Transparent understands that families are not simply collections of personalities but have collective personalities themselves," he notes, and the show "often feels like it was transcribed more than written." And "did I mention that it’s freaking hilarious?"
  • "The plot has a very small footprint—it's just this family, really—but the ideas it covers are really huge," writes Margaret Lyons at Vulture, calling the show "near perfect." It's "a crystalline bird's nest, beautiful and fragile and a little bit dreamy and magical, where you hatched and from whence you're obligated to fly away."
  • In the Los Angeles Times, Mary McNamara does offer some criticism: The show's "biggest flaw is (creator Jill Soloway's) determination to give each of her children equal attention, which means everyone's in some state of crisis or another and they all talk about it way too much." But Jeffrey Tambor, in the lead role, offers "a master class in acting," and Transparent is, "quite simply, astonishing to watch."