Everyone Is Getting “Transparent” For Free!

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Transparent’: Amazon to Stream Entire Season Free for 24 Hours.

Do you have plans this Saturday night? There’s also something hugely interesting by the democratisation of success approach that Amazon takes to its pilots – even if that has the potential to end with ‘lowest common demoniator’ shows (like Two And A Half Men) further down the line.Still on its Golden Globes high from a couple of weeks ago, Amazon wants more people to get acquainted with its half-hour dramedy about a middle-age transgender woman and her family.Amazon announced Thursday that the platform is offering all ten episodes of the series’ critically-praised debut season in celebration of its Golden Globe wins for best comedy and best actor for Jeffrey Tambor.

Transparent, Amazon’s original series starring Jeffrey Tambor as Maura, who has spent her life as the family patriarch Mort, has won critical acclaim since its debut in September. Currently, the show is available to Amazon Prime customers (who pay $99 a year for the privilege of instant video and free shipping), but the rules will loosen for one day only.

Amazon has reportedly seen viewership of its original TV series Transparent increase by 250% following its recent Golden Globe victory in both the “Best TV Series—Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series—Comedy or Musical” categories. Transparent can be streamed for free on Saturday using the Amazon Instant Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/Transparent. To celebrate, the retailer is making the show’s entire first season free to stream for customers this Saturday, in efforts to sign up new members to Prime. It follows a transgender parent (Tambor) in his quest to come out to his self-absorbed family, who (naturally) are strugglng with some secrets of their own. The first show to really make the breakthrough this way was Transparent, the wonderful Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) vehicle in which he plays Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman whose admission affects her family in different ways.

And the Seattle-based company is hoping users will be impressed enough to come back for more of it (and its other offerings): the company, also on Saturday, is making Amazon Prime available for $72–the membership usually totals $99. Tambor rightfully picked up a Golden Globe for his performance and the show itself claimed the Globe for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy – a fantastic achievement for a company which had only started making original programming two years before. In addition to its big night for “Transparent” earlier this month, Amazon also announced it plans to acquire and produce about a dozen “original, prestige” films a year. In a world overflowing with television it’s difficult to keep track of everything and shows inevitably fall through the cracks – Transparent got added to the great list of shows to catch up with later.

Considering other less-than-stellar Amazon developments this week — including the self-imposed cancellation of both Amazon Wallet and Amazon-branded diapers — Jeff Bezos could end it on a good note with a bevy of new customers. New members can sign up at Amazon.com/TransparentPrime. “We’re incredibly proud of everyone involved in the making of Transparent—the team took a risk and it paid off,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com in the release. “Big kudos and congrats to Jill, Jeffrey, and all the cast and crew.”

Drawing on her own family experiences, writer/director Jill Soloway makes an audacious debut with this bittersweet comedy, set in the suburban hell known as the San Fernando Valley. But it’s one of the new shows that has just been released which I think may move Amazon from retailer to creator in everyone’s minds – and that show is The Man In The High Castle. The pilot revolves around two characters, Juliana Crain and Joe Blake, who both end up transporting a copy of a film called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.

There had been rumours for years that the likes of BBC and SyFy would look to adapt Dick’s novel, but it says something that Amazon not only did it, but knocked it out of the park. Jill Soloway’s show tells the story of Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), a 70-year-old transgender woman coming out to her family and taking her first steps to a new life. This is not an excuse for audiences to ogle Maura but an honest, sharp-witted take on the reality of starting anew at a time when most people are winding down. That’s saying a lot coming from the man behind “Hey now” Hank Kingsley and George Bluth Sr., but his own transformation as a dramatic actor is as astonishing here as Bryan Cranston’s was from Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad.

The sponging Ali who thinks nothing of hitting her father up for cash at just the wrong time; self-obsessed man-child Josh is unable to see beyond his next hook-up, yet remains strangely convinced he’s God’s gift to both women and music production; and Sarah, casually, obliviously cruel to both her husband and lover Transparent’s magic is that we still care for these people despite their awful personalities. Hollywood Reporter critic Tim Goodman calls Transparent “one of those rare shows that alters the complexion of the landscape with its quality.” It all starts with Soloway’s writing but extends to the commitment from the entire cast. And throughout the everyday rhythms of Judaism play out, from Ali’s constant lament about her missed Bat Mitzvah to the funeral in the final episode. When Maura lights the candles on Shabbat it’s not a joke or a punchline but a warm, tender moment that provides another small insight into the character.

The show’s treatment of Judaism, always present, never forced for plot development, is as smart and involving as the dialogue; a thousand tiny references adding up to one cohesive whole. Not just Maura’s own quest but issues about how Sarah sees herself, why Ali feels so confused, what’s behind Josh’s love-’em-and-leave-’em style.

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