But I digress. Back to this show full of two things this blog is about: adversity and diversity. So many people think this show is about a divorced dad finally telling his family that he is transgender. And yes, Jeffrey Tambor gives a layered, understated and award-winning performance in the role of Maura. But creator Jill Soloway has given so much more with her new series. Based in part by her own father coming out to her family, Soloway has created a dysfunctional group of people that are more relatable than what one may assume. Even if you are nowhere on the LGBT line - she has offered a variety of situations from family dynamics, child-rearing, to simply understanding who you are at any given moment of your life. Straight, gay, trans - each group has plenty to deal with as we try and get through this world.
What is most interesting is how she addresses the fear and phobia in each of us. The cross-dressers judge the transgender community. The straight son has issues with his father's new life. The youngest daughter has spent a lifetime attempting to figure out her own identity. The stories weave in and out of each other in a way that we are not being preached at or indoctrinated (as so many want to believe) and instead - Soloway and her writers are showing what great story telling is all about. I may not be able to relate to a group of men traveling to a camp in order to cross dress and feel comfortable, but I can understand their pain and need for acceptance. (Broadway offered a play about this very subject last year based on actual events.) I'm not a straight father, but my heart went out to the son-in-law standing there trying to figure out how to talk to his children in the new upside-down world he has dropped into.
direction by Jill Soloway and Nisha Ganatra, the casting - there is a reason it won the Golden Globe. It utilizes multiple time periods the same way two other favorite shows of mine have done this year. (The Missing and The Affair) Judith Light as the mother can never do any wrong in my eyes. I find I'm enamored with Gaby Hoffmann and could not take my eyes off of every single choice she makes as an actress. Amy Landecker plays a complex character dealing with her own sexuality while also learning of her dad. And I think I've begun stalking Jay Duplass as a new favorite writer as well as actor. Plus it is amazing the amount of trans people have been employed on the show. That says how important the entire subject is to Jill Soloway as she pays homage to her own father. I also must say the casting of the kids for the flashbacks is spot on!
Thank you, Amazon, for the free day of binge-watching. I really can't wait to see what season two has in store. And I look forward to watching as producers begin to offer more original content on streaming sites.