Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tammy Time

Transparent” is a very, very good TV show. If you haven’t watched it yet or haven’t felt compelled to kick in for an Amazon Prime account to be able to watch it yet, you should. Plus, it’s almost the holiday season and you know that free two-day shipping that comes with the account will come in handy for that friend who got you a present you weren’t expecting and now you have to reciprocate with something last minute, dammit. (Or, not, there are other ways – cough, nudge, cough – to watch, too. I’ve heard.)

Series creator Jill Soloway has a gift for cutting us an intimate slice of familial dysfunction and making us want to stay and devour the whole messy pie – preferably in one sitting. This story of a trans parent of three adult children transitioning from Mort to Maura is sharply drawn and instantly engaging. Like Lisa Cholodenko, Soloway has a way of immediately inserting us into a specific lifestyle and making it feel completely lived in. Here the lives of the members of an affluent Jewish family in Southern California are laid bare, in ways that expose their flaws with the poignancy and humor that ultimately universal to most families.

It’s hard to overstate how good this show really is. It’s fantastic and fascinating. I made myself stop watching the day I started so I could make it last longer. That good.

And for us gay ladies the show is brimming over with rich, complicated female queer characters from Maura to eldest daughter Sarah and youngest daughter best friend Syd. It’s almost perfect. But then, there’s the reason for the almost.

Tammy. Sarah’s girlfriend – the lady she was L.U.G. for in college and left her husband for after college – is by far the most thinly drawn character on the series. This isn’t really Melora Hardin’s fault. (Side note: I totally didn’t recognize her at first as Jan from The Office. See what wonders a little short hair and swagger can have?) She is just given so very little to work with. It’s like they ran out of character development and just said, “Act like someone who cares more about the furniture than people’s feelings.”

Granted, there’s only so much time in a half hour series with only 10 episodes and this show isn’t skimpy on the characters. So, fine, Tammy gets the short shrift. Since the series has been renewed for a second season we can only hope this means we’ll see another side of Tammy in the future. Or any side of Tammy that isn’t all smirks and smarm. I mean, not that I mind a little of the smarm. She can flash those sunglasses at me anytime.


;) babs said...

am I the only one who didn't like her?
she was like Ellen on speed drugs.

Anonymous said...

I didn´t like Tammy at all. Actually I really dislike her very much. She´s not even my type and I personally didn´t find them together sexy but I know few lesbians like her so her character is very real. :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought she was trying to be Jane Lynch being Tammy. I think the character is poorly written, and the acting is quite poor as well. She's trying too hard to be "lesbianish" and it's painful.


;) babs said...

ps. could it be that I saw the pilot of Transparent with another actress playing Tammy? and I did like that original one better.

Carmen SanDiego said...

I didnt like or dislikeTammy, saved all of my dislike for Josh

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I am currently boycotting all things Amazon (I am sure they are devastated) because of their evil labor practices. Once they are less evil, then I will return to them.

C. said...

Babs, Yes. It was Gillian Vigman in the original pilot.
She played the part with a lot more nuance.
Tammy just squeezes too hard, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Babs and C.
The actress in the original pilot (Gillian Vigman) was so much better and the chemistry between her and Sarah so much stronger. Melora Harding was trying too hard in my opinion.
It would be interesting to know why they made the casting change.. it certainly wasnt a good move..

Anonymous said...

I think I heard that the other actress was really pregnant when the show was filming so they had to recast.