'Transparent' Creator Jill Solloway on the Creative Freedom of Amazon

After years of getting rejected by network television, Solloway has found her home on Amazon Prime.
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After years of getting rejected by network television, Jill Solloway has found her home on Amazon Prime with the premiere of her new show, Transparent. The critically acclaimed series stars Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender father coming out to his kids for the first time. 

“[Network TV is] trying to sell that product to a company that’s trying to sell their product to people. So, they have to play it safe and they have to make these characters appeal to the largest audience,” Solloway explained to Southern California Public Radio’s The Frame, as transcribed by Vulture. “With Amazon, they’re able to deliver this show right to people. It doesn’t need to be mediated through three or four other corporations before it’s approved, and I guess they know that, and they understand that giving artists a lot of creative freedom is the easiest way to create content that will stand out in this really crowded landscape.”

What Solloway was particularly interested in was creating nuanced characters that didn’t fall easily into hero or villain roles. “In most shows, there’s usually a hero or a protagonist, and even if there are multiple heroes or protagonists, most shows try and make it so you really always know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. And one of the things I'm trying to do with the show is constantly move the needle so that you’re not sure whom you’re rooting for,” she said. “One of the things I spoke about early on is that this would be about five people who are all sort of equally lovable and also unlikable, that five people would have that kind of horrible, narcissistic, depressive, “I-can’t-stand-myself-but-I-can’t-stop-talking-about-myself” post-millennial malaise. And the idea of it as a circle where it’s constantly moving, it just really made sense here.”

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