“Transparent” was one of the first show to establish Amazon as a TV force. With its upcoming finale, series creator Jill Soloway plans to send the groundbreaking show out on a (possibly literal) high note. For Soloway, who uses pronoun they, the in-the-works musical to wrap up “Transparent” isn’t too far from what their original plan was for bringing elements of their personal life to the screen.
“When my parent came out, my very first instinct I had before I wrote ‘Transparent’ was that my sister Faith and I were going to make a documentary musical,” Soloway said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday. “That was the first impulse, to use song. Then ‘Transparent’ came about and it was such a beautiful experience. In many ways, some people have said that ‘Transparent’ has always been a show that wanted to be a musical.”
When former series lead Jeffrey Tambor left the show after the end of the previous season, that gave Soloway both an opportunity and a reason to expand the possibilities for the series finale.
“When everything went down last year and we lost Jeffrey Tambor, we went through so much as a family that felt like this very emotional, there are no words,” Soloway said. “There is no way to just go back to a plain old Season 5 and just repair by going back.”
Soloway described how the finale’s production also led them to an oddly comfortable environment.
“I was so happy to be back on set after a couple years. We would be on set doing these huge musical numbers, hundreds of people singing and dancing. I would just be so relaxed and so casual, eating a sandwich,” Soloway said. “I would yell ‘action’ and then go back to a sandwich and yell ‘cut’ and really be completely at home holding space for a whole bunch of really raucous creativity.”
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke explained how the company responded to the prospect of handling the final steps in the show’s development. “For us, we would never have wanted to take a special, incredible show like that and just end it unceremoniously. It was Jill’s idea to do a musical movie and so we signed off,” Salke said.
When asked about how this finale might be released, potentially in a venue other than streaming on Prime Video, Salke said that the team is “talking about all kinds of things.” Regardless of the venue, Salke spoke to the finale’s power to wrap up such a trailblazing and beloved series.
“It brings the whole thing full circle at the end. It does everything you’d want it to do,” she said.
“The show isn’t ending. It’s transitioning into a musical,” Soloway added.