Transparent Finale

The end of Transparent became mired in allegations that star Jeffrey Tambor sexually harassed and was abusive towards trans women co-stars. Tambor was let go from the show after season four, and a fifth season was eventually abandoned in favor of a movie.

Transparent creator Jill Soloway was on an Amazon panel for Amazon Prime Video Visionary Voices, during which Soloway explained how the Transparent finale movie became a musical.

“Right as my parent came out, the 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. “My sister Faith is an amazing musician and has been writing musicals for years. That was the first impulse, to use song. Then Transparent came about and it was such a beautiful experience. In many ways, people have said Transparent is a show that has always wanted to be a musical.”

Maura (Tambor) was always performing on the show and there were song performances. This time, the whole Pfefferman family will get in on the act, and Faith already had the songs written.

“When everything went down last year and we lost Jeffrey Tambor, we went through so much as a family,” Soloway said. “There are no words, no way to go back to a plain old season 5 and try to repair by going back. We dared ourselves, took all the songs Faith has been writing. She’d already been writing songs for a possible Transparent musical on Broadway five years down the line.”

If the movie’s a hit, perhaps they can still adapt and expand it into a Broadway musical. But since Broadway is no guarantee, this ensures that everyone gets to hear Faith Soloway’s songs.

“It was a way to take music and transform the family to be able to come together and have a feeling of, in some ways, transition,” Soloway said. “The show isn’t necessarily ending. It’s transitioning into a musical.”

Earlier, in her executive session, Amazon Studios head of originals Jennifer Salke spoke about the Transparent finale too:

“I think 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. We signed off on that idea trusting her that she would come up with something incredible, which she did. We all three sat in the front row of a run through, a musical run through of this movie where we were crying. It brings the whole thing full circle at the end. It does everything that you would want it to do.”

So when will we see the Transparent movie?

“We’re talking about all kinds of things,” Salke said. “I think you can look forward to us giving you a look into it and there will be a lot of creative thinking about event-izing that ending because it deserves to have a lot of eyeballs on it.”

The big question remains: how will the movie address the absence of Maura, whose transition was the lynchpin of the show? And if Faith Soloway was already writing a Transparent musical, that would have presumably included songs for Maura before Tambor was fired. So who gets Maura’s songs now? We’ll find out when Amazon premieres the Transparent movie.

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