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Changes are afoot for the Pfefferman family in Transparent season two.
Expect some big developments for each character when the Jill Soloway comedy returns December 4 on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video. In a trailer shown at the the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Amazon previewed the rekindling of Maura’s (Jeffrey Tambor) relationship with ex-wife Shelly (Judith Light), a wedding for Sarah (Amy Landecker), a child for Josh (Jay Duplass) and a new relationship for Ali (Gaby Hoffmann).
The evolution of Maura’s relationships and her sexual identity, something not explored much in season one, will be a big theme in season two. Part of that will be the relationship with Shelly that was teased in the trailer. “What the show does that’s so genius is that it poses the question that everyone out there has,” says Light. “What you get to see is two people who have always loved each other. … It opens the conversation.”
Tambor notes that Maura’s journey in season two will act as a sort of gateway for the other characters and their own growth. “It’s more than just a story about a trans parent or transitioning,” he said. “It’s about people seeking their freedom.”
Meanwhile, the Pfefferman children will experience new challenges. For Josh, that’s dealing with a child he didn’t know he had. “Josh’s journey this season definitely goes to a very dark place,” said Duplass. “Josh is a little bit of a whipping boy of season two.” Landecker said Amy will have “a year of revelation” and might “feel some consequences that I don’t know she was in touch with last season.”
Transparent will also bring back some familiar faces, including Bradley Whitford, who will appear in a new set of flashbacks that will explore Maura’s family and their immigration to the United States. “There are no high heels involved,” Whitford cracked on stage.
Soloway has also made some behind-the-scenes changes for season two, including hiring a trans writer and trans director. “Trans people need to be telling their own stories, writing their own stories,” she said, adding that the Transparent writers room has been able to break new stories as a result. One of those features Alexandra Billings‘ Davina re-gendering her childhood photos. “It’s a beautiful story,” Soloway said with Billings adding: “It looked exactly like the image I had manifested in my own spirit.”
Soloway touched on the growing public awareness of and interest in the trans community, especially with the publicity around Bruce Jenner’s transition into Caitlyn Jenner. “In general, I try to leave out any pop culture references in anything that I write because I want things to be timeless,” she said, adding that she realizes audiences are more educated about trans issues than they may have been a year ago. “Audiences have other examples of families where the patriarch transitions.”
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