'Transparent': Where Amazon TV stands as the show's second season debuts

'Transparent' stars Jeffrey Tambor. After the show debuted in 2014, the program quickly racked up Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations.

Danny Moloshok/Reuters
'Transparent' stars Jeffrey Tambor.

The critically acclaimed program “Transparent” will soon debut its second season on Amazon.

Amazon, which was previously best known as an online retailer, debuted the show starring “Arrested Development” actor Jeffrey Tambor in early 2014. The program quickly racked up awards and nominations, with the show being nominated for best comedy series at the Emmy Awards and Tambor winning the award for best actor in a comedy at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes.

The full second season of the show will debut on Dec. 11 (the first episode is already online). How have Amazon’s fortunes changed in the TV world since the debut of the first and second season of “Transparent”? 

“Transparent” certainly put Amazon on the map as a provider of original content. The show and Tambor’s performance quickly got critics’ attention and garnered awards. The company had debuted the John Goodman comedy “Alpha House” before, but “Alpha” didn’t get half the attention that “Transparent” gained. 

As with competitor Netflix, we don’t have as clear a view of whether a show is a success or a failure when it’s on streaming as we would with, say, a broadcast show, where viewership numbers would be available. However, it’s safe to say “Transparent” is the Amazon program that has gotten the most attention.

Amazon debuted the police program “Bosch” earlier this year and the show got mostly positive reviews. When it debuted, the show became Amazon’s most-watched series in the program’s debut weekend. 

Meanwhile, the 2014 classical music show “Mozart in the Jungle” was well-received by reviewers but the show doesn’t seem to have gained wide recognition yet. (A second season of “Mozart” debuts later this month.)

Amazon had an outright misfire with the show “Hand of God,” which stars Ron Perlman and debuted this fall. Critics panned the program and there’s no news yet on whether the show will get a second season. 

However, with “Transparent” and “Bosch” (if the popularity of the latter show continues), Amazon has two hits. It has yet to attain the cultural ubiquity and stable of high-profile programs of, for example, Netflix, but the company has shown that acclaimed shows can find a home there. 

Amazon’s original programming is still a work in progress, but the streaming service has already gotten its name into the increasingly crowded TV conversation. Now it just has to maintain its momentum.

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