Everything’s coming up Jill Soloway. The writer/creator/director of Amazon’s smash hit Transparent has been all but drowning in critical praise and awards for the groundbreaking dramedy since its first season premiere last year; the second season, which debuted in December, is garnering similar acclaim, winning DGA and WGA awards and already earning Soloway a much-anticipated third season. Recently, through her Wifey.TV channel, Soloway produced The Skinny, a “dark comedy series about a feminist comedian in Los Angeles trying to live, love, and get over her bulimia.” And as of today, Soloway has yet another impressive, off-the-beaten-path project on the horizon: I Love Dick, another half-hour comedy series that’ll be produced by Amazon Studios.
I Love Dick is adapted from writer Chris Kraus’ “psycho-sexual” 1997 novel/memoir hybrid of the same name. The book, which Deadline describes as “influential and somewhat controversial” (perfect for Soloway, who’s been described similarly), follows a struggling married couple named Chris and Sylvere, and their “mutual obsession with an off-putting but charismatic professor named Dick,” according to Variety. The story of Chris and Sylvere, who live in a “colorful academic community” in Marfa, Texas, will be told in what Deadline refers to as “Rashomon-style” points of view (i.e., the POV will shift), and “chart the unraveling of a marriage, the awakening of an artist and the reluctant deification of a man named Dick.” Soloway will direct, and along with Andrea Sperling, will executive-produce via duo’s new production company, Topple Productions (which Soloway explained stood for “topple the patriarchy” in a recent interview with the New Yorker). Award-winning playwright Sarah Gubbins will write the series.
The New Yorker‘s Leslie Jamison wrote a long piece recently about what makes I Love Dick so fascinating — essentially, Kraus is an unorthodox “fiction” writer in that she regularly and very plainly inserts herself and her own life into her work, often naming her characters after herself and her ex-husband and exploring her own frustrations with her career. Kraus, writes Jamison, regularly returns to themes of “romantic abjection, ambiguous and often frustrating intimacies, artistic devotion and ambition, social communion and alienation,” transforming these themes into “versions of one central drama: a female consciousness struggling to live a meaningful life.” It makes sense that Soloway was drawn to this particular artist and work: via Transparent, in past work like Afternoon Delight, and in interviews, Soloway regularly explores, examines, and expounds upon what it means to be a woman in the modern world.