Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Srugim: (סרוגים) Rave Reviews

Israel's internet chats, blogs and media gave a resounding two-thumbs-up to Laizey Shapiro's "Srugim" TV series which debuted last night on YES TV. To the religious viewer, one could laugh, squirm, and ponder at many of the oh-too-familiar scenes in the show -- demonstrating the impressive quality of the acting, writing, and direction.

Normally, Israel's "artsy media" with their traditional anti-religious bias would have a field day with a TV series about religious singles, produced by a religious director. Yet the series has produced rave reviews from "Achbar Ha'ir", Maariv, NRG, and many others -- attesting that this series appeals to both Israel's religious and secular worlds.

Obviously, for the sake of the script, not every scene is typical of the Jewish "Bitza" (Swamp) Katamon singles scene, yet the familiarity allows for every scene to be believable -- and if it didn't happen to you personally, you know people that it could have happened to.

A guy's "tefillin request" sends him to the next door neighbor, where an American accented Hebrew speaking young lady offers HER tefillin to him. Shocked, he returns to his girlfriend and angrily responds that he wasn't looking for a Reform Lesbian's tefillin...but for real tefillin. His girlfriend dumps him rather quickly...and you can easily imagine the scene in Jerusalem.

Everyone says the Shabbat meal scene is slightly uncomfortable to watch, because everyone's been there. Anyone who's ever been single in Jerusalem knows about singles Shabbat meals, where everyone tries and hopes to meet their intended life partner. Sometimes awkward and clumsy, the Shabbat meal is can be a neccessary evil in the Katamon singles scene.

Here is a brief clip of one of a Shabbat meal in yesterday's episode.



Speaking to Srugim director, Laizy Shapiro today by phone, he told me that it was really an exceptional experience making the show, and that there was a special atmosphere with the secular actors when filming...and he said the show could be a bridge between the religious and secular. Judging from the favorable reactions of the newspapers, I believe he's correct.

I wonder how the singles scene in Jerusalem will feel about being reflected in this TV series.

(The whole first episode can be watched here on the YES website.)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

36 comments:

mother in israel said...

The last word in Eshet Hayil is "Viyhalleluha" and not as pronouced in the show. Sheesh.

Safranit said...

Unfortunately I think you need to subscribe to YES to get access to the program. If anyone could burn it to DVD, I'd be greatly appreciative.

Tzip said...

I was able to watch it and I don't have YES. I had to use IE, it wouldnt work on FF.
I enjoyed it. The acting was great, the humor was really good. I was a little perturbed by how overtly "religious" it was. Every scene was about some religious practice or other. It seems like a real turn-off for non-observant viewers.
The american girl (and her accent) were classic!

amechad said...

mother in israel -- they did Eshet Hayil according to proper Hebrew grammer. The ה is גרונית (gutteral) and like the letter ח so it is vayehalluAH and not HA according to proper grammer.

Otherwise I thought it an interesting show although I want to see more liberal religious stuff too, would be amusing. But maybe the idea of a woman wearing tefillin or making kiddush -- all things that are MUTAR -- don't phase me.

tnspr569 said...

I couldn't watch it in IE, Firefox, or Safari. What gives? Help!!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I was a little perturbed by how overtly "religious" it was.

I spoke to the director and he said it pushes some limits (or abandons some) in future episodes. The show will deal with all sorts of stuff (give it time -- this was only the first episode)

Safranit: You can watch it on the web without subscribing to YES. (i provided the link in the post)

mother in israel said...

Am Echad--
My comment is about the first letter, the vav, which has a hirik and not a patach.

Anonymous said...

Lots of things are "MUTTAR" - doesn't mean should do it. Don't go around wearing tefillin is muttar, as it is, as you obviously know, misleading.

Lurker said...

Anonymous @ 10:32 PM: Lots of things are "MUTTAR" - doesn't mean should do it. Don't go around wearing tefillin is muttar, as it is, as you obviously know, misleading.

Um, sorry, I don't "obviously know". Why is it "misleading"?

tnspr569 said...

Is the show only viewable online by people in Israel?

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

ויהללוה would only be vihal’lúah if the ה at the end had a פתח underneath it and a מפיק inside it.

It's actually punctuated with no מפיק and a קמץ, hence vihal’luha.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

anyway, they should make a show like this about the singles scenes in NYC :-P

M said...

My next project...

tafka pp said...

I watched it online and found it a mixture of amusing and scary... the American girl definitely stole the show: Good to see that the director acknowledged the other Jerusalem "Bitza" - the parallel Anglo-Saxon one - in his script.

Anonymous said...

the best part is when the American girl comes in with the tefillin..

Anonymous said...

It didn't work on PC or Mac, IE, Firefox or Safari! Anyone in America had any luck with this?

RaggedyMom said...

Anon - have been trying to watch it too, to no avail. Clips work but not the actual episode! Argh!

Safranit said...

I still can't get it to work at home (I can from work, but I don't think my Boss would appreciate me watching the whole show)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I'll work on getting episodes available...(either on youtube/google video)...or through other means for local bloggers

:)

shira said...

i found this blog looking for reviews about the show.
i played 'stacy the american neighbor' who brings her tfillin over. thank you to those of you who commented :)
here's the link, it only works in israel and with IE. the second episode is now on the site as well.

http://yes.walla.co.il/?w=1/7531/1298626

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hey Shira! What an honor that you paid us a visit! :)

(Please come back and comment often!)

Was it hard finding this blog with the review, or was it rather simple?

Regards,

Jameel

shira said...

jameel,
actually, it was the first link listed when i googled 'srugim' so...pretty simple :)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shira: Well -- we hope you become a regular reader (and we're always looking for contributors and guest posts :)

As you can see, Google ranks us pretty high!

mother in israel said...

I was able to watch the second episode with Firefox.

Shira, I enjoyed your performance. Are you going to be appearing again?

RaggedyMom said...

I wonder why Walla set it up so that it only works in Israel? Anyone had any luck watching it in the U.S.?

shira said...

thank you! unfortunately 'stacy' was only written into the first episode.

Toby said...

Is it available in the U.S. yet? I am getting frustrated trying again and again. What should I do? I have firefox and it doesn't work.

tnspr569 said...

raggedy, toby- other tv shows available online through the television channel websites also seem to restrict viewing to the country where the show is broadcast. I think the reasoning for this might have something to do with copyrights, distribution laws, etc.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I'll speak to the director and see what we can come up with for our foreign viewers.

M said...

Looking foward...

tnspr569 said...

I would SERIOUSLY consider paying to view the episodes.

Do they take American Express? ;-P

Oshie said...

Hi everyone, I came here via Google.

I think that the videos on the website, is restricted to Israel only, because I'm in the UK, and I also can't view them.

But, in an Israeli forum, I found links to download the shows.

Here is the link to the forum (copy and paste it in your web browser):

http://www.bhol.co.il/forum/topic.asp?topic_id=2442988&forum_id=771


And there, you can click on the links to download the shows, meanwhile five, but thay keep adding more, once it comes out every week, so its worth to go have look there, every week.

Good luck...

Sarah said...

Saw the first three episodes at the Israel Film Festival in Miami with subtitles and absolutely loved it. I'm hoping they come out with the season set on DVD at some point (with English subtitles, of course) for us American viewers.

Anonymous said...

for U.S. viewers many episodes are available at www.veoh.com They can be streamed or downloaded. These are in Hebrew.

srugim fan said...

full episodes of srugim online - פרקים מלאים של סרוגים צפייה ישירה

Kamagra said...

i found this blog looking for reviews about the show ,i played 'stacy the american neighbor' who brings her tfillin over. thank you to those of you who commented

Search the Muqata

Loading...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails