Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Srugim...your weekly fix

** Episode 8 Spoiler and more **

Well, we certainly hit a raw nerve last week in our weekly Srugim post (83 comments so far)

I spoke to the show's director, Laizy Shapiro yesterday and he was more than happy to read the comment thread, and will be providing some feedback in our upcoming exclusive interview.

(The only thing pushing off the interview is preparation for my upcoming trip on behalf of Nefesh bNefesh to the US. I haven't even thought about packing...all I've done is check my passports for expiration, spoken to my wife and kids about what they want me to buy, and figured out Shabbat plans)

Laizy did convey the following important message: The show will not spiral down into a negiya/intimacy routine -- that topic will definitely not be the "theme" of the show.

As discussed last week in the comments concerning Yochai's behavior, he did feel incredibly guilty -- to the point of asking Reut to marry him. Her (revulsion? shock?) that a marriage proposal was his repentance for kissing he, left us hanging as to whether she actually accepted or not. Though when she told Yifat and Hodaya that Yochai has proposed, they automatically assumed she said "yes" -- (who wouldn't say "yes" to get out of the Katamon Singles Swamp?) and danced wildly around her singing "Kaytzad Mirakdim Lifnei Hakallah")

1. The big news last week was about the importance of a Shabbat Kiddush for newborn baby girls to ensure they would speedily find their intended ones. This past shabbat, a neighbor had a kiddush for his grand-daughter's birth, and I made sure to bring over some single malt scotch and eat from the yerushalmi and potato kugels -- you can never be too sure when it comes to finding a shidduch.

2. Amir gives his only kippa clip to Nati, and is confused why all the girls give an enthusiastic "shabbat shalom" to Nati, yet ignore him. Nati informs him that his kippa fell off, and Amir returns to shul to find a temporary replacement. The large white kippa he gets offers him a chance encounter with a group of singing Carlebachians in the park, and they invite him to sing along with them. After hours, Amir gets up to go, but they wont let him leave till he sings them his personal song...from his soul. Surprised, Amir gets "into it" and I was very impressed. Reminds me a "Kah Ribon" tune that goes around in my head, but I have no clue if I made it up myself or it its a memory fragment from somewhere else in time...

3. Nati didn't show up at Yifat's for lunch after she poured out her heart to him. Big Surprise. Not.

4. I'm happy to report that for those of you in the Jerusalem area who don't have YES, and don't download Srugim episodes from the internet (I think there might be about 6 of you) and in honor of Tu B'Av...

There will be a showing of all the Srugim episodes at the Jerusalem Cinematheque Theater (11 Derech Hevron, Jerusalem)
  • August 14 at 9:30 PM, episodes 1, 3, 4
  • August 21 at 9:30 PM, episodes 2, 5, 6
  • August 28 at 9:30 PM, episodes 7, 8, 9
Tickets/reservations at: 02-565-4333

The show's director, Laizy Shapiro will be at this Thursday's screening; Srugim actors will be at the different screenings as well.

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


Eliezer StrongBad said...

Nati didn't show up at Yifat's for lunch after she poured out her heart to him. Big Surprise. Not.

I think this crossed the line, though. The characters go through ups and downs, but we are supposed to care enough to wait and see if they can ahcieve redemption, like Amir, who I suspect most viewers still feel for.

Nati's emotional retardation at the expense of Yifat, another character who viewers care about, in my opinion, has kinda crossed the line. If he is so hopeless and inconsiderate it becomes increasingly hard to care about whether he can snap out of it or not.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I agree that Nati's behaviour is totally out of bounds...but I'm sure there are commenters here who would say its not surprising (and that they've experienced it before in real life)

Do we root for him? Or just give him thumbs down and vote him off the show?

Eliezer StrongBad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tnspr569 said...

It's hard to imagine Reut saying yes or no...or anything other than "Maybe/Give me some time."

Neither Reut nor Yochai wishes to brush away someone with whom they connect, so to speak.

Their relationship is more interesting in light of their different backgrounds/hashkafot.

Yifat and Hodaya seem like the most complex (and interesting) characters in the show. Reut, despite the latest plot developments, still seems more one-dimensional.

In any case, the show is excellent!

Anonymous said...

IMO this was the best episode yet.

All the major players were involved in their own intriguing dramas, yet it all meshed together wonderfully.

It also had that "positive" depiction of religion that i was looking for. while i think the whole carlebachi scene was a little weird, amir's spiritual experience showed how religion can be positive, healing, worthwhile... religion is not just some albatross around our necks that we are trying to function with and/or drop.

i also was very happy with avri's reaction to hodaya's "coming out". it again reaffirms my belief that avri is the most "boyfriend worthy" on the show - thoughtful, sensitive, caring - a real "mensch".

and i loved the last scene- it was hilarious.

Commenter Abbi said...

Damn, i missed it last night. :(. I'll download it now.

Yes, even having not seen it, I am SOOOO not surprised about Nati. Wow, they really got that one down, though he sounds a bit extreme even from my experience.

Robertcw72 said...

I seem to get the feeling this show is alot like Thirtysomething. I wish I understood Hebrew to understand the show because the comments are interesting. :)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Tzip: I dont know about you, but Avri looks waaaay too much like Yigal Amir for my tastes.

seriously! (check it out)

Abbi: There's always this Thursday night at the Cinematechque (and you can see Laizy as well)...

Anonymous said...

I don't particularly care for Avri's looks (old, grey, and too short for Hodaya), nor do I see a resemblance to Yigal Amir (sorry, I looked at a lot of google images, and only one had a tiny resemblance). I mean that his personality is the most normal, treats women well...

Also, my take on Nati's disgusting jerky behavior, is that they need a reason for Yifat to move on. Something so extreme has to happen for her to finally get over him. (i hope.)

It's funny b/c I was discussing w/ my hubbie Nati's jerkiness, and he tried to defend him!!!! "yifat was moving too fast for him, he got scared off, she needs to let it go at his pace..." i was horrified!

Baila said...

As a self-proclaimed expert on the show (guess what? it's repeated at 11:45 PM), this is what I have to say:

I think Hodaya's character is the most complex (torn and tortured) and Avri the most normal guy--because he's not religious. I think being religious tortures you when you are dating vis-a-vis the physical aspect. (Either you don't do it, but desparately want to; or you do and feel terribly guilty--even going as far as getting married because you did to "atone" for it, as Yochai said. Which rightfully was very offensive to Reut--I don't think she's marrying the guy).

Nati is a jerk. And Yifat is stupid. But we've all been there or watched it happen. The girl falling for the guy who is the hardest to get (He's just not into you!) And those couples get do married, usually with not-so-great results. I just wonder if Nati's last name is Moron.

Amir has become very interesting to me. He is a nerd, isn't he? But there is something about him that is very poignant. Of the whole group he seems the most innocent and the most confidant in his religion. So why did he break down when he found that niggun? It came from a place inside him he didn't know he has--it was so sudden. I found that scene to be very moving. I think we're going to find out more about him--where he came from and why he behaves the way he does. Yifat would do better to fall for him than Nati.

I wish I could go to J-m to see it on the big screen and meet Lazey...

Anonymous said...

No Orange kipot though.

DoubleTapper, blogging on Guns Politics Defense from Israel

Anonymous said...

Yes still only has episodes 1 & 2 posted. If you know where to download the rest, please share for those of us wishing to finally catch up with the rest....


Anonymous said...

go to http://www.tvnetil.co.il/search/term/?type=episodes&search_term=%F1%F8%E5%E2%E9%ED&go=%E7%F4%F9
click on an episode. you must be registered. click "kach shem shichrur". copy that name (for ex. Srugim.S01E08.by.Nir-Mil.9764) and paste into search bar on www.fave.co.il
it will give you multiple download sites.

the apple said...

What Nati did (or didn't do, as the case may be) is not surprising in the LEAST. Although it definitely puts him in the jerk category.

I actually didn't think the girls really thought Reut said yes to Yochai; they were just drunk and hyper, IMO.

I thought the "magical kippa" that Amir had was a little weird - like, was it supposed to be Eliyahu Hanavi who gave it to him? And I thought the scene in the park with the Carlebach guys also showed how lonely he is. (And are we ever gonna get some explanation as to what happened with his ex-wife? I was very disturbed by what they did.)

Next to The West Wing, Srugim is the best show EVER! Although I *really* wish that people were a liiiittle more shomer negiah . . .

RivkA with a capital A said...

This was the best episode yet.

The emotional portrayal of the characters was so real: Yifat’s hopes and rejections, Nati’s pathetic lies and self-imposed lonliness, Hodaya’s rebellion and tortured conscience, Avri’s love and support, Yochai’s confusion and desires, Re’ut’s confusion, excitement, outrage, and confusion (again), and Amir’s gentle consideration and soul searching.

I even appreciated the “supernatural” element, even if it required our suspension of disbelief.

I do agree with “apple” – at the end of the episode, Hodaya and Yifat “tafsu kriza;” they did not believe that Re’ut accepted Yochai’s proposal (at least, not so quickly)

I found the episode very moving.

Lion of Zion said...

hi, can i talk to jameel please . . .
are you sure? . . .
this isn't muqata.blogspot.com? . . .
i'm sorry. i must have dialed the wrong number.

Anonymous said...

To Jameel,

they automatically assumed she said "yes" -- (who wouldn't say "yes" to get out of the Katamon Singles Swamp?)

Was this a jokey sentence on your part? I hope so, as it isn't clear. You're also talking about Reut, who already turned down one proposal from the wrong person in the first episode.

While I'm personally aware of a couple of people who without a doubt did accept proposals to "get out" of the swamp, please credit the rest of us who would never do such a thing with a modicum of common sense and self-worth!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anonymous 8:25, Yes, my comment was a joke!!!

LoZ: Dont worry -- I have a great post on aliya coming up ;-)

Apple: The girls were drunk of "Yayin Nitzachon?" That stuff's too vile to get drunk on...(though they were hyper...which could be from the roommate getting engaged syndrome...a mixture of happiness and bitterness)

And so what if there was a magical kipppa in the show...this is Jerusalem. Weird/mystical/magical things DO happen...even in Katamon :)

BTW; you should be happy with Hodaya's behaviour -- she was basically revolted by the kiss and says she doesnt do stuff like that.

Gee a Moron said...


Nati's last name isn't Moron. Mine is
(Gee a) Moron.

Sam Gamoran

Anonymous said...

When are you modern orthodox types going to realize that you need to learn from the chareidi shidduch norms? It'll save you so much trouble and all this time watching soap operas like a bunch of teenagers.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Mr. Chareidi!

Thanks for your comment, though I don't think it's a soap opera.

Soap operas are hyped up drama -- this show is a mirror of real life, with all the foibles, humor and annoyances of human personality.

Are Chareidi shidduch norms perfect? Its hard to say...just a different way of life. Doesn't mean the alternative is awful.

Don't worry - I have other posts coming up, and I will only limit one post a week about Srugim on the blog.

Anonymous said...

"Are Chareidi shidduch norms perfect" Hey even us Chareidim have heard of false dichotomies! Nothing is perfect, doesn't mean the alternative cannot be way better. I know that 90% of my friends met their wives after 4-6 meetings, with none of the "issues" you bring up, and are for the most part happily married today. It seems to me that the MO are far more comfortable with secular dating norms than traditional ones.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Chareidi: I'm honestly happy that your friends are happily married.

There are plenty of MO/dati-leumi/chardalish people that meet via the "traditional" shidduch method.

I dont think the Katamon singles are anti-shidduchim...it's just a mix of a very complex world.

The only issue I have with Shidduchim is that 4-6 times of going out in my opinion, isn't enough. But to each their own!

Lurker said...

Jameel: BTW; you should be happy with Hodaya's behaviour -- she was basically revolted by the kiss and says she doesnt do stuff like that.

I don't think "revolted" is the right word. More like "uncomfortable".

Jameel: The girls were drunk of "Yayin Nitzachon?" That stuff's too vile to get drunk on...

Indeed. This must be what Rivka meant when she said that she "appreciated the 'supernatural' element [in the episode], even if it required our suspension of disbelief".

On another point: I found it fascinating that just as Hodaya was acting out her rebellion against religion, Avri davka came across as "dati": He spoke about how much he loves Shabbat in Jerusalem; it's serenity and how different it feels from a weekday. Hodaya then replied, "Lets go to the beach" -- the classic, stereotypical destination for a "hiloni" on Shabbat.

Eliezer StrongBad said...

I think this was the point; when Hodaya began to see shabbos through the eyes of the secular Avri she began to realize its objective beauty and not view it as a chore due to religion being foisted upon her by her father, who she has issues with.

This allowed her to return and finally be comfortable with her religious identity.

Anonymous said...

Nati & Yifat is exaggerated but the dynamic is accurate. Everyone knows a guy in katamon that's a nati-type. I also reckon that most of us girls who have good friends that are guys have a yifat-nati relationship with at least one of them.....the girl likes the guy, he's not into her but she still hopes / he keeps her hanging or confuses her etc.

tnspr569 said...

Yifat does seem somewhat naive (for her age).

Not to excuse Nati's behavior, but Yifat did seem to be "smothering" him (emotionally). I figure they'll end up together by the end of the series. Yifat is a (bit of a) mess right now.

The last scene of episode eight was hysterical! The comic elements of the show are quite enjoyable, perhaps because of the fact that they're so few and far in between (which is to be expected in a real drama).

Anonymous said...

I thought Yifat had agreed to make a kiddush that Shabbat, and all I could think about were all those poor people who never got the kugel at kiddush!

Did she forget or just blow it off waiting for Nati? I can fathom why it was no longer her priority. But I would have expected an offhand remark or something later in the show. Did I miss something or did the writers think we wouldn't remember the plot from episode 7 to expect continuity from one ep to the next?

Kamagra said...

This is my favorite Episode , it is very interesting and make me laugh a lot, i recommend this tv series because is very good and it show us how to live Israel people.

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