***** WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS *****
After more than a year of waiting, expectations certainly were high here at the Muqata for the first episode of the new season of Srugim. And since high expectations are not often realized, I prepared myself for something less than extraordinary.
Turns out I needn't have lowered my expectations.
This episode was simply superb. It was powerfully dramatic and emotionally evocative, in a way that was at least as impressive as the best episodes of the first season, if not more so.
A few notable things that stood out for me:
- The theme of missed opportunities that surrounds Nati (who, as we saw in the first season, is an absolute master at missing opportunities): He messes Amir up by getting themselves lost, causing Amir to miss his opportunity to daven at the kotel on the day of his wedding. And then, in an act of karma, or midda k'neged midda, or whatever you want to call it, Nati misses his final opportunity to say goodbye to his mother before she passes away.
- The theme of crossing boundaries (marriage, death, abandoning religious observance), juxtaposed in ironic ways: Yifat getting married (and yet not having relations with her husband), juxtaposed with Hodaya sleeping with what's-his-name, and thus "officially becoming hilonit" (in her own eyes). Amir lowering the veil over Yifat’s face, juxtaposed with Nati raising the sheet off his mother's face (which was an extremely powerful scene).
- Can you count the number of harhakot that Amir and Yifat violated? (I counted at least five.) I thought it was very clever how those were put in, one after the next (especially after they both emphasize that they don't want to be hafifnik with hilkhot nidda). I have little doubt that there will be plenty of schlemiels who will predictably criticize these as "mistakes" on the part of the show...
And while we're on the subject of nitpicking, I'll repeat here what I said in that thread: Don't get me wrong; I absolutely love the show: I would never bother taking the time and effort to nitpick if I didn't already think that Srugim has such a high level of quality, that it deserves that level of attention. I only nitpick films and shows that I really like. If you're a Star Trek fan or know one, you might be able to relate to what I'm saying. (See here for one of my favorite nitpicks from the first season of Srugim.)
At this point, I can't help but raise my expectations for episode 2. I'm very much looking forward to it.
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