Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Srugim II episode 1

by Lurker

***** WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS *****

"שעת רצון"

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...
Obligatory nitpick: The "tzniut patrol" lady was in the wrong place: She stands near the entrance to the women's prayer area, not on the stairs leading down to the plaza. I already mentioned this point in my comments here. (Laizy Shapira was aware of this issue when the scene was shot, but did it that way anyway because the Srugim crew was not permitted to film down in the plaza. You can read Laizy's own response in the same comment thread.)

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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27 comments:

Shlomo said...

Can you count the number of harhakot that Amir and Yifat violated?

C'mon, if we're going to talk about technical halacha, it should be obvious that the laws are being violated right and left continually throughout the show.

One example: The fact that the halacha of yichud is never once alluded to, despite the huge impact it would have on pretty much episode, can only mean to me that the script writers have never heard of it before.

IMO it's strange to draw "thematic" conclusions from the fact that a halacha is violated, when violation of some halacha or other occurs so constantly.

Baila said...

I watched the show three times. It was good, but not great. Those juxtapositions you talk about (Amir veiling Yifat, Nati uncovering his dead mother) were predictable and obvious. The acting is good, I'm looking forward to the rest of the season, but my goodness, Lurker, this is just a show, it may be "MustSeeTV" for some of us, but it' not exactly the drama of the century.

A far as Yifat and Amir's decision not to tell anyone, I bet that's a great unspoken secret that couples do. And who can blame them?

Lurker said...

Shlomo: C'mon, if we're going to talk about technical halacha, it should be obvious that the laws are being violated right and left continually throughout the show...
IMO it's strange to draw "thematic" conclusions from the fact that a halacha is violated, when violation of some halacha or other occurs so constantly.


There is no such thing as a Jewish community or sector in which there aren't certain halakhot that "are being violated right and left continually". For example, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Jewish community in which hilkhot lashon hara are not violated constantly.

The fact that Yifat and Amir explicitly express their desire to be serious about the harhakot of hilkhot nidda mean that (1) the writers know about it (duh), and (2) the violations of the harhakot that then follow in rapid succession are obviously intentional on the part of the writers.

Shlomo: The fact that the halacha of yichud is never once alluded to...

A rather strange example to give, since that halakha is quite obviously alluded to in this very episode: Right after Amir and Yifat enter the heder yihud, Amir opens the door and leaves it ajar.

Or perhaps you'd like to explain to us what non-halakhic significance this peculiar action was supposed to have in the eyes of the writers?

Lurker said...

Baila: ...this is just a show, it may be "MustSeeTV" for some of us, but it' not exactly the drama of the century.

Perhaps not of the century. But last year it won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Drama Series of the year.

Baila: A far as Yifat and Amir's decision not to tell anyone, I bet that's a great unspoken secret that couples do.

I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case.

Anonymous said...

It's a little strange that he leaves the door to the yichud room open and then they go home together (and they were violating yichud all last season). But what I want to know is: don't they always have the rav hand the kallah the wine and dont they always allow the chassan to put the ring on the kallah no matter what - what is she talking about that everyone has to know? (Besides holding hands which some sectors never do for just this reason).

Anonymous said...

also the bed looked it had one headboard and two mattresses - is that really called "mita yehudit" and are there sectors where that is considered acceptable by the rabbonim - I thought no one permitted that

Anonymous said...

I think in Israel it is common to have a "mita yehudit" with one headboard...ours does..and it isn't two mattresses...it is two separate bases completely.

Anonymous said...

does the headboard separate from the bed when you pull the bases apart? anyway thanks i didnt know that

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: The "Mita Yehudit" (not to be confused with "Jewish Death") is actually called that.

The headboard is sometimes one piece, disconnected from the beds, so you can move them apart while still both being able to use the headboard.

Here's an example of one. (Its even called a "mita Yehudit" on the website).

Baila: A far as Yifat and Amir's decision not to tell anyone, I bet that's a great unspoken secret that couples do. And who can blame them?

I thought that entire theme was dealt with very realistically. Did you notice that the Hodaya the "datlasheet" didn't bash the halachot, but rather consoled Yifat, and told her its irrelevant because now its all "real" since she's married?

Jerusalemcop said...

Great episode. I'm glad that they had the wedding in the first episode since we all knew that Yifat would be getting married this season.

I find it very interesting that as close as Nati seems to be with his friends, no one knows that his mother was even sick.

We also now know why Nati has a beard in the promo pics.

It will be interesting to see how lazy depicts the whole shiva and avelut process.

Thanks for the update lurker!

Jcop

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

JCOP: *Spoiler*

Episode 2 deals with Nati's Shiva.

I'm not surprised the Nati character doesn't share the information that his mother is dying. Nati's a very closed indidivual.

As Lurker wrote -- he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and you have to wonder how he ever got into (and finished) Medical school AND got a job at Hadassah Hospital.

Proteczia? Or did something radically happen to him after he already became a doctor which drastically changed his personality?

Anonymous said...

thanks jameel for the link to the mita yehudit and thanks anon too. i never saw that before.

Lurker said...

Anonymous: It's a little strange that he leaves the door to the yichud room open and then they go home together...

They may have left the door open at home as well.

Anonymous: (and they were violating yichud all last season).

I'm not sure that they didn't do the "open door" thing then as well. But even if they didn't, they decided once they were married to be serious about hilkhot nidda. That would make them much the same as a great many religious married couples in real life. Is that inconsistent? Yes. But in real life, people are not always consistent over time, and especially across different stages of their lives. (Remomber my point about the theme of transitioning across boundaries.)

Anonymous: But what I want to know is: don't they always have the rav hand the kallah the wine...

Actually, at most weddings that I've been at, the bride's mother gives her the wine to drink. But there is also a minhag in which the groom does it.

Anonymous: ...and dont they always allow the chassan to put the ring on the kallah no matter what - what is she talking about that everyone has to know?

Yes, but if she is a nidda, then he must do it in such a way that he doesn't touch her. Some poskim require her to wear a glove.

Anonymous: also the bed looked it had one headboard and two mattresses - is that really called "mita yehudit" and are there sectors where that is considered acceptable by the rabbonim - I thought no one permitted that

Here in Israel, yes, that is what it's commonly called. Regarding the headboard: I've seen plenty of "mitot yehudiyot" like that. As Jameel said, often the headboard isn't even attached to either bed, so there's no problem at all. There are some poskim (based on Ram"a) who prohibit a common headboard if it is attached to the beds, but others allow it.

Bruce Epstein said...

I think the show has become a total soap opera. Was it really necessary for Yifat to suddenly become a niddah on her wedding day? And Nati doesn't tell anybody that his mother is dying but goes hiking with Amir? C'mon.

Lurker said...

Bruce Epstein: I think the show has become a total soap opera. Was it really necessary for Yifat to suddenly become a niddah on her wedding day?

I know of three people in real life to whom that happened. So tell me, in your opinion, was it "really necessary" for that to happen to them? And since it actually did, does that mean their lives became "soap operas"?

Bruce Epstein: And Nati doesn't tell anybody that his mother is dying but goes hiking with Amir? C'mon.

It is wholly consistent with Nati's character. See Jameel's comment about this above.

BetterThan Friends said...

Is Nati going to become the gay Friend?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

BTF: Nyah...its probably going to be Nati's brother (who we saw in the hospital). I don't know this for a fact, but have heard it alluded to over the past week in newspaper articles in Makor Rishon.

Bruce: Nati's behaviour about his mother's death is totally in character. He's rather shallow vis-a-vis interpersonal relationships, or at least how he interacts with people. Which is also why he struck out with Yifat, and is still single and in the Bitza to begin with.

Anonymous said...

LOVED the episode! Hated the annoying kotel lady and the lechisha guy in the hospital. I'm glad to know there was a legit reason why the kotel lady was in the wrong place, but it still was far-fetched. the guy in the hospital was even worse. completely unbelievable. i'm looking forward to reut coming back.

Jerusalemcop said...

Anon: Hope she has a good enough reason for missing one of best friend's wedding.

Jcop

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

JCop: Reut's in India if I'm not mistaken...(and hopefully, not in Haiti).

Anon: The "Lechisha" was supposed to be annoying. Guess what? There ARE people like that.

oh well.

Jerusalemcop said...

Jameel: Do you really think I dont know that she's in India? But they still have planes that fly all the time. maybe this is a way for Lazy to add more conflict to the show ;)

Jcop

Liat said...

Jameel, I agree that the part about Yifat being a nidah on her wedding day was dealt with very realistically, I total understood her when she said to Amir, "what all of Petach Tikvah has to be in our bed?". And of all the characters Hodaya's is my favorite, her struggle with who she is is done well, I think.

Is it me, or has Nati put on a few pounds?

And what does Datlash stand for anyway?

Jerusalemcop said...

@Liat - funny that you mentioned about Nati, I noticed that too, but didn't think anything of it ;) Figured maybe I was just imagining things.

Datlash is dati lashe'avar

Jcop

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Liat: Yeah, Nati gained some weight. Comes with age...

Overall, I thought all the portrayals were very authentic, and I personally thought it was a nice ending that instead of going to sleep, Yifat and Amir went for a walk.

Anonymous said...

"They may have left the door open at home as well."

so why do they say they should be walking on the street at the end of the episode?

"Some poskim require her to wear a glove."
isnt it a little unlikely that theyd follow such a machmir psak? maybe i just dont grasp whats going on in israel, b/c here the rav almost always hands the wine to the kallah.
"but others allow it." surely not the ones who require a glove if you follow whats bothering me.

Kamagra said...

Srugim is one of my favorite tv series, i hope that this new season will be very good and interesting, I want to know who is the muqata because i cannot sleep thinking in her.

Generic Viagra said...

This episode es very good, i think that is the best episode of this tv series, all the series is good but i prefer this episode because has more action and drama.

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