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.
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.