The Big Felafel


A Green Light for ‘Ramzor’- A Must Watch Sitcom and Ulpan!

With Srugim winding down its super depressing season (writers, what the hell happened, not only do I feel sick when I watch the show, I don’t want to be friends with any of them, being religious looks like the worse life decision anyone could make- marriage seems like a death trap- and still not a single Anglo character), I have found a new show to love and one that makes me laugh.

Ramzor (Traffic Light), an Israeli sitcom, focuses around three 30-something male characters living in Giv’atayim (near Tel Aviv). While I enjoy the characters, a family man, the ‘living-together’ guy and the bachelor who is a bachelor all the way, it turns out that according to Wikipedia each relationship represents a color of the traffic light, hence the sitcom’s name. The family man, Itzko, is the red light since he is married with a seven-year-old daughter. Amir, the ‘live-together’ guy is the yellow light because he lives with his girlfriend, and of course that leaves the bachelor, Hefer to be the green light because he has no partner and is free to go. However you put it, the show is damn funny and a great ulpan tool for those of us that want to embrace Israeli culture and slang.

The shows are a smart funny and very similar to the current hit in America, ‘Modern Family’. The stories revolve around humorous concepts like an old woman taking over a swimming lane, the friend that only calls you when he walks his dog, getting a housekeeper who ends up making you work for your money and a dog therapist. The characters are all kooky. I personally enjoy Amir (that’s the live-together guy) the most, who is a private show choreographer. Basically he goes to companies and teaches their workers a dance which is themed around their type of work. He deals with the strangest people and yet loves his job and makes the musical numbers work! He alone is worth watching for a half-hour. There is also Itzko’s wife, Lilach, who oddly enough is also the wife on Srugim, yet plays a completely different character on this show. Here she is a self-absorbed journalist who always has the phone by her ear and is ready for her Pulitzer. Her relationship, if you want to call it that, with her husband is more like a great bickering match and makes for good TV. Hefer gives the show its dirtier moments and thus the sitcom has a little something for everyone.

Actor Adir Miller, who plays Amir the ‘live-together’ guy is also the show’s creator and can now add businessman to that list since selling the show to Fox in America. The US version will be written by Bob Fisher who was the executive story editor for “Married with Children.” The series is set to start this Fall.

Check out Free episodes online


Israel is Funny: The HaHaפuch Comedy Show Feb.11

Do you ever stand in line for the post office or bank or ministry of interior or just the bus and feel so stressed out that no one around you seems to know where the line begins and ends? And you want to scream, but instead you just elbow everyone because you’ve learned that’s how you get around in this country, or at least in these so-called lines? Then you get to the end of the line and rather than feeling relieved you feel overcome with emotion and want to cry or scream? Then later when you tell your friend the story, you are both laughing about it, because it is so ridiculous and your friend can tell you the same story?

Well, if you follow any of that, and agree, then you need to come to the HaHaפuch Comedy show on Thursday February 11th. The comedy show is a variety of improv, sketches and videos that aims at making fun of life here in Israel. We will also have a special musical guest, a cappella group Kolture Shock and even a special segment called Spotlight on Immigrant Innovation, which will feature a new immigrant who is doing something great here in Israel. For our first show we are featuring immigrant Jonathan Miller co-owner of Asif Winery in Arad. Did I mention he only made Aliyah in 2006? Awesome! Miller will do a free wine tasting before the show and will sell his delicious award-winning wine. The show starts at 8pm but doors open at 7:30pm and that is when the wine tasting will take place so I strongly suggest you come and get it! There will also be cheap beer to add to the fun.

We plan to perform once a month at our current venue at the Merkaz Hamgshimim Theater in the German Colony. Check out the cool flier they made for us! And to learn more check out our Facebook page. Oh, and here is a clip for all you Srugim lovers, Stacy wants you to come to our show too!  

Remember, Israel is funny. And if you don’t think so then you haven’t seen our show.


Watch Season 2 of Srugim ONLINE (Israel only)

Thanks to @avihein on Twitter for being the first to alert everyone that you can now watch “Yifat gets married”, the first episode  of the second season of Srugim online. You can read what we’ve written about Srugim here and here.  If you need to catch up and do a marathon of the first season – you can watch it free online [Israel only].

For the uninitiated, Srugim is an Israeli drama series (in Hebrew) about young religious singles and couples in Jerusalem.  Srugim’s portrayal of life in Jerusalem is fairly accurate and it really touches on a lot of issues that come up for the 20’s and 30’s crowd in the holy city. The show really hits home – I literally ran into them filming a few times just walking around my neighborhood. It’s also really fun to try and figure out where each shot is filmed and to spot someone I know casually walking by in the backdrop.

As Molly wrote up, we were lucky to see the first 2 episodes at the Jerusalem Cinemateque with “Amir” (Amos Tamam), Laizy Shapira (director) and Chava Divon (co-director) from Srugim.  Now I’m spoiled and want to watch the rest of the season with the whole cast! If you’re reading this, Srugim cast, you’re invited over to watch on my laptop (I don’t watch TV) as I hunt down each episode online! I’ll even make some popcorn. Yalla!

Other peeps talking about Season 2:


“Srugim” the show, I ask you: “איפה (Where’s) Ha-Anglo?”

molly srogimfelalfel

'Amir' with the felafel ladies!

The ever popular TV show “Srugim” is about to start its second season January 10, 2010. But cool people like me and my co-blogger and skinny friend Rebecca have already seen the first two episodes. How did we accomplish such a feat? Well it was simple really, during Hannukah the Jerusalem Cinameteque held the preimere for the new episodes along with a panel of the show’s producers, writers and one of the actors.

I have to admit that for Jerusalem this was pretty cool. Rebecca and I had front row seats which we thought would be great to view the subtitles extra large, but unfortunately Hebrew Ulpan was hardcore that night with no subtitles and lots of Israeli slang. While the seats didn’t help our Hebrew lesson, they were great because we ended up right in front of one of the actors of the show, Amos Tamam, who plays Amir. In some ways it was weird, you know, was I supposed to laugh extra hard in the funny scenes because he was behind me? Should I have sighed when it was sad? It felt like I was on the TV show, not him!

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Anyway, I won’t give away anything so no spoiler alerts, but I will say this: For a show that does a pretty good job depicting Jerusalem’s young religious and semi-religious and non-religious crowd, where’s the token Anglo!! If you remember back to the first episode there was Stacy the ‘American immigrant-reform-lesbian’ that lived next door and was handy for some morning tefilin, but since that appearance we have yet to bump into any Anglos on the street, in classes, or date anyone — which is just hard to believe.

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Come on Laizy! That’s the writer and director’s name; I’m not just calling him lazy! Where’s the Anglo? Either bring Stacy back for more episodes, which I am sure Shira Katz, my improv buddy would love or get an Anglo supporting character in the cast. You must know there’s a lot of us watching and basically there’s a lot of us in Jerusalem. So as you start to write the third season please keep us in mind. And, if you can’t think of a plot or two, let me give you some starters- just know that if you use my ideas I want the credit or at least a pat on the back!

Plots:

  1. Stacy has a (insert Jewish holiday here) party and invites the building. Here the characters meet and become buddies. They share a Shabbat or two, hang out on Emek Refaim and drink like an Anglo whose under age!
  2. The Anglo turned immigrant turned student who meets Hodaya at school.
  3. Nati dates an Anglo girl. That’s simple fun and goes a long way.
  4. Nati dates Molly. Hey it could happen!
  5. Yifat has to design something for The Big Felafel. Molly and Rebecca make a star appearance later to have reoccurring roles on the show. Get it! We play ourselves, it’s pure genius! The blog will truly come to life.
  6. Nati wants some underage booty and ends up at one of those bars with the ‘Shana Alef kids’ we’ve all come to hate.
  7. While the gang hangs out at a café on Emek Refaim a Birthright group invades their space. But one of the members leaves a lasting impression on someone in the group. (it’s not porn, just romance)
  8. Amir teaches an Anglo Hebrew for extra money and ends up setting up the Anglo with either Nati or Reut (depending on if it’s a boy or girl).
  9. Reut meets an Anglo boy at synagogue over Kiddish- hott!
  10. Hodaya becomes friends with an Anglo at her bar who is also debating her level of religiosity.

Laizy, I got more if and when you want it! Just write us!

To join the Bring Back Stacy Facebook Group click here

Photo credit (thanks): Rebecca for the first photo and Dana Lavi Dekel for the bottom 2 photos

To watch the show’s first season for free online


Srugim and Haolim – 2 new Israeli TV shows that I can relate to

Srugim - new show about singles in Katamon

Lately, I don’t relate much to the characters in TV shows – doctors with tough decisions to make (Grey’s Anatomy), moms that sell pot to support their kids (Weeds), a secret call girl in London (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), etc.

As Esther points out, Sex and the City comes closest in its understanding of the ups and downs of being single in a city but obviously does not touch on the Jewish scene. Yes, Charlotte converts to Judaism, but it’s not quite telling of the singles scene on the Upper West Side in NYC or the German Colony in Jerusalem.

In contrast,  Srugim, a new Israeli drama on Yes!, focuses on the singles scene in the Katamon area in Jerusalem so accurately I feel like I’ll be invited to their next Shabbat meal and end up on the set. The show included shots of Burgers Bar and Coffee Mill on Emek Refaim, so I was even looking for myself in the background somewhere. On top of that, I even knew one of the actresses, Shira Katz, who plays Stacy, the American neighbor. A little too close for comfort? Maybe, but I really got a kick out of it and couldn’t turn away, and I’m definitely waiting for the next episode. You can watch the show online in Hebrew with Hebrew subtitles. Explorer and Safari only. [Update: Available in Israel only] Continue reading this entry »