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


The Swedes Make the So-called TV Tax Almost Cool!

How about this for a TV Tax: The Swedish have got it right when it comes to the so-called TV Tax. First off- they don’t call it the TV Tax which is confusing and wrong— they call it the Broadcasting Tax, and define it as “Everyone who owns, rents or borrows a television receiver has to pay for a TV License. It doesn’t matter which channels you watch, the mere fact that you have a TV receiver makes you liable to pay for a license.” Perhaps if the tax was about broadcasting, and the actual receiver as opposed to the TV box then we could all get along here. I mean after all, that’s really what the tax is about: taxing us for government funded channels. But if I don’t watch those channels, can’t even get those channels on my TV and only use it to watch DVDs then I shouldn’t have to pay a TV tax which is really just a Broadcasting Tax. And believe me I have explained this to no end to the Israeli TV Tax folks, but they are just not interested (they literally don’t read the letters I send, emails, or phone calls). And furthermore if they could give people the option of not having a Channel receiver then the mess would be even less of a mess and maybe not a mess at all!

OK, this is a rant I have given way to many times. This time I am just saying check out the really cool way the Swedes have managed to inform people about paying their tax. Rather than sending threatening letters, giving you fines, and just assuming you are guilty of owning a TV and watching their amazing channels without paying for them, the Swedes say, hey, we’re good at what we do so check out our amazing commercial and will prove how awesome we are, and then pay your tax.

Check out this commercial which may start off slow, but believe me it’s so worth it to watch. Why you ask? Because in this version of the film the Felafel Ladies make an appearance, and if you watch it to the end then you too can make an appearance. Just watch it to see what I’m talking about. And just imagine if the TV Tax bureaucrats in Israel could get out of their mob mentality and actually do something this creative, perhaps people wouldn’t be fighting the tax at all, and just enjoy good entertainment!

12 hours straight of tv and movies

It’s not often your eyes get the chance to glaze over as you watch 12 hours straight of tv and movies. But now, Contintental has a new on-demand movie system to satisfy your tv cravings guilt-free with shows like Sex and the City, Scrubs, Friends, and The Office, not to mention the 150+ movies at your disposal.

However, I find that the greater entertainment selection there is, the ruder the flight attendants are. As one of the flight attendant’s passed my seat, I sweetly and innocently asked if they had any more of those great noshy chips they handed out earlier. Here’s the response I got: “I don’t know. this is a really packed flight, and I have no way of knowing. If I check for you, then I have to get for everyone else. Oh, I see the bathroom opening up. If I don’t go now, I’ll never get in. ” I have a feeling they’d rather see the latest Weeds episode than be handing out kosher meals.