Those of us who were lucky enough to have power in our homes when the great Jerusalem snowstorm of December 2013 hit, let’s admit it: We watched a lot of TV. And for those with several generations and temperaments living under one roof, it can be tricky to find the right programming. So here, for reference, are 10 tips for keeping everyone happy while tuned in to Israeli television.
1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is the best movie ever if you are trying to please a group that includes young children, snarky teens, young adults and middle-aged film connoisseurs.
It’s got animation, live action, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd camping it up as a creepy villain, double entendres, movie references, slapstick and, of course, Jessica Rabbit (whose image can prompt, as it did in my home, a discussion of the way women are depicted on screen, which cooled cabin fever for a good 10 minutes).
Passing thought: Nothing in Ari Folman’s mixed animation/live action The Congress was as vivid or as funny as Toontown in Roger Rabbit, which was made more than two decades ago.
Don’t wait for the next storm – buy this on DVD now.
2. Truth is not necessarily stranger but often more interesting than fiction. We never got tired of looking at news broadcasts of cars stuck on Highway 1 or watching the electric company representatives squirm their way through press conferences. It also got increasingly interesting to explain to my kids what hair extensions are by pointing them out on the female Fox News anchors.
3. Nature shows can get you through a lot. I can’t tell you how much we’ve all learned about reptiles, sharks and insects. Someday, many of us who lived through this blizzard are going to ace trivia categories we never knew anything about before.
4. Nelson Mandela was truly a great man. We got to watch quite a bit of his funeral ceremony and tributes to him during the storm. He forgave the South African government for imprisoning him for 27 years. But by Sunday night, our politicians were already clogging up the news shows, bitterly blaming each other, and various representatives of the Jerusalem Municipality and the electric company, for everything that went wrong during the storm.
Tip for any politician who wants to get more votes in the next election: Stop talking and come help me shovel out my car.
5. Kids will never get interested in the TV series The Good Wife, no matter how many times you explain that it’s terrific.
6. The animated TV series Family Guy is a little less fun and a little more disturbing every time I watch it.
7. A few words about promos.
TV executives take note: Before you put a promo on the air, show it to a test audience a few dozen (or a few hundred) times.
Promos should look as good as, if not better than, the shows they advertise. For some reason, we never got tired of promos for Cesar Millan’s Leader of the Pack on the National Geographic Wild channel, I guess because the dogs were so cute. But we quickly developed an aversion to all the commercials for Enigma, the new Israeli show on the Viva Channel. It has a good cast, with Ofer Schechter, Sharon Alexander, and Evelyn Hagoel, but it looks incredibly stupid and annoying. And no, we don’t want the phone app for it.
8. At a certain point, it’s more fun to watch cooking shows than to cook because you’re out of key ingredients, and you’re sick of cleaning up. Come Dine with Me (on Channel 1 at 7:20 p.m.
on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on Monday at 6 p.m., with reruns every night at 11:30 p.m. and in HD on Channel 511) features Israeli gourmet cooks hosting guests for elaborate dinner parties.
Royal Chef on YES Comedy also made us want to run out and buy the fixings for elaborate meals.
9. You can watch the last 10 minutes of any crime show, and it’s obvious what has happened up till then.
10. Eventually, you will want to switch off the TV set and get out the board games.