Hello to ‘Dig,’ goodbye to ‘Glee’

This week on TV.

March 18, 2015 17:14
3 minute read.
‘Dig’ TV series

‘Dig’ TV series. (photo credit: PR)

The series Dig, the most hotly anticipated new series of 2015, is now being shown on HOT VOD and HOT Plus starting on March 21, and on YES VOD and YES Action. This 10-episode miniseries is an Israeli-American co-production distributed by USA Networks and co-produced by, among other companies, Israel’s Keshet Broadcasting. It was created by Tim Kring, best known for the series Heroes and Touch, and Gideon Raff, the man behind Homeland.

It’s an international action/ adventure/psychological thriller, and the main location in the series is Jerusalem. The series looks at the deep darkness and madness of extremists from the three religions that consider Jerusalem sacred: Christians, Jews and Muslims.

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The producers started out shooting on location, but last summer’s war created problems. I interviewed the series’ star, British actor Jason Isaacs (who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series), last summer at the Jerusalem Film Festival, where he was promoting his movie After the Fall, just after shooting on Dig had been halted. He was eager to get back to work on Dig, and shooting was then moved to New Mexico and Croatia.

The first two episodes seem to have been shot entirely before the move because there are many recognizable locations in Jerusalem, mainly in the Old City.

Isaacs stars as Peter Connelly, an FBI agent who is in Jerusalem trying to catch a terrorist. He’s trying to get over the death of his adult daughter and is having a not very passionate affair with his boss (Anne Heche). When he meets a young woman (Alison Sudol) who reminds of his daughter, he can’t let her out of his sight and goes with her to the archeological dig under the Old City, where she is working. Ori Pfeffer plays an Israeli detective who competes with Peter to solve cases. When a murder takes place at the dig site, Peter tries to solve it, but it gets complicated (no spoilers here).

Peter and the Israeli detective are also tracking a terrorist who has stolen an artifact worn in the days of the Temple.

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a group of Christian extremists are grooming a mysterious young boy to be the messiah, but they aren’t just a bunch of kooks – they are murderers.

In a third plot, a pure red heifer is born in Norway, and a young Hassid is sent to raise it until it can be brought to Israel.

The whole series is a bit over the top, but it is fun and it makes the most of the various messianic extremists from different faiths.

Speaking of over-the-top fun, Glee will air its last episode, a double episode, on March 21 at 8 p.m. on YES Drama. The last episode will feature a flashback as to how the characters met and will take a peek into the future.

If you’re not a 12-year-old girl, this may not mean much to you but the show, in which about half the characters headed to New York in the fourth season, has now moved its focus back to Lima, Ohio. It has never fully regained its light-hearted vibe since Corey Monteith, one of its heartthrobs, died of a drug overdose in 2013. In recent seasons, the plots have gone from silly to dopey, but there are still wonderful songs. Glee has almost single-handedly introduced younger audiences to all kinds of great music — Broadway show tunes, vintage 1970s pop, disco (Saturday Night Fever), folk music and much more. It did this by mixing them with current hits, such as songs by Rihanna and Jay-Z. But the enduring popularity of Glee shows how even tweens raised on the Internet still crave melodic, romantic songs.

And perhaps no single work of mainstream entertainment has ever done more to foster the acceptance of gays, as major characters battled homophobia and ended up marrying the (same sex) loves of their lives. The ironic part of all this is that the show is produced by Fox, the same company that runs the ultra-Conservative Fox News Network. It just goes to show that the owner of Fox’s parent company, Rupert Murdoch, still has his gaze firmly focused on the bottom line, even if his heart is on the right.

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