sounds like 'Sex and the City,' only without the Cosmos, the clothing and all the premarital sex.'>

Is Israel ready for 'Sex and the Holy City'?

'Sex and the Holy City' sounds like 'Sex and the City,' only without the Cosmos, the clothing and all the premarital sex.

October 17, 2007 09:01
2 minute read.
tali sharon 88 224

tali sharon 88 224. (photo credit: )

It sounds like Sex and the City, just without the Cosmos, the clothing and all the premarital sex. Instead of one-night stands, there will be Shabbat dinners; rather than contraceptives, dialogue will presumably focus on abstinence, the recommended sexual practice for Jerusalem's God-fearing young singles. That, in any case, is the general premise behind Sex and the Holy City, a still-to-be filmed TV series currently finishing up casting. The show, scheduled for broadcast next year, follows a group of young religious Jews as they look for love - and, more importantly, for spouses - under the concerned gaze of parents, clergy and their already married friends. Beyond its name - actually a working title that's likely to be changed - the show offers only a limited amount in common with the original Sex and the City, the HBO series that launched a thousand fashion trends and is currently being filmed for the big screen in New York. The Israeli series, set to air on cable provider Yes, will be filmed in the coming months in Jerusalem's Katamon neighborhood, and will focus on Hodaya (Tali Sharon), a 30ish religious woman who finds herself dating a secular man of about 40. He (Zohar Strauss), a Jerusalem archaeologist, has never had to work so hard to make himself acceptable to a woman; she, meanwhile, must balance her faith with her feelings and consider the opinions of her community. The character is a twist, though a recognizable one, on another single woman Sharon played earlier this year. In Channel 2's The Ex, the actress played a young (but not that young) Tel Aviv woman reconnecting with old boyfriends after she learns from a fortuneteller that she's already dated - and dumped - the man with whom she's fated to be. While that show focused on the young and irreverent for a target audience made up of mostly the same, the new series, billed as a comic drama, will offer a look at the religious community with largely secular viewers in mind. Sharon, a nominee at Israel's version of both the Oscars and the Emmys last year, clearly won't need to use Sarah Jessica Parker as her inspiration, even if the show keeps its Sex and the City-like title. But if it's to become a hit, the new Hebrew-language series, like its American predecessor, will need to contain elements of universal appeal, even as it focuses on a small subset of the general population (wealthy white female professionals in the first series, Halacha-observing Jerusalem singles in the second). Promoters of the new show appear to have this precept in mind, describing it as comic drama that will "create identification" with all its characters - people "ultimately looking," they say, "for the same things as the rest of us."

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