Blue and white and all over the world

More than a dozen Israeli TV series are now available on Netflix with English subtitles.

By
May 30, 2019 08:52
3 minute read.
Blue and white and all over the world

AMOS TAMAM IN HAMEDOVEV. (photo credit: NATI LEVI/YES)

Nearly every day, there is another story in the news about a series from Israel being adapted for television networks abroad, the latest of which is The Baker and the Beauty (in Hebrew, L’hiyot Ita). The original version is about a working-class guy who falls for a Tel Aviv model, and it will be produced for ABC by Keshet International.

The American version, about a Cuban guy who meets a fashion mogul in Miami, may or may not have the charm of the original, which stars Rotem Sela, Israel’s most successful pitchwoman, as the beauty and Avraham Aviv Alush as the baker.

But the good news is that English-speakers can enjoy the Israeli version, along with more than a dozen recent Israeli series, on Netflix, with English subtitles.

Shtisel, the story of an ultra-Orthodox family, and Fauda, about a counterterrorism unit, are the two best known, but there are many others.

Among these are When Heroes Fly, about a group of friends who reunite after they discover evidence that a young woman (Ninet Tayeb) whom they believed had died in Colombia almost a decade ago is still alive. It features some of Israel’s best young actors, among them Tomer Capon (who also starred in a series about combat medics that was shown on Yes here and will be remade by producer/director Ron Howard as 68 Whiskey) and Michael Aloni (who starred in Shtisel). While the series starts out strong, like many suspense shows, it slows down a bit as the mystery turns out to be a bit less interesting than you might have hoped, but it’s still good.

If you’ve heard about Adir Miller’s sitcom Ramzor (which was remade for Fox, not terribly successfully, as Stoplight), about three friends at different stages of life, you can also catch that on Netflix.

Finding these shows is simple: Just go to the search field on Netflix and type in “Israeli series.”

If you feel that your Hebrew is good enough to follow a series without English subtitles, go to mako.co.il and watch the second season of False Flag (Kfulim, in Hebrew). The second season, which has no direct connection to the first, has a similar theme of people who seem to be completely innocent but who are implicated in a terrorist scheme. One is a married mom who is a tour guide in Russia (Neta Riskin from Shtisel); another is a formerly ultra-Orthodox woman, now a lesbian (Moran Rosenblatt of Fauda), who works on an oil rig where a terrorist attack kills an important Turkish diplomat; and the third is a man (Yousef “Joe” Sweid) who has been living as a Jew but is actually Arab.

The incredibly suspenseful, tightly plotted series played on Channel 2 months ago, but the best part of watching it on the Mako website is that if you get confused by some of the Hebrew, you can pause it and take another look.

If you find that this works for you, you can try out the new Yes series Hamedovev, a tense drama about two brothers (Or Ben Melech and Amos Tamam, best known as Amir from the very popular series Srugim) caught up in a web of crime and intrigue. It starts on June 12 on YesVOD and on June 13 at 10 p.m. on Yes Action.

Two big series from the US are returning in June. Season 3 of the harrowing dystopian fable The Handmaid’s Tale will be back on HOT VOD and HOT HBO, starting on Thursdays at 10 p.m. It stars Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and The West Wing as one of a class of fertile slaves forced to bear children for sterile upper-class families.

Meryl Streep is joining Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern on the cast of Big Little Lies in season 2, which will come to Cellcom TV, HOT VOD and HOT HBO on Mondays at 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. starting on June 10, and on Yes VOD and Yes Drama starting June 13 on Thursdays at 10 p.m.


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