‘Orange’ returns, an Israeli romance blooms and ‘Euphoria’ saddens

Gottlieb was a Holocaust survivor and a woman full of contradictions who turned a small Israeli factory into a thriving international luxury brand, and her story is extremely entertaining.

July 24, 2019 19:50
3 minute read.
‘Orange’ returns, an Israeli romance blooms and ‘Euphoria’ saddens

ZENDAYA in ‘Euphoria.’. (photo credit: HBO)

Orange is the New Black, the series by Jenji Kohan about inmates of a women’s prison – a series that does not always get the credit it deserves for revolutionizing how television portrays both women of color and older women, and for how it evoked so many strong emotions and so much humor in the process – will release its seventh and final season on July 26. It will be available in Israel on HOT VOD and HOT HBO starting on Friday, and an episode will be shown every night.
The series is a Netflix original but, just to make things confusing, it will not be released on Netflix here, because HOT has the rights to it locally. Seasons 1-4 are available currently on Netflix Israel, and eventually Netflix may release the later seasons here.
Season 6, which is as dark as the series has ever been, ended with some cliff-hangers. The trailer reveals no spoilers, but makes it clear that it will continue to follow Piper (Taylor Schilling), the white inmate who was imprisoned for a minor drug offense and who was originally the main protagonist of the show, after she is released and is poised to write the story of their lives behind bars. It will also develop the perhaps inevitable plot twist: that the for-profit company that runs the Litchfield prison will now work for ICE and incarcerate migrants.
The roller coaster of mixed emotions that accompany any season of OITNB is hinted at in the trailer, as Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) is asked what she really wants, and she replies, without missing a beat, “Ice cream... and justice.”
Israel is also known for series that push the envelope, and the new Keshet series It’s Not Your Age (a title that will most likely be changed to It’s Just a Number when it is inevitably remade for US television), which is playing on Channel 2 on Tuesday nights and is available via the Mako website, is trying to do just that.
Created by Roy Iddan, it’s about Talia (Miri Mesika), a 42-year-old divorced lawyer who finds love — with her daughter’s 22-year-old surfing instructor, Yishai (Gefen Barkai), who works with her son.
Although the clichéd way of telling this story would be to make Talia fall hard for the younger man and push for their relationship to get serious while he is uncertain about it, here it’s just the reverse. He tells her kids about their relationship, announces he’s moving in and introduces her to his parents long before she is ready.
Everyone is upset with Talia, including Yishai, who feels at times that she isn’t that into him – with some justification. The show is fast-paced and often funny, but it has a central problem: a lack of chemistry between its leads. It’s never as sexy as it should be, because they never seem as if they’re that into each other.
A new HBO series, Euphoria, which is showing here on HOT VOD and HOT HBO and on Yes on Sting TV and YesVOD and is a remake of an Israeli series of the same name, has shocked many viewers in the US.
The original Israeli series, which was also about troubled teens very heavily into drugs, was somehow a bit kinder and gentler, and certainly less bleak, mainly because the kids themselves were somehow a bit less cynical and seemed younger and more vulnerable. The kids on the US version of Euphoria, from Zendaya in the lead role to all the others, seem lost in a way that it’s hard to imagine Israeli teens could ever be, mainly because of the small size of the country, which can be so stifling, but also guarantees that there will always be some authority figure not too far away.
Mrs. G., the documentary that tells the fascinating true story of Lea Gottlieb, the legendary designer, founder and owner of the Gottex swimwear empire, will be shown on Kan 11 (Channel 1) on July 31 at 9 p.m.
Gottlieb was a Holocaust survivor and a woman full of contradictions who turned a small Israeli factory into a thriving international luxury brand, and her story is extremely entertaining.

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