Shows about charming kids, seniors hit Israeli TV

This is the first season that has been produced since the lockdowns of the COVID pandemic made such activities impossible.

 ‘OLD PEOPLE’S Home for Four-Year-Olds’ (photo credit: Kan 11/Ohad Romano)
‘OLD PEOPLE’S Home for Four-Year-Olds’
(photo credit: Kan 11/Ohad Romano)

Take 45 minutes and watch Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds, the new season of the KAN 11 series where a preschool is set up in an assisted-living facility for the elderly, and it will be the best thing you see on TV all week. The cameras follow their joint activities and show how it affects all of them. It’s running on Monday nights at 10:15 p.m., and each episode is available on the website at

This is the first season that has been produced since the lockdowns of the COVID pandemic made such activities impossible. Children paid a price for being cooped up at home, but the elderly suffered in a way that was especially tragic. Although their physical health was protected through the lockdowns, elderly people became very isolated, many suffering cognitive declines and mental anguish, as several professionals who provide commentary for the show describe.

This program, bringing together children and elderly residents, is meaningful and helpful to them all, fostering a sense of empathy in children and giving their elders some fun that has been missing from their daily lives. The series presents portraits of the elderly who participate, some of whom have suffered heartbreaking losses. Watching this series, you will wonder why bringing the very young and very old together isn’t done more often. The first season of this series, which aired a few years ago, sparked discussions in the Knesset and in many institutions. This program has been a success in many countries around the world.

The Idol: The hottest show in the US

THE MOST talked-about series in the US right now, HBO’s The Idol, is now showing on Hot HBO on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. and on Hot VOD and Next TV, on Yes TV Drama on Mondays at 10 p.m. and YesVOD and Sting TV, and Cellcom TV.

It’s a show designed to shock and titillate, and focuses on a Britney Spears-like pop singer, Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), desperate to make a comeback after a breakdown, who falls under the spell of a Svengali-like LA club owner, Tedros (played by Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, and if you’re of a certain age, trust me – that’s how he spells it; it’s not a typo).

 ‘THE IDOL’  (credit: Hot TV and Next TV)
‘THE IDOL’ (credit: Hot TV and Next TV)

It plays like a combination of a music video, a perfume commercial, an R-rated episode of the VH1 series Behind the Music, and a porn flick. It seems the creators have gone all out to get the attention of the Instagram generation by putting Depp’s toned body on display as much as possible. Depp is the 24-year-old daughter of Johnny Depp and actress/singer Vanessa Paradis, and she is a dead ringer for her mother.

Depp has the blank stare of an exhausted pop star down pat, and while I think this is meant to be a drama of a young woman who has lost her way, there is so little hint of anything behind her blankness that it’s hard to care. There is no real chemistry between her and The Weeknd, but that’s the point: Her character is supposed to be numb, and only Tedros’s kinky tricks, like wrapping her head in a red silk scarf and cutting a hole in it when she starts to smother, make her feel alive. The story of masochistic women and the sadists they love has been told over and over, and now it is being told for the 21st century. He plays mind games with her and wins her over with his criticisms and guidance, telling her, “You’ve got the best job in the world. You should be having way more fun,” and saying she doesn’t sound as sexy as Donna Summers.

As is de rigueur for this type of story, Jocelyn is surrounded by a parasitic entourage whose members care about preserving their salaries and privileges, rather than about her well-being. Hank Azaria, who is best known as one of the voices on The Simpsons, plays the leader of this pack, an especially outrageous character named Chaim, who speaks in an accent that intermittently sounds Israeli. He locks the intimacy coordinator in the bathroom when Joss wants to show even more skin than her contract requires. Intimacy coordinator jokes on behind-the-scenes shows have become the only way that Hollywood can still laugh at itself. Most of The Idol is deadly serious, though, and reportedly the next few episodes feature more kinky sex, but it’s hard to know where this series will go after that.

IF YOU want to bring your mind back to life after watching The Idol, you might want to take Cellcom TV up on its free trial offer for the SCREENZ lecture and master class app. SCREENZ features courses with leading figures in the arts and culture, among them the author Eshkol Nevo and movie director Avi Nesher. It’s a bit like the MasterClass education subscription platform in the US, and it features more than 400 courses. If Cellcom TV users decide to continue after the trial, they will get a discount.

There is good news for fans of the Keshet series Line in the Sand: The second season will begin to run on Channel 12 next week. The first season of this tense police drama, known in Hebrew as Hashotrim, starred Tsahi Halevi in a tense, fact-based saga about a criminal gang that ran wild in the beachfront city of Nahariya for years and the police who tried to stop them. The baby-faced crime boss, Shlomi Ifrah, became a breakout star of the series, and fans have been waiting two years for the second season.