Judges, conductors, mayors and cops

The documentary details Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s struggle for acceptance in the legal world in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Good Cop (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Good Cop
(photo credit: Courtesy)
While the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the US Supreme Court rages on, you might want to take a break from the fireworks to see RBG, the extremely entertaining and informative documentary about one of the best-known and most beloved Supreme Court justices of all time, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It will be shown on YES Docu on October 14 at 10 p.m. and it will continue on YES VOD and YES Sting TV.
The documentary was directed by two women, Julie Cohen (who has made such documentaries as The Sturgeon Queens, about the legendary New York deli Russ & Daughters) and Betsy West (who produced The Lavender Scare). It details Ginsburg’s struggle for acceptance in the legal world in the 1950s and 1960s, her work in the federal judiciary in the 1970s, her appointment to the Supreme Court in the Nineties and her tireless advocacy for women’s rights throughout her career.
It also examines the personal side of this respected jurist, looking into her relationships with the mother who encouraged her until an untimely death, her supportive husband and her battle with cancer. And of course, it looks at her unlikely ascendancy as a pop-culture icon, where she has been mythologized as “the notorious RBG.” At 85, she is still going strong, putting in full work days, working out every day with a personal trainer, and inspiring millions. She visited Israel last spring to attend a screening of this film at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, and if you missed that appearance, now you can see the film.
Her life story is being made into a feature film starring British actress Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), but it’s hard to imagine how that could be as entertaining as this documentary.
Another upcoming highlight in October will be the new Israeli series from YES, The Conductor, starring Lior Ashkenazi as a world-renowned musician who suddenly returns to Israel after decades of success abroad and starts running a community choir, while hiding the secret that led to his sudden return. It features a cast of Israeli all-stars, including Doval’e Glickman and Shira Haas of Shtisel. It will be broadcast on YES VOD on October 10 and on Edge at 10 p.m. on October 13. Lovers of classic Israeli songs will particularly enjoy this series.
A familiar favorite, the tear-jerking This is Us, is returning for its third season on YES Drama on Wednesdays at 9:15 p.m., while The Resident, starring Matt Czuchry of The Good Wife, a very conventional hospital drama, can be seen on Thursdays at 10 p.m. Both are also available on YES VOD.
HOT HBO is bringing back some of the network’s most popular miniseries in the coming months, including Show Me a Hero, on October 18. I highly recommend this six-part series, which features just the kind of complex storytelling that used to be a hallmark of Hollywood movies but which long ago moved to television. It stars Oscar Isaac, who is also the star of the movie about the Israeli kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann, Operation Finale, which is currently streaming on Netflix. In Hero, he plays the mayor of Yonkers in the 1980s who gets caught up in the struggle over integrated housing. That might not sound like riveting television, but coming from David Simon, the creator of The Wire, it is. The title comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s insight, “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”
THOSE WHO have Netflix may be curious about the remake of the Israeli series, The Good Cop, starring singer Josh Groban in the title role as a by-the-book cop and Tony Danza (Taxi) as his father, a former cop who resigned in disgrace after a corruption scandal, which is currently streaming. Isiah Whitlock Jr., who played Clay Davis in The Wire, has a supporting role.
Like the Israeli series, it’s a mixture of comedy and police procedural. The crime featured on each episode isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but, just like on Law & Order, this doesn’t mean the series isn’t entertaining. Even when you can see where it’s going, it’s enjoyable to watch it get there, but it won’t go down as one of Netflix’s more memorable offerings.