‘Transparent’ goes to Israel and other September surprises

‘Transparent’ goes to Israel, 'American Crime Story' deals with immigration and 'This Is Us' puts a new spotlight on the family.

‘Transparent’ TV series (photo credit: PR)
‘Transparent’ TV series
(photo credit: PR)
The fourth season of Transparent, which stars Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender dad, will begin running on HOT Xtra VOD on September 26.  The trailer for the upcoming season shows that Maura (Tambor) will take a trip to Israel. The series creator, Jill Soloway, has said that these episodes won’t shy away from politics. The trailer shows Maura getting knocked over at the airport by ultra-Orthodox Jews, floating in the Dead Sea and visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank. It may be the most intriguing visit to Israel by a series since The Simpsons did its Israel episode a few years back.
If you watch Snowfall, a series about the beginning of the crack trade in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, which is now available on YES VOD, you may recognize Israeli actor Alon Aboutboul, who plays Avi Drexler, a ruthless dealer. Aboutboul is one of the high-level dealers Franklin (Damson Idris), a kid from a tough neighborhood, encounters as he begins dealing crack. This isn’t Aboutboul’s first foray into television. He recently had small roles in Twin Peaks and The Leftovers, and he has had bigger roles in several Israeli series, such as Virgins and Shabbatot Ve’hagim.
The crack epidemic spread so quickly that it shook up the worlds of both dealing and law enforcement, and Snowfall is fast paced and well done but naturally is very violent.
The very popular This Is Us, the family drama about three siblings and their parents that goes back and forth in time, will return for a second season on YES VOD starting on September 27. The set-up for this show seemed too contrived for me, but many viewers find it touching in a way that is similar to another family themed series, Parenthood. It will also run on YES Drama starting on October 2 on Wednesdays at 9:15 p.m.
There are many blockbuster movies showing during the holiday, and Wonder Woman runs on both YES VOD and HOT VOD until the end of the month. But if you’d like to try something a little different, you should try a new animated series from Mike Judge, who created the darkly comic Office Space. Check out his new animated television series, Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus, which will premiere in the US on September 22 and on HOT HBO at midnight on Wednesdays starting on September 27 and on HOT VOD.
The eight-episode series, which was co-created by Judge, Richard Mullins and Dub Cornett, chronicles the lives of some of the most eccentric country musicians, such as Johnny Paycheck, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings and Blaze Foley. Judge narrates the show, which includes animated interviews, as well as photos and live-action archival footage.
As the debate on immigration rages in the US, the third season of American Crime Story, which is available on HOT VOD, deals with the issue of the exploitation of Mexicans and runaways by business owners and traffickers seeking to maximize their profits.
It’s never been the most subtle show in the world, but it can be engrossing. Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) stars as a woman whose eyes are opened to what is going on just outside her door after an accident kills a group of Mexican workers who toiled on her family’s farm.
The cast includes Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Janel Moloney (The West Wing).
If you are a fan of Avi Nesher’s recent movies, you might want to check out one of this first films, Dizengoff 99, on September 21 at 8:35 p.m. on the HOT Bidur Israeli (Israeli Entertainment) channel.
The 1979 movie tells a story about two guys and a girl who work at boring jobs in an advertising agency and also share an apartment — a risqué storyline for its day. The charm of the young leads, played by Gidi Gov, Meir Suissa, Anat Atzmon and Gali Atari, is still fresh, and the soundtrack features classic, catchy pop tunes.