Who let the dogs out?

New on the screen: Barking mad and biting comedy, with a crime caper in between.

'Flesh-and- Blood Dogs' TV show (photo credit: PR)
'Flesh-and- Blood Dogs' TV show
(photo credit: PR)
Animal rights is an issue often pushed aside in Israel, since there are so many problems that people consider more pressing. But there are a growing number of Israelis seriously concerned about the treatment of animals, and one of them is the focus of the program Flesh-and- Blood Dogs, which will be shown on Channel 1 on November 18 at 9 p.m.
Yuval Mendelovich rescues dogs that have been mistreated, rehabilitates them and finds people to adopt them, a bit like the famed dog whisperer Cesar Millan in the US. In recent years, people have started training dogs to fight in cruel, abusive dog fights, so Mendelovich has taken on the mission of finding these dogs and getting them out of this horrific situation. It’s a tremendous amount of work and stress, and the program follows him as he does the work that he considers his life’s mission but that is not paid. He struggles to eke out a living as well, but most of his time is consumed by the search for and grueling retraining of these canines. When he manages to build a makeshift farm for these dogs to live on as he retrains them, thieves break in and send the dogs back to the fights.
Friends has been off the air for a decade, and its cast members have all gone their separate ways. While Jennifer Aniston has become a ubiquitous presence on the big screen, other former Friends have kept a lower profile, most notably Lisa Kudrow, who played the ditzy Phoebe. Just after the series ended, she starred in one season of an HBO show called The Comeback, which has just come back for a second season, on Wednesdays on YES Oh at 10 p.m., YES VOD and YES Go.
In a sort of post-modern, fauxreality show, she plays Valerie Cherish, a former TV star from a Friends-like show, who is starring in a self-produced reality show called The Comeback about her own attempted comeback. Kudrow was wickedly funny, and the show spoofed and explored the thenrelatively new world of reality shows. Valerie was a sad character, who was constantly being stood up by her co-stars on a new sitcom in which she played the aunt of a gorgeous young 20something, ignored by famous actors and agents, and snapped at by her exasperated businessman husband.
She was utterly shameless in promoting herself, but her shamelessness didn’t get her anywhere.
I wasn’t sure exactly where they could go with it after that one season, but Kudrow was so good and so unafraid to play a very unflattering character with superficial similarities to herself, that HBO has given it another chance. The new season picks up nine years after the last one ended, and it continues to be a parade of Valerie’s humiliations. Kudrow somehow manages to be appealing in the role, even as she auditions to play a character based on herself on a TV show, reading dialogue in which she complains about playing undesirable older women.
The show is produced by Michael Patrick King, who was the executive producer of 2 Broke Girls and Sex and the City.
Take a look at it and you’ll know within five minutes whether the ironic commentary on reality shows and Hollywood works for you.
If you were a fan of the Veronica Mars television series starring Kristen Bell as a teen detective, then you’ll be glad to hear that the Veronica Mars movie will be shown on HOT Gold HD on November 15 at 4:50 p.m. Fans are very passionate about Veronica Mars and actually funded the movie themselves through a Kickstarter campaign that raised $5 million.
The movie has been described by a number of reviewers as playing like an extended episode of the series, with Veronica now about to start practicing law but taking the time to solve a crime for a friend.