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This Week On TV: New beginnings
Sneak peak at ‘The Affair’ Season 3 and ‘The Danish Girl’
Season 3 of The Affair will start running in the US on November 20, but in Israel we will have to wait until January to see it, according to representatives of HOT.

In an unusual gesture, Showtime released the first episode of the new season on YouTube for free last week. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it has been blocked for viewing here (and probably most countries outside the US, for copyright reasons).

However, once something is out there on the Internet, it’s available somewhere, and it can be viewed on many sites.

The Affair is that sexy series co-created by Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi (who made Be’Tipul and the HBO series In Treatment) that tells the story of an intense romance between Noah (Dominic West), a married novelist dissatisfied by the fact that his wealthy father-in-law bankrolls the family’s comfy lifestyle, and Alison (Ruth Wilson), a waitress in a beachside resort grieving the drowning death of her son. At least, that was how it started. It also had a film noir/mystery element and a gimmick that each episode was told from the point of view of each lover. Last season, it expanded to include the viewpoints of the jilted spouses and focused on the mystery surrounding the death of a character in a hit-and-run.

Without giving away too much of the new episode, let me say that it picks up about three years after Season Two’s big reveal, about the real culprit in the car accident.

Noah has just gotten out of prison, where he served time for this killing, although he took the fall for someone else (I won’t say more, but if you haven’t seen the end of Season Two, see it soon because someone else won’t be as restrained as I am). Noah is depressed and defeated, living with his sister and resentful brother-in-law. Their father has just died, and Helen (Maura Tierney), his ex-wife, comes to the funeral with their kids, who are still very angry at him for leaving their mother. Noah is teaching creative writing at a college in New Jersey, and for the first time the series leaves behind the tantalizing realestate porn of boho Brooklyn and beachfront Montauk, Long Island, for some ordinary town.

Reporting glumly to his parole officer, Noah thinks he sees a man following him, who may or may not be the prison guard (Brendan Fraser, remember him?) he still fears. Meanwhile, he is that bitter creative writing professor you hope you don’t get, who trashes his students’ writing and their personalities for no good reason.

Sarah Ramos (who was Haddie on Parenthood) plays the victim of the worst of his wrath. Irene Jacob (the French star of such films as Louis Malle’s Au Revoir, les Enfants and Red in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy) is being set up as Noah’s new love interest. Noah is no longer in touch with Alison, the woman for whom he left his wife, nor the daughter he once believed was his, although she will appear in future episodes.

The episode is told only from Noah’s point of view and is filled with dream sequences and flashbacks to his life in prison. We won’t know for a while whether the shocker at the end of the episode is real or a dream. Will the series continue to be such twisty, escapist fun? It’s hard to tell from this first episode, but Jacob’s character seems to be a welcome addition.

Levi is currently at work on a new series as well, an HBO/Keshet co-production, in collaboration with director Joseph Cedar (Footnote), about the abduction and murder of the three Israeli boys by terrorists in 2014 and its aftermath.

The film The Danish Girl, the story of the man who underwent the world’s first sex-change operation, will air on November 19 on HOT Gold on 6:20 p.m. and YES 1 at 9:30 p.m.

Eddie Redmayne (who won the Best Actor Oscar for The Theory of Everything) stars in the lead role, and Alicia Vikander (who won Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl) plays the very understanding wife.
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