Among the many things I love about Israel, one of them is Israeli TV. What is so special and different about TV in Israel? One of the things that makes Israeli TV so special is that it is so familiar; the places, the slang, the Jews, and of course the Israelisms. For instance, in a couple of my favorite shows, Asfur and Haborer the 2 main characters’ army records become integral to the show’s plot as we get to know them and their stories better. In another very popular and, as of November, Emmy award winning sitcom, Ramzor, one of the characters is involved in a scandal in a Kosher grocery store when he comes to the cash with a dairy sample and a meat sample in his mouth and hands. As a result, he gets chased out by a group of not so happy Haredim or Ultra-Orthodox Jews. To me, that’s pretty hilarious, Jewish, and very Israeli. Asfur takes place in Jerusalem, where we are offered a nice taste of Jerusalem slang and are constantly reminded of how important Beitar Yerushalayim is for soccer supporters from the holy capital. Israeli TV has perfectly infused its vast and imposing culture into creative works for homes, internet streaming and flat screens.
Israeli TV has also done something incredible with shows that I could never bring myself to watch on my basic Videotron setup. Kochav Nolad is the amazing Israeli version of American Idol, whose main host is Israeli comedian, Tsvika Hadar and whose judges feature top names in the music industry. Their flare and humor topples that of the judging panel of their American counterpart. Kochav Nolad has also taken its camera crew to different corners in the world in search of Israeli talent; in season 6 they went in search of Israelis in India, season 7 in America and in the latest season, season 8, to Sao Paulo to find backpacking Israelis with loads of talent, and there’s always an Israeli backpacking somewhere. Other notable reality shows that have been recreated with major success in Israel are Survivor or Hisardut, The Biggest Loser or Laredet Bagadol and of course Big Brother.
As a final note about the creativity of these shows, Ramzor won an Emmy last week for “Best Comedy series of 2010” and its idea was bought by Fox for an American adaptation that will begin February 9th, 2011. Another show that was adapted by American TV is BeTipul which is known as the popular HBO series In Treatment.
Check out Ramzor’s Emmy victory here
Here’s the show with english subtitles…
Obviously there are many, many more incredible Israeli Shows, but I’ll let you discover those on your own. Let me know if you’re interested in watching some amazing TV and I’ll set you up!