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‘Hit’ strikes out, ‘Smart’ sizzles, ‘Grace’ returns: What to watch in Israel

CM 17/08/2021


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Fauda’s creators, Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, have hit it big again with their Netflix series, Hit & Run, which is one of the top-rated Netflix original series around the world. They truly seem to know what audiences enjoy and that is a great talent. 
Hit & Run is more international in scope than Fauda, set in Israel and New York. It tells the story of Segev (Raz), a former special forces operative turned tour guide whose wife, Danielle (Kaelen Ohm), a dancer, is killed by a speeding car in Tel Aviv just as she is heading to New York for an audition. But of course it isn’t really an accident and Segev heads to New York to discover the truth about the wife he thought he knew.
The setup in the first episodes is lively, but as the series goes on, it has more car chases and plot holes than real surprises, as several plot turns are telegraphed way in advance. Still, in the world of Netflix series, we have all learned to suspend disbelief a bit in the service of entertainment. 

But the script hits one false note after another. It’s hard to accept that an Israeli who was once involved in some kind of undercover military work never looked up one thing about his wife’s past, if not out of suspicion, then out of curiosity. When Naomi (Sanaa Lathan), a reporter for New York magazine and a former flame of Segev’s, is introduced, he compliments her on her profile of Avigdor Liberman, noting, “You were tough on him.” 
“Somebody had to be,” she responds. This exchange is just one example of how unconvincing so much of the series is. Why would she speak as if this controversial Israeli politician were the subject of dozens of puff pieces, when he is barely on the American radar and he is rarely written about uncritically by the Israeli press? Yes, this is just one exchange, but it shows how slipshod the writing is, in spite of the multimillion-dollar budget. The scenes featuring the New York City police and various other officials – no spoilers here – seem similarly inauthentic. For me, there is a certain policy regarding TV series that is much like the three-strikes-and-you’re-out rule in baseball. I can accept one line that takes me out of the story (like “Somebody had to be”) or two, but when it gets to be three or more, it’s hard to stay invested in the plot. Nevertheless, the car chases have won over many viewers, and the series ends on a cliffhanger and is set for a second season. 
JEAN SMART is one of the best actresses whose name you may not know and she finally has a starring role worthy of her in Hacks, which is showing on Hot 3 on Sundays at 8:45 p.m. and on Next TV and Hot VOD. You may remember her from such series as 24, Frasier, Dirty John, Fargo and Watchmen and she recently portrayed Kate Winslet’s mother on Mare of Easttown. 
In Hacks, she plays Deborah Vance, a comedian in Las Vegas who is popular with older audiences. When the owner of the casino/hotel where she performs wants to start cutting back her shows, her agent convinces her to hire a young writer, Ava (newcomer Hannah Einbinder, whose mother, Laraine Newman, was a beloved member of Saturday Night Live’s original cast). Ava was a hot young comedy writer who was “canceled” after she tweeted a politically incorrect joke and is persona non grata everywhere in Hollywood. 
Of course, you know that these two women will bond and all that, but they are well-drawn characters and it’s fun to watch it happen. The show has a similar vibe to GLOW, in that it takes very real women and lets them be funny together. Smart is (very deservedly) the favorite to win an Emmy this year in the comedy category.
 ‘GRACE AND FRANKIE,’ starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. (credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix 2021) ‘GRACE AND FRANKIE,’ starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. (credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix 2021)
GRACE AND FRANKIE, the always funny and sometimes touching series in which Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play the title characters who get thrown together when their husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) leave them to marry each other, is back with the beginning of its seventh – and last – season. 
Four episodes of what will be a 16-episode season are now streaming and it picks up where the previous season left off. Robert (Sheen) and Sol (Waterston) – their now-married ex-husbands – move back in after Grace and Frankie’s latest invention for oldsters – a toilet that rises – blows up while it is being stored in their house. If you are not familiar with this series, it is not a subtle show. It can get pretty silly, but it mixes au courant jokes about gay marriage and New Age trends with the sitcom staple of control freak Grace being roommates with crunchy slob Frankie. With this quartet of amazing stars, it almost always manages to be more than the sum of its parts. 
Previous seasons have featured much Jewish humor and this one is no exception. As Sol and Frankie’s son Bud (Baron Vaughn) brings both families together to air their beefs, a series of secrets are revealed, one of them involving a made-up Jewish holiday that Sol and Frankie use to get out of boring events (a good idea that won’t work in Israel). Due to a medical problem, Bud discovers he must get circumcised and there is a good joke about the bad jokes spouted by the mohel he hires to do the job. 
These four episodes go by too fast and leave you with a taste for the rest of the season, which will be released in 2022. 
FOR THOSE who have a fondness for those corny Hallmark movies – and many of us indulge in this genre from time to time – Yes is now offering a VOD library of these films and it will include new Hallmark releases that will become available as soon as they are shown in the US. Among the movies are the recent The Baker’s Son, about a bread maker who lives on an island and who loses his zest for life and yeast, which can only be restored by his childhood friend and true love. You know how it turns out, but many of us will still want to tune in. The press release promises Hanukkah movies as well as Christmas films. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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