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Frum Fetish Shlock: Netflix’s ‘Unorthodox’

The problem with Orthodox Jewish women in popular cultural representations lies with audience desires for shlock and salvation, not with Haredi society.  The Netflix series Unorthodox, appearing as it did at the heart of pandemic lockdown, caused a sensation in both the Jewish and non-Jewish world.   The four-episode drama offered a tantalizing look at a woman’s escape from her […]

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‘A Place to Call Home’: The Fantastic Jewish Show You Haven’t Been Watching

Australian drama, A Place to Call Home, by Bevan Lee, premiered in 2013, follows Sister Sarah Nordmann (née Adams), played by Marta Dusseldorp, as she returns from two decades in Europe to 1950s Australia. After nursing in the Spanish Civil War, she spends the rest of the 1930s in Paris, with her Jewish husband — she has converted to Judaism so they can marry. They are caught up in the […]

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‘The Plot Against America’ comes back to haunt me

I can vividly remember reading Philip Roth’s novel when it was published in 2004 and being completely gobsmacked that Charles Lindbergh was the American President. We were on holiday in Portugal in the same place we’d gone back to every year since who knows when, for a week of walking, Scrabble and reading. I can still […]

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‘Gentiles, not funny’: Revisiting The O.C.

One of the unexpected silver linings of lockdown is that it has afforded me some much-needed extra down time.   So, rather than doing anything productive, I decided to revisit an old favourite from my youth.   The O.C., for those who have been living under a rock for the last two decades, is the pinnacle of American teen drama which ran for […]

Image credit: Ohad Romano

Freud meets Shtisel

For those not lucky enough to have seen it, Shtisel is a Netflix drama about family life in a Haredi community set in Geula, Jerusalem. It offers a unique insight into what living in this close-knit community may be like from the point of view of the Shtisel family including patriarch Shulem, son Akiva, daughter […]

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Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s Never Have I Ever: When is a Jewish stereotype useful?

In the first part of this two-part series on new culture and old Jewish stereotypes, I wrote about Jewish money, solidarity, and privilege in Candice Carty-Williams’s Queenie. For this post, I’m going to move across the pond to discuss the new American Netflix series Never How I Ever.   This series, like Queenie, has a diverse group of girlfriends at its core and a problematic Jewish figure framed in […]

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