Netflix and kvell! Eight of the best Jewish shows to watch during lockdown!
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Netflix and kvell! Eight of the best Jewish shows to watch during lockdown!

From religious rebels and Mexican drug cartels to dark secrets and special agents, we pick out the must-see shows to help you through the Covid-19 crisis

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Scene from Netflix drama Unorthodox
Scene from Netflix drama Unorthodox

Unorthodox

Stirring German-American drama loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots and adapted by director Maria Schrader and creator Anna Winger (Deutschland 83).

Disillusioned with her life, a 19-year-old Jewish woman named Esty (Shira Haas) runs away from her arranged marriage and her ultra-Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and moves to Berlin, where her estranged mother lives. 

She tries to adapt to a secular life, but when her husband Yanky (Amit Rahav) discovers that Esty is pregnant, he embarks on a journey to Berlin to find her.

Community

All six series of Dan Harmon’s hit US sitcom about an eclectic bunch of students, starring Alison Brie and Donald Glover, is now available on Netflix.

Based on Harmon’s own experiences attending a community college, the show revolves around Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), who is disbarred and suspended from his law firm after it is discovered that he lied about getting a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. 

In an effort to go legit, he enrols at Greendale Community College, where he meets activist Britta (Gillian Jacobs), pop culture lover Abed (Danny Pudi), single mother Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), former high school football star Troy (Glover) and elderly millionaire Pierce (Chevy Chase).

Community’s cast

The Ozarks

Jewish actress Julia Garner stars alongside Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in this sophisticated crime thriller about a hapless couple from Chicago, who become embroiled in a money laundering scheme gone wrong.

Forced to relocate their family to the Ozarks to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel, they stumble deeper and deeper into a life of crime and realise they are becoming as ruthless as the violent people they are forced to work for.

The Ozarks

The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show

Comedienne Iliza Shlesinger brings some much-needed light relief to our screens with her new sketch show, released this week on Netflix. From Female Jackass starring an all-woman cast of willing idiots performing physical stunts and pranks, to an advert for a Mom Alert app, Shlesinger’s brand of humour is quintessentially American, but entertaining all the same.

American Beauty

This award-winning 1999 film from Sam Mendes – his directorial debut – starring Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari returns to stream this week from Netflix.

Spacey plays Lester Burnham, an advertising executive having a midlife crisis, when he becomes distanced from his wife (Annette Bening) and instead becomes infatuated with the best friend (Suvari) of his teenage daughter (Thora Birch).

American Beauty scooped five Oscars, including best picture, best director, best actor, best original screenplay and best cinematography.

Schitt’s Creek

Schitt’s Creek

Real-life father and son Eugene and Dan Levy star as video store magnate Johnny Rose and his grown-up son David, alongside wife and former soap star Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy).  The Roses lose their fortune after being defrauded and are forced to rebuild their lives with their sole remaining asset: a small town named Schitt’s Creek that they bought as a joke birthday gift for their son.

From a rundown motel, they adjust to their new life alongside residents including mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliot) and wife Jocelyn (Jenn Robertson).

Dead To Me

The much-anticipated second series of Liz Feldman’s dark comedy, Dead To Me, is rumoured to be just months away, so there’s still time to catch up on the original series, which debuted in 2019.

Jen (Christina Applegate) is a real estate agent struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of her husband, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Judy (Linda Cardellini) is grieving for her fiancé, who died of a heart attack. 

The two find themselves bonding at a therapy group for those who have recently lost their partners – but there’s much more to Judy’s story than Jen knows and extreme consequences lie in wait for when the truth is finally revealed.

Dead To Me

Coming Soon: Fauda Series 3 – released April 16

The hit Israeli TV drama Fauda returns this month – and it looks set to be the most explosive yet, with all the action taking place in Gaza. 

Since its 2015 premiere, millions have been gripped by the Nextflix show’s storyline, which revolves around Israeli unit commander Doron Kavillio (played by co-writer Lior Raz) fighting those who threaten his country’s security.

The gripping third series, which is partly filmed in the Israeli–Arab town of Jisr az-Zarqa, north of Caesarea, will feature a plot exploring the issue of underground tunnels built by terrorists.

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