Friday, January 22, 2010

On Srugim

The London Jewish Chronicle today published an article on Srugim, that includes part of a long intervieText Colorw that I gave earlier this week (while riding on the 31 bus to Egged).

So what is it about this seemingly niche drama that appeals to viewers?

According to Jeffrey Woolf, a Bar Ilan University academic and expert on representations of Orthodoxy in the media, “it’s really the first time that the religious-Zionist community has been represented in a non-stereotyped way on television”.

He said that when Israeli TV features religious characters they are usually one-dimensional — either zealous settlers or religious extremists.

“Religious characters are usually cartoon-like in their superficiality, either because of malice or because of ignorance.”

Because Srugim gives a fuller picture of the community, it gives religious viewers something to identify with, while for secular viewers it “makes accessible an entire world that is normally inaccessible”.

Dr Woolf says that while the identity of young religious-Zionist adults may not be obviously primetime TV material, the central struggle is a theme that has long proved successful on television — a clash of worldviews.

“The characters all live in the modern world and at the same time have their religious values, and this series explores the clash that ensues between them.”

[The Jewish Week had a parallel piece today, as well. They just didn't know whom to call.]

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