Israeli Dating Show Wins Top TV Awards

J-Date: ‘Srugim,’ a show that follows 30-something singles, took the best drama prize in awards held by the Israeli Film and Television Academy.
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J-Date: ‘Srugim,’ a show that follows 30-something singles, took the best drama prize in awards held by the Israeli Film and Television Academy.

By Nathan Burstein

Published September 02, 2009, issue of September 11, 2009.
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Perhaps it was bashert.

A show about religious singles looking for love in Jerusalem took best drama honors August 28 at the annual awards ceremony of the Israeli Film and Television Academy.

Srugim,” about the romantic ups and downs of five 30-something singles, scored something of an upset in claiming the prize, topping a night in which it won three additional statuettes. Currently filming its second season, the Channel 2 series tells the story of Yifat (Yael Sharoni) and Hodaya (Tali Sharon), roommates who haven’t yet found husbands — poor creatures — in their largely religious Jerusalem neighborhood. Their lives take a turn — and romantic entanglements inevitably ensue — with the arrival of Natti (Ohad Knoller) and Amir (Amos Taman), potential love interests who move into their building. Partly focused on the weekly stress of still being single and religious during Sabbath dinner, the show’s first season also wove in a storyline about a character who was fearful of dying a virgin.

Srugim” — whose title is a reference to the knitted yarmulkes of its male characters — drew mixed reviews from observant audiences, with some rabbis calling it too risqué. Others praised what they described as the show’s nuanced depictions of its religious characters, a relative rarity on Israeli primetime.

Additional winners at the TV awards ceremony included “Ovda” (“Fact”), an investigative news series, and “Eretz Nehederet” (“A Wonderful Country”), a long-running satire and sketch series known for its merciless parodies of the country’s political leadership.

Taking top TV documentary honors was “London Pinat Ben Yehuda” (“London at Ben Yehuda”), in which veteran journalist and self-proclaimed “Hebrew dinosaur” Yaron London explored the modern evolution of the language.

The Israeli Film and Television Academy will honor the best Israeli movies of the year in September.


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