Time to borrow your roommate/best friend/significant other/random work colleague’s Netflix password. It’s a new year, and there’s endless new television to binge watch. We’ve picked out just a few shows that you need to check out, each with big name Jewish talent attached.
John L. Goldwater, the late Jewish creator of “Archie and Pals,” might have raised an eyebrow had he seen the trailer for the new dark and sexy television reboot of his beloved comic book series. On January 26, The CW is bringing back the whole gang, only this time it’s a live-action drama with a whole lot more mystery, and some very steamy teenage romance. Riverdale has never been more intriguing.
Judd Apatow has made a name for himself on the small screen, first with the beloved short-lived hit “Freaks and Geeks” and most recently as producer and writer of HBO’s “Girls.” Now he’s making another splash with the upcoming comedy “Crashing.” The show, which premieres February 19, centers on a comedian who is forced to crash at the homes of various other comics after his wife leaves him. Apatow will be directing the new HBO show, while comedian Pete Holmes, who created the series, will star.
The final season of “Girls” is upon us, and it’s time to say goodbye to Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshanna. If the trailer is any indication, the four women are still fighting, healing, falling in love and figuring out their place in the world. The Brooklyn girls you love (and, let’s be real, hate) return to the small screen February 12.
The 1988 dramedy “Beaches” is getting a remake, with Idina Menzel taking over Bette Midler’s lead role. The Lifetime movie will premiere January 21, and we’re excited for just about any excuse to listen to Menzel belt out her dreamy rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Step back inside the gothic, playfully twisted mind of the Jewish author Daniel Handler with this television adaptation about the hapless Baudelaire children and the cruel Count Olaf (played this time around by Neil Patrick Harris). Handler will serve as executive director of the series, which will hit Netflix on January 13.
Beloved comic book characters Archie, Betty and Veronica are staging a comeback—just not quite in the way John L. Goldwater, the Jewish creator of the “Archie and Pals” series, may have intended.
The CW released a trailer for the new series “Riverdale” yesterday, which features an eerie spin on the comic book’s world, complete with shots of bloody hands, a suitcase filled with money and a very buff, shirtless Archie jogging.
“It’s definitely Archie, but a little darker, a little more complex and a little weirder than you might remember from the digest you bought at the supermarket,” executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly. “We’re saying it’s a little bit like Archie meets Twin Peaks.”
The new series, which picks up during the gang’s sophomore year, is packaged as a murder-mystery drama — definitely a far cry from the cheerful, innocent teen romp the comic book’s creator penned years ago.
Goldwater, a distant relative of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, wrote the book on wholesome comics—literally. The writer founded the Comics Code Authority, which worked to monitor the industry’s depiction of sex and violence. He populated his stories with the young characters he met as a teen living in Kansas, taking inspiration from the football players and cheerleaders he went to school with.
“[Archie] basically a square, but in my opinion the squares are the backbone of America,” the late Goldwater told The New York Times in 1973.
Watch Archie and the gang being decidedly un-square in the trailer below:
When we think of great New York poets — Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman and Laurie Anderson, among others — what they’ve immortalized and exalted have been the streets and energies of Manhattan or, on rare and less transcendent occasions, Brooklyn. The Bronx, when it did appear, has always been something of the old country — where immigrant parents and grandparents lived, a remote, provincial satellite. And certainly Riverdale, Bronx’s sleepy neighborhood with a large Jewish population, would appear to have nothing to offer to poetic imagination. Judith Baumel, featured on The Arty Semite last year, seem to have been the only exception.
And yet, Sarah Stern’s recent collection of poems, “Another Word for Love,” is profoundly grounded in Riverdale — in its subway stations and parks, buildings and streets. The first of the two poems featured today, “Morning Prayer,” takes place on the streets of the neighborhood, and features a curious juxtaposition of spiritual experiences, genders and visions. The second piece, “Reentry,” is an homage to exceptional character, evoked so vividly that he practically walks (or rather, waddles) off the lines of the poem.
This Sunday, at the Salute to Israel parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, participants and spectators will be able to do more than show their support for Israel; they could potentially save a life. A group of volunteers will be at the parade recruiting potential donors for a young father and other victims of leukemia in need of bone marrow transplants.
The donor recruitment drive is being organized by friends of Matt Fenster, a 35-year-old father of four children under the age of 8 and an active member of the Jewish community in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Fenster, who was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia last month, needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. With the support of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, two bone marrow donor recruitment drives will be held at sites near the Israel Parade: one at Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street, from noon to 5 p.m., and the other at the post-parade concert venue, Central Park Summer Stage — Rumsey Playfield, from noon to 7 p.m.
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