If you think Judaism has got problems, you’ve clearly never heard of IHM — the Institute For The Higher Mind. This self-help organization, which has some creepy similarities to Scientology, provides the dramatic setting of E! Network’s scripted show_ The Arrangement_, whose first season premiered last year.
Produced by Jewish producer Jonathan Abrahams — known for his work on Greek and Mad Men — the show follows Megan (played by Christine Evangelista), a struggling actress who meets A-list actor Kyle (played by Josh Henderson) at an audition. They fall head-over-heels in love, and Kyle offers Megan a contract marriage which, plot twist, would mean Megan has to be married not just to Kyle, but the more sinister sides of his life — IHM and Terrence (played by Michael Vartan), the organization’s creepy founder.
The contract marriage is, in many ways, similar to arranged marriages, practiced in many cultures and religions, including some more extreme sects of Judaism. This week, during a press event promoting the show, The Forward spoke to Evangelista and Henderson about what we can expect this season, what makes religion problematic, and why contract marriages and arranged marriages are, in fact, quite normal.
Watch the whole thing here:
Season 2 of The Arrangement, will premiere Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m on E!