Season 2, Episode 3

This was one hell of an episode, focusing mainly on how season one was theoretically the best time ever (really? nostalgia does funny things to Israeli brains) and how you can never get it back because Nati is self-destructing, Amir and Yifat can’t stop making out, and Hodaya is totes secular now. However, little Nati (shoutout to Dovid and Elie for an excellent post viewing rehash) is promising and since Reut is the only stable one left, we’re all for the two of them hooking up. Here’s to getting drunk at the Shabbat table! Hope our little brothers don’t have to carry us home after we make asses of ourselves.

Realer a cute male teacher getting hit on by his ulpana students and enjoying it

It seems that Amir and Yifat finally got some loving! woohooo! Plus only 10, because the constant making out got kinda annoying, if not realistic because everyone knows newlyweds are hella annoying with thier PDA.

Of course Amir doesnt want to leave the bed for all of Shabbat even to make sure that Nati isnt on the path to self-destruction. Oh men, you are all the same. However, if Nati were in the right state of mind, he’d probably let this slide given his general tendency to the sketch. + 5

Ok, lets discuss these hats. Amirs hat is kinda awesomely retro and ironic, and not nearly as ugly as that monster Yifat pulls out. Yifat is annoying enough to pull a stunt like this to make a stupid point.   Yifat’s discomfort is because she, the prototypical Ashkenazi Israeli isn’t ready for Amir’s Sephardi jelly and is symbolic of tensions in the religious community in Israel. (Ew, sorry for getting academic there. It happens)  But by far the best part is the gratitious Sallach Shabbati references, aka the best Israeli movie ever. Seriously. Mar Shabbati! we love it. Thanks for being awesome comic relief otherwise we might have comitted ourselves after the depression in this episode.  +50, especially because Shayna is watching Sallach Shabbati in her Israeli film class tonight and is so stoked to talk about intertextuality in Israeli cinema with her cute professor, who also loves Srugim. yes!

When Amir wears his Sephardi hat of power,magic things happen! He bonds with old Sephardi men in the shuk (everyone knows these are the funniest most hilarious people in all of Israel), finds random Tunisian synagogues, and becomes an expert on Mizrahi geography! Blair from Gossip Girl wears headbands of power-maybe the beret is the headband of the middle east. +15

Amir loves arak, and the old man at shul gave it to him. this demonstrates a rule that cuts across time and space and ethnic boundaries. Old men at shul drink terrifying beverages, and Arak is the Slivovitz of Sephardim. +5

Speaking of GG, Nati took a page from Chuck Bass’s playbook of destruction by going on one hell of a bender. This is some major acting out, and its powerful to watch.  That scene at the Shabbat table was pretty awesome (in that cringing sort of way), especially because like all good drunks he spoke only the truth about everyone’s hangups. However, check yourself before you wreck yourself. You already started telling your feelings to little Nati–good start.  Hodaya has always been nice to to you, and don’t ruin your little bro’s chances with Reut.  But everyone knows the the only way the Chuck Basses of the world redeem themselves is via the selfless love and devotion of Blair Waldorfs. Nati needs a love interest, stat! +25 because death doesnt improve a lot of people but only makes them worse

Datlash bartender, you ruin EVERYTHING. You clearly cannot share Hodaya with her friends, but we hate you even more for predicting how jerky religious peeps can be when a friend goes off the derech. We hope that Hodaya doesnt become bitter and sketchy like you, but perhaps it is the fate of all datlashim. +15

Uch we hate this, but good point about the non relig being asked to bring the wine, sketchy datlash. +5.

When Hodaya left and turned off the lights, we wanted to cheer! Nice move. They totes deserved it. But Hodaya isnt that mean, and saves the day with her hiloni ways. Plus 30 for one the best exits we’ve seen in a while.

When Reut is being given her assisgment about pasta salad, there is the hottest blond kippah clad man in the history of Zionism in the office with her. Bring him back, stat! +10

Amir pretends to be all cool when he finds Nati at home, but isnt. +15. They are frenemies. The bromance is over. Bring it.

The shnitzel story is both sad and true.  It made many of us want to cry. Freezer leftovers, you bring back the memories. Plus, boys have no idea how to cope at life, even when they are doctors. +20

Faker then an Israeli owning a white church hat

– Amir is being kind of douche. So Amir has consistently being the nice guy of the show and yes it is kind of grating but we are used to it. So in this episode when he is constantly provoking Yifat with that seems odd. Also, what’s with that preachy “this is what love is about” speech. Blech. Remember the time you got divorced? Stop pretending you know about love more than anyone else. Also Amir is Nati’s best friend. He should be the one inviting Nati for Shabbat, not spazzing out about it. Bros before hos!  Maybe he saw some sexual tension between Yifat and Nati. I know we did.  -20

– Speaking of which Yifat and Nati would not be hanging out alone in the apartment. What will the neighbors think? -10

-How did Nati get drunk over a cup and half of wine? His animus towards Hodaya is a little intense–she actually never did anything to him. He should direct it towards Amir and Yifat. -5

– How did Amir and Roi get those full beards in 3 weeks?  Wash because Israelis are hairy.

-Why does Hodaya’s Shabbat outfit look like it is a costume from a 1950’s sock hop? – 10, but we like the scene where she thinks about wearing a tank top and chickening out because we’ve totally done that

– Yifat didn’t get the whole memo that the whole point of being married is having your shabbat meals taken care of
you never have to plan again! Seriously, that’s the best part.- 100

– Wait Israelis eat marzipan? We thought this was a weird American hang-up. Amir should go to Paer where the rugalch are better and you dont need to be stormed by yeshiva kids. -50

– When Hodaya was upset she wasn’t invited to Friday night dinner, we were like obviously Yifat wouldn’t invite you. She got the call to move the plot forward but Yifat would have taken her off the invite list months ago. -10

So this episode was a little Debbie Downer, but totes real. We saw show Nati’s continuing spiral, Roi’s abundant patience and Yifat’s controlling nature. We need some more Reut, because as shown from the dinner table scenes she is the coolest. How far will Nati fall, and will he bring Amir and Yifat’s marriage down with it? Stay tuned, and comment away!

Also, in Srugim related events, there will be a JCC showing of the first season starting this wednesday. Afterwards, there is a Jewschool afterparty where they are taking suggestions for Srugim cocktails! This is a great idea. Leave us your ideas for Srugim cocktails below as well. See http://jewschool.com/2010/01/26/20258/srugim-debut-at-the-jcc-in-manhattan-with-jewschool-after-party/ for more info.

22 responses to “Season 2, Episode 3

  1. Yifat only looks happy and excited when she’s with Nati…hmmm
    Her cocktail should have lemon in it because she seems to have soured on life with Amir

  2. Shalom,
    Kol hakevod for putting up an insightful and witty recap for those of that watch the show on the Internet and imperfectly follow the dialogue, even with the help of Hebrew subtitles. U.S. Ulpan classes can only take you so far!

    Question for you: is Hodaya’s attitude at Shabat dinner typical for datlashim? I’m personally secular (Conservative), but I’m a little surprised that she’d so self-consciously act as a passive spectator in things like the Shabat hymns and partaking of wine, especially as bat rav and as someone with deep roots with this group of chaverim. Would a guest that’s chilonit really be that removed from the more innocuous rituals of Shabbat? Or do you think she’s playacting at being a stereotype? Having said that, I LOVE her as chilonit. It brings a much-needed outside perspective to the “bitza”. And I hope they eventually get her back with Avri! That bartender is just plain annoying. There’s something stalkerish about him.

    • Interesting point. Of course Hodaya knows what is going on, and I think she is acting out her role as chilonit so she can establish her own identity. And I agree—bring back Avri!! He is the best.

      -Shayna

    • I think Datlash’s are often more insistent on not doing anything religious then their chilonim counterparts.

    • Stuart D writes:
      Kol hakevod for putting up an insightful and witty recap for those of that watch the show on the Internet and imperfectly follow the dialogue, even with the help of Hebrew subtitles.

      I agree, but where are you finding it on the Internet with Hebrew subtitles??? I was watching season 1 with Hebrew subtitles (which meant we could get just about everything as long as we paused when they talked too fast, especially Nati), but they seem to be gone for season 2 (which is making it harder).

      • it really depends on the file i find. sometimes it does, sometimes it doesnt and it really just seems to be the luck of the draw…

  3. Ladies – great job on another recap.

    I thought the opening scene provided a nice foreshadowing of the conflict between the fantasy and reality of married life – sleeping the whole night in an embrace and waking up with an arm that has fallen asleep.

    The scene of Yifat making room by getting rid of unnecessary clothing and then only throwing out Amir’s stuff is totally believable – been there.

    Yifat went totally crazy over the stupid beret. BTW, I think a lot of new wives try to find one hideous article of clothing of their husband and forbid him to wear it.

    I think Amir was ready to give up the fight when Yifat lit the Shabbat candles. He even made a move to remove the beret, and then she jumped on him again, restarting the battle of the wills.

    To be fair to Yifat, her ridiculous hat was also pretty funny.

    On a separate note, what’s the deal with Reut not defending Hodaya?

    Again, thanks for the great recap.

    • Oooh, nice analysis on the opening scene. I like.

      I think Reut was too stunned to do anything, but she should have come through for her friend.

      Yifat has got to calm down, I agree. Amir is being waaay too nice.

      -Shayna

      • But Amir already knew she was super uptight when they got married.

        Also Yifat looked amazing in her shabbat outfit and white hat. She should wear that every week.

  4. Did anybody else notice that Yifat is no longer sitting at the head of the table (Am I remembering correctly from last season?)
    And when Nati tells Amir about the wine, Amir can’t get the one from the fridge himself?

    • Good catch on the change in seating position.

      What really bothered me about the wine bottle switch was that Yifat not only brought the other wine, but took Hodaya’s wine off the table. It would have been nicer to just leave the other one on the table.

      On a side note, the whole issue seemed contrived – the writer’s needed to create a Shabbat conflict. I somehow doubt that Hodaya would take a taxi to Yifat and Amir – if for no other reason than the cost. I don’t think many Israeli restaurant workers regularly use cabs.

      One final note – the fact that it was Nati who was concerned about using the wine is a replay from last season when he gets the nice sandwich fired because of the problem with the teudah. In that episode, Nati could not be bothered to attend the hospital mincha minyan, but made a big stink about the teudah. Here, he makes a big stink about the wine and the next day – Shabbat – he can not be bothered to go to shul, which is especially egregious because he is an avel, needs to say kaddish for his mother and it is still the shloshim. At least he is the most consistent charachter in the series.

  5. Consistent, yes. He’s a jerk that’s unaware of his hypocrisy. But before we metaphorically vote him off of the bitza for his unredeemable qualities toward everyone around him, consider that all of the lead characters have deep personal flaws.

    Amir couldn’t stop himself from the hookups with his soon-to-be ex and lied to Yifat, Yifat’s strident and mean-spirited, Reut sabotaged Amir’s relationship with her sister, discarded Yochai non-chalantly after changing his life (and may well be jealous of Hodaya for crossing a line she didn’t when it comes to observance), and Hodaya may well have destroyed Avri’s faith in relationships by going postal on him when he was willing to be far more open-minded than she was toward someone that didn’t share the same level of personal belief. At least Nati’s good at what he does.

    • I agree. Nati is not as bad as he looks, and good point about him being a stickler for religion when he wants. Plus, women (including myself) love Nati types, even though they pretend not to. Bad boys are amazingly attractive.

  6. So, in the vein of Hodaya’s bringing the wine in a way that violates Shabbat, thus putting her friends in an awkard situation, do we think they responded appropriately? I know it was touched on in some comments, but we’ve all been there (or at least I know I have). You’re a guest somewhere, or you have a guest, or even you make some sort of mistake, and somehow Shabbat is violated. What does one do? While I was watching the scene, I so badly wanted someone to say that it was ok, or quote some minority opinion to let it go, mostly because as much as Hodaya was actively not partaking of Shabbat, I am certain that bringing the wine in the cab after sunset was not intentional on her part.
    Side note- did anyone else catch Yifat admiring the bottle but looking more like she was searching for a hechsher?

  7. As I could see dati women trying to be as chiloni as they can would be to us secular types. Don’t tell my wife I said that, though! She hasn’t quite developed my Srugim addiction to the extent of reading websites every day (but I’m spreading the word about the show to as many haverim as I can).

  8. Hodaya’s growing insecurity as she uproots herself from her community is reflected in her deteriorating physical appearance. Last season she glowed with a kind of beautiful energy – the fact that she was seeking something the dati world could not provide while she was still rooted in that world made for a fruitful tension. Now she is alienating herself from that world, and her rootlessness has resulted in a deep insecurity, which in turn causes her to perform childish gestures and pronounce simplistic declarations of identity. This phase will pass and she may achieve a new sense of security as a fully formed datlashit, but in the process of becoming a new self she will have lost her former glow. I think this is a conscious choice being made by the show’s producers, who are probably as saddened by this sort of narrative as I am.

    • Not to dumb down the analysis– but I actually think she looks so bad because of her new haircut.
      But I do think you are right that she is becoming a lost soul.

  9. That’s one of the great things about Srugim – appreciating the perspective that people closer to the dati world have about datalashim, and struggles they go through in transforming their identity. From a very secular angle, you could “root” for Hodaya freeing herself of the trappings of beliefs she didn’t have anymore and finding a new self that’s closer to your own perspective as the outside voice of reason (kind of like Amanda Seyfield’s character Sarah on HBO’s “Big Love”). On the other hand, she’s self-conciously becoming an alien to her friends, which is very sad, because she’s crossed lines (e.g. sex with skanky bartender, becoming the “shabbes goy”) that may permanently separate her from them. I don’t agree she’s physicially deterioriating (if anything, Tali Sharon’s more beautiful than ever), but I would agree that she’s losing the intellectual questioning and independence she had last season, and becoming replaced by someone that goes with a different flow without questioning why – in other words, a shallow teenager type personality. Or maybe I just don’t know how datlashim think.

    • I agree, but it goes beyond just giving up an honest intellectual/emotional struggle with religion; she’s become her niece! “Shallow teenager,” indeed. Back then, she took the other side of the religious ambivalence: “t’fila zeh lo caspomat she’at machnisa cartis v’yotzeh ma she’at rotzah!…At yalda k’tana u’mefuneket!” – Did she forget all that just a few months later when she expects her friends to accommodate her anger at her father – uh, I mean, “God” – by compromising their own halachik principles? She knows more about that than anyone else there, yet expects them not to care or even better, support her in her tantrum. And then what, again with the lights, Hodaya? But this time instead of turning it off to fix the situation (the fridge) she puts them all in the dark! OK, good for her – she felt bad and turned it back on (creating new problems for them about benefiting from hilul Shabbat) but, c’mon, even her niece wouldn’t be that immature! Maybe at some point she’ll realize how childish she was, but she’s really testing the limits of friendship.

  10. You may have commented on this, but I am mid-episode so did not read your post but must get this out in order to continue:

    Worst. Beard. Ever.

    Thank you.

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