Like many people, watching TV and film is one of the ways I can relax. While I am the first person to advocate for books, I also don’t think we need to feel guilty about watching TV, especially when such good, diverse and inclusive shows are on now.
This is why I made a short list of the movies and TV shows with Jewish themes, actors, and directors you should check out:
1. “The Wizard of Lies” on HBO (released May 20)
This one hardly needs an introduction. Who doesn’t want to see the probable awkwardness that is Robert DeNiro playing Bernie Madoff?
2. “I Love Dick” at Amazon (aired May 12)
I mean, it’s Jill Soloway’s new show about marital struggle and sexual discovery, based off Chris Kraus’ book of the same name. (In case you’ve been watching, we wrote about it here.)
3. “I’m Dying Up Here” at Showtime (aired June 4)
In the Showtime series, Ari Graynor plays Cassie Feder, who is a Jewish woman from Texas who is trying to make it in the Los Angeles comedy scene in the 1970s. Can’t say there are too many shows like this out there.
4. “Younger” at TV Land (will air June 28)
This show centers around young career women in New York. Molly Bernard plays quirky fashion publicist Lauren Heller (who is also Jewish).
5. Sarah Silverman’s “A Speck of Dust” on Netflix (premiered May 30)
Silverman really needs no introduction. She’s one of the funniest ladies in comedy around.
6. Shalom Italia on PBS (will premiere July 24)
Three Jewish-Italian brothers Bubi, Andrea and Emmanuel Anati survived the Holocaust by hiding in a cave in a forest in Italy. Now, seven decades later, the brothers traveled from their homes in Israel to Tuscany in search of the cave.
7. “Master of None” on Netflix
While the show isn’t Jewish by overall theme, it has themes about family, immigration and assimilation (including eating pork!) that American Jews will relate to (Ansari is first-generation Muslim) and includes guest appearances by Jewish actors like H. Jon Benjamin (of “Bob’s Burgers”). Most importantly, it is a show about diversity with an actual diverse cast (which you can read more about on MTV).
Ansari has even explained how Jewish comedy and comedians (like Larry David) have influenced him and driven him to make Islamic humor.
Check out these lists of Israeli movies and films to check out on Netflix.