An American Adaptation of this Chaotic British Jewish Family Show Is Coming – Kveller
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An American Adaptation of this Chaotic British Jewish Family Show Is Coming

"Dinner With the Parents" features Carol Kane, Michaela Watkins and plenty of exciting Jewish touches.


via Amazon/FreeVee

It’s been four years since the British Jewish comedy show “Friday Night Dinner” aired its sixth and final season, but this April the story is finally coming to America with an adaptation called “Dinner With the Parents,” starring Michaela Watkins and Carol Kane, which will stream on Amazon FreeVee.

Bringing this quirky Jewish show to the States has been a long time coming. Back in 2011, when the first season of the show premiered in the UK, a pilot for an American version was made starring Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub, but the show ultimately did not get picked up. (Shalhoub did get to play a Jewish dad in another Amazon hit show, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and we are profoundly grateful for his Abe Weisman.) But 13 years later (a whole bar mitzvah boy!), an American remake is finally here, with a very different but just as excellent cast. It all feels like bashert.

If you’ve watched the original show, you will probably feel a keen sense of deja vu watching the trailer for “Dinner With the Parents.” The set looks eerily familiar, and it seems the two Jewish brothers at the center of this adaptation were modeled after the original British cast. Henry Hall, a musician and the eldest son of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, will be playing the bespectacled and uptight older brother David Langer, who really resembles “Friday Night Dinner” star Simon Bird. And YouTube star Daniel Thrasher embodies the mischievous prankster (or sheygetz, in Yiddish) spirit of David’s younger brother, modeled after Tom Rosenthal’s Jonny in the original.

Aside from the show literally being about Friday night dinners, aka Shabbat, at the home one chaotic Jewish family, there are a number of other Jewish details in the trailer for the show: Shabbat candle holders; Michaela dancing at what appears to be a shiva; observant Jews dressed in all black; what seems to be a portrait of one of the Langer boys in a tallis from his bar mitzvah; and even a mention of a Great-Grandma Sadie (OK that last one does just feel deeply Jewish).

“Veep” star Dan Bakkedahl plays Harvey, the family patriarch, who, in very Jewish dad style, you can see wearing a novelty Hawaiian shirt with a picture of his head in the trailer. Watkins, who is magical in everything she does, from the funny and devastating “Casual” to playing an Israeli ambassador in “The History of the World: Part II,” plays Jewish mom Jane. “We are smart, we are sophisticated,” she perhaps falsely advertises the Langers in the trailer. And Kane plays a leopard-print donning and very out-there Bubbe Nana Rose — which seems like the perfect role for her. (Side note: It’s beginning to feel like the golden age of Carol Kane. She is also about to star in a wonderful adult bat mitzvah movie.) Rob Delaney (“Catastrophe”) and Jon Glaser (“Life and Beth”) also guest-star.

Just like the original show, this adaptation doesn’t seem to be too concerned with ensuring all of its Jewish characters are played by Jewish actors, but it also seems just as eccentric and delightful — a much-needed laughter and distraction in these times.

The show’s first four episodes will premiere on April 18, just a few days before Passover. We’re ready.

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