Jews in the News: Adam Brody, David Schwimmer and Kate Siegel

At the Movies

“Angel Has Fallen” opened on Wednesday, the 21st. It stars Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent who is framed for the attempted assassination of the President. He must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. TIM BLAKE NELSON, 55, plays the Vice-President.

 “Ready or Not”, which opens on the 23rd, follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's rich, eccentric family (ADAM BRODY, 39, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell). The wedding, somehow, turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival. Brody is still best known as the co-star of “The O.C.”, a hit TV “dramedy” that ran from 2003-2007.

 Worth Checking Out 

 I have, as I write this, watched the first four episodes of “The Boys,” an Amazon Prime series, and so far it’s very good. Critical reviews are about 80% favorable. The first 8-episode season was released on July 26th and a second season is already ordered.

The premise is that somehow persons with superpowers pop up around America and are recruited by a corporation to foil crimes, while at the same time the corporation heavily markets them for big bucks (cereal boxes, action figures, reality TV shows, etc.). The corporation keeps hidden that these superheroes are not saints and sometimes do bad things. Our hero is Hughie, a young man who is badly wronged by a superhero and is then approached by Butcher, a mysterious tough guy who offers to help him avenge this wrong. Butcher is aided by Frenchie, who is skilled in munitions, ordnance, infiltration and communications.

 Jack Quaid, the son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, plays Hughie; Karl Urban plays Butcher; and Israeli actor TOMER CAPON, 34, plays Frenchie. You might know Capon for playing an Israeli soldier in the Israeli series “Fauda” and for playing an Israeli ex-commando in the Israeli series “When Heroes Fly.” Both are on Netflix. Capon was, in real life, a squad commander in the IDF Paratrooper Brigade, which often is asked to do “special forces” missions.

ERIK KRIPKE, 45, created the series and he wrote the first two episodes (he also created the TV series “Supernatural” and “Revolution”.)

 Are You Mad About this Revival?

 I guess I was asleep when it was announced last March that there would be a revival or “re-boot” of the hit ‘90s TV series “Mad About You.”  The stars of the series, PAUL REISER, now 62, and Helen Hunt, now 56, will reprise their roles as Paul and Jamie Buchman. It was just announced that almost unknown actress Abby Quinn will play Mabel, the Buchmans’ young adult daughter. The series will be available to subscribers of the Spectrum Charters Company, the second largest cable company in America. I suspect that if it is a hit, that Netflix will pick-up the first season within a year of its first airing.

 “Mad About You” played with the ethnic/religious identity of the Buchmans. I think most Jews, and many others, viewed the Paul character as Jewish, and the Jamie character as not Jewish. But nothing was made explicit. A lot of famous actors guested on the series. It would be cool if MEL BROOKS, 93, and CARL REINER, 97, appeared in the reboot.  They guested on the original series as, respectively, Reiser’s uncle Phil, and fictional top comedian Alan Brady. Brady was the same character Reiner played in “The Dick Van Dyke” show.

Netflix’s 50 Best

 The NY Times recently came out with an update of a list that they publish about three times a year: “The 50 Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now.”  This week and next I’ll cover some of the picks that have a significant Jewish connection. Here goes: (1) “American Crime Story,” co-created by BRAD FALCHUK, 48, covered the O.J. Simpson story in its first season. DAVID SCHWIMMER, 52, has a starring role. (2) “The Andy Griffith Show”. This hit ‘60s series has a “secret” Jewish connection. AARON RUBEN (1914-1995) was the show’s top producer and also wrote for the show. Ruben often translated Yiddish expressions and folk wisdom into “Southern English” that would be spoken by small-town Southern sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith). Look for HOWARD MORRIS (1919-2005) as crazy rock-throwing character Ernest T. Bass in five very memorable episodes. (3)”The Haunting of Hill House” is a Gothic horror series based loosely on a novel. A Netflix original, the first season was released in 2018. The ensemble cast includes KATE SIEGEL, 37, and English actor OLIVER JACKSON-COHEN. 32. Reviews are very good.


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