Jews in the News: Amy Schumer, Aya Cash and Jessica Barden

Schumer's New Series; Good-Looking Jews Crash; A New Sit-Com, Gang Movie, More

“Life & Beth” is limited series that will begin streaming on Hulu on March 18. All ten episodes will be released on the 18th. This comedy/drama stars AMY SCHUMER, 40, as Beth. Schumer also wrote and directed the series.

The advance publicity doesn’t reveal that much. Here’s the gist of what it says. Beth is seemingly doing fine. She makes a good living as a wine distributor in Manhattan. She’s in a long-term relationship with a good guy. Then a sudden incident forces Beth to deal with her past. Through flashbacks to her teen self, Beth learns a lot about herself. She gradually gets on the path of becoming the person she really wants to be.

Advance info about the supporting cast is limited to their characters’ names. “High in the credits” is Michael Cera, who almost always plays nice guys. I bet he plays Beth’s nice boyfriend. You might remember Cera playing the nice Jewish boyfriend of the title character in the hit film “Juno” (2007).  

Veteran actor MICHAEL RAPAPORT, 51, is “high up” in the credits, like Cera. You know Rapaport, even if you can’t place him immediately. He’s a burly red-haired guy with a strong NY accent who has been a lot of movies and TV shows. He was a series regular on "Boston Public".

“WeCrashed” is a feature film that chronicles the rise-and-fall of WeWork, an office-sharing company. It premieres on Apple + on March 18. LEE EISENBERG, 44, co-wrote the film.

WeWork was founded in 2010. It was financed by a Korean bank that invested so much money in the company that it couldn’t just walk away. So, when things went sour in 2019, it paid company founder ADAM NEUMANN, 42, $1.7 billion to go away. It put in others to run the company, which still limps along.

On paper, Neumann, and his wife, REBEKAH NEUMANN,44, were a model Jewish couple. They are the good-looking parents of five kids and are practicing Jews. Adam was born in Israel and had a fine, long career in the Israeli navy. However, WeWork-- while not quite a scam--was shamelessly over-hyped by the Neumanns.

Here’s my "kvetch“. Like so many times before in TV, and in film, non-Jews were cast to play a “very Jewish” couple (Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway play the Neumanns).

“Welcome to Flatch” is a Fox sit-com that premieres on March 17 (8:30PM). Capsule plot: a documentary company stumbles on a small Midwestern town with many eccentric residents. AYA CASH, 39 ("You’re the Worst" and "Boys") co-stars as Cheryl Peterson, a documentary maker. Cash’s father is Jewish and she was raised Jewish. She’s married to JOSH ALEXANDER, a (Jewish) writer.

 “The Outfit” opens in theaters on Mar. 18. British actor Mark Rylance plays Leonard, an English tailor who crafts suits for the very wealthy. A personal tragedy leads him to leave the U.K. He opens up a small tailor shop in a run-down part of Chicago. The only people who can afford to buy his fancy suits are a family of vicious gangsters. ZOEY DEUTCH, 27, co-stars as a woman who ends up helping Leonard as he gets involuntarily involved in the gang’s deadly business. 

Deutch is best known as a comedic actress. She was really good as the "ditzy" Izzy Klein in the hit film "Zombieland: Double-Tap" (2018) and in the critically-acclaimed original Netflix film "Set It Up" (still on Netflix). She also co-starred in "The Politician" an original Netflix musical comedy series (2019-2020). 

In my last column, I wrote about "Pieces of Her", an 8-episode series that is now streaming on Netflix. The series has got great reviews and big viewing numbers. Vague advance publicity led me to mis-describe the role that JESSICA BARDEN, 29, plays. She plays Jane, the name the lead character, Laura, had as a child and young woman. Barden appears in tiny flashbacks until the 5th episode, when long flashbacks of Jane/Laura begin to appear. One bit of advice: stay with this series to the end. You may be frustrated that you don’t know who the “good and the bad guys” are until late in the series. It’s worth the wait. 



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