Mayim Bialik in Call Me Kat

Mayim Bialik Is Back—Though Was She Ever Really Gone?

It feels like Mayim Bialik is everywhere. She is talking about mental health on her new podcast “The Breakdown with Mayim Bialik”; she is hosting a seven-minute Passover seder and leading a Shavuot vegan blintz cooking demo on her YouTube channel that has over a million subscribers; she is giving parenting advice on or in one of her many books; she is on the omnipresent reruns of The Big Bang Theory, playing scientist Amy Farrah Fowler, and on her new FOX show Call Me Kat, where she plays the owner of a Louisville cat café; and, most recently, she has been a guest host of Jeopardy! Moment spoke with the actress-neuroscientist-author on being an observant Jew in Hollywood, the origins of Jewish humor and if rumors of a Blossom reboot are true.  Your new show, Call...

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Nice Jewish Bad Boys

The New Black: Nice Jewish Bad Boys

For some younger, hipper members of the hat-conscious, ultra-Orthodox crowd, the old black is also the new black. But in the Israeli-made streaming series The New Black, set in a prestigious Jerusalem yeshiva, the debate over fedora fashion is Borsalino vs. Barbisio, rather than over those huge, furry shtreimels. It’s easy to understand the exotic appeal of recent shows about the various Haredi sects, to Jews and non-Jews alike. Both audiences are likely to view them as our quaint version of the insular, anachronistic Amish—but with a sharper, more caustic sense of humor. I enjoyed the critical and critically praised Unorthodox, but I gave up on Shtisel after two episodes, finding the patriarchy insufferable. And I have purposely eschewed popular, Israeli-made espionage series. My previous viewing interest has focused on series aimed at general, secular audiences, with some...

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Sonny Fox

Sonny Fox: Kids’ TV Host’s Life Saved in a Nazi POW Camp

New Yorkers of a certain age remember Sonny Fox as the ruggedly handsome, dimple-chinned TV host of Wonderama and Just for Fun. Fox was a genuine, relatable adult who didn’t need outlandish costumes, buffoonery or pies-in-the-face to communicate with his kid viewership. Fox, who died January 24 of COVID at age 95, always dressed in a suit. He combined natural bonhomie with a sincere interest in his young audience. The mix of cartoons, games, magic tricks and guests (including New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay and Senator Robert F. Kennedy) was must-watch TV for NY-area kids from 1959 to 1967. Fox was the role model for other such hosts in metropolitan areas nationwide. But underneath the good cheer was a memory of his service in the U.S. Army in World War II, witnessing perhaps the single greatest...

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Television historians Walter J. Podrazik and Harry Castleman.

Jewish Pioneers in Television

From the early beginnings of TV in the 1940s, Jews have been at the forefront of shaping the television landscape. Join television historians Walter J. Podrazik and Harry Castleman for a walk down memory lane and learn about the fascinating characters who started CBS, NBC and ABC as well as the creators and actors of some of the most iconic programs such as Your Show of Shows, The Goldbergs [the original series], All in the Family and many more.

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Wonder Woman 1984 characters

Wonder Woman 1984: Who Is the True Villain?

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984, now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.  They say a hero is only as good as its villain, but what if said villain is not a psychopathic clown with a penchant for scars, a master of magnetism or an intergalactic purple titan looking to snap half the universe out of existence? What if the villain is not an individual at all but a disunified collective force of greed, apathy and selfishness?  This is the approach director and cowriter Patty Jenkins takes with Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84), the sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, in which Gal Gadot reprises the titular role of Diana Prince. Of course, our hero cannot fight an idea outright, so Jenkins creates surrogates to spread her rebuke of the gospel of wealth in...

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ChaiFlicks, a Santa Monica-based service that acquires and distributes content focused on Jewish culture

ChaiFlicks: Jewish TV and Film on Demand

Moment brings you essential independent reporting from the Jewish community and beyond. But we need your help. Your support is critical to the work we do; every tax-deductible gift, of any amount, keeps us going. Thank you for reading and thank you for your help. Donate here.  Seemingly out of nowhere, the pandemic lockdown has fueled the unprecedented popularity of Jewish-themed streaming series, some with unexpected crossover appeal to broader audiences. Think Unorthodox, Shtisel, The Spy, Fauda and HBO’s The Plot Against America. So it’s only natural that a boutique streaming service has emerged to try to catch this wave, providing engaging, smaller, independent alternatives to the big- and mid-budget blockbuster limited series. ChaiFlicks, a Santa Monica-based service that acquires and distributes content focused on Jewish culture, launched August 12. The new service costs $5.99 per month, roughly what the BBC-overflow Acorn...

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What to Watch | Harlan Coben’s “The Woods”

The next stop on our diaspora tour of lockdown streaming TV series brings us to Poland, although the route to this locale is a circuitous one. In 2007, the best-selling American thriller writer Harlan Coben published a novel called The Woods. It was set in the 1980s at a Pennsylvania summer camp, and 25 years later in Essex County in northern New Jersey. Coben, a Jew and himself a former camp counselor with a history of summer romance, drew on these experiences for the novel. The novel’s protagonist is a New Jersey prosecutor, Paul Copeland (formerly Pavel Copinsky), the son of a Jewish Soviet emigre, whose medical license was taken from him by anti-Semitic government officials. (Not surprising, in the land that produced Stalin's Doctors Plot, in which only the dictator's timely demise saved Jewish physicians further...

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