Ed Asner’s final role and other ideas for what to watch this week in Jewish entertainment 

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Menemsha Films

Dan Buffa, Special For The Jewish Light

There are some good options of shows both new and old to watch this week in Jewish entertainment.

Give me some “Mitty”

Certain actors need to be utilized correctly in order for the role they’re playing to be successful. Whether it’s comfort with the audience or a signature element to a particular performance, most actors require special ingredients in order to stand out. Ben Stiller is an actor who can be terrific when utilized in the right way and somewhat annoying when the script doesn’t help him out.

When Stiller’s in the director’s chair, a new skill comes out of the veteran funny man who can play serious roles too: whimsical comedy that has a personality all its own. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” struck the right balance between high-brow comedy and light drama. As Stiller’s new Apple TV Plus television series, “Severance,” continues its first season this month, switch over to Amazon Prime Video and catch “Mitty” for just four dollars.

The story follows a zoned-out middle-aged employee (Stiller) at Time Magazine who secures and oversees all the photos that go into the esteemed magazine. But when the company is bought and sold, with one final issue to be printed, a missing picture from Sean Penn’s masterful photographer sends Walter on a real adventure–the kind of tales that only happen in his imagination. Based on a short story and expanded into a full-length script, this one is full of surprises and should take your mind off the harsher elements overseas.

Israeli comedy series, anyone?

“The New Black” is running well in its first season and getting better and better. Created by Eliran Malka and Daniel Paran, the series was nominated for eight awards at the Israeli Television Academy Awards last year. The title means “Shababnikim” in Hebrew, and centers around four rebellious students at a prestigious Orthodox Yeshiva in Jerusalem. They try to balance the needs of their religious upbringing with the natural desires of being human, which finds them constantly at odds with their superiors.

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Anat Cohen at The Sheldon

The series is streaming with a subscription on ChaiFlicks, with new episodes releasing each Thursday. According to the show website, Season Two is coming soon. If you need some relative humor in your life, check out “The New Black.”

Rogen is back on the small screen!

Seth Rogen is all over the place these days, whether it be producing a hit series (Amazon’s pulpy comic goodness, “The Boys”) or starring in multiple movies, including Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical tale “The Fabelmans” later this year. But he’s back on the small screen with a supporting role in the new Hulu series, “Pam and Tommy.” Inspired by true events yet also highly fictional in certain details, the series recounts the worldwide sensation that broke out when Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape got leaked to the public.

Rogen plays the electrician, Rand Gauthier, that broke into their house and stole the sex tape. Known to be a big lover of conspiracies whose mother was Jehovah’s witness, Gauthier’s key role in the undoing of the couple’s public persona is highlighted on the show. One could say the actor is perfect for the role.

Ed Asner’s final role

“Tiger Within” makes its worldwide premiere this month at the St. Louis Jewish Film Festival, which is all virtual. Running from March 6-13, “Tiger” features the final role of the incomparable late actor. Asner’s role is more of supporting performance, where he plays a Holocaust survivor who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young runaway teenager. Their connection and eventual friendship are tested by many things, including her immaturity and his anger towards the people still perpetuating lies or enacting violence on Jews.

Expect my full review this next week, but I’ll tease you with this. Asner is in his sweet old man comfort zone in this role, with a nice twist.

See you next week.