Fans fret over fate of popular TV show
The crocheted kippa

Fans fret over fate of popular TV show

Angst-ridden religious characters may have walked the streets of Jerusalem for the last time

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

A Srugim billboard in Tel Aviv (Photo credit: Jessica Steinberg)
A Srugim billboard in Tel Aviv (Photo credit: Jessica Steinberg)

The fans are bereft, but it’s better knowing than having no warning. “Srugim,” the Israeli television show shown on satellite channel YES, recently broadcast the final episode of Season 3, and it’s unclear whether there will be any more.

“We still don’t know if there will be a fourth season,” said “Srugim” creator Laizy Shapira in a recent Facebook chat with fans.

The show, about a group of religious Jerusalem singles in their twenties, became an unexpected hit in Israel, and among a particular swathe of American Jews. Named for the term used to describe the knitted yarmulkes worn by some religious men, the show dealt with male-female interactions as well as religious-secular.

Partially filmed in “the swamp,” as Katamon — a Jerusalem neighborhood popular among religious singles and young couples — is nicknamed, the show had local viewers vying to figure out where some scenes were shot.

Fans became devotees of the main characters: Yifat and her husband Amir; Nati, the doctor and eternal bachelor; Reut, the successful accountant; the beautiful but troubled Hodaya; and her love, Avri. The show’s Facebook pages, one created by the show and another by the international fans of “Srugim,” as well as the Srugim Recap blog, became go-to sites for fans, hosting long discussions. One Facebook page, titled “Bring Stacy, the adorable American neighbor, back to Srugim,” was created for a character who appeared briefly in the first season. An Arab blogger wrote that he could identify with many of the show’s issues, from attempting to date someone from a different background to equating love and marriage.

A 'Srugim' billboard in Tel Aviv (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/The Times of Israel)

Not everyone loved the show. A group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis complained that “Srugim” billboards showed disrespectful use of religious scriptures as part of an ironic advertising campaign. At the same time, synagogues in the US held “Srugim” evenings where episodes were viewed followed by group discussions.

For now, fans will have to content themselves with remarks posted on the official “Srugim” Facebook page by the show’s actors. Sharon Fauster, the actress who played Reut, wrote, “Thanks, and be optimistic.”

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