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Shtisel- s/o, What's the appeal?
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Feb 03 2021, 11:18 pm
I don't want to derail the other thread (which is going on for 61 pages already!) in which we analyze everything about the show.
I just want to discuss one thing...what do you think is the appeal that Shtisel has for the wider non-Jewish or non-frum audience?
I was just discussing this with dh. He is boggled by the idea that this is so universally loved. Of course there is a lot of human interest and good acting. But what makes this interesting for us is that we feel that we know these people. These people are us. We get all the nuances and references. We speak hebrew and yiddish fluently, and understand the culture and inside jokes. But people who don't understand the language and don't get all the details, why is this appealing?
For example, when Shulem says "Kiva Sus Paroh!" (In season 3) , this is an old jewish witticism, but you would never get it if you aren't an insider. When Chanina and Ruchami follow the casket in the cemetery, you can see that the irreligous couple who lost their twins are walking together, hugging and supporting each other. Do people outside of our community understand that Chanina and Ruchami are not doing the same because she is a nidda? And if not, what conclusions are they drawing? And there are 1000s of other examples.

What do you think is the reason why so many people from all walks of life, races and religions gravitate to this show?

(I'm Babypink from the other thread)
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NotLazySusan




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Feb 03 2021, 11:34 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don't want to derail the other thread (which is going on for 61 pages already!) in which we analyze everything about the show.
I just want to discuss one thing...what do you think is the appeal that Shtisel has for the wider non-Jewish or non-frum audience?
I was just discussing this with dh. He is boggled by the idea that this is so universally loved. Of course there is a lot of human interest and good acting. But what makes this interesting for us is that we feel that we know these people. These people are us. We get all the nuances and references. We speak hebrew and yiddish fluently, and understand the culture and inside jokes. But people who don't understand the language and don't get all the details, why is this appealing?
For example, when Shulem says "Kiva Sus Paroh!" (In season 3) , this is an old jewish witticism, but you would never get it if you aren't an insider. When Chanina and Ruchami follow the casket in the cemetery, you can see that the irreligous couple who lost their twins are walking together, hugging and supporting each other. Do people outside of our community understand that Chanina and Ruchami are not doing the same because she is a nidda? And if not, what conclusions are they drawing? And there are 1000s of other examples.

What do you think is the reason why so many people from all walks of life, races and religions gravitate to this show?

(I'm Babypink from the other thread)


I didn’t read your post in case there’s spoilers, but to answer your question - it’s a fascinating look into a very different lifestyle. It’s also very real, with emotions that everyone can identify with, Jew and non Jew
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Feb 03 2021, 11:52 pm
NotLazySusan wrote:
I didn’t read your post in case there’s spoilers, but to answer your question - it’s a fascinating look into a very different lifestyle. It’s also very real, with emotions that everyone can identify with, Jew and non Jew


Thank for your thoughts.
I explained in my post (which you didn't read , and you're right, there are spoilers in there) what my question is. Lots of shows have real emotions and problems that everyon can identify with. But it's the other part you wrote- the look into a very different lifestyle-- that I'm questioning. Since the whole lifestyle is so full of nuances and hidden references, how could people understand? So much of it must go above their head...
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bobeli




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 12:18 am
I think that the secular jews do understand a few things and is a glimpse in to another reality, similar to those videos by peter something on chasidishe jews. They where very popular all around
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agreer




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 12:23 am
I think it's like people watching a show about the Amish or the Mormons - those are pretty popular shows.

However, I can't understand why people would want to watch a show with subtitles. To me, that boggles the mind!
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 8:43 am
agreer wrote:
I think it's like people watching a show about the Amish or the Mormons - those are pretty popular shows.

However, I can't understand why people would want to watch a show with subtitles. To me, that boggles the mind!
Why not? If the topic is interesting, what is so bad about subtitles? Yes, then you are reading the show instead of watching it, but it is still wonderful. Full disclosure, I know hebrew and dont watch with subtitles, but Ive watched other things in other languages, and its fine.
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amother




Cobalt
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 8:52 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Since the whole lifestyle is so full of nuances and hidden references, how could people understand? So much of it must go above their head...

I agree with you that a lot goes over their head. Still, people enjoy getting an inside peek into an "exotic" community that is foreign to them and that they normally don't get to see.

I may be butchering this, but I think I remember hearing someone say that there's three levels for watching Seinfeld. Level 1 - the average person, Level 2 - the Jew, and Level 3 - the Jewish New Yorker. The show was wildly popular even at Level 1, but people at level 2 or 3 would understand more jokes and references.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 8:55 am
I’ve thought about this question too . Similar to Shtisel, and perhaps even more so, Fiddler on the roof is super popular and has withstood the test of time, with universal themes that resonate with all types of people across the world. But, I wonder if it is in actuality the emes of a Torah lifestyle accurately portrayed that captivates Jews and non Jews alike. Whereas the mistakes are jarring and make the show less universally appealing.There is so much beauty in our lives, even when in pain...

I find the criticism about the nefel levaya scene to be spot on-its jarring to see ruchami walking alone behind the other couple embracing. But remember, that would never ever happen in real life. No levaya. No meeting another couple. Other examples-the fact that ruchami and Chanina would have had community and family support to help them build a family, so most of the worst of the story, the parts that may turn people off, is just not an honest portrayal. Regarding other nida scenes-to be honest, when I’m in labor, I don’t like to be touched by anyone! And when I had my mis, I was very much alone in my pain and needed my space. So the nida status at those times worked for me, and for many others as well.Just one example.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 9:01 am
agreer wrote:

However, I can't understand why people would want to watch a show with subtitles. To me, that boggles the mind!


I watch absolutely everything with subtitles. That’s why I love netflix.

You miss a lot just listening. So stressful! I recently watched something on youtube and I feel like I missed half the dialogue. My hearing is excellent but it’s just not how I absorb information.

Audiobooks — now that really boggles the mind.
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amother




Taupe
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 9:02 am
Peter Santinello got a few million views on his youtube videos on chassidim. A lot if people want a sneak peek into a society that is usually private and closed in. I guess that's why it's so popular. I am fascinated by other cultures and groups and love to watch documentaries of them even with subtitles. The more mystery about them the greater appeal for me.
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chicco




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 9:03 am
I don't know. What is the appeal for us to watch such secular things that have basically zero overlap with our lives?
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amother




Taupe
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 9:07 am
sequoia wrote:
I watch absolutely everything with subtitles. That’s why I love netflix.

You miss a lot just listening. So stressful! I recently watched something on youtube and I feel like I missed half the dialogue. My hearing is excellent but it’s just not how I absorb information.

Audiobooks — now that really boggles the mind.


You can add subtitles on YouTube
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amother




Natural
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 9:09 am
agreer wrote:


However, I can't understand why people would want to watch a show with subtitles. To me, that boggles the mind!


It doesn't bother everyone. Turkish shows have become extremely popular in Israel. I believe they added a few channels in Turkish here, and MANY Israelis have seen a lot of lot Turkish series on Netflix. And that's a language pretty much no one understands here, so everyone is reading subtitles.

(I personally don't connect with the Turkish stuff, but it's super popular here).
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 11:05 am
Thanks for all your thoughts. I especially was intrigued by the poster who thinks that it's because the Torah life is emes, so there's an intrinsic appeal that people have to emes.

My question isn't so much about the language and the culture. It's more about all the references. Chanina walks into the store and kisses the mezuza. Do people have any idea what he's doing? Weinbach threatens Shulem that he will take him to court at the Eida. Whats the Eida? The idea that Chanina insists on calling Rav Soloveitchik for hadracha when Ruchami's life is at stake. OCHILa vs. OYchila. Tzionim , reshaim Arurim. Chanina crying in front of the aron kodesh because of strange thoughts. Tzvi Aryeh being grateful that he is from the Yoshvei Beis hamedrish.
And how would they translate Zakein mamreh!!
These are actions and phrases that carry worlds. Of course I realize that people could enjoy a good show. But I think for me and dh, (who never watches shows at all) we find this fascinating because this is so familiar and we get the insider references.
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amother




Firebrick
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 12:28 pm
chicco wrote:
I don't know. What is the appeal for us to watch such secular things that have basically zero overlap with our lives?


There isn't much appeal for me, there are hardly any movies I really enjoyed. There have been a few that resonated with me but those are few and far between. It's more a mildly entertaining way to pass the time and that's why I don't usually bother.
The appeal of Shtisel is much greater because I can identify with the characters. Their emotions seem very real to me and I find myself feeling for them almost as if I'd know them. Some scenes shine a light on things that go on in my own social circles and make me think about them in a way I wouldn't have if I hadn't come face to face with them on a screen.
To answer OP about why Shtisel has such a big audience of people from outside our world- I think the actors are great. Even though strangers miss the nuances and plays on words that we have fun with, they can still appreciate the terrific acting and the storyline. Some people like having a window into a world that's completely foreign to them, like a glimpse into a secret life or a mini vacation somewhere exotic without leaving your sofa.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Feb 04 2021, 11:53 pm
It's actually interesting to me when I read comments made by outsiders on movies such as Shtisel (and other movies depicting orthodox life) and I see that so much of the time they miss the boat, or state with conviction something that I know to be totally false. It's funny but also frustrating.
I just saw a clip that someone was trying to explain Shtise'ls appeal to the outside world by saying that the outside world thinks that chareidim are black and white- meaning our Judaism is non negotiable so we don't actually struggle. But Shtisel shows them that we also struggle within our lifestyle, we struggle with things that all humans struggle with- to do the right thing, to be kind, self fulfilled, we dream and aspire...

I also wonder if the appeal is because the struggles are relatable. Most movie plots have crazy things happening- things that wouldn't happen to you and me. But there is nothing like that here. Just regular family life, spouses disagreeing, children being angry at their parents, people trying to make money, people trying to find happiness...
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heidi




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Feb 05 2021, 1:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
It's actually interesting to me when I read comments made by outsiders on movies such as Shtisel (and other movies depicting orthodox life) and I see that so much of the time they miss the boat, or state with conviction something that I know to be totally false. It's funny but also frustrating.
I just saw a clip that someone was trying to explain Shtise'ls appeal to the outside world by saying that the outside world thinks that chareidim are black and white- meaning our Judaism is non negotiable so we don't actually struggle. But Shtisel shows them that we also struggle within our lifestyle, we struggle with things that all humans struggle with- to do the right thing, to be kind, self fulfilled, we dream and aspire...

I also wonder if the appeal is because the struggles are relatable. Most movie plots have crazy things happening- things that wouldn't happen to you and me. But there is nothing like that here. Just regular family life, spouses disagreeing, children being angry at their parents, people trying to make money, people trying to find happiness...

I beg to differ.
Shtisel has a cheating husband , a daughter who rejects her parents lifestyle and is rejected by her father, a 16 year old getting married without her parents knowledge. A widow who communicates with her dead husbands. A widower who makes passes at his long suffering secretary whose unrequited love is quite evident. Cousins getting married. A widower who is an alcoholic, suicide attempts etc etc etc.
I think the genius of the show is the outlandish plotlines couched in a sweet, slow moving rhythm.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Feb 06 2021, 8:23 pm
heidi wrote:
I beg to differ.
Shtisel has a cheating husband , a daughter who rejects her parents lifestyle and is rejected by her father, a 16 year old getting married without her parents knowledge. A widow who communicates with her dead husbands. A widower who makes passes at his long suffering secretary whose unrequited love is quite evident. Cousins getting married. A widower who is an alcoholic, suicide attempts etc etc etc.
I think the genius of the show is the outlandish plotlines couched in a sweet, slow moving rhythm.


Lol. I concede that there are some outlandish parts, though some of what you listed are actually in the realm of normal or at least not oulandish.
A widower that turns to alcohol to manage his grief? Not so uncommon.
A daughter that rejects her parents' lifestyle and is rejected by her father...unfortunately quite common as well.
Cheating husbands are BH not common in our world, but certainly relatable to the world at large.
A widower making passes at his secretary seems very believable to me.
Suicide attempts are not outlandish. BH they are not a day to day accurance but they are not unheard of.
By outlandish plots, I referred to storylines that just dont happen.
The part about Ruchami and Chanina getting married in the deli would be an example of completely nonsensical.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Feb 06 2021, 8:27 pm
heidi wrote:
I beg to differ.
I think the genius of the show is the outlandish plotlines couched in a sweet, slow moving rhythm.


Having a woman agree to marry a man she barely knows just to help him out of a CPS case is also quite outlandish.
So is a woman going behind her husband's back to get herself pregnant despite it being an almost definite death sentence.
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Chan1e




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Mar 30 2021, 3:41 am
Is Shtisel appropriate to watch with DH?
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