Monday March 29th. I haven`t watched Shtisel Season Three yet. Jeff and I decided to watch it, then discovered – after discussion with a family member, that we were in fact rewatching Season Two. In Jeff`s case understandable – he really hadn`t seen most of that, apparently. But I had (I think,) which was why I seemed to find some of it a bit repetitive. Evcocatively so, but repetitive.
I have finished rewatching Season Two and am no longer enchanted by the authentic recreation of orthodox Jewish life as it is lived today in Jerusalem. The story, and the way it is told, is so weighed down by the very values it is supposed (I think) to expose, that I have been ready to switch off with irritation, time and again.
To spell it out. First of all – the heavy re-use of what I call the male creative`s ubiquitous plot motif. The truth universally acknowledged that a middle-aged man in search of a good role in any drama – must have a recently or long-distantly dead or disappeared wife. Two brothers, the middle-aged men with beards, each have no wife. A bit much, I find.
Tuesday March 30th.
Well. I wrote the above yesterday, though I was not completely focused, given that yesterday Jeff had spinal surgery and I was a bit on edge. I watched an interesting little utube clip from Elizabeth Baines in which she cited Austerlitz by George Sebald and The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton as two books she referred to a lot while writing her novel Astral Travel. In fact I was moved by some of the things she said, but I did feel a sense of loss – on behalf of all the people in the whole world for whom Jewish identity is predominantly the dark shadow of historical or current persecution. My own Jewish world has been filled with so much else. Colour, traditions, interesting quotes and jokes, values, and more.
Which brings me back to Shtisel. Late last night I embarked on Season Three, (after watching the close of Unforgotten, which brilliantly allowed Cassie to die – a thought-provoking and sombre ending.) Re Shtisel – it took me two episodes of Season Three to register that THEY had done it again. I feel like saying they had bloody gone and done it again. Killed off another wife. Libbi. Why? So that there may be more romantic twists ahead for our hero Akiva, now liberated as both man and artist, while the wife has been turned into three paintings. Unbelievable. I`m losing faith in Shtisel now, or do I mean losing interest? Shame.