The world has fallen in uncertain times. Thousands are in quarantine due to Coronavirus fears. Countless flights around the world have been cancelled. Dreams of trips not taken have been shattered. Many people were disappointed to learn that they won’t be able to visit Israel until further notice. Furthermore, many returning citizens are stuck indoors for 14 days as a security measure. So, whether you’re looking for something to do while in isolation, or you’re looking to fill the void of your postponed trip to The Holy Land, here are some great Israeli TV shows you can binge-watch in the meantime.
The Beauty and the Baker (Lehiot Ita) – Amazon Prime
Featuring the stunning Rotem Sela, an Israeli model and actress, this drama-filled romantic comedy series has something for everyone.
The plot follows Noa Hollander, a model an heiress, as she falls for a low-class baker, Amos Dahari. The show follows their impossible love story as they navigate their relationship which is threatened by multiple outside factors, including Amos’s questionably-stable yet hilarious ex-girlfriend, Vanessa, Noa’s jealous manager, and Amos’s lively Yemenite family.
The series is well-rated and loved in Israel, and ABC even picked up the show to adapt into an English series of the same name.
When Heroes Fly (Bishvila Giborim Afim) – Netflix
This drama TV show is one of the most beloved of Israeli TV shows.
The story follows a group of friends who served together in the IDF during the 2006 Lebanon War. During the group’s travels to Colombia after their army service, one of their friends, Yaeli goes missing and is presumed dead. Years later, a recent photo of her surfaces and the group reunites to track down the whereabouts of Yaeli.
The cast includes Ninet Tayeb, a well-known Israeli singer-songwriter, who playes the role of Yaeli. The dramtic show is full of exciting twists and turns and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Hostages (Bnei Aruba) – Netflix
This suspenseful drama follows a family as they are held hostage in their home by a group of masked intruders.
The mother of the family, Yael, is a respected surgeon who is expected to operate on the prime minister the next day in a routine surgery. The group of intruders insists that the she deliberately botches the operation so the prime minister dies during the surgery, or the group will kill Yael’s whole family.
The TV show was broadcast in multiple European countries and was also picked up and adapted in the states (however, most viewers agree that the original Israeli series is the better version!).
Prisoners of War (Hatufim) – Hulu
Produced by acclaimed Israeli producer, Gideon Raff, this is one of the most internationally-recognized of all the Israeli TV shows. In 2013, it won the Israeli Academy Award for Television.
The series follows two recently released prisoners who were captured during the Lebanon War. After years of negotiating their freedom, they are finally released and returned to their families. The series follows their reintegration into society and the trauma they endured. When questioned by a military psychiatrist, the two soldiers’ stories don’t add up, which leads to more questions and a belief that they are hiding something.
Does the plot sound familiar? Prisoners of War was adapted into the popular American series Homeland, which was also produced by Gideon Raff.
Mossad 101 (HaMidrasha)- Netflix
One of the more action-packed Israeli TV shows on this list, Mossad 101 is a thrilling show to watch.
The show follows a secret Mossad compound that operates a training course. 13 trainees are sent out on missions to see how they respond and think on their feet. The unit, headed by Yonna, uses special technicals and technology to get the trainees used to extreme situations.
The series focuses on both the action-packed drills they go through as well as the humane side of of the agents by depicting personal experiences.
Fauda – Netflix
Fauda is one of the Israeli TV shows that has taken the country by storm. This non-stop action show will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The plot to this show involves many characters, plot twists, and flashbacks, so it’s important to pay attention. The show follows Doron, a retired soldier who was responsible for killing a prominent terrorist. Moreno, his old unit commander, visits him to tell him the terrorist is still alive. The show then follows Doron and a host of other complex characters as they attempt to finish the job they thought was done years ago.
The show has been applauded for showing both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as we see the good and bad in characters on both sides of the conflict.
In 2017, The New York Times awarded Fauda the title of the best international show of the year. The show also won many awards in Israel for acting, screenplay, special effects, cinematography, and more.
The Spy – Netflix
One of the first things you’ll notice about The Spy is that it’s in English, so you can give your eyes a rest from reading translated subtitles!
The show stars the iconic Sasha Baron Cohen, who portrays the famous Israeli spy, Eli Cohen. It’s based on real events of an Israeli spy who infiltrated Syrian high command during the years leading up to the 1967 Six-Day War. The show follows Eli Cohen as he befriends key players in Syrian high society and eventually infiltrates the Syrian Ministry of Defence. Eventually, Eli is appointed as Syria’s Deputy Defence Minister and acts as an advisor to Amin al-Hafiz, Syria’s future president. It also shows the strain put on Eli’s family as he is away from large periods of time.
The show, along with Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance, were praised by critics and viewers alike.
Shtisel – Netflix
This show is loved for giving a glimpse into the life of a strict religious family, something not often depicted even in Israeli television.
The show follows the Shtisel family, led by patriarch and Rabbi Shulem Shitsel. The family lives in a religious community without internet in Jerusalem. The family abides by strict haredi traditions, but some members are more interested in adopting a secular lifestyle, which leads to tension in the family and community.
We hope that binge-watching these beloved Israeli TV shows will help you through these hard times! Remember, you can always reach out to Mazada Tour’s travel experts for questions about travel to Israel or to start planning a future trip. Contact us today with any questions you may have!