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Top 10 Jewish TV Stories 2021

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis Cheetos Super Bowl Commercial

Where would Hollywood be without the Jews? Television today owes everything to Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, George Burns, Norman Lear, James Brooks and so many more. From the producers to the writers, the actors to the directors, to this day to television comes from Jews. So here is our list of the ten biggest television stories of 2021.

1
Israeli actor Lior Raz had a new series on Netflix called “Hit and Run.” Raz is most famous for playing Israeli undercover anti-terrorist agent Doron Kavillio on the international hit Israeli TV show Fauda. The new show has just released its first trailer. The show came out in August.

Israeli TV seems to be conquering the world. It started with remakes. America’s shows “In Treatment” and “Homeland” were both remakes of Israeli television programs. Then the original Israeli shows themselves took international viewers by storm. In addition to Fauda, the suspense drama about Israel’s counter-terrorist agents, shows like “Shtissel”, about a Hasidic family in Jerusalem, and “Srugim,” which is about young and single modern orthodox people living in Jerusalem, found popularity on streaming services like Netflix.

2
Last spring Hank Azaria went on sort of an apology tour. The actor felt that he needed to make amends to every one of the more than a billion Indians in the world for his stereotypical portrayal of an Indian man on The Simpsons.

For more than 30 years Hank Azaria voiced the local owner of the Springield Kwiki Mart Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. This was just one of the many characters voiced by Hank Azaria on the show. But before this, The Simpsons’ 32nd year on the air, the show’s producers decided to retire the character because it had become politically incorrect.

The character of Apu was based on the fact that many 7/11 type convenience stores in America are operated by Indian and Pakistani immigrants. Apu was one of the most beloved characters on the show. His Hindu religion was portrayed respectfully and viewers were given glimpses into his family life. But people felt that there was something about the character’s voice which made him a borderline racist characterization.

3
Steven Spielberg and Hilary Clinton are collaborating on a new television program for the CW network called “The Woman’s Hour.” About the fight to get women the right to vote in America, it will be produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Clinton will serve as an executive producer on the anthology series.

The new show is based on Elaine Weiss’ book “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.”

According to a press release, “each season of ‘The Woman’s Hour’ will celebrate those who changed history and have strong contemporary reverberations, appealing to today’s rising tide of young, politically active audiences.”

4
In 2021, married couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher worked together again on screen for the first time in more than a decade. The former “That 70s Show” stars reunited professionally in a Super Bowl commercial for Cheetos. Kunis explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight how this came about.

The adorable commercial uses Shaggy’s famous song “It Wasn’t Me.” Poor Ashton Kutcher keeps on finding out that someone in the house finished all of the Cheetos. The culprit was of course Mila Kunis. But when asked by her husband about it she just answers, “It wasn’t me.”

“It’s so silly! Ashton and I, we never work together. I mean, I know we worked together before…And in the midst of quarantine, they sent us this ad to do and every time I’ve ever been offered a Super Bowl ad it’s always a female having to be scantily clad,” Kunis explained to Entertainment Tonight. “And this one comes around, I started laughing so hard and Ashton was like, ‘This is kind of funny.’ And I was like, ‘We should do it!’”

5

HBO has a new docuseries coming out that includes the story of WeWork and its controversial founder Adam Neumann called “Generation Hustle.” The series is about “The lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power.” But the ad campaign for it had to be changed after complaints were made by Adam Neumann.

Thomas A. Clare, defamation attorney for Neumann, revealed that HBO and Innovation Films have retracted “key elements” of their “Generation Hustle” series that he described as falsely characterizing WeWork founder Adam Neumann.

In 2019, Neumann was forced out of WeWork, the company which he founded in 2010. After a meteoric rise the entrepreneur was brought down after allegations of serious drug use and sexual improprieties were made. WeWork was forced to deal with sexual harassment suits. It delayed its planned IPO and laid off many workers.

And Neumann reportedly walked away with a $1.7 billion deal.

6

Kathryn Hahn is bringing Joan Rivers back to life. She is doing so in a new biopic TV mini-series called “The Comeback Girl.” The new show is described by its producers as being the “awe-inspiring untold” story of Joan Rivers and how she rebuild herself and her career to become a global icon.

The new show is currently under production and does not yet have a premiere date set, nor information on its number of episodes. Kathryn Hahn is the only cast member as yet announced and it will be interesting to see who they get to play the daughter, Mellissa Rivers, the husband, Edgar, and the many celebrities who were central to Rivers’ career like Johnny Carson.

7

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Rachel Nichols was canceled this year, both literally and figuratively, by ESPN. Her show The Jump was canceled by ESPN. The move came a little over a month after Rachel Nichols became embroiled in a scandal over comments that she made which some considered to be racially charged.

ESPNmade the move in the aftermath of what Rachel Nichols said a while ago about being sidelined in favor of a black reporter. A video was revealed in which she complained that fellow ESPN reporter Maria Taylor, who is black, was only made a host of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” instead of Nichols because of her race. ESPN took action against Nichols after the video was leaked and benched Rachel Nichols from the network’s coverage of the NBA finals.

8

Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen had a new gig in 2021. He sold Coronavirus vaccines to fellow celebrities. At least he did so in a sketch on Jimmy Kummel’s talk show. Well he certainly needed a new source of revenue now that the British actor swore off playing Borat ever again.

The setup for the bit was simple. As all talk shows are doing now, Jimmy Kimmel conducted the interview by way of remote video. Baron Cohen began by explaining his reasons for making Borat 2. He said that he wanted to show the hypocrisy of the people in power. But in the middle of this he took a phone call from a prospective vaccine buyer. Behind Baron Cohen was a refrigerator filled with Covid vaccinations.

9

William Shatner, best known as Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek, has a new television show on a Russian state-run TV network. No joke! William Shatner will host a talk show called “I Don’t Understand” on the English version of Russian government run TV channel RT. But don’t be critical; Captain Kirk isn’t taking any guff about his new job.

“I Don’t Understand” will feature William Shatner seeking the answers to what he feels are fascinating and timely questions that “pique the natural interest of everyone, but that the establishment media all too often hesitates to tackle.” These include such important topics as “should I worry about space debris falling from the sky?” to “are we alone in the universe?” to “what is dark matter?” to “what was before the Big Bang?”

Some people just don’t know the meaning of the word retire. William Shatner is 90 years old now and, like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going and going. Shatner certainly keeps his good spirits up. He quipped to The Guardian in a recent interview “The press has spread this ridiculous rumor. I’m 55.” He then begrudgingly admitted to being 90 years old after it was pointed out that he was on Star Trek 55 years ago.

10

Larry David’s hit show returned in 2021. Curb Your Enthusiasm’s eleventh season started this year. So far, Larry had a burglar die in his pool, been blackmailed into having a talentless kid play the major role in the new TV show that he is making, offended a dentist, befriended a racist Klansman and… well, let’s just say that he has been very much the Larry David that we have all come to know and love.

And we still have two more episodes left to enjoy this season.

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