Be’er Sheva Props in TV Show Asfur

Got sucked into watching the show Asfur a few months ago, and took me a while to get through the whole season. Turned out it was worth it — great acting, awesome music, but some disappointing episodes too. Couldn’t quite tell why, but the writing seemed to copy some of those 1970s US dramas / soap operas – with inexplicable coincidences, fake deaths, and all the rest 😉

The opening of the show is embedded here below:

What caught my eye one night was seeing a shout out to the city of Be’er Sheva, which one of the characters was from:

Roughly translated, she is saying “this wouldn’t happen in Be’er Sheva …”.

If Tel-Aviv is the NYC / Miami / LA of Israel, then Be’er Sheva is the Cleveland / Detroit / Newark of Israel — a great town but doesn’t get a lot of respect.

Mesudarim: Best TV Show You’ll Never See

I’m way behind, but I just got done catching up on season 2 of Mesudarim from the Israeli Channel 2 Keshet network. What an amazing show – with a great opening:

Mesudarim which roughly translates to “hooked up / set for life ” is a show that in many ways is similar to HBO’s Entourage, but centered around an Israeli tech company that has a “big exit”, and focuses on what-happens-next. Mesudarim is supper funny, really well written, and even has political and social commentary weaved in just a bit.  To top it off, Jeff Pulver even had a camaeo as Steve Balmer in one of the last episodes of the 2nd season.

So why is it the “best TV show you’ll never seen” ? Simple, like all top Israeli shows, and really any top shows outside the US, the only way it seems to garner a larger international audience is by getting an option deal and getting remade in english, like “In Treatment” on HBO which is based on another popular Israeli show “BeTipul”.

While that model is fine, it amazes me that this tiny country puts out some of the best music, TV shows, and movies, but the content itself is often not seen or consumed by people outside of Israel.  Mesudarim should be a big international hit at this point.  A few simple suggestions to address this:

1) why not start with simple subtitles (maybe even crowd source with a tool like dotsub) and VOD options for those living outside of Israel ?  I know there is a bit of a VOD service for this show, but my guess is that it’s hard to access for most english speakers.  And a personal request, that Ouriel and I have been chatting about for 2 years – please make the site works in multiple browsers and platforms, not just Windows/IE.

2) Make all these shows available on iTunes – lots of people would pay for ad-free shows.

3) Build an app for Boxee for top shows

4) Build a Hulu for Israel.  Between Eretz Nehedert, Polishook, etc (and all the realty shows) there is plenty of content to consume – and with subtitles I think it would find an audience.

So what do people think ?  Any chance of this happening ?

Here is a promotional clip for season 2, and lots more clips on YouTube — can’t wait for season 3.