Saturday, April 4, 2020

Round Two: Unorthodox

Unorthodox: Season 1, Episode 2 “Part 2” (B+)

This second installment did not disappoint. Flashing back to Esty and Yanky’s wedding set the tone for an hour that examined the most formative moments in their insular life and then how they responded to a whole new world in Berlin. Yanky thinking that he could ask Moische’s smartphone where his wife was because the capabilities of the Internet seemed boundless to him and Esty expecting that eating ham would make her throw up were two entertaining examples of their struggles to acclimate to being somewhere that the rules don’t apply and where consequences don’t necessarily follow deviation from normalcy. Moische really is a despicable character, one who exudes arrogance and a disregard for the principles that most in his community hold dear, happy to use his “business phone” to play games and ready to physically intimidate someone to get what he wants. Yanky, on the other hand, is much gentler, and it seems that he was likely one of the only positive things for Esty to hold on to in Williamsburg. The fact that they went straight to her mother’s house and Esty hasn’t stopped by yet is puzzling, but she may not have realized or been told where her mother lived, and she’s just trying to find her bearings. As an Israeli, Yael is the one who knows where she comes from best, and she’s also not willing to ease her transition, bursting her bubble about her piano performance when everyone else was ready to applaud her. It took me a minute to recognize Yousef Sweid from popular Israeli films such as “The Bubble” and “Tel Aviv on Fire” as Karim, the conductor who has a soft spot for Esty but not for Dasia. I’m looking forward to episodes three and four!

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