Monday, January 16, 2012


No, I'm not talking about THE homeland, as in Israel; I'm referring instead to the this year's well deserved Golden Globe Winner for Best TV Drama Series, which went to the amazing new show entitled Homeland. Why talk about it on my blog? Well, because, if you weren't aware already, this incredible series is a spin-off on an Israeli original show called Hatufim. While the original Israeli version showcases Israeli hostages who return to Israel after being held captive for 17 years in Lebanon, the American spin-off of the show instead follows two American prisoners-of-war after being held captive for 7 years in Iraq. If you watch the two shows, the similarities behind the storyboards and even the dialogues are quite comparable. Well done to Israel for creating such a hit series; and to the creators of Homeland for bringing the idea behind the story to the US.

Chances are you've already watched a few series in your lifetime which are based on successful Israeli television shows, including, but not limited to In Treatment, Traffic Light, Connected, The Naked Truth, and now Homeland. I find it interesting to know where these popular sources of entertainment came from, and I hope you do too.

When Claire Danes was visiting Israel last year in February 2011 in order to film Homeland (where Israel stood in for Iraq), her visit and the ensuing filming made headlines. While in Israel, she had the chance to tour Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Caesarea, the Dead Sea and Masada with the Israel Ministry of Tourism. I would have to concur that all those spots are must-sees on a visit to Israel.



See what Claire Danes had to say on Conan O'Brien about her stay in the bustling city of Tel Aviv during filming. Her opinion of Tel Aviv could not be more spot on; and Conan's lack of knowledge about Israel reflects the general American public's view of Israel. Israelis were really glad to have Claire Danes set the story straight about their biggest city (see bottom of post for links to a handful of other posts about Tel Aviv):

I have always loved her as an actress ever since her My So Called Life days (come on, what teenager did not connect with this show) and on into her Romeo & Juliet days (did we not all envy Claire on the big screen with hunky Leonardo DiCaprio) and her winning streak continues into the current day with Homeland. I was not the only one who thought so; not only did the show win the Golden Globe for Best TV Drama Series, but Claire Danes also picked up the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama Series. Well done Claire!


So, what is the show about and why should you watch it? In the American series, the 31 year old Claire Danes plays the role of a bipolar CIA agent who is suspicious of a US Marine, played by Damian Lewis, who miraculously reappears after being taken prisoner and presumed dead during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. While everyone in the world seems to believe that he is a war hero, Claire Danes' character will not let go of the idea that he has been turned by his captors and remains a threat to the American public. She sees it as her duty to prevent a major terrorist attack at the hands of the supposedly turned victim.

The show, I promise you, will have you on the edge of your seat. The 12 episode series can be viewed easily online, check here or here. Throughout the series, you will see various scenes that were filmed up in the north of Israel in an Arab-Israeli village called Barta'a which is near Haifa. This village stands in place for the scenes meant to take place in Iraq. 


If you haven't watched the show yet, I highly suggest you do. You will be hooked in no time, I promise you. And there's good news, this Israeli-inspired television series will be back in 2012 for a second season. Fans, I think you will agree to say that we can hardly wait!


If you happen to live in Israel, be sure to watch Hatufim, which is every bit as addicting (according to my husband, who speaks fluent Hebrew... I got lost after the first episode). The story of kidnapped soldiers is an unfortunate reality in Israel and there remain to be kidnapped soldiers to this day. I think that national issue is why the show really tugs at the heartstrings of the viewing public.

* To see more about Tel Aviv, visit a few of these posts: Summer in Tel AvivTel Aviv Beaches, Tel Aviv Water War, White Night Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Photo Tour, Tel Aviv Nike Night Run, Tel Aviv Fun Day, Tel Aviv Yarkon Park, Kikar HaMedina, the Jaffa Port and Tel Aviv Port, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Azrieli Center, Tel Aviv Fashion Weekend and HaTachana. And that just scratches the surface!


  1. That's great! I haven't seen the American version, but the Israeli one was quite nice.

  2. Now I have another show to try to fit into my already hectic schedule!

  3. oh there's an Israeli? i havnt seen that yet but hopefully i will cuz i only saw the american version


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