January 18, 2020

The Jewish Stars and Subjects of Fall TV’s Buzz-Worthiest Shows

Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Last season, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” took us to the Catskills. In Season 3, we’re going to Miami and beyond as comic Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and her manager, Susie
(Alex Borstein), hit the road on a comedy tour. Returning on Dec. 6, the Amazon Prime series, which won eight Emmys last year, will vie for 20 more this time around. Tune in Sept. 22 on Fox to see if they — and other MOTS, including Henry Winkler, Eugene Levy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sacha Baron Cohen and Rachel Bloom — take home
Emmy gold. 

Aging may be a pain in the tuchis, but it’s funny and touching as played by Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin as Sandy Kominsky and Norman Newlander in “The Kominsky Method.” The Emmy-nominated stars of Chuck Lorre’s hit comedy return to Netflix on Oct. 25 for an eight-episode second season. Jane Seymour comes aboard as Norman’s old flame, and Paul Reiser — whose “Mad About You” reboot is coming to Spectrum Nov. 20 — plays a love interest for Sandy’s daughter.

Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas in “The Kominsky Method.”
Photo by Michael Yarish/Netflix

A Santa Barbara high school student Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) intends to be president one day, and will do anything to get to the White House. But for now, he’s practicing his campaign strategies by running for student-body president in the dark comedy “The Politician.” Premiering Sept. 27 on Netflix, the series also stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoey Deutch, with Bette Midler and Judith Light in guest roles.

Ben Platt in “The Politician;” Photo courtesy of Netflix

Among all the superheroes on the CW, Batwoman is unique. She’s not only a lesbian, she’s Jewish. Introduced on episodes of “Supergirl” and “Arrow” and played by gay Australian actress Ruby Rose, she will fly solo on this series, although crossover episodes can be expected. “Batwoman” premieres Oct. 6.

Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman Photo: Kimberley French/The CW

When lifelong friends make a nostalgic visit to their old Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx, it becomes an exploration of community past, present and future as they meet some remarkable high-school students in the documentary “The Bronx, USA.” From George Shapiro and Danny Gold (“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”), the film includes interviews with Robert Klein, Melissa Manchester, Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner. It premieres Oct. 30 on HBO.

The Resistance becomes a full-on rebellion against the Nazi and Japanese regimes in the fourth and final season of Amazon Prime’s alternate-reality drama “The Man in the High Castle.” The 10-episode season premieres Nov. 15.

Ralph Lauren in “Very Ralph;” Photo by Paul Lange/HBO

In the HBO documentary “Very Ralph,” premiering Nov. 12, filmmaker Susan Lacy (“Spielberg”) turns her camera’s lens on fashion designer Ralph Lauren, exploring how the ambitious and visionary Ralph Lifshitz from the Bronx became a great American success story.

Paul Rudd plays a dual role in the comedy series “Living With Yourself,” about a man who undergoes a spa treatment to become a new and improved version of himself — then his doppelganger moves in and takes over his life. It premieres Oct. 18 on Netflix.

“Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” returns to PBS for its sixth season of celebrity genealogy investigations on Oct. 8 with an episode that includes a surprise for actress Anjelica Huston: She discovers she has a Jewish ancestor and a connection to Bernie Sanders and Larry David.

Most of the new episodes air beginning in January and next fall, with designers Diane von Furstenberg and Zac Posen, Nobel Prize-winning oncologist Harold Varmus, NPR host Terry Gross, and actors Marc Maron and Jeff Goldblum unearthing their Jewish roots.

Goldblum does a different kind of search in his new documentary series “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” in which he seeks the science behind and the connections between ordinary things, such as ice cream, balloons and toilet paper. It premieres on the new Disney+ streaming service Nov. 12.   

Hailee Steinfeld in “Dickinson;” Courtesy of Apple

Hailee Steinfeld plays the rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson in “Dickinson,” a modern millennial take on coming of age in the 19th century. It will debut on the new Apple+ TV streaming service starting Nov. 1.