The Good Cop—An Israeli Bright-Dark Comedy

by Norman Berdichevsky (March 2019)

Scene from Hashoter Hatov




Read more in New English Review:
• Our Irrepressible Conflict
• Twentieth Century Architecture as a Cult
• Real People





Danny is also wholly working class and cannot abide the many snobs and nouveau riche who pretend to like modern art, and haute cuisine and other cultural fads they really do not understand. He is also suspicious of all get rich quick schemes on the stock market, banks, investment companies and loan sharks. Midway through the first series, he eventually finds a new female soul mate in the persona of the attractive Bukhari (Central Asian origin) girl he was too busy to notice among the other police staff at the station. Further elements of humor are is much of the banter between the main Jewish characters that reflects behavior and tastes in food of different geo-cultural origins between Ashkenazim (Jews of Central and East European origin) and Mizrahim (Jews of Afro-Asian origin). Conflicts between secular and religious Israelis is another theme that runs through several situations. Danny has no patience for much of the holier than thou attitude of the ultra-Orthodox and, in episode 4, is quick witted enough and familiar with scripture, to spot a long sought-after criminal, masquerading as a Breslau Hasid (orthodox sect).


There are many story lines in the film, some of which will strike an American audience as vulgar such as ridiculing parents, gays, Arabs or the latest immigrants from Russia but this is theater of the absurd par excellence in which everyone is ridiculed, most of all those who pretend to be someone and something they ae not. Towards, the conclusion of the last episode, the comedy turns ultra-dark and many viewers probably expect a nihilistic ending, damning everyone and Israeli society as well, but Danny comes through, turning the tables and confounding expectations. In so doing, he redeems the State of Israel and its Zionist ideals from all their real and imagined faults and also ends up as a macho hero reunited with the love and admiration of both his former girlfriends.



Read more in New English Review:
The Battling, Baffling Watergate Editor
Twentieth Century Architecture as a Cult
• Some Thoughts on the Empty Heart of Modernism



*See New English Review Modern Hebrew—The Past and Future of a Revitalized Language (June 2014) and Israel at 68—Growth, Prosperity and Defiance (June 2016)

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