Nebsu is a TV sitcom series which will soon begin its second season in Israel. The series was aired on Reshet and produced with monies from the collaborative effort of the Gesher Film Fund and the Avi Chai Foundation—two organizations committed to promoting pluralism and tolerance within Israeli society.
Nebsu is a low-brow series, filled with lots of bathroom and mother-in-law jokes, playing to a low common denominator of the Israeli public. Having said that, I must also add that it’s well-paced, filled with sharp criticism of social customs in Israeli society, and it made me laugh at many of the foibles of our culture.
The story line centers around the son of immigrants from Ethiopia and the daughter of an Ashkenazi family who fall in love and want to marry each other. The characters are compelling and the humor is quite witty, although not terribly sophisticated. More important than anything else, the program has brought a typical and wonderful Ethiopian family into the living room of hundreds of thousands of Israeli homes. This is a crucial step in bringing mainstream Ethiopian Jews into the Israeli consciousness and helping to promote racial tolerance within Israeli society.
In addition, the big news is that I read in today’s Haaretz newspaper that American Fox TV is going to create a pilot for a comedy series based on the same idea of an inter-racial young couple.