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September 20, 2002 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEW SHOWS

IN-LAWS

NBC Tuesdays, 8-8:30 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 24
For Elon Gold, life really is a sitcom. The Bronx-born
actor, stand-up comedian and producer turned his real-
life living situation into TV fodder, particularly his rela-
tionship with an intimidating father-in-law, a la the Ben
Stiller-Robert DeNiro dynamic in the hit film Meet the
Parents.
Gold plays Matt Landis, a struggling would-be chef
who moves with his new wife Alex (Bonnie Somerville)
into her parents' home, which doesn't thrill dad (Dennis
Farina).
"It's really about a father-in-law and son-in-law and
the journey into liking each other," says Gold, who pre-
viously appeared in the short-lived series You're the One
and She TV.
In real life, Gold lives with his wife Sancha and their
son, Brandon, in Los Angeles. But, when they're on the
East Coast, they live with her folks in Westchester, N.Y.
Reports Gold about his father-in-law, "He's gotten
such a kick out of it. He's pitching storylines all the
time."
Like Gold, Matt is Jewish, but his religion won't be
the focus of the show. "It's not Bridget Loves Bernie," he
underlines, referencing the 1970s interfaith sitcom.
But faith is important to the kosher-keeping Gold,
who arranged to have the show tape on Tuesday nights
so he could observe Shabbat.
"I think it's inspiring to other Jewish people to keep
their traditions because that's all we have is our her-
itage," he says. "Keeping our traditions alive keeps us
alive, and that's why I do that."
Gold doesn't want his TV alter ego to follow him into
fatherhood right away, but does have a scheme to thick-
en the family plot. "I'd like to write an episode where we
find out my wife's mom was raised Catholic but is really

Jewish, so her dad becomes the outsider, he outlines.
But the baby will have to wait, he says,."until we're
well into syndication."

Above e Jami Gertz and
Mark Addy in the blue-color
comedy "Still Standing."

THAT WAS THEN

Above right: The Jewish Glass
family of "That Was Then"•
Brad Raider, Jeffrey Tambor,
Bess Armstrong, James Bulliard,
Andrea Bowen.

ABC Fridays, 9-10 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 27
Travis Glass (James Bulliard) is an unhappy door-to-
door salesman on the verge of his 30th birthday who
gets zapped (via lightning) back to 1988, where he has
the chance to change the past for the better, including
winning the love of the girl who married his brother
Gregg.
But Travis finds that altering the past has conse-
quences: It can change the present as well.
In this time-traveling comedy-drama, the Glass family
is Jewish, a function of creator/executive producers
Jeremy Miller and Dan Cohn writing what they know.
"We are definitely going to play up the Jewish angle,
deal with the theme of it in a comedic way," says Miller,
noting that the character of Gregg "is going - to find him-
self as a Jew again, at least what he thinks being a Jew
is."
Executive producer Jeff Kline pinpoints other elements
— "the parents who are sort of yelling at each other, a
mother who is always feeding you and the tsuris, [trou-
ble] , that comes whether you're Jewish or not."
According to Brad Raider, who plays Gregg, "There's a
very specific kind of Jewish comedy in the show," and he
relates to it easily. "I have a very strong Jewish identity, a
good sense of tradition and community," says the actor,
who was raised in a Reform home in Philadelphia.
Jeffrey Tambor, who attended Detroit's Wayne State
University, plays family patriarch Gary Glass, and also is •
Jewish.
Although Bulliard is not Jewish, he says he came close
to converting to Judaism in high school.
"I always felt a deep affinity for the religion and its
traditions. I have a great deal of Jewish friends. I never

Opposite page clockwise from
top

Elon Gold of "In-Laws": "Its
not 'Bridget Loves Bernie.'"

Jewish actors Mark Feuerstein
and Suzanne Pleshette play
Jewish character Jake Silver and
his sassy grandmother Claire on
"Good Morning, Miami."

On "Presdio Med," Israeli actor
Oded Fehr plays a doctor of
Greek descent.

Treat William (Andrew
Brown), center, with Gregory
Smith (Ephram) and Vivien
Cardone (Delia) in
."Everthood"

Debra Messing and Harry .
Connick Jr. in "Will Grace"•
This season, Grace Adler finds
the Jewish doctor of her dreams.

Jon Abrahams as Zach
Fischer in "Boston Public"•
Undecided.

READY FOR PRIMETIME on page 70

Zrair

9 /20
2002

69

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