Israel’s “Hatufim” took the top spot, while “Fauda” came in eighth place with two more Israeli shows earning honorable mentions.
The New York Times recently published its “30 Best International TV Shows of the Decade” list, and Israel’s “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War”) came in at number one!
“The show that inspired [acclaimed US series] ‘Homeland’ turned out to be something quite different: tense but in a quiet, leisurely, realistic style; a taut and intelligent political thriller that was above all a melancholy, at times heartbreaking character study of soldiers and families damaged by war,” said the Times.
The list was inspired by the “explosion of global content that came to American screens” due to streaming that began about 10 years ago. Surprisingly, “Americans will read subtitles, it turns out,” noted the Times.
“Hatufim” ran for two seasons and had 24 episodes. It is currently streaming on Netflix in Israel and Hulu in the US.
It originally aired on Israel’s Channel 2 in 2010. Its second season aired in 2012.
Created by Israeli director, screenwriter and producer Gideon Raff, “Hatufim” was Israel’s highest-rated TV drama of all time. It won the Israeli Academy Award for Television for Best Drama Series in 2010.
While British shows took 12 out of the 30 spots, Israel took not only first place, but also eighth with the show “Fauda,” described as “an absorbing, straightforward thriller about an Israeli counter-terrorism unit that shrewdly exploits the exigencies and emotions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its dusty, maze-like locales.”
Additionally, two more Israeli shows received honorable mention. These were “Shtisel,” a drama that brings its audience inside Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community by telling the story of a recently widowed man and his son, and “Our Boys,” a controversial show condemned by many for exploiting the tragic kidnappings and murders of three Jewish teens in 2014 to promote what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deemed an “anti-Semitic” agenda.