Tuesday, March 03, 2015


I don’t watch reality TV, so when my husband asked if “Kosher Soul,” which premiered last Wednesday on Lifetime TV, was a typical example of the genre, I didn’t know what to tell him. When I was getting my Master’s in Media Analysis (yes, it’s a thing, no, I don’t recommend it), I asked one of my professors how, if you’re not a fan of a given genre, you can possibly judge whether or not the program in question has successfully achieved its goals? He mumbled something about good drama being good drama regardless of genre.

I disagreed. If you’re not a fan of science fiction or Westerns, how can you determine whether a work delivered what fans–not overeducated media critics–expect of it? I believe art needs to be evaluated on its own terms.

This is my roundabout way of saying that I have no idea whether or not “Kosher Soul” is good reality television. I don’t feel qualified to evaluate it on those merits. The only criteria I do have for reviewing this half-hour “reality” show about Jewish celebrity stylist Miriam Sternoff and her fiancé (spoiler: husband by Episode 3), African-American comedian O’Neal McKnight, is as a Jewish woman married (16 years this January) to a black man.

In some ways, Miriam is way ahead of me. She’s gotten O’Neal to agree to convert. (Though not before the wedding, which my own husband found very odd.) My husband made it clear before we got married that while he was fine with having a Jewish home and raising our children Jewish, he would not be converting for a variety of reasons. One of them was that he took religion too seriously to treat it the way O’Neal seems to do on the show, which primarily includes switching hats. Though O’Neal has also agreed to a ceremonial bris, even though his friend points out, “White man has your dick in his hand, with a knife? That’s scary.”

“It is,” my husband agreed, most solemnly.

Read the complete review at: http://www.kveller.com/this-jewish-black-couples-reaction-to-kosher-soul/

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