New Netflix "Family Business" series: French-Jewish version of "Breaking Bad" – Delivery Ganja Online Winnipeg Canada

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JTA – The recent description on Twitter from a fan of the new Netflix series "Family Business" is quite fair: a "French Breaking Bad but with grass".

The French series, launched last week, is a wacky comedy about a Parisian Jewish family, the Hazan, who turns his kosher butcher into a marijuana factory. And while there is no such thing as "Breaking Bad", the two series rely on witty dialogue and strong acting.

With a solid score of 7.3 on IMDb, the series has great appeal probably largely because of the way it mixes racial and family relationships with jokes and surreal scenes. (One of them shows the Hazan who narrowly avoid the arrest by telling the police that the dead pork stuffed in the grass in their kosher meat truck has been genetically modified to receive rabbinic approval).

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For Jewish viewers in particular, the series has multiple levels of hidden meaning and offers clever insights into Judaism's ability to adapt and survive even when everything seems lost, in France and elsewhere.

The decline of the butchery of the Hazan family in the famous Marais district, for example, echoes the real departure of the Jews and their businesses from this district, which was once the beating heart of French Judaism. Once full of kosher restaurants, butcher shops and other small Jewish businesses, the Marais has changed dramatically since the 1980s, becoming a trendy bar and mecca of fashion boutiques.

The bold plan of cultivating 2.5 million euros of marijuana in anticipation of future legalization was also born in part from the crisis of Joseph's family (played by Jonathan Cohen, aka Serge le mytho). His Sephardic father, widower of Béné and first fan of Enrico Macias, is the stereotype of the father with an old-fashioned mentality and who wants his son to take over the family business.

This blend of Sephardic and Ashkenazi ancestry is emphasized in the family's diet, which initiates will recognize both as a faithful reflection of the reality of many French Jewish homes and as a tribute to one of the great achievements of the Jewish community. French: its ability to overcome the Ashkenazi-Sephardic division.

In a scene where Hazan find themselves serving food at a police station inside their illegal culture lab, the family prepares typical Eastern European dishes with mloukhiya. In another, Joseph's father, Gérard (played by Gerard Darmon), the Sephardim, asks his Ashkenazi mother-in-law (very well played by Liliane Rovère) to cook kishke – or as he calls it "this horrible stench – to hide the scent of marijuana plants from police officers who work close to home.

The family's brand product – Walter White's Blue Sky parallel in AMC's "Breaking Bad" – is called "pastraweed".

Yiddish expressions like "bubbeleh" spice dialogue, as well as North African Jewish slang like "ya rab" and "miskin". The intro of the show is composed of a klezmer music.

Another internal joke is about one of the legendary figures of French Judaism, singer Enrico Macias, who, at age 81, gives a hilarious and self-mocking image of himself, a little geek at once stingy and good living, with a tender heart.

Between the lines, the creator of the show, Igor Gotesman, also used his own family background to build a kind of microcosm of French Judaism – from liberal elements portrayed in Aure, Joseph's lesbian sister very well interpreted by Julia Piaton, to those curators, represented by Gérard.

The Jewish identity of the characters is omnipresent, especially in the plans mixing mezouza, menorah and even the symbol hamsa, which hangs from the rearview mirror of the Hazan delivery truck.

This aspect of reality, however – a growing anti-Semitism in the country that has led to the departure of approximately 30,000 French Jews to Israel in the past five years – is almost entirely absent from the series. There is only one reference to the security situation in the community, and even then, it is in a scene where the police blow up a large suitcase left by Aure by mistake in front of the butchery.

Yet, the "family business" has its highlights. In one of the last scenes, Gerard, the grumpy patriarch of the family, makes Joseph a rare compliment that seems to sum up one of the main themes of Jewish history.

"I'm proud of you," he told Joseph. "You fall again and again. And every time you fall, you get up. "

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