I was looking for something to watch on Amazon Prime, and the word Jewish caught my eye. The show’s title is The Jewish Enquirer, which is also the name of the news site the main character, Paul (Tim Downie), works for.
As a Jewish journalist with experience at a Jewish publication, I was compelled to watch it even though the trailer had not caught my interest. The British show is not exactly my kind of humor, but you might enjoy the show if you like Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Creator Gary Sinyor told Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal that Paul working for a Jewish newspaper allowed him to comedically explore the Jewish community as well as Judaism, Islam, racism, and anti-Semitism with the passion he believes in. According to Sinyor, the British Jewish community is smaller and more reticent about Jewishness than the American Jewish community. He said, “I wanted to express my confidence in being Jewish in a way that people in America have been doing for decades.”
I kept watching The Jewish Enquirer because I wanted to see this Jewish exploration and because there are only six 20-minute episodes. I also had my Jewish journalist insider intrigue. For those of you who don’t share that Jewish journalist identity and drive, I’ll explain why I stuck through the series.
First episode, I thought, “This guy’s a selfish jerk; I don’t want him to be the representation for Jews or journalists.” The plot also didn’t seem to be going anywhere; it’s just a day in the life of Paul — and Paul doesn’t seem to be going places either, though he has ambitions.
It takes about halfway through to note any empathy and growth. Granted, halfway isn’t much for a six-episode series. By episode four, I liked Paul, and by episode six, I began rooting for him.
And he does get himself into funny and awkward situations along the way. You’ll see the line between sibling hate and love, an intermarriage quarrel over a brit milah, and the pissing off of a long list of people, such as a vicar, medium, firefighter, dentist/mohel, dwarf, and vegan. And some things, like the headlines in the Enquirer, are just made for a Jewish audience.
I didn’t even realize Paul had become somewhat likable until the final episode made it quite clear that he is gaining some self-awareness, and I actually wanted to see what the next season would bring for the characters. I definitely want to see more from the female characters. Unfortunately, it’s not a show that will stick with me, so I might forget about it by the time season two comes around.
I can’t say it’s worth an Amazon Prime subscription, but if you have it anyway, I recommend giving the show a watch. Some jokes are low blows, but I enjoyed The Jewish Enquirer for the opportunity to watch a show about an average Jewish person. It’s always fun to see some of your life represented on screen, and the series takes less time to watch than Hamilton.