The Curious Charm of Pini – an Israeli Web Series on YNET
Coming off my recent trip to Tel Aviv during their annual pride, I’ve discovered quite a bit more about gay life in Israel—from movies & tv series to politics & gay rights. I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned here on this gay travel blog because it’s both interesting and something that maybe isn’t covered very much in the online travel world. First up is an English-language Israeli series (available to watch online at YNET). I caught a single episode which featured a handful of insight into gay life in Israel.
The main character, Pini, is just your average Joe from Rishon LeZion—a suburb south of Tel Aviv. He’s never traveled outside of Israel and after completing his military service as a cook at the Kirya Base in Tel Aviv, now he’s heading to London with one purpose in mind – to become a famous chef like Gordon Ramsey.
When Pini tries to fit in with London’s local culture he finds himself coming up against language barriers and differences in mentality. Pini speaks English, but thinks Hebrew. Confident and optimistic, he moves in with a roommate – Tom Jones from Wales. Pini conducts himself in the same way he would in Israel, he thinks everybody understands him and want to be his friend – just like back home in Rishon LeZion.
In the episode embedded below, Pini asks the advice of a gay character on the show about dating a girl. He seems shocked when he learns the gay man isn’t interested in him—because aren’t all gay men interested in all men (gay or straight)? It’s “funny” because Pini, the Israeli guy, answers back that he is interested in every woman he sees (“of course, why not?”). This just perpetuates the myth of the over-sexualized Tel Avivian society—something I might not entirely disagree with. The episode was pretty cute anyways. I think the series shows you a bit of Israeli humor, and with a healthy dose of gay-straight friendship relations and how it might be perceived in the Middle East. And it’s helpful that it’s in English 🙂
You can watch clips and episodes from the Israeli series on Ynet.