Lazy Sunday: Unorthodox

By Kay Gardiner
June 21, 2020

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33 Comments
  • I absolutely loved this little series! So glad you are drawing attention to it here. The actors are wonderful and the lifestyle and cultural detail so well done. It provides an engaging window into a very specific world about which I knew little and was curious. The main character embodies such admirable bravery to be her own person, despite great cost and loss. A must see. Five hearts!

  • We found Unorthodox riveting ….really good acting and storyline…made your heart beat fast many times.

  • I watched it recently – amazing! You must watch in one sitting as it’s riveting. A beautifully told story.

  • Ooh thanks for the Making of link. Loved this series!

  • Wow, it was a fabulous series. I read the book and enjoyed it but the series adds another layer to the story. I hope there are more seasons to come. Excellent.

  • I have not seen the show but the book was a great read.

    • Agree, great read. I think both book and series are worth our attention.

  • Very good series!

  • I also recommend another book, All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen, about leaving the Skver Hasidic tribe. He was the author of the Hasidic Rebel blog and Unpious blog. Very well written and an incredible look into that way of life.

  • I really enjoyed the series.

  • Riveting and haunting! We loved it and I’d watch it again and again in a heartbeat! Happy Knitting Everyone!

    • I too really enjoyed this mini series. I have always like book first film 2nd, but Netflicks is so easy to have on that I find these days I search for books after. I’ve had long conversations with friends and invariably I’d end with; Oh have you seen this ? Few had watched, but many then called back and we tried to find other engaging films, which are indeed a window on another world.

  • Intriguing! Our union has so many compelling cultures. Adding this to my spinning for knitting list!

  • Have you watched Shtisel? Equally riveting, and the young actress who please Estie in Unorthodox is a lead character as an Ultra Orthodox teenager. There are 3 seasons with a promise of more to come.

    • I believe there are only 2 seasons of Shtisel. The 3rd one was supposed to be filmed on May or so, but was delayed due to the pandemic. They should be filming it in 2021. Can’t wait!!

      • Yes, you are right – 2 seasons on Netflix.

  • It’s riveting.. it has stayed with me. Excellent, heartbreaking, inspiring. Wonderful suggestion

  • I agree – it was a great series to watch. Netflix has been a good friend to me during this “stay-at-home” time!

  • Are you all aware that this show is the subject of a great deal of controversy among the ultra-Orthodox? Check out the archives on the Forward site to see the objections. (Full disclosure: I have neither read the book nor seen the show, but did spend some time in a Chasidic environment, which was not at all like the one I am told is portrayed in the show.)

    • I considered it to be one person’s perspective, not trying to speak for all Chasidim. I didn’t think anyone was all bad or all good – everyone was trying to do their best and be part of their communities. I found empathy for all the characters as they tried to be true to their cultures, families and customs.

  • I do plan to watch Unorthodox. I can strongly recommend the memoir (book) All Who Go Do Not Return, about a man who leaves the ultra orthodox community of New Square/New Skvir in New York State. Amazing writing and a riveting story. Also, if you’re knitting something in garter (to read the subtitles), ya GOTTA watch the Israeli series Shtisel. Two big seasons of 1 hr shows…a potato chip series—Betcha can’t view one! (Never heard of Shtisel? Post the location of the rock you’re under)

    • Oops, I forgot to say: Shtisel is on Netflix. And I see others have also recommended Shukem Deen’s book.

  • Thanks for the heads up on this show. Was I ever surprised to hear your friend Rosanne on one of my favorite podcasts last night. https://personplacething.org/ So uplifting to hear her talk about her person, place, and thing.

  • There is an interview with Deborah Feldman on WNYC from Leonard Lopate’s show, a few years back. I remembered it when news of the series came out.

    https://www.wnyc.org/story/188251-unorthodox/

  • I saw it too. A very good series.

  • This is a very moving and sad story that fills me with emotion. Women continue to be treated in horrific ways under the guise of religion. Another book that I read recently titled ‘Educated’ is similar in many ways. It tells of a young woman’s experience of growing up and escaping an extreme religious community in Idaho. Thanks for encouraging us all to watch the movie ‘Unorthodox”. Now I want to read the book. Thank you.

  • Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed learning about this community and world. The details are fantastic. Such a horrible legacy for them to inherit.

  • I found this series fascinating. Thank you for the youtube link, we wondered how on earth they made this movie.

  • I had seen the show and been very moved by it. It’s so inspiring to see a woman have the courage to break with her traditions when they don’t fit her. The actor playing Esty was astounding. Thanks for sharing the link to how the show was made, that filled in a lot of gaps and was very interesting.

  • All I could think of was John Lennon singing Imagine.

  • I also highly recommend ‘ One of Us’, also in Netflix. Ist’s a documentary about three orthodox jews and the difficulties they encounter when they try to change their way of live.

  • Thanks for reminding me! I got the book after beginning the series, and got so engrossed that I forgot to watch the rest. Now back at it.

  • Me (last night): Let’s watch Unorthodox. It’s on Netflix.
    Kelly: Who recommended this one?
    Me: Ann and Kay. (No argument–you are a trusted source!)
    It was so great we stayed up until midnight to finish the series. Thanks for the solid rec.