Watching: An Israeli Thriller

And an American classic.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

I loved this video of the production designer Jon Hutman analyzing some famous movie mansions, explaining both the artistry and some of the nuts-and-bolts of the job. I hope there are dozens of further installments.

One among many, many hopes these days. See you Friday.


I’m humming the song already

Angela Lansbury in the “Murder, She Wrote” pilot.CBS

‘Murder, She Wrote’

When to watch: Now, on IMDb TV (free).

“Murder, She Wrote” comes and goes from streaming, and now the first five (of 12) seasons are available on the free but ad-supported IMDb TV, which is part of Amazon. That’s still 110 episodes, and they’re all a few minutes longer than your standard network episode of today because there used to be fewer commercials.


Angela Lansbury stars as Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who solves crimes. “Murder, She Wrote” is one of the workhorse procedurals, jauntier than “Law & Order” and somehow even more packed with familiar faces in one-off roles. It’s also sudsy and often ridiculous but self-aware and a good sport about it. If your favorite shows were ever on USA, watch this. Also, if you find yourself kind of just staring into the TV refrigerator wondering if you’re even hungry, but you must be kind of hungry because you keep opening the door, this is your move.

I want an international action-thriller

A scene from “False Flag.”Keshet/Hulu

‘False Flag’

When to watch: Now, on Hulu.

This Israeli series (mostly in Hebrew, with English subtitles) is a terrific ensemble thriller, tense and surprising and dogged. Five regular-seeming people wake up one day to news reports that they are undercover Mossad agents who carried out a political kidnapping in Moscow — except they aren’t, they say, and they have no idea what’s happening.


If you like the early seasons of “Money Heist” and “Lost,” in which the characters’ back stories have as many twists as the action, watch this. And if you like Israeli dramas in general, this is a gimme. There are 18 episodes over two seasons, and they go by fast.

When do my shows come back?

Mahershala Ali, left, and Ramy Youssef in the new season of “Ramy.”Hulu

  • “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: May 12 (Netflix — an interactive special)
  • “The 100”: May 20 (the CW)
  • “At Home With Amy Sedaris”: May 20 (TruTV)
  • “Holey Moley”: May 21 (ABC)
  • “Homecoming”: May 22 (Amazon)
  • “The Split”: May 22 (Sundance)
  • “30 for 30”: A batch of new documentaries starts May 24 (ESPN)
  • “Ramy”: May 29 (Hulu)
  • “Yellowstone”: June 21 (Paramount)
  • “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”: June 22 (the CW)
  • “Black Monday”: June 28 (Showtime)

Actually, can you just show me a camera disguised as a bear, and even though it’s part of the PBS documentary series ‘Nature,’ airing Wednesday at 9 p.m. (check local listings), it really looks like it’s from a movie about a bear who gets left out of the fun and thus feels sad?

He’s not sad, he’s just a robot. “Nature: Spy in the Wild 2,” baby!John Downer Productions

I sure can.


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