Actor Leland Orser is doing a stellar job of portraying a New York Jew on Berlin Station without resorting to a sing-song voice or other schtick. A few of us who are Jews, actually thought Orser was Jewish – he’s not. Still, a handful of fans have become annoyed at the way Olen Steinhauer ( script writer) and Bradford Winters ( show runner) have been pushing Robert Kirsch’s Jewishness in dialogue – almost to the point of offensiveness. Here and Here, as usual, the comments tell the story. There’s some dialogue in an early episode when Hector makes fun of Robert eating Mediterranean food, a whole story with Golda Friedman about the last time he was in synagogue ( his Bar Mitvah at 13), a scene where he says he doesn’t eat pork, and last week’s lame jokes about kosher wine and chicken soup.
Too much – but it could have been worse. In just one episode, I found three missed opportunities to hammer home Robert’s Jewishness.
Deputy Chief, Robert is pissed that Station Chief, Stephen, ignores his experience and advice regarding how to handle the Isis brides, and asks Stephen why he bothered to consult with him if he was going to take (lower-level) Valerie’s advice anyway.( Berlin Station, Episode 5, Unter Druck.) How to make this more Jewish:
Robert just gets a blow job from a Romanian prostitute. Before she leaves, he offers to make her breakfast ” some eggs and bacon? pancakes?”( Berlin Station, Episode 5, Unter Druck.) This, after he tells us in an earlier episode that he doesn’t eat pork, when referring to schnitzel, which is not usually pork anyway. She must know he’s Jewish. The offer of bacon was meant to stand out I think, because, doesn’t almost every one say bacon and eggs? Steinhauer and Winters missed a chance for their lapsed Jew:
Robert meets with Mossad recruiter Golda Friedman and agrees to become an asset because the Berlin CIA Station is ineffective and ” I can accomplish much more with you than I can with them.”( Berlin Station, Episode 5, Unter Druck.) What he could’ve said: