By Lieba Nesis
Watching Netflix’s 9-part series “My Unorthodox Life”, released on July 14th, left me with a mix of emotions-from anger and frustration to total disillusionment.
Its downright anti-orthodox message was astounding as the protagonist, Julia Haart, a 50-year-old nymph who escaped “Monsey” 8 years ago, pursues a career in fashion while exploring her sexuality. Haart was involved in every scene of this nearly ten hour fiasco which depicts her as an all knowing business genius who can solve any problem thrown her way. A Jewish wigged Demi Moore lookalike, Haart decides to escape the shackles of the orthodox enclave of Monsey, a mere hour bus ride away. Depicted as a paradigm of bravery one might mistakenly conclude she had left Saudi Arabia or North Korea in the heat of imminent capture. In fact she attended a private secular school in Texas up until the fourth grade, as the only Jewish student, so is more than familiar with her novel secular lifestyle-despite her protestations to the contrary. Nobody revels in Haart’s heroism more than she, as she consistently praises her decision ad infinitum. Haart claims her orthodox married life left her suicidal and so she picked up her four kids and headed to New York 8 years ago. Her recollections of Judaism are mortifying and fear inducing as covering her collarbone has induced massive post traumatic stress disorder.
Apparently, being a part of a close knit Jewish community where friends and family abound is Chinese torture. Haart who now heads Elite World Group has a definite superwoman complex and is more than willing to throw her religion under the bus to gain notoriety and most importantly cash. She falsely documents her company’s IPO when further research reveals under her leadership the company is nowhere near ready for public ownership. After all she is the genius who dressed Kendall Jenner in her super-slutty see through 2017 Met Gala La Perla getup-how empowering is that?
Aside from her parents and siblings (except for one sister) who refuse to speak with Julia, her children are equally hungry for fame and fortune as they shamelessly parade around in various forms of undress. If anyone believes Haart can appear in a full time TV show, be CEO of a massive fashion company, write a book, engage in small talk daily with her four children, be a loving wife and accompany her gay colleague in every nonsense endeavor (including renting a yacht to hold a fake funeral to rid him of his insecurities), I have a bridge to sell them. So obviously Haart is just the face of the company as she uses it to catapult herself and her brand to fame.
Contrastingly, her billionaire husband Silvio Scaglia, founder of telecommunications company Fastweb, is the real deal and he is as whipped as they come. Haart pretends to be an entrepreneur who started a shoe company specializing in comfortable high heels-what a novel concept. But it was not until she became creative director at La Perla in 2017 and met Scaglia that her career skyrocketed. Something missing from the show is Silvio’s history. However, I have Wikipedia and discovered Scaglia was married for 25 years and decided to divorce in 2017 the same year he met barracuda Haart. So with all her portrayals of being pro women and not resting until the modeling industry rids itself of its lecherous male power players, Julia is just a typical woman who had an affair with her boss which catapulted her to the top echelons of business. Julia’s talents are rudimentary as her fashion show for her brand e1972 is nothing short of ordinary-as she comes up with the “brilliant” idea of combat boots with dresses a trend that has dominated the fashion landscape for over a decade. Her husband Silvio is such a wuss he even changes his last name to Haart as she continually stands him up for romantic dates and kisses him with as much ardor as one eats spinach. All the men are portrayed as feckless wimps including her ex-husband, Yosef Hendler, her son-in-law Binyamin and her tycoon husband Sylvio-who is dazed most of the series. Even her gay business partner Robert Brotherton is nothing more than an ineffectual sidekick and full time companion who is forced to babysit her sisters’ kids and to be the unwitting recipient of a Jewish matchmaker handpicked by Julia-sounds like sexual harassment to me.
Haart’s unbounded megalomania is evident in nearly every torturous scene. About a half hour into the show it is readily apparent it is scripted fakery, with the strange phenomenon of coronavirus never touching the hallowed Haart/Hendler family. Aside from donning a mask in two scenes a gut wrenching pandemic that ravaged the world seems to have spared the group from any physical or financial hardships as they traipse around NYC, Paris and the Hamptons without a care in the world. Julia has transformed her offspring into a dysfunctional mess. Her daughter Batsheva, married to Binyamin, can’t even figure out how to have sex after 8 years of marriage. Julia continually degrades Binyamin who we learn is as ineffectual in his profession as he is in the bedroom-with Julia revealing the only house he sold as a real estate agent was hers.
She continually berates the couple and discourages Batsheva from having children until she is in her 30’s despite Batsheva’s decade long marriage (children “end your life” Julia proclaims.) Haart’s other daughter, 21-year-old phenom, Miriam, is a supposed genius robotics major from Stanford who can’t string together a comprehensive sentence without valley girl intonations. This beauty has sex with both girls and boys and even invites the group to her app launch party and can be seen making out with a girl at one work-related event. As the apple of her mother’s eye Miriam is encouraged to have sex with her girlfriend, “that’s why I bought you a vibrator” Julia exclaims. Can someone please call child protection services? Why Miriam is always in New York as a Stanford student is never addressed-perhaps that strange unmentioned disease called coronavirus is a viable explanation.
Her other 24-year-old son Shlomo is struggling with his orthodoxy and girls as his mother begs him to have sex. And finally her younger 15-year-old son Aron, a student at the co-ed Frisch, is the only one sane enough to laugh at his mother for being a self hating jew who dangerously makes a mockery of religion. She cries when she discovers the funds she paid for Aron’s camp were used to fund her son’s “brainwashing” into believing it was wrong to socialize with girls and watch TV. Her consistent reference to orthodoxy as “fundamentalism” is downright horrific. Fundamentalism is a term used to reference the most radical form of Islam that encourages jihad and suicide missions. Her flagrant disrespect for her community was never more apparent then when she appeared at kosher Monsey supermarket, Evergreen, in one of her whorish getups. If the community is so radicalized why didn’t they stone her-all she got was a few curious stares despite her desperate quest for attention.
Finally the only sympathetic character in the show, a struggling girl named Sarah appears in tears as she confesses to Julia she is seeking to leave her Monsey family for a secular life. Julia’s self righteous daughter, Batsheva, questions whether Sarah’s motives are to gain television fame-sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. The only thing Julia offers Sarah is an exploitative television interaction, a fashion makeover, her ubiquitous vibrator and the brilliant “the journey is your own”-so much for women helping women.
As anti-semitism explodes against the ultra orthodox community, Netflix continues to exploit this phenomenon through one unfortunate show after another. The orthodox community is in a justified uproar over their pathetic portrayal-which will undoubtedly spur Netflix to renew it for an additional season. The lesson garnered from this piece of woke propaganda is escaping the spiritual confines of religion leads to a life of castles, designer bags and Rolls-Royces. However, my mother always says “a decadent lifestyle is its own punishment”-I will be anxiously waiting to see the next generation of the rootless Haarts under Julia’s blasphemous tutelage.