"Recently the PBS television outlet in Los Angeles carried a sensitive and delicate documentary based on the work of an anthropologist who had studied a poverty-stricken neighborhood of old Jews [Number Our Days].
Enter a producer of movies of the week. He sees a group of antic old folks, cute personality kids with lovable conflicts and picturesque habits. A subject for a TV movie here! Also, and more to the point, since the cast of characters is locked into a permanent scene, maybe a series! 'Will you take a meet?' he asks the filmmaker and anthropologist. The producer tells them he sees magic. he feels it, he can almost taste it. The documentary is wonderful. He smells audience, humanity, ratings. Who could want more?
There is only one problem, 'Do these people have to be Jewish?'
The filmmaker and anthropologist are stunned. The central issue was the specific kind of community, the holy days, the Sabbaths, the shared memories and allegiance.
Silence. 'No,' the anthropologist replies. 'They don't even have to be old.'
'They don't even have to he human,' chimes in the filmmaker. 'They could be geriatric bionic people.'
It is not a fruitful meet.'"
1. Entire Quote from Herbert Gold, 'TV's Little Dramas.' Harpers March 1977.