This Friday, part two of season one of the hit Yes Studios show “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” finally arrived on Netflix, and the ending is sure to leave fans of the show titillated and wanting more.
The show is an entrancing portrayal of one Sephardic Jewish family — the Ermosas — whose members are cursed when it comes to love. It starts in Jerusalem in the 1920s, and season one concludes in 1942. The period melodrama, with its “Game of Thrones”-like opening sequence featuring a miniature recreation of the city of Jerusalem, beautifully portrays the sights, flavors and languages of the holy city. The show, which has dialogue in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Ladino, is laden with beautiful Ladino lullabies, as well as mouth-watering Sephardic foods (served by family matriarch Mercada and sold at the Ermosas’ delicatessen).
There’s still quite a bit of unused material about the Ermosa family in the book by Sarit Yishai-Levi that the show is based on, which concludes in the 1970s; the show also strays enough from the books to give itself fodder for future seasons. So, will there be a season two of the show?
The good news is that there will be a second season of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem.”
The even better news is that it is coming sooner rather than later. The new season is slated to premiere around the end of 2022, and shooting began in June of this year in the city of Safed. The series will see the return of the familiar and excellent cast members — including the wonderful Michael Aloni (Gabriel), Hila Saada (Rosa) and Swell Ariel Or (Luna).
Or, who was a TV newcomer when the series started shooting in 2020, wrote about what it felt like to return to her character, Luna Ermosa — the fashionable and glamorous titular beauty queen of Jerusalem.
“A mantra that accompanied this week was let go, open up, let out every feeling that comes up, everything is allowed, more than allowed, it is welcome,” she shared on Instagram. “The first day was challenging and on the second day I managed to clearly see things, through clean eyes that were not scared to understand nature and truth. A lot came to the surface, no doubt, thoughts and understandings that don’t necessarily give you confidence but didn’t undermine, didn’t threaten to determine the present and the future. At any moment I knew I could change them and if not change them accept them. I surrendered myself. And Luna returned.”
She also shared these beautiful videos and stills of her character from the shoots of season 2:
Actress Yuval Scharf, who plays Rochel, Gabriel’s forbidden Ashkenazi love interest, also shared these black and white shots from season two shoots, and Aloni commented with “Beautiful! A real beauty queen.” One picture featured a conversation between Rochel and Hila Saada as Rosa, Gabriel’s wife.
Aside from the many wonderful familiar faces returning to season two, there is also one confirmed new guest star, Israeli diva Shiri Maimon. Maimon will reportedly play the butcher’s wife in season 2.
We still don’t know when and if the second season will come to Netflix. Season one premiered in Israel in June of 2021 and on Netflix on May of 2022. The format of the Netflix version was different from the Israeli one: In Israel, the show aired in two parts as a daily drama for a total of 44 episodes, each a little less than half an hour long. Netflix has put these together into 20 episodes that are each around an hour long.
If all goes according to plan and the show does premiere in Israel in 2022, it will hopefully make it to the streaming platform sometime in 2023, or perhaps early 2024. One thing is for sure — however long we have to wait, it will be hard, but, hopefully, very much worth it.