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The Israeli television series Mehubarot (Connected, 2009) follows five Israeli women who use their performance before the camera—through both visual and spoken texts—as a means of biographical representation which blends public and private aspects of their daily lives. This article examines the use of spoken language as a central tool for signaling sincerity and closeness on the series’ visual stage, focusing on the unique setting of Israeli society and the exclusive genre of a televised diary in its written and spoken modes.
Unlike blogs or videos uploaded to the internet, which are contemporary precedents for this kind of intimate exposure in the public arena, the genre under discussion relies on established conventions of television and cinema to convey intimacy. Mehubarot is inspired by documentaries and films that use voiceover as an established device for informing the viewers of the characters’ thoughts. In its methods of presenting the “diaries,” the series also adopts patterns of confession and exposure commonly used in televised platforms that follow ongoing projects of identity construction, and frequently present them as journeys of self-discovery and personal development. Following a discussion of the series’ unique features, the article’s second part focuses on the journalist Dana Spector and the contradictory readings of her private-public identity, social and family identity, and “celebrity” identity in their transfer from the newspaper column to the television arena.