Mossad 101, an Israeli spy thriller, jumps headfirst straight into the plot without hesitation. Initially portrayed as an overly dramatic reality show, we follow the Mossad put numerous candidates through intense physical and mental tests, for their chance to join the esteemed Israeli Secret Service. Ranging from high-risk-high-reward operations, to seduction tactics, Mossad 101 keeps you on your toes via its non-conforming format, and will keep you guessing who will be the last man or woman standing each episode. Later on in the season the plot will start to focus on a specific candidate who is desperate to get their own back on the director of the Secret Service, named Yonu. The pace of the story works well, and each episode will leave you wanting more.
The show focuses on a secret compound owned by the Mossad, named ‘HaMidrasha’. This facility is encased with security cameras and is filled with highly advanced technology. This training facility will test the suitability for the candidates on whether they have the aptitude to become a spy.
Oddly enough, Mossad 101 is listed under the comedy category. However, we feel it fits much better under drama/thriller. There is sporadic use of humour throughout, but not enough to deem it a comedy. It portrays itself as a serious drama, even if there are a few ‘soap opera’ type scenes which ruin the tension build up. The small amount of brute force romance is one of the reasons that tension gets disrupted, as it feels more like a distraction rather than an addition to the focus of the story line.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of interesting premises in this season, with a lot of what draws you back being related to wanting to know which candidates can avoid being kicked off of the course and stick it out to the end. Even if Mossad 101 isn’t original, as there are many films and TV series which focus on participant elimination, the high-calibre writing keeps you wanting to find out more.
Most of the episodes feature a muted colour palette. There aren’t too many variations of instrumentals too, which is a shame. As the more often the same instrumental is used to build tension, the less effective is becomes. There are a fair few extravagant cuts too, which sometimes ends up feeling a bit unnecessary and distracting.
Regardless of the latter points above, Mossad 101 is an enjoyable series. At points it may feel a little like a soap opera, and they may put a lot of energy in relying on the elimination trope, but the high-quality writing and interesting characters continue to keep Mossad 101 an enjoyable watch. There are undoubtedly better options available to watch, and its unlikely the mainstream will be talking about this title in a decade, but for anyone who likes spy thriller dramas, this is a must watch.
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