The Baker and the Beauty: Israeli origins, Netflix revival, and upcoming seasons?

Romantic comedy fans fell hard for Noa Hamilton and Daniel Garcia’s unconventional love story on ABC’s The Baker and the Beauty, which hit Netflix on April 13th, 2021 as part of their big spring lineup. 

The series quickly shot up the ranks of Netflix’s most-watched shows, even ranking as number one for the week of April 25.

Now — after binge watching all 9 episodes — fans are wondering why the show was canceled and whether there could still be a season two in the works? More details on if that’s a real possibility at the bottom of this story.

What we can tell you for sure is that if you’re craving more of The Baker and the Beauty we’ve got you covered. Get this: the show and its entire plot is based on an Israeli series of the exact same name.

Updates on Season 3 of the original series here!

We’re unpacking the main differences between the Israeli original and the American remake, where you can watch both, and the latest updates on whether new seasons are in the works.

Israeli origins?

You read the intro right. The Baker and the Beauty on Netflix is an American remake of an Israeli show which originally aired in 2013 and was one of the highest-rated series in Israel. Originally titled Lehiyot Ita, which means ‘to be with her’ in Hebrew, the series was called The Baker and the Beauty in the English subtitled version.

The American version follows Daniel Garcia, a Cuban baker who sparks a relationship with Australian international superstar, Noa Hamilton. Daniel’s life changes unexpectedly on a wild Miami night when he encounters international superstar Noa Hamilton at a fancy restaurant. When sparks fly between the two, the unlikely couple must decide whether to upend their lives to be together, pulling their families into an inevitable culture clash.

“Life just got a little bit sweeter,” with the American adaptation of “The Baker and the Beauty.” [Courtesy: ABC]

The Israeli version of The Baker and the Beauty, takes us into the world of model and heiress, Noa Hollander, and baker Amos Dahari. Like the American version, they meet on a night out in Tel Aviv and the relationship between them grows from there.

The series tackles discussions about Jewish ethnic divisions in Israel as it explores the relationship between Noa, a rich Ashkenazi Jewish woman and Amos, a working-class Yemenite-Jewish baker. The American adaptation grapples with similar class and cultural tensions between Daniel, a Cuban Catholic baker, and Australian fashionista, Noa.

Rotem Sela and Aviv Alush star in Israeli show, “The Baker and the Beauty”[Courtesy: Keshet]

Both versions take us on a rollercoaster of emotions as the challenges of the couple’s new relationship are intensified by fame, wealth, and betrayal. The show brings on the drama from jealous exes, prying family members and invasive paparazzi scandals.

But of course, it takes us through it all in a romantic, lighthearted, comedic way. And for those that have seen both versions, you know it’s all eerily similar, but there are definitely some differences.

Let’s compare

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched the show yet, skip this section!

Aside from the obvious Westernized adaptations of the plot, like the fact that the family is Cuban Catholic instead of Yemenite Jewish, the American remake basically combines Season 1 and 2 of the Israeli version.

For example, the relationship between Daniel’s jealous ex, Vanessa, and his brother, Mateo, plays a significant role in the show’s American story. Whereas, this plotline only appears in Season 2 of the Israeli show. Plus, the American version makes it seem like Mateo has always had feelings for Vanessa.

Speaking of Vanessa, her role is slightly different in the American version. In the original, Vanessa is almost exclusively portrayed as the crazy, desperate ex-girlfriend — so crazy that her family and friends eventually host an intervention for her.

Mateo and Vanessa from The Baker and the Beauty. [Credit: Bryna Kramer]

Quite frankly, from the perspective of someone watching in 2021, it can be frustrating to watch a female character so striped of her agency and independence. 

That’s something the American version corrects (because c’mon it’s 2021). In the new version, Vanessa is a successful real estate agent, savvy businesswoman, and actually has a life outside of being obsessed with her ex.

The remake also spends more time developing the narrative around Natalie, Daniel’s little sister.

In the first episode, we learn she’s a superfan of Noa Hamilton, which eventually becomes a uniting factor for Daniel and Noa. In the Israeli version, Merav (Amos’s little sister) is the complete opposite. In fact, she’s possibly the most skeptical about Noa Hollander’s genuineness.

Mostly, however, the show focuses on Natalie’s experiences coming out to her traditional parents.

It’s actually this storyline that Nathalie Kelley, who plays Noa Hamilton on the show, said captivated the hearts of viewers.

“The LGBTQ storyline had so much heartfelt realism,” she said in an interview. “Sending a message of acceptance and positivity to this community is yet another reason why millions of people want to see this show live on.”

The Baker and the Beauty's Nathalie Kelley, Eva Longoria, Gloria Calderón  Kellett Lament Cancellation Of Latinx Series – Deadline
The Garcia family. [Credit: ABC]

Though these are the biggest distinctions, there are dozens of smaller intricacies that differentiate the versions from one another — *cough, cough* Noa Hollander’s mother has died from Cancer in the original. Whereas, the remake portrays Noa’s mom to be very much alive, despite suffering from Alzheimers. 

Will Netflix save the show? More seasons?

Fans of the original are in luck because season three of the Israeli The Baker and the Beauty recently finished production.

The show’s teaser trailer has just been released:

Although the Israeli version continues to be a chart-topper, the American adaptation originally aired on ABC in April 2020 and didn’t receive much attention. Back in June 2020, the show was canceled by ABC after only a single season.

Now, fans are hoping the show’s rise to popularity on Netflix could spark a season two revival. 

Nathalie Kelley, who plays Noa Hamilton, and The Baker and the Beauty showrunner Dean Georgaris recently spoke with Newsweek on the possibility. 

“It’s pretty miraculous that after being canceled on ABC it has shot to number one in TV shows and number two on Netflix overall—with no advertising or press! In light of this achievement, there is in fact talk of what the future could hold for our show… What I’m hearing is that if we can sustain this incredible momentum there is a chance it could make financial sense for Netflix to make a Season 2″ Kelley said.

“We came very close to finding a home for Baker last year after ABC canceled it,” added Georgaris. “With this new insight from the Netflix response, we are all actively talking to each other (producers and studio and buyers) to see if there is a path forward… Is it a long shot? Always. But is it impossible? No.”

In the meantime, you can watch both seasons of the Israeli original on Amazon Prime to get your fix of the show.

Have you checked out “The Baker and the Beauty”? Which version do you like better? Let us know on Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok @JewishUnpacked!

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