“Soon by You,” the hit YouTube series that’s captivated the Orthodox Jewish community, has wrapped up its first season. Originally intended as a standalone short film, “Soon by You” morphed into a show based on the overwhelming audience response: Fans were begging for more, and the creators were more than happy to comply.
Last Wednesday, we attended the premiere party of the season finale to get an exclusive look at the series’ fifth episode and a chance to sit down with the cast to hear firsthand how it all came to be.
Created by Leah Gottfried, “Soon by You” follows six characters through the trials and tribulations of the Modern Orthodox dating world. The show, while comedic, resonates deeply with those familiar with the struggles of modern dating. Episode 5, “The Wedding,” had us laughing out loud, while also triggering a sense of the familiar. The constant ringing of “soon by you” (a reference to a single person finding their significant other) brought a certain realness to the way in which priorities are often focused within our community. Even to those of us who are now married, the show is an accurate reminder of what single life was.
The show is engaging (pun intended) not only to singles, but to anyone familiar with the Modern Orthodox dating scene. In fact, despite the downpour, devoted fans flocked to the JCC of Manhattan on Dec. 5 for the season finale premiere party. Co-producer Jessica Schechter emceed the event with her own comedic routine on the struggles of dating and a “Soon by You” trivia game where lucky fans won “Soon by You” branded swag.
While the show has been a smashing YouTube success — the five episodes have a collective 400,000 views to date — the cast has high hopes to move the show beyond YouTube. With a $30,000 per episode price tag, they are actively working on pitching the show and getting it picked up by a larger network to reach a wider audience.
Some may think that due to the cultural basis of “Soon by You,” it would be hard for a broader audience to understand. Some terminology and cultural references may certainly be new, but after speaking to some non-Jewish viewers, it is clear that the show’s humor is translatable. “You don’t need to be Greek to appreciate ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’” one non-Jewish fan pointed out.
As the show progresses and reaches larger audiences, the producers hope to bring an authentic portrayal of Modern Orthodoxy to the mainstream media as well as using the show as a platform to talk about real things that are happening in the community in a comedic and accessible way.
We look forward to the next season and beyond and wish the creators and cast the best of luck as they work to bring “Soon by You” from its early YouTube format to a wider audience. We can’t wait to see you soon on the big screen.
Soon by you, “Soon by You.”
Malky Blisko and Chana Goldschein are guest correspondents for Kol HaBirah’s Arts & Entertainment section. They live in New York City.