The Baker and the Beauty, on ABC, was precisely what we needed during the quarantine period, a sweet, funny, and endearing comedy featuring likable characters and a familial feel. There was nothing innovative about the show; it was a social media generation version of everyone’s favorite romance movie, Pretty Woman, but what kept us watching was the culture clash, the class clash of the two leading characters.
Based on the Israeli TV show Lehiyot Ita, released in 2013 and currently available for streaming on Prime Video, The Baker and the Beauty possessed the perfect source material to bring a light-hearted romance to the small screen. But we have seen over the years how Hollywood bungles the source by taking liberties with the story of the original. ABC’s version of the show took some liberties with their adaptation, and instead of desecrating an already perfect original, in our opinion, they built on it and made it lean and even more heartfelt.
Watch: The trailer for the first season of The Baker and the Beauty
The Baker and the Beauty, ABC version, changed whole character arcs, made different people friends and enemies. Except for the opening shot and the premise of the story, there is almost nothing in common between the two shows. This leaves us a lot of things to discuss, from Noa’s manager to Amos/Daniel’s father, from original Vanessa to the more sympathetic one in the ABC version. There are many story-beats to take apart, so, let’s discuss, The Baker and the Beauty, Israeli version vs. ABC.
There will be a lot of spoiler talk from the original series and the ABC version, including the finale. So, if you are planning to watch the Israeli version of the show, then leave right here, also, if you have not seen the finale of The Baker and the Beauty on ABC, then this is a final SPOILER WARNING. Proceed at your own RISK!
Tzvika and Lewis – The Tale of Noa’s Two Managers
Tzvika and Lewis could not be more different in the two series.
Noa Hollander, played by Rotem Sela, and Noa Hamilton, played by Nathalie Kelley, are similar in the way they are portrayed. Both put on a face for the public, but both are dealing with inner turmoil, affecting their personal lives. But when it comes to their managers, Tzvika and Lewis, there couldn’t be a larger difference between them.
Tzvika, played by Mark Ivanir, is task-oriented, he is Noa’s manager, and he is not going to let anything or anyone come in between their professional relationship. There are also ulterior motives behind the way Tzvika behaves in front of Amos, played by Avraham Aviv Alush. Tzvika does not want Noa to fall in love with Amos, which is why he does everything in his power to stop them from seeing one another. From embarrassing Amos at a party to teaming up with Vanessa Maimon, played by Hilda Saada, Tzvika wants Noa focused on falling in love with a nobody is bad for her brand.
Watch: Lewis tells Noa and Daniel that the Honeymoon is over and they need to be ready for the real world
On the other hand, Lewis, played by Dan Bucatinsky, is not just a manger to Noa; he is more like a caring father. In the first few episodes, there were some similarities between Tzvika and Lewis, but his love for Noa won the war between trying to manage her and letting her be happy. Instead of colluding with Vanessa to break the Noa and Daniel, in the finale of the ABC version, Lewis helped Daniel get to the airport to stop Noa.
Lewis’ cancer also added another layer to the story of The Baker and the Beauty and showed how much he really means to Noa. The supporting cast of the ABC version was gold, and Lewis was one of the best of them all. Unlike Tzvika, the feeling of wanting to kill Lewis faded after the second episode.
Amos and Vanessa were Together for Nine Years
Vanessa and Amos were together for nine years, as opposed to Vanessa and Daniel who were together for four.
Vanessa Carmen Sanchez, played by Michelle Veintimilla, was not a Garcia family favorite. The way the whole Garcia family talked about her made it seem like she was needy and was trying to take Daniel, played by Victor Rasuk, away from the family. Daniel always saw the good in her, but even after four years together, he was confused about where his and Vanessa’s relationship was heading.
While Vanessa and Daniel had a four-year relationship, Vanessa and Amos, from Lehiyot Ita, were together for nine years. Amos rejecting the marriage proposal from Vanessa was a huge deal considering how long they were together. It is understandable why Vanessa was so hung on Amos, instead of the crazy way Vanessa Carmen Sanchez was portrayed in the ABC version.
Also, in the original version of the show, Amos proposes to Vanessa after he and Noa have a bust-up. Daniel gets close to Vanessa after fighting with Noa, but he never comes close to proposing; instead, they just become friends. The way the two stories are put together, it is understandable how Vanessa in ABC version was happy for Daniel by the end of the first season, and the scheming Vanessa in the Israeli version was doing to break Amos and Noa.
Merav Dahari and Natalie Garcia’s Sexuality
Both, Merav Dahari, played by Shani Aviv, and Natalie Garcia, played by Belissa Escobedo, are the level headed members of their respective families. But at the start of their respective first seasons, they are hiding a big secret from their families. They are both lesbians, and considering the religious nature of their family; they are afraid to come out.
When Merav comes out to her family, her father tells her that they will fix her. The role is changed in the two versions of the story. In the original, the dad is unaccepting of her daughter’s sexuality, in the adapted version; the mom is scared about what it means for her daughter.
In both the versions, the youngest member of the family, Merav, and Natalie, play a huge role. But her role is expanded upon more in the ABC version, as she is the one who tries to bring her family back together after a whirlwind of the past couple of weeks. Their romantic partners also separate the two, Amy, played by Madelyn Sher, is Natalie’s school friend, while Merav’s relationship is a little risqué.
Movie Producer’s Son, London, Superfan, and Brothers
Amos gets stranded in London, only to be helped by a Noa Hollander super fan.
The first trip Noa and Amos take is to London, where Noa is meeting a big shot Hollywood producer and his son. The meeting is a setup by the producer’s son to get her to hook up with him if she wants to be in the movie. While the meeting is happening, Amos is stranded in London, and an angel comes to his rescue.
As it turns out, the angel is a superfan of Noa, and the only motive of the fan is to get close to Noa. The brothers in both the versions of The Baker and the Beauty are not painted with good colors. Assaf, played by Ofer Hayoun, sells Noa and his brother’s picture to the press while Mateo, played by David Del Rio, hooks up with Vanessa.
Both the original version and ABC version of The Baker and the Beauty are a great watch. They hit the right notes and convey a message of love and family. Where the two stories do differ is the original’s inclination towards drama and the adaptation leaning towards romance. Maybe the convenience of watching the English version as opposed to depending on subtitles is painting the glasses through which we are looking at the two series, but we do prefer the ABC version of The Baker and the Beauty, but that is our opinion.