Tuesday, 3 April 2007

the telly

I’m not too huge on television. More to the point I am not too huge on Polish television. Most of it is crap. Maybe that is why Michal only sticks to the 10 pm news and the occasional indulgence of Name that Melody. The soaps reek of boring family shit like whether the Belarus nana-aunt boils the potatoes for too long (The Clan – Klan) or whether the young Warsawvian hottie will make it back from her Afghanistan lets-build-a-school aid programme (L for Love – M jak Milosc). Or better yet, whether the parish priest will sell enough Easter candles to rebuild the church tower (The Presbytery – Plebania). There’s never any sex, parental abuse, not much adultery and hardly ever any drugs. Soapies my ass! Further, any thing that is imported from England or elsewhere (Heartbreak High, umm from 1997 and the most current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful – in translation A Trend for Success!!) is hideously dubbed with a Polish narrator (always the same man - Little Britain for example is unwatchable due to the bad narrating) forcing me to pin my ear to the television set to catch the English words. Tiring. But if I ever become deaf I reckon I will be an ace lip reader!

My dad, however, used to cry when watching episodes of the Clan (hand-me-down VHS tapes making their way across the Pacific) in Sydney. The Polish dinner table, complete with the wise words of a grandfather and a steaming bowl of fried beetroot were too much for him. He would yell out from the living room between great big sobs “Justynka come watch this episode! See what a real respecting family looks like!” He and my mum would then remain glued to the television for the next 3 days until they had to pass the VHS tapes on to the other Slavs in the neighbourhood.

And on that note I will now watch the first episode of this year’s season of Magda M. A Polish Ally McBeal. Except attractive. With a sexy main man. And better clothes. But way shittier court scenes, not much witty dialogue and much smaller compensation claims. She probably whines a little less too. There is a homosexual couple though. Whoa. And single women in their mid thirties living alone!!!! And divorce. And NOBODY goes to church. Absolutely revolutionary stuff. Plus everyone has a great paying job, cool apartments and they all go out for sushi. So it is not very much like Poland at all.

that's magda m, the barrister. not too keen on those robes. solicitors wear ones with blue trimming.

This post is dedicated to Hugh and Libby who once knew a lot more about Polish soaps than me.

5 comments:

Malunini said...

...WHAT!!!The braziilan soapies do NOT get a mention...they have sex, drugs, whitch doctors...and really good looking women...
I know Nina gets hooked on them everytime we are there...(zaklete serce, is my grandma`s fave)..
so you either do not watch daytinme TV or, more likely do not want to bag out your favourite shows...

m said...

I'm afraid the trend is global - the good old box in the living room corner loosing much of it's appeal...[insert your own reasons here]. But I have been sampling quite a bit of the new, and old, TVP stuff via the net - 'fraid the days of VHS/DVD hand-me-downs are over.

The new shows do look sleek. Production quality is very good by any standard, but some of that uniqueness has gone. You still get the "only in PL stereotypes" and "gold" snippets of dialogue, but you have to dig around a bit more.

In the meantime, Maya is very content with her daily before bed Mis Uszatek episode...

Let me know Jazz, if you could do with a bit of OZ TV. The Chaser is back, and the new Summer Heights High (from the makers of We Can Be Heroes) is on schedule.

Michal said...

Last week left us a new telly. It has been standing on the display for 3 months and it was a good deal. As I quickly calculated (12 hours by 90 days) this device operated for about 1100 hours. The warranty is for 60000 hours it did not scare me. I doubt if we ever get close to that in our entire life.

Justyna said...

Raf - the Brazilian soaps are too tragic to comment on. Mainly because of the witch doctors. And the fluro coloured body suits. What's with that?

Marcin - I've been watching some of the old Chaser stuff on the abc online. Gold! Checked out We Can be Heroes on the net too a while ago - but never actually watched any episodes in full. My answer is yes please! When you get a chance...In return I can start organising some of the classics for you here. You should see some of the TVP Kroniki (Chronicles). They are a hoot! You keen on some Bolek i Lolek for Maya? Or Koziolek Matolek? Let me know and I will supply. Or make a list of what you want.

ali said...

While I am still basically addicted to (bad)TV, I am totally in control now. It's all about DVD boxsets and choosing the time and the place (usually all weekend; on the couch). I recently completed Dawson's Creek seasons 1 through 6. Never has there ever been a more unlikeable 'hero', or more cringeworthy examples of screenwriting all in one place. Yet, somehow so good.
Overrated: Love My Way