It can be say with no doubt that Poles are soap opera-obsessed nation nowadays. You will not find a single person in Poland, be it a 5 year old child or a 93 year old grandpa who does not know what is “M jak milosc” ("M like Love"). Popularity of this series exceeded all possible expectations. Actors playing in it acquired national fame and all important prizes standing for their public popularity. Moreover, as funny as it may sound this soap opera has such a universal appeal that is even popular among serious criminals serving their sentence in jail.
The plot of the series is based on Mostowiaks’ family. The parents, the eldest of the family, live in a small village with their son, his wife and his two children, one of whom is adopted. Their daughter with her family lives in a small town of Grodek but the main story takes place in Warsaw. The reason why it is so immensely popular is that it caters for the needs of all the age groups among the television audience. Be it a prison convicts crazy in love with Anna Mucha, or the retired whose main reason to live is to trace the future fate of their favorite characters and mix it with reality.
Firstly, there is a student apartment which is the scene of betrayal, love, young marriage life and crazy student parties. The part of the Warsaw-based story caters also for the needs of yuppies and other successful professionals. There is a character of Marta Mostowiak- a judge. At the beginning of the series she was changing her partners as often as some of us loose winter gloves. However, recently she has changed and decided to remarry her previously divorced husband and to have a baby with him. The favorite character of the inhabitants of small cities is Marysia who works as a nurse and deals with all kind of life drama from betrayal of her husband to his death and helps all her miserable, struggling for love middle-aged friends to survive different life dilemmas.
In contrast to American series, the Polish ones host all kind of talented and well-known actors such as: Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Dominika Ostałowska, Jacek Poniedziałek, Edward Lubaszenko, etc.
The other series which gain more and more popularity among the affluent, professional circles is “Magda M”. In my opinion it is just a poor remake of Ally McBeal. Magda, Joanna Brodzik is a successful lawyer in her early thirties. She has almost everything, from a beautiful and specious apartment, a car, good looks to promising career, the best boss you can ever imagine. However, she is not happy in love. The intention of the producers was to show the reality of professional lawyer’s life in their thirties living in a big city. Unfortunately, basing on the opinions of extremely angry viewers presented on the internet forums, this is the most unrealistic picture you could ever imagine. Just to present you a few facts. Magda can have vacation any time she wants. She can walk out of the office because she felt offended and her boss will later call her, apologize for the nasty clients and send her flowers. She was raised in a small town located in the Mazury district and six years after her graduation she is a successful lawyer. Can you expect a more distorted image of the Polish reality?
If you are looking for something far more realistic, you should certainly watch the series “Wiedzmy” (The Witches). Due to the fact that these series were targeted at more sophisticated audience, only ten episodes appeared in the Polish public television. The action of these tv series takes place in the most dangerous and doomed district of Warsaw – Praga. Three women: Maria Seweryn (the owner of a small advertising agency), Magdalena Rożyczka (a talented lawyer who decided to open her office in the cradle of Warsaw crime) and Katarzyna Figura (an owner of a female underwear boutique, the only real long-term resident of Praga in this group). The women are struggling to have a pretty normal life in the district which is not that friendly for newcomers. This is a typical slap-stick comedy, full of funny events and everyday obstacles. I have not seen a comedy which is so accurate, intelligently funny and different from the rest of the homogenous crap available in the Polish television. It shows Praga both with its positive and negative sides but it also illustrates a very important thing that there is always something good even in people who did not choose the right path in life. This movie stands out among bleak, American-like comedies. Even though that problems which the characters have to deal with are sometimes similar to the ones that are encountered in the plot of other soap operas, the Witches try to solve them in the most unusual, sometimes almost magical way. In my opinion, if you have time to have a look at the Polish soap operas, do not waste it watching sentimental dullness offered in most of them, choose fun offered by “The Witches”.