Russian Soap Operas

The other day I had a wacky idea: why not check out Russian soap operas? I could sharpen up my Russian and maybe even learn something. What I was looking for was something analogous to the British EastEnders or even Coronation Street but so far I’ve been disappointed.

What I’ve learned is that Russian soap operas are in their infancy. They’re very popular and shown frequently but at this point I just haven’t found one that piques my interest. Here’s what I’ve found.

Russian soap operas are more like Mexican telenovelas than they are like American or, better, British soaps.

Bednaya Nastya

“Poor Nastya” (a nickname for Anastasia) is an historical epic set in the late 19th century. More a limited series than a soap.

Ne Rodis Krasivoy

“Not Born Beautiful” is Russia’s version of the Colombian soap that the American television series Ugly Betty was based on.

Lyubov Kak Lyubov

“Love As Love” is the Russian version of a Polish generational drama.


Gypsy girl loves Russian boy.

Ulitsa Razbitykh Fonarey

From what little I can tell “Streets of Broken Lights” is a Russian police drama.

Adyutanti Lyubvi

“Adjutants of Love” is another historical epic from the same people who produced “Poor Nastya”.

There are others but I haven’t been able to find out much about them. One of them has the same name as a popular series of children’s books, a joke you wouldn’t get if you didn’t know the books.

At this point I may just wait for the Russian version of Doc Martin which is supposed to be in the works.

If any passerby knows anything about Russian soap operas, I’m looking for recommendations.

4 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    Do they peddle Tide or Cheer ?

  • Tide is a best-selling brand in Russia. There’s a funny story about how one enterprising Russian company is piggybacking on Procter & Gamble’s advertising.

    You know those ads in which they pit the name brand against the ordinary brand? P&G has been running one of those ads for some time in Russia. A Russian soap company began making and selling their own brand called “Ordinary” at a third of the price of Tide. Every time the P&G ad runs they’re also advertising Ordinary soap. 😉

  • TastyBits Link

    … (a nickname for Anastasia) …

    Russian derivatives and the various English transliteration of them was one difficulty with Russian literature. The same character could be called by different names, and if the nicknames used different spellings, it would take a while to figure out it was the same person.

  • You have no idea how complicated it is. What form of a person’s name you use indicates your relationship with the person and different nicknames have different connotations.

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