1st Edition

Russian Television Today Primetime Drama and Comedy

By David MacFadyen Copyright 2008
    256 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Examining the role of dramatized narratives in Russian television, this book stresses the ways in which the Russian government under Putin use primetime television to express a new understanding of what it means to be Russian, answering key questions of national identity for modern Russians in dealing with their recent history: ‘What really happened to us?’ and, accordingly, ‘Why?’

    The book covers important issues in Russian television today, including:

    • the reworking of new ‘national’ on-screen heroes
    • its relationship with classic literature
    • the revisionist portrayal of a romantic portrait of life in the Soviet era
    • the role of thematic elements such as love, fidelity, humour and irony
    • the particularly pressing problem of crime and its representation on screen as Mafia or police adventure, and its political usage by the Putin administration.

    This book provides a detailed account of the critical issues in contemporary Russian television, relating them to broader social and political developments in Russian society.

    Introduction: Sweeping Statements and Broad Horizons  1. Action Heroes: Don Quixote or James Bond?  2. Adaptations: TV Drama vs. Literary Prestige  3. Soaps: The Influence of Latin America  4. Costume Drama: "Life as It Really Is"  5. Melodrama: Little People in the Big City  6. Heroines: Airports, Planes and Wedding Trains  7. Comedy: Nervous Giggling and its Serious Object  8. Law and Order: Making Sense of Something  9. Criminal Series: Soviet Traditions Come Home.  Conclusion: Fighting the Good Fight.  Filmography


    David MacFadyen is Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. He is the author of numerous books on many aspects of Russian literature and culture, including the poetry of Joseph Brodsky, classic Soviet prose, popular song across the twentieth century, comedic cinema, and animated film.