Fizruk

Fizruk (Физрук) is a Russian comedy television series. The main story line revolves around an ex-criminal who finds himself working as a physical education teacher. To make it work, he must rebuild relationships with old acquaintances and his family, and build new relationships with his new students and fellow teachers. Airing on TNT (ТНТ) since 2014, the show is now preparing for its fifth season.

The main character, Oleg Evgenevich Fomin (Олег Евгеньевич Фомин), nickname Foma (Фома), is written as a more or less typical former criminal from the 1990s who once had dealings with organized crime. Having worked his entire life as a bodyguard for Mamai, a powerful businessman with a criminal background, Foma is abruptly fired from Mamai’s service for using too much muscle and not enough brains. Mamai calls this an “outdated” approach to the job.

Foma is determined to do whatever it takes to come back. He decides he can do this through Sanya, the daughter of Mamai, and that the best way to get to her is by working as a gym teacher. Foma is, of course, a complete stranger to the world of children and teachers, and the show is full of misadventures as Foma tries to change himself and adapt to his new environment.

The show’s creators have planned to round out the series with a full-length film, entitled Fizruk Saves Russia (Физрук спасает Россию), to be released at the end of 2017, at the conclusion of season four of the show.

During its tenure, Fizruk has won a number of awards, including “Best Comedy Series” (2014), “Best Scene Work” (2014), and “Best Sitcom” (2015) from the Association of Film and Television Producers (Ассоциации продюсеров кино и телевидения). Billboard Magazine Russia also named it one of the Best Russian Television Shows of 2014.

Due to its occasionally realistic criminal language and scenes of violence, the show carries a rating on Russian television of being only for those 16 and over.

 

Here is a promo clip for the show:

 

TNT network’s official Fizruk page includes archived full episodes.

Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS’s Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.