Friends

Friends (Przyjaciółki) is a Polish primetime drama that has been airing since 2012. There are more than 100 45-minute episodes in its nine seasons, and it is still going strong. Despite the name and the main conceit, it has very little in common with the American Friends.

The show takes place in Warsaw, and follows four friends who were very close in high school but grew apart afterward. After a high school reunion, though, they draw back together and come to rely on each other as they all navigate the very different, more complex problems of their adulthood. Inga’s husband has just left her for his secretary; Zuza is looking for a life partner, but the fact that she’s a powerful, successful business executive gets in the way. Anka, a stay-at-home mother, has grown apart from her husband and started drinking. Patrycja has a good relationship with her boyfriend, but she wants to get married and he doesn’t. The friends’ problems have changed a little over the years that the show has been on the air, but the main draw of the show—their strong friendship—still holds.

The four main actors in the show have all had successful film and TV characters over the years. Three of the four—Anita Sokołowska, who plays Zuza; Magdalena Stużyńska-Brauer, who plays Anka; and Joanna Liszowska, who plays Patrycja— have also appeared on For Better or For Worse (Na dobre i na złe). Sokołowska actually played one of the lead roles in that show, and still appears on it. Małgorzata Socha, the fourth main character, who plays Inga, has just as extensive a career as the other three, and has also been nominated for some prestigious awards, including a 2011 nomination for Best Actress from the Golden Ducks (Złota Kaczka)… but also a 2012 nomination for Worst Actress from the Snake (Wąż) awards.

While viewership of Friends has declined slightly over the years, the most recent season premiere, in 2016, still attracted nearly 2 million viewers in Poland.

 

Director: Grzegorz Kuczeriszka
Stars: Małgorzata Socha, Joanna Liszowska, Anita Sokołowska, Magdalena Stużyńska
Production studios: Akson Studio, Polsat
TV channel: Polsat

The show’s official website.

 

A promo for the show’s ninth season:

 

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.