M jak milość

L for Love (M jak milość) is a long-running Polish drama/soap opera. It’s been airing since 2000, and there are more than 1,000 episodes in its 17 seasons. It is the most-watched TV show in Poland.

The show follows the large, sprawling Mostowiak family and all their relatives and in-laws. (There has been a massive cast of characters appearing and disappearing over the years.) The two main characters are the Mostowiak grandparents, Lucjan and Barbara, who have been married for more than 50 years and are presented as a model of family life. They have three daughters and one son, most of whom have been married several times (as befits a soap opera, spouses often die on this show), and a number of grandchildren. The show describes the family’s lives and their various trials and tribulations, including the various scandals that threaten to break up the family.

It has won a long list of Telekamera awards (Poland’s TV awards) over the years, including several for best serial and various best-actress nods. The show also spawned a novel, on the occasion of the broadcast of the 1,000th episode, and a biweekly magazine about the show that appeared for about a year between 2006 and 2007. There is also a Russian spinoff, Love Like Love (Любовь как любовь), that aired in the mid-2000s. There’s also a version of the original Polish show that airs in Poland with English subtitles.


Creators: Ilona Łepkowska, Tadeusz Lampka
Stars: Teresa Lipowska, Witold Pyrkosz, Małgorzata Pieńkowska, Dominika Ostałowska, Kacper Kuszewski
Production company: MTL Maxfilm dla TVP
TV channel: TVP2


The show’s official website.

A clip from a recent episode:

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.