Voroniny

Voroniny (Воронины) is a Russian comedy television series. Airing on CTC network, for its first ten seasons the show was a Russian adaptation of the successful American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. After season 11 (the show is currently on season 18), the show became an original series. As a classic situation comedy, Voroniny does not have a strict plot but rather follows the lives and misadventures of the Voronin family. The serial has two slogans: “A Family Blockbuster” (“Семейный блокбастер”) and “Don’t Miss the Bus!” (“Не проворонь!”).

The main characters of Voroniny are a typical family. Kostya, the father, is a sports journalist; his wife, Vera, is a housewife. The two have three children: Masha and the twins Philip and Kiril. The family lives across the hall from Kostya’s parents, Galina Ivanovna and Nikolay Petrovich, as well as Kostya’s older brother, Lenya. Much of the show deals with Kostya’s struggle to maintain proper boundaries between his family and his parents, and the comedic situations that ensue. For instance, Lenya’s uninivited visits are constant, and Galina Ivanovna frequently attempts to help out around the house, whether her help is needed or not. Lenya often goes on about the shame of being a middle-aged bachelor living at home with his parents, and has envied Kostya since childhood. There are constant minor conflicts between Vera and Galina Ivanovna, though they always make up in the end. In later seasons, Kostya’s parents decide to move to the country, though later they move back to the city and settle in the same apartment with Kostya and Vera. Lenya eventually finds a wife, Nastya, and the two have a son named Sasha. That same season, the elder Voronins travel to Turkey to participate in a game show. In the most recent season, Vera and Kostya have a fourth child, Lyusya.

The television channel CTC spent around two years adapting Everybody Loves Raymond for a Russian audience. Where the American version focuses more on Raymond himself (who was already a well-known comedian in the United States), the Russian version focuses more intently on the relationships among the various Voronin family members. The adaptation of the show is the subject of a 2010 American documentary titled Exporting Raymond.

 

An advertisement for a recent season of Voroniny:

 

 

The trailer for the documentary about the show, Exporting Raymond:

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.