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October 13, 2015

It's Married... With Children... in Russian

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 16th 2007 12:15PM

The Russian version of Al and Peg Bundy on that country's version of Married, With ChildrenIt's a typical night in Moscow. You have just finished supper and are now ready to sit down with your wife, children, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to watch some television. On the screen a sad-faced shoe salesman is anchored to his living room couch watching his own TV. Strutting behind him is his gaudily-dressed, shockingly red-haired wife. To the side his ditsy blonde-haired daughter and fairly intelligent son, who dreams of something bigger in his life, bicker over something or other.

Sounds a bit like Married... With Children, doesn't it? Well, truth be told, it actually is. The name of the show is Schastlivy Vmeste (translated to Happy Together) and it is an authorized copy of the former FOX sitcom featuring Russian cast members and dialog. It is also a huge hit in Russia, especially among younger viewers. According to a spokesperson for Russian channel TNT, Vmeste is the most popular scripted series among the 18 to 30 crowd.

The New York Times has an interesting article on this show, and how it has been transplanted into the Russian culture. It also discusses how television in the former Soviet Republic has changed over the years, and has flourished even during the presidency of hard-liner Vladimir Putin. There is also a video clip of the Russian Married that you can compare to the American version you previously watched.

By the way, Schastlivy Vmeste is but one of three popular comedies that have been imported from America. The other two are versions of The Nanny, which premiered in 2004 to huge success, and Who's the Boss?. All three shows are distributed by Sony Pictures Television International, which sells these shows to other countries then works with local producers to mold them into programs that fit their own culture.

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I been to Ukraine for two Months and have seen this show every day! From the point I see of it, it is just as funny or not more in certain situations! I feel that the producers and directors done a really good job on recreating the characters and screening the actors to fit this show! I am a very big MWC fan and this show is it's true counter part. And it also shows the cultural simularities that both Russsia and America share. Good or bad..

September 18 2008 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, the german adaption sucked big time. Just watching this intro again makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a fork...

September 17 2007 at 5:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The intro of the mid 90s german version of "Married...":


Thank god, it flopped. It was awful.

September 17 2007 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Nanny?!?!


September 16 2007 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

I took a loot at the title on IE and it was all gibberish. I changed the title to have people stop scratching their heads to determine what the heck the article was about.

September 16 2007 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately in Turkey we had one too. It was a toned down version of Married with Children with a literal name translation. But unlike the Russian conversion ours flopped. Coincidentally we also had the other two conversions (Nanny and who's the boss), they were both successes and each aired for a couple of years. We also have now According to Jim, Grey's Anatomy (a toned down version of course) and Dawson's Creek. I don't know the first two but Dawson seems to be a hit. I guess kids growing in a small town is a universal theme :)

September 16 2007 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They also made a version of the show here in Spain. Too bad the actings were horrible and people couldn't forget the original show. It sank in the ratings. I also remember that some years ago they tried with a version of Golden Girls which sucked too.

September 16 2007 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's funny. I get gibberish in Safari, but the Russian title displays properly in NewsFire.

September 16 2007 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Err...no that gobble-de-gook because you didn't use unicode characters. :D

September 16 2007 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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