Monday, April 11, 2011

Soviet Spies and Russian Sitcom Rip-Offs

Russia has given us many wonderful things: Russian nesting dolls, Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, classic Bond villains and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to name a few. But America's relationship with Russia hasn't always been so rosy. Believe it or not, there was a time when we believed that the Russians were spying on us.

Well, I hate to be the one to break this to you, faithful readers, but it looks like the Russians are still spying on us and they're not satisfied with military technology anymore - they want our television programs. That's right, our precious, precious TV shows.

This matter of national security was first brought to my attention by, alert reader, Jeff Tromphlin. He showed me the opening credits for a Russian television show called Project Popcorn (Проект “Попкорн”)

Now, I don't speak Russian, but that looks pretty close to the opening credits for Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. But MST3K was only the beginning. After further investigation, I found a number of Russian rip-offs that shocked me to the very core.

For example, check out their version of the classic 80's television program, Married..with Children.

Счастливы вместе, or "Happy Together" as it translates to, has lookalikes for each member of the Bundy family! Shocking!

But maybe you're not the kind of person who watched Married...with Children or MST3K. Maybe your house was a little more strict and you could only watch wholesome, uplifting shows with a moral or some type of educational message? Well then, here's Russia's version of Full House:

I wasn't quite convinced that дом кувырком ("House Upside Down") was, in fact, Full House, until I saw that it was Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey) himself that posted the video. And, as we all know, if Dave Coulier says it, it must be true. I wonder if the Russian paparazzi is obsessed with the Tsvetkova twins. 

But we all know that TV sitcoms aren't worth their salt unless they feature our very own Tony Danza. But Russia, being the sneaky country that they are, has also copied Who's the Boss, and have creatively named it Кто в доме хозяин (Who's the Boss). They weren't even trying to hide this blatant rip-off!

You know. . .they can have Who's the Boss?. I'm ok with that one.

Now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Well, these are all old television programs from the 80s and 90s. Surely now that the Russians aren't our enemies, they don't have need for spying on us and stealing our TV shows!" Tsk, tsk, tsk. Oh, you poor naive reader. Watch the following clip and see if you can guess what modern TV show has been stolen by the Russkies. They call it Теоретики ("Theorists"):

It looks like the Cold War ain't over yet.



Katya said...

I think "Щасливі разом" is actually Ukrainian. (I'm surprised that there's a big enough market for Ukrainian knockoffs, though.)

Josh Hoyt said...

hmmm sounds pretty serious to me.

The Former 786 said...

Good catch, Katya! Счастливы вместе is actually a Russian show, but it is shown in the Ukraine, as well. I've corrected the name in the post now.

They're still speaking Russian in that video clip, right? :)

Katya said...

Upon a second listen, yes, I think they're speaking Russian. (That, or my Ukrainian is unexpectedly good.)

Mike said...

You forgot to mention how the Russians gave us a great plot line from one of the greatest Rocky films.