“Oh, Tadeusz! Oh, pal o’ mine!”

November 25, 2014

CEZARY ZAK as Karol Krawczyk and ARTUR BARCIS as Tadeusz Norek

CEZARY ZAK as Karol Krawczyk and ARTUR BARCIS as Tadeusz Norek

My wife and I were staying at a hotel in Warsaw a couple of decades ago when we happened to catch on TV a series called “Miodowe lata,” which, I’m told, means “The Honeymoon Years.” The scenes were in contemporary Warsaw and the series was shot in color, but something about it looked familiar. We’re not conversant in Polish, but when we had watched the episode long enough, we realized that the actors were performing the episode of “The Honeymooners” in which Ralph becomes the janitor in the apartment building. The lead character, whose name in the series is Karol Krawczyk, is a conductor on a trolley in Warsaw. His neighbor is Tadeusz Norek. I learned later that the series was produced from 1998 until at least 2004 by the Polish broadcast network Polsat. We wondered as we watched the episode whether the producers had sought permission to use that story line, but as the credits rolled we saw the Viacom logo, which seemed to answer the question. According to an article in “Variety,” the first episode of “Miodowe kata” in 1998 attracted an estimated 40 percent of the viewing audience. The average share for Polsat shows at the time was in the range of 17 to 25 percent.

There also have been versions of “The Honeymooners” in Indonesia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

There’s a whole episode of “Miodowe kata” at the link below, and there are more available on YouTube.

 

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