Daddy’s Daughters

A story based on the seemingly unlikely premise of a man who was left by his wife to take care of their five daughters, this series had 20 seasons and received several national awards, continuously bringing its channel to the top of various rankings. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what was so captivating about it, but I distinctly remember turning it on while doing my homework in sixth grade, never missing an episode. The five daughters all had very different personalities (even if a little cliche – the bookworm, the tomboy, etc.) and their different ages made it possible to either recognize yourself in the past or look up to them. And it was always heart-warming to see every argument reconciled and every challenge overcome. Perhaps, that’s why hearing the theme song now I can’t help but smile – and I hope you will, too. 

My Fair Nanny 

Another story of a single father, this series, based on the American show The Nanny, tells a story of a young woman who accidentally became a nanny for the children of a Moscow businessman. Almost from the very beginning, we know that the nanny and the father will end up together – but, naturally, they only do in the second to last season of the series (not that I remember it that well, but there is always Wikipedia). It’s really hard to describe exactly why everyone watched the show, and, well, at the age of 10 you don’t really need many well-spoken arguments – you simply enjoy something. And then you can still recite the show’s theme song even after all those years. Also, here is the original theme song from The Nanny in case you want to spot the differences and hear almost the exact translation. 

Happy Together

I have to be honest, this show wasn’t one of my favorites, but I know that it was a hit among my classmates. This series, too, was based on an American original, Married...with Children, and was meant to be a satire on the Russian version of the middle class that began to appear in the 2000s. Fun fact, if you go to Yekaterinburg, the city where the series is based, you will find a sizable statue of Gennady Bukin, its main character, on one of the streets. The show’s theme song was a rendition of an already popular tune, so it’s no wonder it was and is very catchy – even if not everyone immediately makes the connection to the series. 


Screened on a rather questionable TV channel, where it sat among shows about UFO sightings and other peculiar incidents, this series is about the Russian army. Military service is obligatory for all males 18-27, lasts one year (though it used to be two when the series first aired), and is quite a controversial issue to delve into now. It was a comedy series first and foremost, aiming not to depict the military service truthfully, but rather find an entertaining angle on it – with memorable characters, classically embarrassing situations, and a very catchy theme song about young men going to the army.  


Back in its time this series could have been named revolutionary in the sense that it was focused on the lives of teenagers, who started their own all-female rock band called Ranetki (which was not a typical storyline for Russia back then). Looking back on their songs, I am hard pressed to decide why I liked them just so much. Perhaps, part of the appeal was getting to discuss the episodes with my classmates and speculate on what’s coming next while listening to the songs. Though this series was probably not as insanely popular as the others on the list, I am sure that at least some people you meet will be able to remember its theme song. I mean, it was kind of cool for its time. 

If you want to learn more about Russian culture and daily life, check out our Russian Monday series – and simply stay tuned to its weekly updates.