- ArticleA Virtual Journey through the Archives. An Interactive Story on Satire in Eastern Europede Leeuw, Sonja; Mustata, Dana; Pehe, Veronika; Grina, Sanita; Lavrencic, Aleksander; Negraru, Irina; Stimbiryté, Jolé; Sturm, Katja; Vizgirdiene, Inga; Vyshka, Eriona (2022)
- ArticleEditorialde Leeuw, Sonja; Mustata, Dana; Pehe, Veronika (2022)This special issue of VIEW aims to shine a light on television satire in Eastern Europe during the period of state socialism and beyond. Satire has been studied as a vehicle for challenging political and religious power as well as established norms and values. Even more so, satire is powerful in challenging established (state) ideologies, values, beliefs, and conduct. Yet in the state socialist countries of the former Eastern Bloc, satire - including television satire - was also employed by the state apparatus to target ideological opponents. This issue looks into the complex and often subtle and contradictory ways in which satire has disputed the relations between television, audiences and power in this specific geopolitical region of Europe.
- ArticleLords of the Air: A Cultural Analysis of the Bulgarian TV Show Gosporadi na EfiraStover, Maria; Ibroscheva, Elza (2022)This article explores the trajectory of one of the most popular comedy shows in Bulgaria, using a cultural-historical analysis approach. While Gospodari na Efira started as the Bulgarian version of an Italian news parody show, it assumed its own trajectory to become a distinct amalgamation of social satire, political humor and investigative journalism. The show’s formula for success can be linked to its status of an institution, earning legitimation through the trust of audiences at a time when other institutions in Bulgaria were failing to fulfill their responsibilities.
- ArticleMemes, Satire, and the Legacy of TV SocialismPian, Teresa (2022)This article examines the phenomenon of internet memes not just as a pervasive form of digital communication with implications for political culture, but as a new satirical medium. Through the lens of socialist television satire, this article details how memes are an evolution of the venerable history of political satire that abridge past and future traditions of political humour as subversive criticism. This analysis is conducted primarily through a case study of Hungary, although similar memes in other contexts are cited to demonstrate the externalizability of these conclusions.
- ArticlePoking Fun at the Transformation: Postsocialist TV Satire in the 1990sPehe, Veronika (2022)This article examines postsocialist TV satire of the 1990s in the Czech Republic and Poland using the examples of the programmes Česká soda (Czech Soda Water, ČT, 1993-1997) and Za chwilę dalszy ciąg programu (Next Episode in a Moment, TVP, 1988-1994). These pioneering shows were among the first to introduce the format of television satire and news parody to postsocialist screens. The article explores how the programmes’ creators forged a highly particular format stemming from local variety show traditions. It analyses the ways in which these shows articulated criticism of the transformations of postsocialist countries from planned to market economies and reflects on their enduring popularity and function as sites of memory of the 1990s.
- ArticleSatire in Putin's Russia: Cynical Distance as a Tool of State PowerBrassard, Jeffrey (2022)For a brief period following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a degree of political freedom existed in Russia that allowed political satire to appear on television. Different oligarchs purchased important television channels and used them to push the Boris Yeltsin government to approve policies favorable to their business interests by polarizing public opinion against the government. The fractious nature of Russian media in the 1990s and the battles for influence between different oligarchs created an environment in which political satire existed openly in Russian culture, which had not been permitted during the nearly seventy years of communist rule. A particularly significant example of this was NTV’s program Kukli (Puppets) (1994-2002) based on the UK program Spitting Image, which featured puppet versions of prominent Russian politicians, and aired three-hundred-sixty-three episodes. Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned as president of Russia on December 31, 1999, and was succeeded by Vladimir Putin, who has remained the central political figure in Russia since then. Putin’s government almost immediately began to reign in media freedoms. By the end of 2002, all of Russia’s major media properties were under the control of either a state-owned company or close allies of the Russian government. Unsurprisingly Kukli was taken off the air that year, and political satire disappeared from Russian mass culture. This paper will map out the development of Russian satire on television since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Using prominent examples from unscripted standup comedy, evening variety shows and scripted dramas that are openly political and apparently apolitical, this paper argues the Russian television industry engages with and subverts the potential of various satirical genres resulting in the creation of cynical distance that potentially impedes the ability of satire to speak truth to power.
- ArticleWhat to do With a Perceived Dead-End? The Street (1992-1996) & Aesthetics of Postsocialist TV SatireMinkova, Slaveya (2022)Taking as its main case study the experimental, satirical sketch show The Street / Улицата (1992-1996), this essay examines the transformational moment in Bulgarian broadcast media following 1989, specifically focusing on the period between 1990 and 1997, and ways in which the socio-political transition functioned as a catalyst for re-assessing the aesthetics, politics, and structure of television in the country. I focus on the juxtaposition of radical potential and problematic representations featured on this show, establishing connections between the post-1989 influx of Western cultural import and the new media form The Street took upon its release in 1992. The paper locates regional intersections of approach and aesthetics evident in postsocialist TV satire.