In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
I first started watching the series because I wanted to know more about the culture and lifestyles of Poland. Having lived in Warsaw from 2001
2003, I thought I had seen it all. However, I have been pleasantly
surprised by the efforts that seem to have gone into developing the characters of Magda M.
Of course, their lifestyle is at a higher level than I ever experienced living in Warsaw. Maybe that is what gives the TV series such an appreciative audience. Being a lawyer gives Piotr access to the high life characters found in the series. However, from my experience, lawyers in Poland are not richly rewarded with a high lifestyle. Perhaps that is why Magda drives an economy car and Piotr a motorcycle. Still the lights and glamor of the city are evident in nearly every episode. We see the mansions of the rich and the tenements of the poor.
Another aspect is the focus on feminine issues like domestic violence, divorce and homelessness. Not to a large degree, but it is a part of their life. The reality of life in Warsaw is much more stark than is portrayed on the show. But I understand the producer's reasons for keeping the theme light-hearted: to sell products, of course.
My main study now is how the characters are developed. I am only finishing the first season on my DVD collection. Magda seems to be like a fish out of water in her legal profession. Her main problem is that she is too feminine for her profession. She cries, she lets her emotions get the best of her. At the same time, she is obviously intelligent and a good lawyer.
In her personal life, she seems to be just the opposite. She fights to keep herself emotionally distant from her male admirers. Especially Piotr, her equal in business and love.
Sebastian's role as her "friend" is very confusing. He seems to have some gender confusion because he only gives advice and never brings any passionate love into the picture. I suppose his "artistic" profession as photographer adds to this impression. Again we are dealing with somewhat subverted stereotypes here.
Agata and Wojciech seem to be a "normal" couple. They took the leap when they saw love in the making and seem comfortable with their roles.
Karolina plays the typical hard-working woman who is trying to seduce her boss, Piotr. Although she dresses conservatively, she is very good at expressing her desires. Of course, Piotr has the type of "masculinity" that is stereotypical for Polish men. He is assertive and tough. Yet, he has a softer appeal in that he is not materialistic or power-seeking. He has plenty of opportunities to be so.
Sorry to say, I have drawn my impressions from a total ignorance of the Polish language. I recognize a phrase here and there, but I can "read" the story through body language, facial expressions and scene settings.
I will add to my comments as I get further along in the series, but I am very impressed with the quality and entertainment level of Magda M. Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable about Polish culture will contribute to this discussion.
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