Polish TV ideas that can't fail

Polish TV isn’t known for its originality. In a world where the reality show is rapidly supplanting all others forms of entertainment every example of even this less than creatively taxing format on Polish TV appears to have been directly copied from elsewhere. What Poland needs are some homegrown program ideas. “What are Poles uniquely good at?” I asked myself. Before we are further assaulted by upcoming examples of the reality genre such as Dancing with Stars on Stilts or Underwater Celebrity Hairstyling I beg the Polish TV industry to consider the following ideas. I’m willing to accept a 50-50 revenue split.

Polish Roulette

The idea
Two Poles are seated on opposite sides of a table in a locked room. On the table is a loaded revolver. Each week the presenter starts a debate on an aspect of Polish grammar and then hastily leaves. Viewers are invited to place bets on how long it will take for one to blow the other one’s brains out.

The upside
Tension, violence, and a satisfying resolution are appreciated by TV audiences the world over. Poles will have the additional satisfaction of listening to a really good argument about transitive verbs while shouting at the television.

The downside
Episodes might be rather short. Perhaps it could be used as a filler between the news and the weather. Also, copycat arguments and killing sprees would probably sweep the nation each evening at around 7:30 but the death toll probably wouldn’t exceed that of the traditional holiday weekend road carnage, which doesn’t seem to bother anybody.


You’d better take back what you just said about third-person pronouns!

Mentioned in the News

The idea
Poles get a thrill whenever another Pole comes to the attention of somebody outside of Poland. The fact is invariably mentioned on the news. Ideally it should be for doing something noteworthy, but not necessarily. Stories such as “King of Swaziland once knew a Polish man – ‘He was an okay guy’ says king” or “Polish tourist in New York asked question on the street by CNN” are commonplace. This should be turned into a competitive activity. Two teams of Poles are sent abroad to try and get themselves mentioned in the news. The first team to get one of its members noticed wins the opportunity to star in a three hour miniseries about his or her life.

The upside
It would do wonders for Poland’s international image and Poles would have a guaranteed weekly glow of pride at having one of their own in the spotlight rather than having to wait around for the next volleyball tournament or ski jumping champion to turn up.

The downside
Of course, the easiest way to get on the news is to do something dangerous, criminal, or ill advised such as running naked down Fifth Avenue firing an assault rifle into the air. You’re not allowed to use that one.


Polish man asked “Where are you from” by UK passport control officer. “I was so proud” comments man.

The Kombinować Game

The idea
Poles are justifiably proud of their ability to circumvent ludicrous laws and to make do with what’s to hand. It’s a talent that had been developed over centuries of hard times and is usually summed up in the elusive Polish word “Kombinować.” In a way it’s the ultimate form of DIY. Unfortunately this often leads to Poles taking on jobs that they are dangerously underqualified to perform such as rewiring their house, or installing satellite dishes while suspended by the ankles over the side of uncle Bogdan’s balcony.

Working on the premiss that taking things to absurd extremes is invariably entertaining I envisage a show in which people from one profession are challenged to undertake a critical task in a completely different profession. Stefan, a florist from Stalowo Wola, is challenged to construct a gas-cooled nuclear reactor using only the contents of his cutlery draw. Gertruda from Zielona Gora is challenged to undertake a restructuring of national banking policy using only packet of cigarettes and an economics textbook in Urdu.

The upside
Putting the talents of a nation to use.

The downside
Nobody watches because it’s too much like real life.


Ideal for restructuring a nation’s economy or mending porcelain.

Taking Offense

The idea
Contestants are shown neutral statements about Poland and are invited to find reasons to take offense for no well-founded reason. For example:

Presenter: Tonight’s first statement is: “Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe”

Contestant 1: I resent the generalization that there are eight ‘larger’ nations in Europe. What you people seem to forget is the sacrifice made by the Polish airmen and the betrayal at Yalta!

Contestant 2: For 120 years Poles were suppressed and not allowed to swear in their own language! Also: Copernicus!

(Audience goes wild. Judges award a 9.6)


Poland. It’s a country. People live there. More than that I’m unwilling to say.

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17 thoughts on “Polish TV ideas that can't fail

  1. Norman says:

    Hey, You don’t need to be qualified to rewire your house! It’s “proste jak drut” :]
    Also, there was such show – people were performig taskas from “oposite” professions, like violinists from djs or ballet dancers – body guards.
    Oh, and why black Gorzów Wielkopolski? Do black people live there?

  2. siuniab says:

    You totally had me at “Polish Roulette”, and it got better from there. I particularly liked “Taking Offense” at neutral, irrefutable facts/statements. LMAO.

    I too am fascinated by the fact that polish grammar is such a “demonstration sport” and provides the opportunity for withering putdowns. Strange, but true. Makes me a little reluctant to practice my own mediocre, niepoprawny jezyk polski.
    Thanks for the giggles.

  3. Sylwia says:

    Ad. 1 Are Poles as enamoured of violence in the media as you guys are? How about a more Polish version of the game, with striptease for example? Then it could be a long night show with Prof. Miodek in the jury.

    Ad. 2 LOL

    Ad. 3 There was such a guy called Adam Słodowy with his popular weekly TV show “Zrób to sam” (Do It Yourself). It might be due to him that Poles became such die hard kombinators.

    He also wrote the screenplay to the cartoon “Pomysłowy Dobromir” (Dobromir the Resourceful). See yourself if it’s not dangerous to show it to kids! Plumbing Vacuum-cleaner

    Ad. 4 Poles often take offence because they don’t understand English well enough (what’s sometimes demonstrated in various comments on Polandian). How about having them translate a phrase, and then take offence at all possible interpretations they could come up with? I.e. does ‘the 9th largest country’ mean that there are 8 greater ones? :D

  4. Sylwia says:

    Did my comment get caught by the spam dragon? If so leave the second one.

  5. Kuba says:

    yes, the Polish grammar.. I just keep making the mistakes. Makes most Poles look strangely at me. But they do understand what I am saying. I hope !

  6. wildphelps says:

    Two things:

    1. Wasn’t the Kombinowac idea already done? It was called Macgyver, which was very popular here if only because Wujek Stas could comment on how Macgyver was doing everything all wrong.

    2. As a resident of Gorzow Wlkp, I can assure you that there are a few people of African descent living here. Not enough to change the color of the city on a map, but enough that people do double-takes when they see these people walking down the street. Same with Asians.

  7. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    MacGyver is a cult pesronality in Poland, remembered fondly by everyone from my generation. We all wanted to be like him when we grow up (well, actually, some people wanted to be the A-Team). I’m sure he had a Polish grandmother, or something.

  8. Pawel says:

    I have an idea for a show!
    “JUDGE THEM” when you judge people by looks. Contestants are seated in an urban al fresco cafe. They are given a task to point to a person in the passing crowd who fulfils a given criterion: wears a thong, has an intimate piercing, has shaved armpits, or smelly socks etc.

    We love to stare, and judge people – so this is perfect.

    Then a special panel examines if contestants were right. If they are, they get to win $$$.

  9. emi says:

    This is so funny and so true!

    Island, you should write books!:)))

  10. EwaP says:

    Jacek, I think that McGyver had a Polish grand_father_ (maternal side, maybe). Adam Słodowy…

  11. wildphelps says:

    Thanks Polandian – my lovely Polish wife took offense to the “Take Offense” tv show idea. I had to suffer an afternoon of icy stares. I can’t mention you guys fora few days now…

  12. Anonymous says:

    island1, seems you’ve started asking yourself a ?…”what am I doing here?

    That’s a good sign, man.

  13. Pawel says:

    Bloody Poland! Eh, island1?:)

  14. Scatts says:

    Tres amusant!!

    I might suggest a game along the lines of the Generation Game where 4 husbands (with kids) are given various hypothetical weather conditions and asked to dress their offspring appropriately in less than 30 seconds from the selection of clothes made available. They are then judged by a jury of elderly women with handbags and they lose points for every time they are hit in anger at the total stupidity of their choices!

    Or – there’s one empty parking space and 4 contestants in their cars equally spaced away from the space, a whistle is blown and the one who gets the most of their car into the space is the winner. Could equally be a free sales window in an Apteka, the last kiełbasa in the supermarket………

    Or – a pretend pedestrian crossing and cars driving past at faster and faster speeds. A bit like a game of Polish “chicken” but I’d call it “Titanium Man”.

  15. […] Polish TV ideas that can 39 t fail Posted by root 19 minutes ago (http://polandian.home.pl) Did my comment get caught by the spam dragon if so leave the second one powered by wordpress built on the thematic theme framework Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Polish TV ideas that can 39 t fail […]

  16. Sale Handbag says:

    thank for your sharing. good information :)

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