Russian Language Blog

Ready, Set, Watch! Russian TV Shows that Is Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Culture, language, Russian life

If you are really serious about learning Russian, you have to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. How can you do that if you are not planning a six month trip to Russia? Aside from befriending a few Russian expats,  YouTube can be the next best thing in terms of language immersion.
I have posted articles on this subject before. Also, we already covered a lot of Russian movies you can watch. For this post I put together a list of popular Russian TV shows. The key is to find something that resonates with you, something you would gladly watch in English. Fortunately, there are many episodes of each show on YouTube, so don’t give up to quickly or to easily. The more you watch and listen, the better you become at recognizing and picking out words and phrases. And another thing, don’t get hung up on the absence of subtitles. You can still benefit by watching or at least half-watching videos or TV shows in Russian. 

For those who are avid TV show watchers already, here are a few Russian versions of popular American shows. I believe these shows do not require explanation :-).

  1. Кто хочет стать миллионером (Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire)
  2. Поле чудес (Wheel of Fortune)

  3. Последний герой (Survivor)

If you are into fashion and relationships, you might like the following show.

4. Модный приговор (Fashion Verdict)

Those who are into shows about relationships and dating (these are great vocabulary builders, by the way), might want to try the shows below.

  1. Давай поженимся (Let’s Get Married)

  2. Пусть говорят (Let Them Talk)

  3. Мужское/Женское (His and Hers, implying point of view)

    The intellectuals or people whose Russian is already advanced might want to try this show. This is a game show in which a team of very smart people try to answer really tricky questions.

  4. Что? Где Когда? (What? When? Where?)

    If want to learn more about Russian celebrities from their own mouths, the show below is your best bet. This show is also a great vocabulary builder. It almost makes you feel like you came to somebody’s house for a cup of tea and some nice stories.

  5. Пока все дома (While Everyone is at Home)

    If you are like me – a little nutty about nutritious food and home remedies – you will definitely like this show.

  6. Пища богов (Food of the Gods)

    For those who are into mysterious events, strange things of all kinds, new approaches to old things, magic, etc. the shows below will be of interest.

  7. Странное дело (Strange Thing)

  8. Тайны Мира (World’s Secrets)

    Last on my list is a show about how to be a better, smarter consumer. It gives you useful tips on what to look for when shopping for certain products or services in Russia; it teaches you how to avoid being taken advantage of and how make the best choice even when choices are limited.

  9. Среда обитания (Life Environment).

    This is all I have so far. As usual, feel free to add to the list in the comment section!

    Всего хорошего!

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About the Author: Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u


  1. BR:

    Which shows do you recommend for a beginner?

    I enjoy watching shows like Танцы со звездами (Dancing with the Stars) and Ледниковый период (Dancing on Ice). You can follow the dances and scores even without knowing any of the languages – it’s a good way to remember the numbers! Alas, the clip packages are hard to follow because they talk so fast.

    There is a show called “Extra” on youtube that’s broadcast in French, Spanish, and German, a little sitcom specifically for beginners with very simple language and subtitles (in the language you’re learning). I’ve always looked for something like this in Russian, but I don’t think it exists. I settle on watching dubs of movies that were originally in English whose plot I know very well.

    • Jenya:

      @BR Boldrestless 🙂 thanks a lot for your feedback. As far my recommendation for beginners, I still think it is more important to focus on topics/ideas that you like than ease of vocabulary. If you can’t decide on what you like, пока все дома might be worth a try.

  2. Bobbi:

    This is an excellent post. I visited the Russian “Wheel of Fortune” on YouTube and broke out laughing when the show started with a beautiful but tubby-looking Russian version of Vanna White opening the show in song and dance. Thanks so much!