The first post-1989 rerun of the 1970s television series Třicet případů majora Zemana (‘The Thirty Cases of Major Zeman,’ or in short ‘Major Zeman’) in the Czech Republic generated a heated controversy in the media. This article will examine why Major Zeman became such a contested topic and presents an analysis of responses to the series. The paper suggests that the rescreening consolidated a particular ‘retro’ reception of the series, which reappropriates socialist popular culture and ascribes it with an ostensibly apolitical, postmodern, ironic sensibility. The paper will consider how such a response can be reconciled with more explicitly political approaches to the series, arguing that retro has a political agenda of its own.

Major Zeman, Czechoslovak television, Retro, Television reruns, Post-socialist nostalgia
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 3, No 5 (2014); 100-107

Pehe, Veronika. (2014). Retro Reappropriations. Responses to The Thirty Cases of Major Zeman in the Czech Republic. VIEW Journal, 3(5), 100–107. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2014.jethc060