This paper analyses the cultural relevance of the popular Polish 1970s series Czterdziestolatek (‘The Forty Year Old’). It aspires to reconstruct both public discourses about the episodes produced during socialism and the reception of a new season after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Furthermore, the concept of the mnemonic imagination (Keightley and Pickering) will be applied to memory and nostalgia about the series. The study argues that this Polish ‘media-friend’ (Meyrowitz) went through three overlapping reception-phases: a critical public discourse and extreme popularity among the audience during socialism, the lack of enthusiasm for the post-socialist season and finally the programme’s establishment among historical televisual documents that are perceived as Polish cultural heritage.

Poland, Nostalgia, Television Series, Mnemonic Imagination, Media Friends
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
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VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 2, No 3 (2013): European Television Memories; 88-98

Bloch, Kinga. (2013). The Life and Afterlife of a Socialist Media Friend: On the Longterm Cultural Relevance of the Polish TV Series Czterdziestolatek. VIEW Journal, 2(3), 88–98. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2013.jethc035