18 January 2016 | bruce3
Pleasing, light soap opera about a Russian rock band whose members are high school girls.
Ranetki is a light soap opera about a group of Russian high school girls who form a rock band. These comments pertain to the first season only. Most of the story is either set in the high school or the apartments where the girls live with their parent(s). Aside from the girls, most of the other roles are classmates, parents, or school staff. The central character is Anya, who also adds some voice-over narration. Although the girls are band members, there is very little of their music in each episode.
This review is from an American's perspective, based on a viewing of the subtitled Season 1. Although the series has various shortcomings, I still found most episodes enjoyable and worthwhile. The five girls have different appealing personalities, all of the other regular cast members are likable, and some elements of Russian daily life seem exotic. There are a few sparkling lines of dialogue.
The series does have flaws, including production values reminiscent of U.S. 1960's TV shows. There are also too-lengthy transition shots, implausible audience exuberance at band performances, and contrived story arcs. This is not a series to be binge-watched over a weekend, but an episode per day works fine.
If Americans are considering watching this series, I would recommend first watching the web video of Ranetki performing the classic Shocking Blue song, "Venus", in English. That would be a nice introduction, instead of just viewing the series cold.