1670 Season 1 Review – A fun ride that quickly loses its charm

Season 1

 

 

Episode Guide

The Assembly
The Estate
Spring
Equality March
The Plague
The Duel
The Hunt
The Wedding

 

Comedy is one of the hardest genres to write for. Perhaps more so now than in any other era, writers need to be super careful not to write themselves into a corner, or alienate people with jokes that either offend or don’t land. It’s certainly not an easy job and for a global platform like Netflix, which tailors for people across the globe, that job is made all the harder.

1670 then is perhaps a casualty of its own self-awareness in that respect. The anachronistic comedy is quite good but it’s never to the level of something like What We Do In The Shadows, nor does it fully embrace its own premise and characters like something akin to Plebs. Instead, what we get is a show that feels like a one-note joke repeated across 8 episodes. At times, it lands quite well and subverts expectations. Other times, it really doesn’t and those episodes do become somewhat of a mission to get through.

The story is set in 1670 where we follow fourth-wall breaking Jan Adamczewski, who’s joined by his eccentric family as they eke out a living in a small village. Living as a nobleman, Jan’s job is made all the more difficult by arch-nemesis Andrzej. The two butt heads constantly across the season, before a very important twist sees the pair join for the finale in dramatic fashion.

Along the way, we also learn more about Jan’s family members too. There’s outspoken activist Aniela who campaigns for climate change, equality and everything in between. She also finds herself in the middle of her family feud. You see, Jan and his wife Zofia don’t exactly see eye to eye. On anything.

Finally, rounding out the family is Jakub, who feuds with his sister and, in one such episode, sets out to sabotage his sister to get all the inheritance plot for himself. Each episode essentially serves as a bottle plot, while also progressing the family feud and the issue between Andrjez and Jan.

It’s all rather simple stuff but the show does go some way to mix things up. There’s a pretty funny scene in episode 2 involving the village drunk Jedrula, which has a nice little pay-off at the end. Similarly, the blending of old and new ideals together, anachronistically blending them together into one comedy is probably the highlight of this show, although as mentioned before there’s not enough variation to really feel like it pulls it off as effectively as it could have done.

Early on, there’s a joke that looks like the show is really going to lean into dark, sadistic humour and commentate and poke fun of the ideas prevalent in 1670. Instead, that earlier quip about the show being self-aware rears its head time and again, with jokes that aren’t strong enough to make this memorable or stand out. It’s like the show doesn’t quite want to pull the trigger and really shock audiences, but the stand-alone plots aren’t unique or strong enough to carry the show on its own.

Like a good joke that’s told too often, 1670 soon loses its charm and allure. We’ve seen comedies like this before but 1670 doesn’t match up to many of them and stand out. It’s a fun ride while it lasts, but it’s definitely not a good binge-watch. The jokes do feel a bit one-note at times and there’s not quite enough here to make for an outstanding comedy. It’s worth checking out a few eps but if you’re not sold, you’re unlikely to stick it out until the end.


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  • Verdict - 5.5/10
    5.5/10
5.5/10

9 thoughts on “1670 Season 1 Review – A fun ride that quickly loses its charm”

  1. This is a really clever and funny show. It’s a shame it was reviewed by someone who had no understanding of Polish language or culture.

    It’s a skilful blend of modern Poland set in 1670. Even his name „John Paul” is to make fun of Catholicism in Poland. The references to Zofia and her affair. Their entire break up scene was fantastic and hilarious.

    The jokes are terribly translated or misinterpreted. Some are dropped completely. The reviewer makes no mention of this because it’s clear a lot of the content in this show just went right over his head.

    Tip: If you are going to review a foreign language show, at least make an effort to understand the country’s history and politics.

  2. Problematic is translation too. I’ve watched only teaser in english and I can tell, that many jokes were dropped or mishandled due to political correctness. Ofcaurse some idioms can not be translated no matter in which direction. Every language has it’s own idioms, and in this show most of jokes are build over playing with vocabulary, so it is almost imporssible to translate with same amount of laughing potential. It is shame, that this briliant show can not be fully appreciated by any foreign viewers with no knowledge of polish language.

  3. Bo po polsku to brzmi lepiej. Wystarczy włączyć sobie po angielsku, i posłuchać jak kest mówione. Niestaty nie ma już tego zaakcetowanego polotu. Jak np. ubogi szlachcic- sarmata pyta opętaną- Co żeś jadła ? A po angielsku: she ate some poison food. No to jak to ma być śmieszne. Jest wtórne. Albo jak HL pyta Andrzeja coś tam, i mówi Jędrzej. A ten Andrzej czy Jędrzej- obojętne. Nawiązanie do Dudy i Trumpa. Jest tego cała masa. Jak z dżumą, i pakietem ochronnym. Dobre kino !

  4. the writing is wonderfully done with lots of clever lines and satire laughing off Polish vices and its history. You’re simply not cut out to appreciate it since you lack in knowledge about all the references that it’s packed with — all the social and political issues in modern Poland. Plus, the language as others mentioned. Just don’t criticise without acknowledging these issues

  5. If you’re not Polish don’t watch this show because you won’t get it (but also please don’t write clueless reviews of it). This show is really a social satire of modern rural Poland. Everything is there: the neighbourly fewds, the embarassing ignorance of politicians, the Catholic church, xenophibia, anti-semitism, alcoholism, family, and a lot more. But instead of being just another satire it’s set at the height of the Polish golden age, which is a genius move IMO. The quip about Poland being the greatest country in the world is actually true in the sense that in 1670 Poland-Lithuania was a European super power but it’s also mocking the modern-day politicians who take themselves a little too seriously.

  6. I think it’s hilarious and I’m really enjoying it – the sets are gorgeous and the acting is terrific – way more sophisticated than most of the slop that’s out there – some of the episodes are outrageously funny…the one where Jan wields his sword over the head of a servant is a complete stitch…

  7. Indeed there are many references to the Polish history and literature that are impossible to translate (example about the horse – Kon jaki jest każdy widzi.). For me the whole scene about climate change in 380 years or “neobaroque music” was hilarious.

  8. Hey Zbigniew I completely agree actually. There were some genuine laugh out loud moments in this and I did enjoy some of the episodes. I think you’re right re. the language and can imagine the jokes will land a lot more effectively in Poland.

    Thanks for commenting and for reading the review!

    -greg W

  9. English language cannot handle some of Polish idioms or metaphors. Historical content is essential. If you were polish speaker you would definitely give at least one Star more.

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