The Best Polish TV Series of Recent Years – TOP 20 Productions

There have been many really good Polish series in recent years. Definitely dominant among them are crime productions, but there are also comedy and morality items. However, lovers of Polish reality can certainly not complain about the lack of interesting proposals on streaming platforms. Both Netflix and HBO or CANAL+ offer engaging stories with interesting characters and gripping plot twists. On the other hand, the special value of Polish series of recent years is their charming small homelands. Podlasie, Pomerania, Wrocław, Warsaw, Masuria or the Bieszczady Mountains come to life on the screen with all their scenery and unique atmosphere, evoking sentiment and even allowing us to take a slightly different look at seemingly well-known and beloved regions. Here is our selection of the best Polish series of recent years.

The best Polish TV series

1. “Raven” (“Kruk”, 2018)

Best polish series of recent years - Raven

The first item on our list of the best Polish series of recent years – the sensational “Raven“. CANAL+ production lived to see three seasons, and each of them turned out to be equally interesting. Criminal intrigue, which leads the main character from Lodz to his native Podlasie, engages the viewer as much as the mystery inherent in the title character. Commissioner Adam Kruk decides to return to unfinished cases from the past and settle old scores. At the same time, he investigates the disappearance of a young boy from a very influential family.

As the detective plot evolves, so does Raven’s personal story. The sensational role of Michal Zurawski deserves superlatives alone. It’s an almost mesmerizing, wildly authentic and painfully moving performance, the likes of which we haven’t seen in Polish cinema in a long time. One of the best written and conceived paternal roles of recent years. Katarzyna Wajda also does a great job as Raven’s wife. And a separate place in the series is occupied by the magical Podlasie – a land of whisperers, roadside crosses, monumental Orthodox churches and tiny wooden cottages.

2. “High Water” (“Wielka woda”, 2022)

Best new polish series - High Water

The second place in our ranking of the best Polish series went to “High Water“. This is one of the most talked about Netflix productions in Poland in 2022. Here we have the story of the Polish flood of the century, dressed in the convention of a thriller. Almost hour by hour we follow the course of events preceding the arrival of the great wave that flooded Wroclaw in July 1997. The main character of the series is a European hydrology specialist Jasmina Tremer called to the city because of the crisis situation. The modern woman, who, as it turns out, had a strong connection to Wroclaw in the past and left her family here, is a kind of counterpoint to the Polish mentality of the 1990s.

Agnieszka Zulewska’s sensational role does not allow you to tear yourself away from the screen even for a moment. Her personal fate, personality and peculiar exoticism revealed in the clash with the reality of those years make an electrifying impression. Incredibly, Anna Dymna comes off as the main character’s mother, a once wildly popular opera singer who tries to drown her personal dramas in overeating. Also worth noting are the creations of Tomasz Schuchardt, Ireneusz Czop and, of course, the irreverent Jerzy Trela.

3. “Angel of Death” (“Angel of Death”, 2020 – 2024)

Best Polish TV series - Angel of Death

This is definitely one of the best Polish series. “Angel of Death” as a crime production reverses the traditional order of the genre, almost at the outset revealing who is the serial killer committing ritual crimes against young religious girls. However, this does not mean that the series loses anything of its thriller vibe because of this. On the contrary, the double nature of the killer, his convoluted motives and the logic behind his actions prove to be as much of a fractious puzzle as the investigation itself.

In the leading roles in “Angel of Death” we will see two excellent actors, Maciej Stuhr and Aleksandra Poplawska. It can be said that they form a truly “explosive couple” à rebours on the screen. The supporting characters do not disappoint either. Bartosz Gelner, Anna Cieslak or Miroslaw Zbrojewicz are characters that are great to watch and enrich the plot with originally conceived personal threads.

4. “Feedback” (“Informacja zwrotna”, 2023)

polish Tv series - Feedback

The series with Arkadiusz Jakubik in the role of a former rocker and alcoholic is undoubtedly one of the best Polish productions of recent years. Netflix presented a coherent, attractive to the viewer and at the same time deeply moving story of a man who has to face an extremely difficult situation. Namely, one day it turns out that the adult son of Marcin Kania (for that is the name of the character played by Jakubik) disappears without a trace. Unfortunately, the father, who spent the evening before the disappearance with his son, does not remember anything. His amnesia is brightened only by scraps of memories. Should he give them credence and follow this trail?

Feedback” draws you in from the first scene and doesn’t let you abandon the protagonist until the last episode. In flashbacks stretching over many years, we learn about the dynamics of the changes in Martin’s family due to his growing alcoholism. In fact, the narrative here runs on two tracks: on the level of the investigation and on the family level. The series is an original study of destructive addiction.

5. “The Border” (“Wataha”, 2014)

polish series on hbo - the Border

This is already a classic of the Polish series, which has earned its faithful circle of enthusiasts. Set in the Bieszczady Mountains, this tale of Polish border guards is sure to be liked. Especially by those who love the region and can immerse themselves in memories of their own expeditions, traversing the wild Bieszczady trails with the characters. The majestic Solina and the vast expanses of forests portrayed in every season are a pleasure in themselves. The main character of “The Border” Viktor Rebrov (played by Leszek Lichota), a Border Guard officer, miraculously avoids death in a bomb attack on his unit. In the blown-up house, where the meeting of the polish title “wataha” took place, the protagonist’s beloved, Ewa (Julia Pogrebinskaya), dies. Rebrov then swears that he will do everything to find those responsible for this crime.

“The Border” lived to see three seasons. I personally, however, am a fan of the first one. The subsequent ones, unfortunately, disappointed me a bit, especially when it comes to the development of the protagonist. While initially he was the one who most strongly engaged the viewer, in subsequent series Aleksandra Poplawska in the role of a beautiful and capable lady prosecutor seems to have come to the fore. However, fans of nighttime chases, meddling plots and mafia stories will certainly not be disappointed. And “The Border” itself undoubtedly remains among the top of good Polish series.

6. “1670” (2023)

polish series on netflix - 1670

This is a big surprise among domestic TV productions, for not only is “1670” a comedy proposition, but also in a historical mask. This risky idea, however, succeeded brilliantly, because the production is watched lightly, from episode to episode becoming more immersed in the world depicted on the screen. The series is set in the 17th century, and the plot depicts the fate of the noble Adamczewski family. The head of the family is a certain John Paul, who intends to secure the future of his children, so each of them is expected to fulfill a life task planned for them in advance. Jakub (Michal Sikorski) becomes a priest, Aniela (Martyna Byczkowska) should marry the son of a magnate, and Stanislaw (Michal Balicki) should marry a maiden with property.

The series is an excellent satire, in which both 17th-century and contemporary Polishness is viewed in a distorting mirror. We see here a set of our national vices and sharp class divisions. All this, however, is laced with light humor, taken from our everyday language. The whole is complemented by excellent actors, among whom the main roles went to Bartlomiej Topa and Katarzyna Herman.

7. “Klangor” (2021)

polish series canal plus - Klangor

Another series on our list with an excellent role by Arkadiusz Jakubik. In “Klangor,” as in “Feedback,” the actor plays the role of a father who is searching for a missing child. Rafal Wejman is a prison psychologist raising two adolescent daughters. He lives a disjointed life between his seaside town and Sweden, where his nurse wife (Maja Ostaszewska) works. While the protagonist spends a weekend with his spouse across the Baltic Sea, one of the girls, Gabrysia (Matylda Giegzno), goes missing. It soon turns out that her boyfriend, who spent the fateful evening with her, is found dead. So the family must do everything to win the race against time and find Gabi.

“Klangor” is another series that fits into the poetics of small homelands. Indeed, its setting is the vast coastal landscapes and wild, unexplored Baltic islands. These cinematic landscapes speak with their ambiguous charm: as beautiful as they are dangerous. The personal investigation becomes more and more dramatic, and the whole family must be put to the test. Will it maintain unity in the face of crisis?

8. “The Mire” (“Rojst”, 2018 – 2024)

best polish television series - The Mire

This is also a classic of the Polish series. The plot of the first season of “The Mire” is set in the mid-1980s. One day, two bodies are found in a forest near a town in western Poland: a prostitute and a local Communist Party activist. The case becomes the focus of two journalists from the “Evening Courier”. Witold Wanycz (Andrzej Seweryn) and Piotr Zarzycki (Dawid Ogrodnik), conducting their own investigation, arrive at increasingly shocking and dangerous leads. On the other hand, the second season, starring Magdalena Różdzka and Lukasz Simlat, is set in 1997 just after the great flood.

“The Mire” is a crime series with an extremely dark atmosphere in tune with the title swamp. The dark color scheme, as well as the closed, labyrinthine interiors of nightclubs, the forest, suspicious narrow streets create the world depicted as a hostile and ambush-prone space. Jan Holoubek, the director of this production, is certainly a master of mysterious atmosphere.

9. “Zmijowisko” (2019)

polish television series - Zmijowisko

In our list of the best Polish series of recent years, “Zmijowisko” could not be missing. This is an original proposal with a truly surprising finale, which remains in the memory for a long time. The plot of the production is set mainly in Mazury, in a tourist farm called Żmijowisko. A group of thirty-somethings decides to spend their vacation together at this summer resort. However, the paradisiacal idyll on a beautiful lake quickly turns into a festival of resentments and misunderstandings from the past. Fun is thus mixed with resentment, jealousy and reproaches. One morning it turns out that the teenage daughter of one of the couple: Arek (Paweł Domagała) and Kamila (Agnieszka Żulewska) disappears without a trace. Thus begins a feverish search.

“Zmijowisko” has to offer beautiful Masurian landscapes, interesting characters and surprising intrigue. The climate of the thriller is lightened by the holiday atmosphere, and mysteries from the distant past are intertwined with current problems. It is certainly worth spending a few evenings on this production, which constantly plays with the viewer’s anticipation. After all, the finale will surprise everyone anyway.

10. “The Teacher” (“Belfer”, 2016 – 2023)

polish tv series to watch online - the teacher

This CANAL+ series belongs to the canon of Polish productions. Polish language teacher Paweł Zawadzki (Maciej Stuhr) moves from Warsaw to a small town to get a job at the local high school. However, it quickly turns out that the real reason for his arrival is the shocking yet mysterious murder case of one of the high school girls. Her corpse is found in the woods at the end of the summer vacation. Both the girl’s parents and friends are trying to deal with the tragedy. But why does the teacher want to solve the mystery of her death?

The first season of “The Teacher” is a great, gripping production with an idea and excellent execution. In subsequent series, however, the series’ strengths are diluted. The last one, the third season, comes off particularly poorly. The creation of the main character begins to offend with stiffness, and many of his life choices balance on the border between drama and kitsch. “The Teacher”, however, is worth seeing, a must-see for all lovers of Polish productions.

11. “The Thaw” (“Odwilż”, 2022)

2020s polish tv series - the thaw

A surprisingly good Polish crime series, in which the leading character is a woman, commissioner Katarzyna Zawieja. The police investigator is working to explain the case of finding the corpse of a young woman. Everything indicates that the woman was just after giving birth. However, the newborn disappears without a trace and it is not known if she is alive. The young detective is a traumatized single mother who becomes extremely personally involved in the investigation. Will she manage to find the baby before another tragedy occurs?

“The Thaw” is an interestingly tailored series, but it has one structural flaw: an eminently ambiguous ending that will not satisfy everyone. Nevertheless, the rest of the elements played out superbly. The excellent Katarzyna Wajda creates a character that can be counted among the great Polish female heroines of strong character and sensitive nature. Boguslaw Linda also comes off very well, as a tough prosecutor who has to face the death of his beloved daughter.

12. “The Convict” (“Skazana”, 2021)

top polish tv series - The Convict

“The Convict” is a story that guides the viewer through the nooks and crannies of Polish prisons and the paradoxes of the justice system. The story is all the more moving because it is based on facts. The basis of the screenplay was the book “Condemned” by Ewa Ornacka, and the main role was played by Agata Kulesza. The actress played a judge who is falsely accused of murder and is sent to prison. Staying in the same cell with the women she previously sentenced to prison is a traumatic and at the same time deadly experience. However, the heroine learns the rules of life in confinement and begins to cope with this absurd situation.

In 2023, Bartosz Konopka’s series was awarded a Telekamera. Three seasons of the production were filmed, and the creation of Alicja Mazur, played by Agata Kulesza, became extremely recognizable. “The Convict” shows the acute crisis of the Polish justice system, as well as a man in a trying situation who can count on no institutional support.

13. “The Disappearance” (“Chyłka”, 2018 – 2022)

20 top polish tv series - the disappearance

The ranking of the best Polish series must also include “Disappearance”, based on the novel by Remigiusz Mroz. Attorney Joanna Chyłka takes on a complicated case. Namely, she becomes a lawyer for a married couple accused of doing harm to their several-year-old daughter, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. In the next three seasons, Ms. Counselor faces other, equally interesting mysteries.

The series features a fine cast headed by Magdalena Cielecka. It is, of course, on the performer of the title character that the entire burden of the production rests, and she is credible in her role. The creation of the uncompromising lawyer has certainly enriched the professional emploi of this actress and she has become one of its iconic heroines. Filip Plawiak, Katarzyna Warnke and Michal Zurawski also appear on screen.

14. “The Office PL” (2021)

best polish tv shows - the office pl

This Polish version of the American award-winning series came out quite decently. The plot is set in Siedlce in the office of a mineral water company called Kropliczanka. Subsequent episodes introduce us not only to the rules of the corporation, which are full of funny paradoxes, but also allow us to meet a whole gallery of comical characters. They, played by great actors, become the driving force of the entire production. Adam Woronowicz, Milena Lisiecka, Vanessa Aleksander, Kornelia Strzelecka are names that deserve special mention.

The filmmakers managed to implement the idea on Polish ground. So there are funny jokes about corporate reality, playing with various stereotypes, a bit of politics, and even references to the reality of the People’s Republic of Poland. All in all, the short episodes of “The Office PL” are watched lightly and pleasantly, and the whole thing works as ordinary entertainment.

15. “Blinded by the Lights” (“Ślepnąc od świateł”, 2018)

These are the best polish TV series - blinded by the lights

Serial adaptation of the bestselling novel by Jakub Żulczyk. A few days in the life of a drug dealer who sells goods to the spoiled elite of the Polish capital: businessmen, celebrities and politicians. Kuba (Kamil Nozynski), aware that his operation is becoming increasingly dangerous, decides to get out of the business and leave for Spain. However, he still has some business to attend to. Meanwhile, a former Pruszkow mafia boss, a certain Dario, who has just been released from prison, shows up in Warsaw. The eccentric and deadly gangster gets in the way of Kuba’s boss, Jack (Robert Więckiewicz).

The acclaimed series “Blinded by the Lights” retains the dark atmosphere of a seasoned thriller, but has some shortcomings. The biggest one, unfortunately, is the lead actor, who looks good, but in terms of acting doesn’t have much to offer. This is in contrast to Jan Frycz in the role of Dario. If one is familiar with this creation in the actor’s oeuvre, he will certainly not be disappointed. After all, the screen Dario is a masterpiece in itself, and his diabolical lyrics, delivered with extraordinary ease, have permanently entered pop culture. My favorite: “well I don’t like you.”

16. “Emigration XD” (“Emigracja XD”, 2023)

great polish tv series - emigration xd

Another comedy proposal in our list of the best Polish series – “Emigration XD”. The narrator of this story is a twenty-something boy, Malcolm, who, together with his best buddy Stomil, decides to try his luck abroad. So they set off for Great Britain, where Malcolm’s cousin lives and works. Both on the journey and when they get there, they encounter a series of amusing adventures. The series thus amusingly develops the popular and subject of endless jokes theme of “Poles abroad.”

Malcolm is played by Tomasz Włosok, known, among others, from the film “How I Fell in Love with a Gangster.” Stomil, on the other hand, was played by Michal Balicki. Both actors performed very well, fitting into the light atmosphere of the production. Plot-wise, the series is somewhat reminiscent of “Londoners” from years ago, although with a decidedly comedic tinge. If you treat it with a pinch of salt, it watches quite well.

17. “The Woods” (“W głębi lasu”, 2020)

polish criminal tv series - The Woods

Polish serial adaptation of the prose of Harlan Coben, which is followed by another production “Hold Tight” (2022). One night prosecutor Pawel Kopinski is called to a case of an unidentified body of a man fished out of the Vistula River. Kopinski unexpectedly recognizes in the denizen his friend, who decades earlier disappeared without a trace along with his sister. Coursing through the meanders of the prosecutor’s memories and current events, we gradually learn the mystery of the forest where Paul’s youth ended forever.

The series is worth watching for the interestingly portrayed Polish realities. A summer camp on a beautiful lake in the early 1990s can evoke sentiment in those who grew up in those days. Well-reproduced historical realities: fashion, interior design, music is something that the creators of “The Woods” certainly succeeded in. Both young and mature actors rose to the occasion. The always beautiful Agnieszka Grochowska impresses and creates an attractive screen couple with Grzegorz Damięcki. The criminal intrigue itself is a little less passionate, but at a decent level.

18. “Murderesses” (“Morderczynie”, 2023)

best polish tv criminal series - murderesses

Polish crime series, in which, in keeping with the title, women are in the foreground. The main character of “Murderesses” is Karolina (Maja Pankiewicz), a young policewoman trying to match the legend of her missing father, a retired police commissioner. The woman faces simultaneously a mysterious case of murder in a den on one of the apartment blocks and a family drama. Subsequent surprising twists completely change the initial optics of events.

In “Murderesses” most happens in the space of female relationships. There is the seemingly defenseless mother (played by the excellent Izabela Kuna), who in a crisis situation shows extraordinary strength. There are her two daughters competing for the father’s favor: the delicate Ewa (Eliza Rycel) and the strong, somewhat masculine Karolina (a very good performance by Pankiewicz). And finally there is Jagoda (Zuzanna Mikolajczyk), a girl whom the main character meets by chance while working on a murder case. Love, devotion, sacrifice, but also merciless manipulation are the shades of the female bonds depicted in the series. In turn, women’s solidarity occupies a special place here, as it turns out to be both a real value and a buzzword that is often used for very unholy purposes.

19. “A Minute of Silence” (“Minuta ciszy”, 2022)

top polish tv series - a minute of silence

The popular Polish series “A Minute of Silence” is a production made in the convention of black humor. The plot is set in the environment of morticians and funeral parlors, as the main character of the series is a certain Mietek Zasada (Robert Więckiewicz), who in accidental circumstances enters the funeral business. A retired letter carrier from a small town is forced to start a business in funeral services when all establishments refuse to bury his friend Czeslaw (Miroslaw Zbrojewicz). The series has features of social satire and quite well conceived characters and the world presented.

It can appeal because of its specific black humor. Personally, however, I stopped watching at the episode where “A Minute of Silence” exceeded my personal limits of tolerance. The travesty of the theme of the death of a child is far too much for me. But mothers apparently have it that way.

20. “Infamy” (“Infamia”, 2023)

Top polish tv shows - Infamy

One of the few Polish morality series. “Infamy” is the story of a young girl of Roma origin, Gita, who, after many years of living with her parents in the UK, returns to Poland with her parents and brother. This involves huge changes for the whole family. Gita has to fit into the unfamiliar traditions of the Gypsy clan, which greatly interferes with her personal dreams. The girl creates her own hip-hop music and lyrics, which she plans to present to the world in the future.

The main role is played by Zofia Jastrzebska, while her parents are played by Sebastian Lach and Magdalena Czerwinska. The plot idea is very interesting and stands out for its originality compared to other productions. Is the execution equally good? I personally was annoyed by the excessive saturation of the series with rap music, which, instead of commenting on events, often drowned them out. The Roma world, teeming with color, gold and glitter, while not ignoring the theme of an extremely patriarchal order, nevertheless seemed to me unnecessarily idealized and served to the viewer like a tasty cake to eat. As did the overly mentally mature heroine for her age. Still, the series is worth getting acquainted with.