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- Masyanya (Масяня Masânâ; real name Maria) - The title character and the eponymous heroine in her twenties who lives in an apartment in St. Petersburg. Masyanya has an oval-shaped head and always wears a miniskirt and a shirt with a bare midriff.
- Hryundel (Хрюндель Hrûndelʼ, a derivative from Russian verb meaning "to grunt"; real name Alexander) - Masyanya's rather dense, good-natured, overall-clad boyfriend.
- Lokhmaty (Лохматый Lohmatıĭ, Russian for "Shaggy"; real name Anton) - their friend, a pudgy and care-free drummer.
- Fyodorovna (Фёдоровна Fëdorovna) - Masyanya's mother. Given name and occupation are unknown. She is divorced.
- Lyaska (Ляська Lâs'ka; real name Olga) - a girl from Moscow and Masyanya's friend.
- Sanyok (Санёк Sanëk, real name Alexander) - homeless in a green sweater, who lives in the basement of Masyanya's house
- Dyadya Badya (Дядя Бадя Dâdâ Badâ) - son of Masyanya and Hryundel.
- Chuchunya (Чучуня Čučunâ) - daughter of Masyanya and Hryundel.
- Grisha Chaynikov (Гриша Чайников Griša Čaĭnikov) - music producer.
- Kolobukhin - stupid bass guitar player
A typical Masyanya episode is only a few minutes long. Each .swf episode weighed 170-400KB (some weighed 3MB), and consists mainly of sarcastic (and frequently absurd) commentary on contemporary Russian life. Some of the most popular episodes include one in which Masyanya and Hryundel' snicker and later hysterically laugh while Hryundel' is recording a jingle on the radio; another involves a sexual encounter made impossible by the lack of "shtuchki" (thingies), while yet another involves the two main characters exchanging a series of increasingly awful gifts, including a horse-shaped piñata and a bag of green cats.
The episodes are generally loosely connected and the characters initially did not age. For most of the episodes, no particular sequence or storyline could be established until recently as Masyanya and Hryundel now have two kids Uncle Badya and Chuchun. They can be watched in any order, but some episodes lose a great deal of their charm if one isn't familiar with at least some of the series history.
Russian pop songs are often used in the soundtracks of episodes. Several episodes are, in essence, music videos set to a particular song.
Masyanya's popularity is rapidly growing on both sides of the Atlantic. In Russia, Masyanya made the move from the Internet to television and can now be seen on several cartoons and talk shows, although its popularity is mainly supported by the Internet. In Germany, translations are being made of some of the more popular episodes. In the United States, Masyanya has become an integral feature of the Middlebury College Summer Russian Language Program in Vermont.