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  1. I've never heard of "Rantabaari" before and apparently it's a soap from Finland. According to its wikipedia page, the show has had 3 seasons so far. The first 2 seasons were filmed in 2019 and the third season, which was filmed in early 2020, premiered last month. In terms of coronavirus infections, Finland has come off best of all European countries. I think they, Norway and Estonia (all 3 are nordic countries) have had the lowest numbers in relation to their population. But remember, Finland only has a population of 5.5 million and isn't densely populated while Germany has 83 million residents and has the same size as Finland
  2. TVNOW will release the first episode of the "Verbotene Liebe" reboot on November 23rd, 2020. Meanwhile, "Unter uns" will now also be using mannequins for love scenes ...
  3. I'm not 100% sure, but I think other than Adrienne Frantz, none of B&B's late 90s/early 2000s younger crowd appeared on another daytime soap. This includes: Justin Torkildsen (Rick) Mick Cain (C.J.) Ashley Lyn Cafagna (Kimberly) Jennifer Finnigan (Bridget) Marissa Tait (Becky) I don't think Carrie Mitchum (Donna Logan #1) had another soap role, either.
  4. Yesterday the German government has decided to impose even stricter rules for cities and regions with more than 50 new infections per 100.000 citizens during the last 7 days. For example, all restaurants and bars have to close at 11 pm, and once again, you can only meet a limited number of people at a time. There's been a heated debate about the so-called "Beherbergungsverbot" (which means something like accommodation ban) which some federal states introduced last week. This ban applies in half of our federal states (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein). This means that people from a coronavirus hotspot are not allowed to spend the night (i.e. staying in a hotel) in a different federal state. For example, since the whole city of Berlin (which is also a state on its own) is a hotspot, people from Berlin cannot book a holiday in the neighboring state of Brandenburg. You can bypass this rule if you have a negative test result which must not be older than 48 hours. However, this ban also doesn't come into force if you stay with friends or relatives. You can also go on a shopping trip to a different state as long as you don't stay overnight. It doesn't make much sense. Meanwhile, this ad from the tourism campaign "Visit Berlin" has gone viral. The caption reads: "Up yours to those who don't wear a mask -- we obey the corona rules. #berlinagainstcorona". https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/berlin-coronavirus-ad-finger/index.html Almost all European countries are completely or at least partially considered as corona risk areas by the German government. You are strongly advised not to travel to these places. If you do so nevertheless, you have to take a test once you return and have to self-quarantine until you have received a negative result. With a positive result, you have to stay in quarantine for 14 days (as has been the case since March). The only countries that are completely regarded as "safe" are: Cyprus Greece Finland Italy Latvia Malta Poland Sweden Norway There are partial risk areas in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (mostly the capital cities and their surrounding areas). Countries that are regarded as complete risk areas are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine. In all of our neighboring countries, the situation is worsening by the day: The Netherlands have imposed even stricter rules: Restaurants and bars will be closed for 4 weeks, alcohol must not be sold after 8 pm, households can only invite 3 visitors per day, use of public transport is only allowed if really necessary, and you have to wear a face mask in every public space. Apparently, the health system in the major cities is close to collapsing 😕 France has enforced a ban on going out during nighttime in all major cities. Czech Republic, which only has one-tenth of our population, has had higher numbers of new infections than us for the last couple of days. In Denmark, Copenhagen and its surrounding area is considered a hotspot. Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Poland and Belgium are suffering as well.
  5. Some news from Germany: We had quite a strict lockdown in March/April/May, but the number of new cases was really low during the summer months and restrictions were gradually lifted, so that basically only large events with more than 1000 visitors such as concerts were forbidden. Nightclubs were also not allowed to open, and private parties such as weddings have a guest limit (which is different in each federal state). However, even though the number of cases is still quite low compared to most other European countries, there has been a significant rise in recent days (4500 new cases today). The most affected age group is young people between 20 and 29 because they kept on partying and travelled abroad during the summer months. However, there have also been large outbreaks from Turkish weddings (that lasted a few days) and other private parties. If a region or city has more than 50 new infections per 100.000 citizens, they need to tighten their restrictions. Big cities like Berlin, Munich, Bremen and Frankfurt have already put more restrictions in place: No alcohol in public places, stores, bars and restaurants have to close at 11 pm, and in some cities you have to wear a mask everywhere. I was in Berlin 2 weeks ago, and the city is literally dead. There are no tourists, and all you can do is shopping and going to a restaurant. Cologne just introduced similar measures, and the new rules will become effective tomorrow: Only five people are allowed to meet in public. You are not allowed to drink alcohol in public from 10 pm onwards (in Germany, drinking alcohol in public has always been allowed). Alcohol must not be sold in highly frequented spaces ("partying hot spots"). Restaurants and bars remain open. In addition to every indoor location and public transport, you also have to wear a face mask on the street. Entrance to stores will be restricted (one customer per 10 qm²). Inviting friends to your home is still allowed, but the city counsil advises you against doing so. Our mayor said in a press conference: "I call upon the common sense of all citizens of Cologne that you do not host any large parties. I ask you for this sincerely. We have to bring the surge to a stillstand." This will be a tough fall/winter.
  6. This is the the official promo for "SUNNY – Wer bist du wirklich?", GZSZ's highly promoted spin-off. The show debuts on October 1st, 2020. The first 2 episodes will be shown on RTL right after GZSZ, and the remaining episodes will be released on TVNOW Monday to Thursday. For Wolfgang Bahro's 60th birthday, TVNOW produced a documentary. Bahro has played Dr. Jo Gerner on GZSZ since 1993 and is the longest-serving actor on any German soap. In October, two new faces will appear in town: Jan Kittmann plays Tobias Evers, a handsome construction manager. He is a childhood friend of Nina's and applies for a job in Katrin's company. However, Tobias is said to have a dark secret. Kittmann first airs on October 21st, 2020. Birgit Würz joins the cast as Patrizia Araya, an older woman who Philip Höfer has a one-night-stand with. A few days later, it turns out that Patrizia Araya is no less than Patrizia Bachmann, John's mother (John and Philip are half-brothers as both have the same father). Swiss actress Christin Baechler played Patrizia Bachmann on contract from July 2001 to March 2003 and returned for a brief guest appearance in 2007. Patrizia is the mother of John, Ben and Lena Bachmann, the older sister of the late Senta Lemke, and the aunt of Sandra Lemke Ergün. After the supposed death of her husband Hannes, Patrizia and John moved to Berlin in 2001 where she was reunited with her sister. A while later, Patrizia's older son Ben also moved in with them. Patrizia fell in love with Jo Gerner and eventually married him, much to John's dismay. Shortly after the wedding, the presumed dead Hannes appeared in Berlin and tried to win his family back. Patrizia stayed with Jo, while Hannes started an affair with Senta which caused a huge rift between all family members. Eventually, Jo cheated on Patrizia with Katrin Flemming. Patrizia left Jo, spent a last night with Hannes, and quietly moved to South Africa. After Hannes and Senta had both died in a plane accident in 2007, Patrizia attended the funeral. She hasn't been mentioned since. This is not the first time that Birgit Würz plays a recast: On AWZ, she replaced original cast member Regine Seidler as Nadja Roschinski in 2008. She didn't last long, though, as the writers didn't know what to do with Nadja after the recast and she was gone within a few months. From 2010 to 2011, Würz played a main role on the telenovela "Rote Rosen".
  7. Lennart Betzgen, Livia Matthes, Frederik Götz, Heinz Hoenig & Stephanie Japp TVNOW has presented the full cast of the "Verbotene Liebe" reboot: Heinz Hoenig (a well-known film and television actor with a career spanning 40 years) plays Robert Verhoven, patriarch and owner of the fashion label "Verhoven" Stephanie Japp plays Eva Verhoven, Robert's wife Frederik Götz plays Alexander Verhoben, Robert and Eva's oldest son, founder of the fashion label "Greenlight" Sina Zadra plays Josefin Reinhard, a student and single mom of a daughter Anuschka Tochtermann plays Mia Ulrich, Josefin's best friend and owner of the alternative fashion store "Fräulein Grün" Livia Matthes plays Livia Verhoven, Robert and Eva's daughter, a fashion designer Lennart Betzgen plays Paul Verhoven, Robert and Eva's youngest son Asli Melisa Uzun plays Bobbi Atakan, a model and influencer of Turkish origin Martin Walde plays Finn Rogel, a carpenter and the father of Josefin's daughter Returning as their characters from the original series are ... Claudia Hiersche as Countess Carla von Lahnstein (contract: 2003-2009, recurring: 2010) – Carla was one of the most popular characters on the original show, mostly due to her powerful relationships with Hanna Novak, Susanne Brandner and Stella Mann. On the reboot, she is now an event organizer. Wolfram Grandezka as Count Ansgar von Lahnstein (contract: 2004-2015) – Ansgar, one of Carla's brothers, was the show's male villain. At the end of the original show, he went to prison and will now be released. Gabriele Metzger as Charlotte "Charlie" Schneider (contract: 1995-2015) – Charlie was the only character to stay on the original show for its entire run. The kind soul is still running her restaurant "Schneiders". Jo Weil as Oliver "Olli" Sabel (contract: 2000-2002; 2007-2014) – Charlie's gay nephew. He still works as a model. Isa Jank as Countess Clarissa von Anstetten (contract: 1995-2001; 2011-2013) – The show's original villain. More returns have been teased. Production will continue until October. Wolfram Grandezka, Claudia Hiersche, Gabriele Metzger & Jo Weil
  8. The Till recast on UU has now been made official: Constantin Lücke first airs as the new Till on September 24th, 2020. https://www.rtl.de/cms/bei-unter-uns-constantin-luecke-ist-der-neue-till-weigel-4610920.html On AWZ, there are 3 exits: Original cast member André Dietz (Ingo Zadek) departs the show after 14 years. Also out are Amrei Haardt (Nathalie Reichenbach) and – once again – Francisco Medina (Maximilian von Altenburg). Ania Niedieck (Isabelle Reichenbach) returns from her maternity leave on September 23rd.
  9. Well, Till is the last remaining original member of the Weigel family... and while Ben Ruedinger clearly isn't the best actor in the world, the character is needed on the canvas, so it's good that they decided to recast him. Rufus on the other hand hasn't been a viable in character in years and he should have exited years ago. When the Sturm family was introduced in 2003, they consisted of Rufus, his wife Ariane, his son René from a previous marriage, and Ariane and Rufus's daughter Romy. Rufus's backstory was that he worked as a writer of romance novels, using a female pseudonym. René was killed off in early 2006, Ariane departed a few months later, and Romy received a recast around the same time. She eventually left the show in 2009, so Rufus was left without a family. He was paired up with police officer Rebecca Mattern, until she was murdered in 2012. In the meantime, Rufus had fathered another daughter, Lotta, with a short-term character named Heidi. After a longer relationship with Anna Weigel (Till's younger sister), Rufus married Britta Schönfeld in 2018. Rufus leaves town with his daughter Lotta on September 9th, 2020. UU's tv ratings have hit rock bottom in recent weeks. However, UU is always among the 10 most streamed programs on TVNOW. GZSZ is usually #1, and AWZ is among the top 3.
  10. Well, Germany has one of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in Europe and compared to many other countries, the number of daily new cases in relation to the whole population is still quite low – even though there has been an increase lately, mostly due to people travelling to Southern Europe during the summer holidays. People now have to pay a fine if they don't wear masks in certain places, such as in stores or on public transport. All mass events have been cancelled until the end of the year, even our traditional Christmas Markets and the Carnival season cannot take place. Originally, the police had forbidden this demonstration, but since Germany is a democracy, some people went to court and the administrative court of Berlin decided that the demonstration could take place after all. The majority of the demonstrators were "normal" people (whose main problem seems to be that they don't want to wear masks), but as always, some right-wing nutcases and conspiracy theorists saw their chance to wreak havoc. If it wasn't coronavirus, they'd use any other chance to spread their hateful agenda.
  11. This is quite difficult to answer... I guess the most popular ones would be Jo, Katrin and Emily... followed by Felix, Nina, Erik, and maybe Sunny? A lot of the male characters – Leon, Paul, John and Philip – are characters who are just "there" and do not polarize. The women are more nuanced, but this has always been the case. Jonas isn't that bad... he works well as a supporting player in family storylines, and I also like him with Merle. I don't think there's an universally hated character on the canvas right now. I know the audience hated Leyla, Shirin and Nazan's cousin, who just departed the show, but she was only a guest role. On UU, it looks like veteran actor Ben Ruedinger has departed the show after playing the part of Till Weigel for almost 20 years. Swiss born Ruedinger joined the cast in October 2000 when Till, middle son of the Weigel family, received a recast. Previously, Stephen Dürr had played the part from the show's first episode in 1994 to December 1996. In July 2020, a cast list was published by RTL which stated that Constantin Lücke would be playing Till; however, Ben Ruedinger still appeared on screen at that time. Now Till has disappeared in the middle of an important storyline, and there are spoilers that indicate that he will have a terrible accident that requires plastic surgery. Constantin Lücke is a seasoned stage actor with many years of experience. On television, he is best known for his main role on the telenovela "Rote Rosen"; he also appeared in small roles on "Verbotene Liebe" and "Alles was zählt". Kai Noll, who's played Rufus Sturm since 2003, is also departing the show in early September. Maybe the show's budget is strained and they're happy to see two big earners gone...
  12. Apparently, the show also aired in Iran for a brief time (in 2009 according to wikipedia). It was also broadcast in Morocco, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and a few Sub-Saharan African countries. I know that the show was censored in Egypt (they cut scenes where people showed to much skin and even altered the opening credits to remove the pictures of the models), but the audience in these countries isn't stupid and they would notice bad writing as well. Soaps are very popular in Turkey and the Arab world (similar to telenovelas in South America).
  13. This song is currently a hit in many European countries... very addictive.
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