I have spoken before about my guilty pleasure, a German telenovella called Alisa - Folge Deinem Herzen (follow your heart) which I downloaded (free!) from iTunes, and I recently finally made it to the end of the series. After 240 40-minute episodes (which, considering that there were no adverts, would approximate to around fifteen years of your average American drama!), Alisa and Christian have finally tied the knot! With the happy couple about to jet off to Canada, and with evil Uncle Oskar, the villain of the piece, safely behind bars, it's time to bid a fond farewell to Schönroda and look around for something else to watch...
Well, that was the plan :) You see, the good people at ZDF were so pleased with the show that half-way through they changed their minds and decided to extend it for a further 130 episodes. Thus, about ten episodes from the end, a few new characters began to appear, including Hanna, a chef who, though living in Hamburg, hails from our favourite little town. On a short trip to the Spanish island of Gomera, she meets a friendly, good-looking German man (as you do), and after an evening of gazing at the stars, they kiss. So far, so good, but the problem is that they don't ask each other's names!
Before you can say 'star-crossed lovers', Hanna is back in Schönroda to care for her sick father and attend the big wedding. Meanwhile, her dream man is also there - he happens to be Christian's cousin (!) - and makes a big impression on another woman: Hanna's best friend Alex. Unbelievably, Hanna and the mysterious Max somehow manage to miss each other completely, despite being in the same building for the same event... If you can't see where this is going by now, then you really have led a sheltered life!
So, I'll be continuing with my weekly visits to Schönroda, this time to see how Hanna, Max and Alex work things out (an unconventional ménage à trois would be interesting, but even the Germans might find that a little risqué for a show which airs in the early afternoon!). And the best thing of all? Another new character, Max's mother, Edith, has just visited Oskar in prison and appears to have a bit of a hidden past with him. It seems that he might just be getting out after all - and that can only be a good thing :)