I caught up on this week so far of Verbotene Liebe. It's been mostly von Lahnsteins this week, with more-or-less cameos from some of the other characters. Again, I don't think there's been a scene without a von Lahnstein in it somewhere. Tanja managed to get a good-sized share -- controlling interest? -- in some major aspect of the von Lahnstein holding. The vorschau and the characters call it Immobilization-something, which I'm sure means something different in German than it sounds like in English. That part wasn't that interesting to me.
Tristan was trying to get Jessica back, and talked Frau Lentil into letting him take Jessica out shopping for the afternoon. Christian was eating breakfast(?) at the time, and did his best to ignore Jessica. I think it was more Thore doing his best to ignore Jana while they were in character. Christian is fairly antagonistic towards Jessica, after what she did to Andi. Olli is more antagonistic, but Christian isn't supposed to like her. Tristan and Jessica's interactions did seem to make Christian lose his appetite, which I believe Frau Lentil commented on. Christian said he had to get back to work.
Jessica tried to get cuddly with Tristan after shopping, but he wasn't too interested. He had her put on the clothes he'd bought her, and then he said she looked sexy. She knocked into a drawer, and spilled the contents. Inside was a picture of their abortive engagement party, except Tristan had drawn Helena's style of hair over Jessica's with a Sharpie. Jessica realized that all the clothes were things that would make her look like Helena. "I'm not your sister," she said. Somewhere along the line in her tirade of betrayal, she said he was sick -- whatever the German equivalent of one sick puppy is, I'm sure. She should have remembered that before she let him sweettalk her. I think the Tristan/Jessica thing was all played out quite some time ago. I still don't really get why she played along with him after she realized he was so in love with his sister, though I think Jessica was supposed to be in love with Tristan.
This was probably earlier in the week, but Lydia was supposed to meet Ansgar for a tryst in a relatively unused part of the castle. They were going at it hot and heavy enough that they just had their underpants on. Jessica came in to do cleaning, and Lydia rolled off the bed onto the other side of it. Ansgar told Jessica to go away, though she had a little smile upon seeing Ansgar in just his black boxers (boxer-briefs?). One would think he'd been up to something.
Later in the episode, or next episode, Lydia told Sebastian she was going to go visit Nathalie. She headed to the abandoned garage/construction site/graffiti area where she'd had a hot hookup with Ansgar before. Lydia's psycho stalker showed up, and told her he had pictures of her doing the deed with Ansgar there, against the wall or side of a van, or whatever it was. I didn't see the stalker's doings last time around, but he seems to be a sicker puppy than Tristan. It totally put Lydia out of the mood by the time Ansgar got there. Lydia went back to her car, and her stalker had left pictures of her with Ansgar on her windshield.
Sebastian went out and ran into Nathalie, who wasn't pleased about having to cover for Lydia. She said she didn't want to be Lydia's alibi. She wouldn't even be Lydia's friend anymore if she knew it was Ansgar that Lydia was having the affair with. Sebastian knows something is going on again. He's not stupid. Lydia feels fairly guilty about it all. The cliffhanger at the end of Wednesday's episode was that Lydia's psycho stalker had gotten into Sebastian's office and was about to show him the pictures, with Lydia running full tilt towards the office to stop him. I hope Ansgar kills the stalker off, and I hope it's relatively soon.
There was some stuff with Phillip and Nico, including them entertaining some sullen children. I took out my earbuds, and then I could just enjoy Nico's radiant beauty, try to ignore Phillip and the bad acting on his actor's part, and try to ignore the sullen children while they were on. You know it's really bad acting when you don't even speak the language, and you can tell how bad the actor is. I don't see why they can't put Nico with other characters besides him.
After trying just about everything with the sullen children, including Phillip playing the piano and singing some very stupid children's song while smiling desperately, Phillip and Nico took the children into the kitchen, and started baking whatever. It was like a commercial, where the children completely cheered up at the sight of food cooking. It was most likely some major product placement. So you had everyone going from sullen or desperate to entertain to being happy smiley people. I hope the manufacturers of the crepes were pleased. I thought it would have been more fun if they'd put the children into an oubliette until they promised to behave better.
Anyway, after the children, now smeared with flour and God knows what other substances, had taken their leave, Nico smiled at Phillip, who was also covered with assorted substances. Sometime later, there was a scene of someone bare-chested, but putting on a button-down shirt, while the servants peeked around the door. At first glance, I thought it was Christian, but when the camera panned back, it was Phillip, and I was disappointed. I should have known, because Thore's chest is broader and deeper. He also has much broader shoulders, but you couldn't really see shoulders in that first shot, I don't think. Nico joined the spying servants, but when Phillip turned around, he didn't realize that Nico had been watching him. Later, Nico had a flashback to how Phillip had totally betrayed her, which led to her being kidnapped and traumatized. I hope she remembers that.
There was also stuff with Elisabeth and Ludwig, Elisabeth still involved in von Lahnstein holding affairs at home, even if she's left the von Lahnstein holdings office building. She and Ludwig kissed, then discussed and decided it wasn't the right time. I wasn't that interested.
Tanja got her shares by blackmailing the bank guy, or whoever he was, who was going to help the von Lahnsteins out of their financial mess. Tanja showed the bank guy, Herr Gruber(?), photos, and asked whether his wife and children would appreciate seeing the games he played. I didn't get whether the games were same-sex and kinky, or opposite-sex and kinky. It doesn't particularly matter either way, except Tanja was commenting on the photos, and saying which ones she especially liked, and I was curious about what she was saying. In any case, Herr Gruber really didn't want his wife and children to see the kinds of games he was playing.
The writers are generally lazy, so they probably fell back on same-sex and kinky as blackmail material. At this point in Western Europe, that very likely only works if you're closeted about your preferences, but it would be hard to work in a conservative job and be open about liking kink. Then again, if your wife knew about it and played too, it wouldn't be much of a threat on that front, either. It just strikes me as so much more morally acceptable if all parties involved in an open or polyamorous relationship know that's what it is.
If everyone in the relationships is aware that you run scenes, you just need to negotiate reasonably with all involved and play safe. It seems like so much more of a mentally healthy way to operate. Soap operas really are still conservative in their thinking about morals. Some of the characters would manage much better with open relationships, and could probably negotiate it relatively well with their partners, but that would cut way down on the drama. It's not soapy if you don't have cheating and blackmail.
Constantin asked Nathalie about learning to flirt in Spanish. At first, he was stiff about it, but Nathalie got him to loosen up. It was funny, because they were speaking Spanish, and the show had German subtitles. I was getting very confused trying to figure out what language I should be attempting to translate. I was catching words here and there of each. I know some words of Spanish, and can guess some that are close to the equivalent French words. At the end of those scenes, Constantin told Nathalie he loved her, and kissed her. Nathalie realized he was serious, that it wasn't just language practice. Constantin's confession of love was sweet, and sounded beautiful. I'm so glad Constantin is back. He's just adorable, and has great chemistry with a lot of the other characters. Not to mention that the actor (I think his name is Milan?) can act well.
Olli was in about three seconds of Wednesday's episode, leaving the flat as other characters had scenes. Rebecca was making herself at home in the flat for quite a while, which pissed me off until I realized that the entirety of several of her scenes there were just with Helena. I guess the writers figured out that now that Helena was living at the Sabel-Mann-Fritschze-von Lahnstein flat, that it would be especially weird if Rebecca was just there to bug Christian and Olli, and was never seen with her sister.
It was kind of strange anyway, as Helena had never seemed to like Rebecca much at all, but they were doing their sisterly bonding this week. None of Rebecca's family seemed to like her, which I guess was another reason she was constantly foisted off on the guys. On the one hand, it means that Rebecca will be at the flat that much more -- well, she was there constantly anyway -- but on the other hand, she'll have scenes with other people. One breakfast scene at the Schloss had Tanja taunting various other family members about things that totally went over Rebecca's head. When Tanja left, Rebecca called Tanja a stupid cow. I was hoping Tanja would overhear, and move Rebecca further up her "people to kill" list. I don't think Tanja's killed anybody for a while now. Rebecca would be a great place to start.
It just goes to show that even if writers love a character, they can still be terribly annoying to the audience. It's worse on TV shows, because if the actors can't act and/or have bad chemistry with others, it just adds layers, and more justification yet, to the dislike. There are certain characters I love, and would hate to have killed off, or even badly hurt. There are other characters I would very cheerfully see killed off, whether they're evil to the characters I like, or are just that irritating.
It's like in fan fiction, when the writers make up an Original Character, and expect the readers will love that character most of all. I remember being especially annoyed by one who existed purely to be a cock-blocker and scold one of the protagonists in a "motherly" way. The scolding was almost as hideously irritating as the cock-blocking. It's just a big mistake for writers to assume that because they love a character they made up, the readers automatically will, too. The readers or viewers need reasons to like a character.