October 19th, 2010

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AWZ on Thursday and Friday

I watched the shows, but didn't stay up late enough to do posts on them.  The EKP ladies are caught up to the present week, and put up three Monday to Friday videos of the storylines they're following.  The subtitles let me understand so much more, and I do appreciate that very much.  I was surprised that they didn't include Roman's appearance at the beginning of Monday's episode, when Simone was trying to get rid of all the memorial flowers and candles for Jenny.  Roman spoke a bit to Simone then, and then confronted the photographers.  He was clearly grieving himself, as he has been since he heard about the plane crash.

I've mentioned before that one thing I appreciate about the show is that characters generally remember what happened before.  Roman especially remembers very well.  He hadn't been close to Jenny for some time, but they'd been friends for twenty years or so, best friends for large parts of that time.  He's also one of the characters most in touch with his feelings, and he's been getting teary-eyed over Jenny.

Vanessa is back.  I'm hoping it's permanent this time.  She's up in the regular credits, not as a guest star.  I'm still waiting until she meets Frank.  Vanessa and the new Ben have wonderful chemistry.  It would be a very organic development for Isabelle to get a better understanding of Ben and Vanessa's former incestuous relationship, and for her to become jealous of Vanessa.  You can very easily picture this Ben and Vanessa having had sex, although the characters seem to be well past that now.

Instead, Isabelle is busy hating Katja, and hating Frank.  Tom is calling her on her jealousy.  I'm very glad Tom is back, too.  I'd like for him to get better integrated with other characters, making friends with other of the younger characters.  He and Ben are working together very nicely at the moment.  Isabelle would rather Ben run the Center while Richard is in Russia searching for Jenny or news of her.  She obviously thinks he and Tom are just playing as far as their skater game goes, and wants them to be doing serious work.  If she was so concerned about serious work, she'd be involved in her parents' business instead of ice skating.  I'm sure her parents find that a frivolous pursuit as well.

Eskimo Kiss preserved much of the Roman and Deniz storylines for the week.  Deniz is doing the hockey, and has scenes with Flo, Frank and Ingo.  They're the major characters in that plot, but Deniz is getting lines, and participating.  Even somewhat in the background, his sparkly chemistry with just about everyone and his expressive face add to the scenes he's in.

Roman is doing his trainer job, though he's a little distracted by his grief.  Katja isn't grieving at all for Jenny.  Roman knows that no one else, really, except for the Steinkamps and von Altenburgs, is grieving that Jenny is missing.  I forgave Katja for a little of her self-centeredness when the interviewer from the skating magazine came to the flatshare, and she introduced Roman again, as her trainer, and Deniz as Roman's partner.  It was all very natural, no big deal.

Isabelle made a nice romantic dinner for Ben, but Ben and Tom were doing motion capture on Katja for animation, and lost track of time.  Tom ran off because of a computer issue.  Isabelle came to the Center, and looked down from the office to see that Ben and Katja, who had both fallen, were on the ice together, laughing and close and having chemistry.  When Ben and Tom came back to the penthouse, they sketched and did animation rather than having Ben eat the belated romantic dinner.  Isabelle later spilled Cola on the pictures of Katja, and ruined them.

The EKP ladies are saying that they're on Team Isabelle.  While Isabelle was a relatively sympathetic character early on, she's become very unsympathetic in the last few months with all her jealousy and hate.  She's just being mean now, whereas if she took the high ground, she'd get much more respect.  She'd still likely lose Ben, but the viewers would feel more deeply for her.  It isn't a bad thing to have the viewers torn, rather than making it so obvious which side the audience is supposed to be on.  I'm not sophisticated enough to root for a character who's being mean and hateful.

All of Jenny's relatives are being drawn together by her disappearance.  Max and Richard are even working together, and joined in their concern for Simone.  Vanessa reconciled with Simone, Ben reconciled with Richard, and they're all completely united in their hatred for Axel.  Max grabbed Axel and shook him at some point when Axel said something particularly egregious.  I think Max told Axel not to sleep too deeply, because who knows would would happen when he wasn't keeping an eye out.  Axel hired a bodyguard.

Antonio/Rafael is doing much to console Simone.  It's good to see Max having a friend, too.  It really humanizes him.  I'm still not sure if Antonio actually killed someone.  My only problem with him is that he called Axel a "maricon."  Max seems so refreshingly free from such prejudice, at least as far as Roman and Deniz go.  I don't know how Max reacted to Roman in old episodes.  I think it would add interest to things if Max had worked as a rentboy on the streets of Buenos Aires.  I believe he was a thief as a child.  A lot of homeless teenagers also end up being prostitutes.

Annette and Ingo are having bad debt problems, from Ingo paying the blackmailer and from flooding the apartment.  They tried to come up with ideas for getting out of debt.  I'd originally fast-forwarded through those parts, because it was Ingo playing guitar, and I'm not a fan of that at all.  However, Annette had one really good suggestion, about how she could work as a dominatrix.  There was a whip-crack sound effect right after she said that.

Lena suggested that they sell the clothes she wore as Max's deluded wife.  She modeled, Roman did the website, Deniz was the styling assistant, Annette the photographer, and Ingo fed the group.  It was pretty funny.  Lena really does sparkle when she's interacting with Annette and the guys.  They sold the dresses, then put them into the same room with Alexander, who was finger-painting.  Alexander finger-painted the dresses.

Ingo went to get stain remover, and managed to turn a beige silk dress blue.  He also burned much of the skin off his hands from the caustic stain remover.  Deniz, attempting stealth, put in a bid for the painted dresses.  The next scene showed him and Roman throwing the clothes in the dumpster and laughing.  Roman rescued one and joked about wearing it.  He said that the thought was making Deniz hot, and they kissed.  Deniz got the dress and threw it back into the dumpster while they were kissing.

A homeless guy took the dresses out of the dumpster while he was searching for bottles to recycle.  Annette saw them when she went to take the bottles and give the guy his currywurst.  Roman, in full Hase mode, attempted to flee, but Ingo and Annette cornered him.  They went to the Ozturk-Wild flat, and got Deniz to admit that he'd bought the dresses.  They said they'd pay him back all the money, but were grateful to him for bailing them out.  Deniz didn't manage stealthiness too well -- has he ever? -- but he was very sweet.  He's matured so much from when he was seventeen.

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Monday AWZ

More Steinkamps versus Axel.  Rafael broke into Axel's desk looking for a CD of some sort.  Someone else broke in a couple of minutes later.  It was Max, who had the same idea.  They make a good team.  Simone was very grateful that they'd gotten the CD.

Deniz and Florian had a talk.  Deniz said something with the word "schwul," and Florian said something that was probably mildly rude back, and did a pirouette.  Florian boasted about how great he was, and Deniz said that he was also arrogant and in love with himself.  Deniz should know someone self-absorbed when he sees one, considering how he was.  Well, Florian definitely acts like a seventeen-year-old.  It was also disconcerting that he and Deniz were given about equal attention in the beefcake department.  This discussion went on in the locker room, while they were changing.  I felt skeevy as the camera focused on Florian, as the actor (Michael?) is probably not that many years older than seventeen.  As usual, I appreciated Igor's attributes.  Lisabea pointed out somewhere on Nose in a Book that Igor is in his late twenties, so it wasn't so bad to notice how cute he is.

Stuff with Ben and Isabelle.  I think Tom realized that it was no accident that Isabelle poured the Cola all over the pictures of Katja.  The jealous Isabelle thing is so old.  She makes up with Ben by seducing him, which doesn't actually solve anything.  I expect that will all drag on for months at least.  I'm still glad that Tom is back.

Flo mocked Frank for lifting small weights, so Frank tried to pick up a much heavier weight, and dropped it on Flo's foot.  Flo couldn't play in the hockey game.  Frank tried to apologize, and Flo hit her.  I was totally shocked that he'd do something like that.  Sure, Deniz got in fights at that age, but still.  I had to think about it for a few minutes to realize that Flo thinks that Frank is a guy.  She doesn't make a very convincing drag king, though she gets this adorable baby butch vibe going.  If she was ten or twenty years older, I'd totally think she was hot.

Next scene with them, they were in an all-out fight.  Ingo came in and broke it up.  It's a little sad when Ingo is the most mature person in the room.  (Yes, I thought of Wild Bill realizing something similar.)  Of course, if soap opera characters acted mature and reasonable, where would the drama be?  Ingo sometimes manages to act like a grownup, and he's actually something like cool when he does.

The episode ended with Simone having a nightmare about Jenny, and going down to the kitchen to splash her face with water.  Rafael found her there, wiped some of the water off her face with a napkin, and kissed her.  I'm still not too clear on whether he murdered his adopted father, but he's a sweet guy.  He's been very nice towards Lena, considering, and he's been a rock of support to Simone.  I'm somewhat interested in the Steinkamp and von Altenburg goings-on.  The actors are really good, and Max is getting the chance to be more three-dimensional.

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Tuesday AWZ

Deniz was agonizing over how to tell Marian that Jenny's plane had crashed.  Roman was on his way to a trainers' seminar.  As usual, they had completely unfair amounts of sparkle and chemistry.  Not that I mind.

Ingo had the hockey players get in rowboats.  They were supposed to row some distance and back.  He took away Frank and Florian's paddles.  They argued, then they tried to move the boat by paddling with their hands.  They argued more, and ended up shoving each other.  Never a good idea when you're in a boat.  As expected, they capsized.  Frank asked Flo to help her turn the boat back over.  He started swimming towards the shore.  Frank started sinking.  Flo realized in time to go back for her.  Somehow he got her up onto a dock.  He yelled for help.  Of course he ended up giving her the "Kiss of Life."

When Frank revived, she had the same look at Flo as Axel did when Roman resuscitated him.  She doesn't have a problem being attracted to a Wild -- well, except for Flo's personality and immaturity, and her wearing guy-drag.  But she doesn't have the kind of problem with it that Axel did.  I'm not sure if I want to see her have a hallucination of Flo in a gold lame bathing suit.  I don't mind some hallucinatory sparkles, and I wouldn't mind some elevator-dancing between the two.  I just want to see Flo realizing he's hot for someone he thinks is a guy.  I really want for Deniz and Roman to have a full appreciation of the whole situation, too.  It wouldn't be fair to leave them out of the fun.

Simone and Rafael had some post-kiss awkwardness, and I think Rafael apologized later.  Vanessa realized she'd walked in on an unresolved sexual tension situation, and Simone admitted it.  I'm very glad Vanessa is back, as well.  I'd like for her to be on the hockey team, or at least assistant coaching it, and I'd like for her to have tons of interaction with her brother/ex-boyfriend Ben.  All of the people who were in fictional Essen at the time know about the incest.  It would be so great if Isabelle and Katja both were dealing with how they felt about that.  I don't take the topic lightly, but the women who love Ben need to have the chance to process that aspect of his past.

Marian came back to Essen looking happy.  For some unexplained reason (edited: Marian actually explained that he went there to get his keys), he went to the Bergmann flatshare, and opened the elevator door in time to hear Deniz tell Katja that he didn't think Jenny would have survived the plane crash.  Marian quietly closed the door and took off.  Marian later came into the Steinkamp Center, and saw the black bunting-draped picture of Jenny that Axel's been putting up around the Center.  He cried.  I was glad Axel wasn't there to see it.  Marian went to the women's locker room, and leaned his head against Jenny's locker.  Katja and Deniz were heading to their respective locker rooms.  Katja found Marian, and told Deniz to go in.  Deniz hugged Marian, son comforting father.  That's one more person who is truly grieving Jenny's disappearance.
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Monday's Forbidden Love

Christian is back home.  That's the most important thing.  He came back to No Limits, said something, and Olli and Rebecca (because of course she was there) responded absent-mindedly, then realized who was talking.  Rebecca hugged Christian first (grr), but Olli threw himself into Christian's arms moments later.  They spun around from the force of Olli's enthusiasm, and Olli kissed the side of Christian's neck.  We viewers soon found out that Christian really wanted to have a baby now that he'd seen Gregor and Luise's twins.

In other plots, much drama between Lydia and Matthias, as he's still very unhappy about the Lydia/Ansgar affair.  Nathalie talked Lydia into coming back to their place, and Lydia and Matthias kind of made up.  What else?  Oh, Prince Boring tried to save Nico from the gang of junior thugs, but wasn't doing that well.  The delinquents fled when they heard the sound of police sirens.  Their own personal delinquent stayed around.  It was basically just an excuse to have the actor who plays the prince have his shirt off as Nico gave him first aid.  KC's right.  He does have a nice body.  There are other actors on the show who have real acting skills and are handsome and well-built, so I'm still not as impressed as I might be if I was just judging by his build.

Speaking of handsome and well-built (and good actors -- no, I could not resist the segue), Christian and Olli continued to talk about having a baby.  They thought about getting a woman pregnant, but quickly decided that was out of the question.  I can see it as them thinking of it as cheating on the other, but it's not like they've never had sex with women.  Olli was always bisexual, and Christian had a couple of serious relationships with women.  Adoption was the way to go, they decided.  They looked it all up online.

Rebecca (who else?) came to the apartment with Arno and Christina, and gave the guys Christina and all her toys and accessories.  She said it was a good test for them for when they had children.

Ansgar texted Lydia.  Lydia came to Konigsbrunn, to Ansgar.  They hugged desperately, then Lydia said that they couldn't have a relationship.  "But you love me," Ansgar said.  Lydia admitted it.  "You love me, and I love you."  Yes, I admit it, I was thrilled to hear Ansgar say he loved Lydia.  It's definitely one of those beauty taming the beast scenarios, and I adore those.

"My family and friends all hate you," Lydia said.  She's totally right.  Even Ansgar knew that.

"The friends who count would want you to be happy, and we would be happy."  Ansgar is clearly delusional from love.  Has he forgotten how Tanja ruthlessly tormented Nathalie?  I don't think Lydia would really be happy if Tanja was after her.  Still, I'm rooting for Ansgar and Lydia.  They have sizzling chemistry.  There's something so romantic about a wicked man who would do anything to protect and take care of his lover out of sheer devotion.  He's dangerous, but he's all hers.  At least, it's romantic in fiction.  In real life, probably not so much.  I'd rather keep the drama on television, and not have it in reality.  However, on the show, it's great to see Ansgar brought down by love for a "nice girl." 

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Chrolli on Tuesday

Olli and Christian had very busy days trying to work their full-time jobs and take care of a baby all day and night.  Olli had Christina sitting behind the bar at No Limits.  I wonder if that's the first time someone has babysat a child there.  I can't imagine the twenty-two-year-old Olli ever having the slightest notion that one day he'd be babysitting there.  Olli back then probably wouldn't have really considered the thought of being a father.  It's not like Tom could get pregnant.

At Konigsbrunn, Jessica and Christian had a little scene where Jessica told Christian to take his boots off before walking around the castle.  She was sweeping in the kitchen.  There's crackling chemistry between Christian and Jessica (as would make sense, considering real life).  This was adversarial, but the chemistry was definitely there.  I think it was mostly an excuse to have Christian take off part of his riding outfit.  Not that we ever mind that.

When Christian came home, Olli handed off Christina and went back downstairs.  Christian was horrified that Olli hadn't fed her.  This is Christian we're talking about.  When he's happy, not only is he eating heartily, but he wants to show love by giving people food.  Apparently Christina really was hungry.  First she got deeply into a big bowl of pudding, then she and Christian had fun with mashed carrots.

Olli came home to find Christian asleep sitting up on the couch, his shirt colorfully decorated with streaks of "carrot pap."  Christian said that if Olli was complaining about the shirt, he could take it off.  They started kissing.  I knew their "welcome home" expression of love would be cock-blocked by Christina crying, but at least they got in a few good kisses first.  Well, I'm glad the passion hasn't totally died.  I think they're the best for kisses that are so loving and so sensual at the same time.

They were completely worn out by the time Nathalie came to collect Christina, and collapsed on the couch as soon as everyone else was gone.  Christian has apparently lost all sense, as he still wanted to have a baby.  I realize it's a plot designed to appeal to women, but I don't tend to like plots involving children all that much.  They said Christina was pretty sweet once she finally fell asleep.  I have the feeling this is going to be a fairly long plotline for them.  I'll do my best to deal with the baby nonsense, and try to be glad they have some plot.  At least I'll be able to appreciate their beauty and love for each other.  I just hope they have some passionate scenes between all of the baby plot.  They should still be in their honeymoon phase.