15-04-2020

First Romanian Sitcom About COVID-19 Is an Online Hit

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Discutabil Discutabil Photo from the sitcom's Facebook

BUCHAREST: The pilot of the first Romanian sitcom about COVID-19, Discutabil, has had more than 80,000 viewers since it was aired on Facebook and YouTube on 27 March 2020. Director Vlad Zamfirescu, scriptwriter Alexandru Popa and producer Cristina Dobrițoiu are planning a first season with 12 episodes.

Three more episodes were released on 31 March, 3 April and 10 April 2020. Hugely popular actors Maia Morgenstern and Horațiu Mălăele were special guests in episodes 3 and 4, respectively.

Discutabil (a Romanian word meaning something controversial as well as easy to be discussed) follows seven actors in isolation during the pandemic, who discuss on the internet (through split-screen) various topics, from their own work (or rather, the lack of it) to the social responsibility of staying at home.

The sitcom gives the impression that the seven popular actors, who are also friends in real life (Șerban Pavlu, Vlad Zamfirescu, Marius Manole, Carmen Tănase, Medeea Marinescu, Nadiana Sălăgean, Kana Hashimoto) play themselves or are improvising, but the series is scripted. Each episode is rehearsed two or three days in advance, and it is usually shot in the evening, when the children of the actors are asleep, Vlad Zamfirescu told www.iqads.ro.

Cristina Dobrițoiu is producing through ATIC pictures. Though the idea for the sitcom is older than the COVID-19, she thought that the actors better speak from their kitchens, which made actor Șerban Pavlu refer to Discutabil as a “kitchen project”.