“Ai nostri” is a fascinating Romanian TV series that premiered in 2017 and has captured the attention of viewers across the country. Translating to “our own” in English, “Ai nostri” offers an intimate look at two very different families whose lives become deeply intertwined. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of this acclaimed show, including details on its plot, characters, production, and reception. Whether you’re a fan of Romanian television or just love a good drama, “Ai nostri” is worth learning more about.
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About the Show
“Ai nostri” follows two families living in Romania – the wealthy, sophisticated Ghicas and the poorer, gritty Ciorbas. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, the two families are brought together by the blossoming romance between Andrei Ghica and Maria Ciorba. This Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship causes tensions and conflicts across both families. However, it also reveals the humanity in each of the show’s complex characters.
The show premiered on TVR1 in Romania in 2017 to strong viewership. It stars a cast of Romania’s top acting talent, including Andi Vasluianu, Razvan Vasilescu, Vlad Ivanov, and Monica Davidescu. “Ai nostri” was created by established writer/director Dragos Buliga and produced by theMediaPro Pictures production company. Its first season contained 13 episodes, while the second season in 2019 had 9 episodes. The show has earned acclaim for its high production value and nuanced storytelling.
The core storyline of “Ai nostri” centers around the affair between Andrei Ghica and Maria Ciorba. Andrei belongs to the wealthy, high-society Ghica family, which wields influence in both business and politics. In contrast, Maria comes from the working-class Ciorba family that struggles to make ends meet. Despite their very different upbringings, Andrei and Maria meet and fall deeply in love, beginning a secret relationship of which their families disapprove.
The Ghicas are shocked when they discover Andrei’s affair with a girl from such a low social status. Andrei’s parents, especially his controlling father Victor, push Andrei to end the relationship. However, Andrei refuses, straining his family relationships. Meanwhile, the Ciorbas also forbid Maria from seeing Andrei due to his family’s wealth and privilege.
As Andrei and Maria become more committed to each other, both families take more drastic measures to keep them apart. Tensions escalate through schemes, threats, and acts of violence. However, genuine bonds also slowly develop between individual members of the two families. Some even become allies of the young couple, showing that love can bloom even in the most difficult circumstances.
Andrei Ghica – The gentle, idealistic son of the Ghica family. He shocks his family by falling for Maria Ciorba. Andrei is torn between loyalty to his roots and love for Maria.
Maria Ciorba – A kind, strong-willed young woman. She provides for her family by working multiple jobs. Her affair with Andrei causes upheaval in her life.
Victor Ghica – Andrei’s stern, domineering father who will stop at nothing to end his son’s improper relationship. As head of the Ghica family, he wields significant influence.
Irinel Ciorba – Maria’s gruff but caring father. He fiercely protects his family’s honor and thinks the wealthy Ghicas look down on them.
Magda Ghica – Victor’s elegant wife who struggles to reconcile her husband’s cruelty with her love for her son.
Ileana Ciorba – Maria’s worn-down but loving mother. She wants to protect her daughter at all costs.
Themes and Style
On the surface, “Ai nostri” is a family drama and suspenseful tale of star-crossed lovers. However, deeper themes also run throughout the show’s complex narrative. These include:
Social class – The core conflict stems from the rigid social class structure in Romania. The show explores how this impacts romantic relationships and creates family tensions.
Parents and children – Complex parent-child relationships shape many characters’ choices. Their desire for approval competes with their need to follow their hearts.
Morality – As characters make difficult choices, the show questions concepts of right and wrong and good versus evil. Empathy emerges in unlikely places.
Sacrifice – How far should one go for the greater good of family? The show probes the sacrifices individuals make in the name of love and loyalty.
Stylistically, “Ai nostri” features high production values with lavish costumes and settings. The plot includes many surprising narrative twists to keep viewers engaged. Moving emotional arcs allow characters to grow and change dramatically over time.
Response and Impact
“Ai nostri” earned strong viewership during its original broadcast on TVR1. It also received positive reviews from critics, especially for its acting, scripting, and production merit. The show was praised for elevating the quality of Romanian television through its technical excellence and thoughtful themes.
The series reached broad demographics but found particular resonance among Romanian youth. Young viewers connected with the rebellious spirit of Andrei and Maria’s romance. The show’s honest portrayal of families offered a realistic lens into dynamics faced by many Romanians. It provided social commentary by exploring tensions between classes.
Internationally, “Ai nostri” received recognition as a quality program elevating Eastern European television. It represented Romania in eminent competitions such as the Seoul International Drama Awards. Through platforms like Netflix, the show also found audiences outside Romania. This exposed the creativity of Romanian filmmaking to more of the world.
In just two seasons, “Ai nostri” established itself as a standout drama in Romanian television. It marks an evolution in Romanian TV through its combination of technical excellence, strong writing, emotional intimacy, and social consciousness. The show resonates as both an entertaining family saga and a thoughtful reflection on society. By weaving together two very different families in an unlikely romance, “Ai nostri” finds profound human truths that speak to viewers across cultural boundaries. Its memorable characters linger in one’s mind long after viewing. For those interested in compelling international television, “Ai nostri” is certainly worth a look.