Outbreak of Fire

Outbreak of Fire (UgunsGrēks) is a Latvian TV show that has been airing since 2009. It’s the spinoff or follow-up to another popular Latvian TV series, Neprāta cena, which can be translated as “the cost of frenzy” or “the price of insanity.” That one aired from 2002 to 2006. Conflagration is currently considered one of the most popular Latvian TV shows, at least in terms of viewership. The show is currently (as of 2017) in its 17th and final season, with more than 1,000 half-hour episodes.

Fire (as it seems to be more commonly called) is basically a soap opera. It takes place in a small seaside town; the main character, Aivars Pētersons, is the owner of a local hotel. The other characters are his family, friends, and acquaintances. While the town seems peaceful and quiet, there is, of course, all sorts of drama bubbling up and waiting to boil over, including a variety of kidnappings and murders. More than 200 Latvian actors have taken part in the show over the years. The show is unusual in Latvia for its longevity and viewer loyalty; it was probably the first Latvian show to achieve such widespread success.

Uldis Dumpis, who plays Aivars Pētersons, has been with the show since 2002, if you include Neprāta cena. He’s had long-running roles on a number of other Latvian TV series over the years; he also has an extremely impressive filmography and theater repertoire, dating back to the 1960s.

Another star of the show is Maija Doveika, who plays Elizabete Timmermane (the current wife of Leon Timmermane, another main character). Doveika has also had a long career in theater, and was a star in the show They Lie Better (Viņas melo labāk) for one season in 2014.

Director: Inta Gorodecka
Stars: Egils Melbārdis, Uldis Dumpis, Lāsma Kugrēna, Ģirts Ķesteris, Olga Dreģe, Jakovs Rafalsons, Regīna Devīte, Leons Krivāns, Maija Doveika, and others
Production company: SIA “UgunsGrēks”
TV channel: TV3

The show’s official website.

A recent episode:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.