Secrets / Saladused

Published: April 23, 2017

Secrets (Saladused) is an Estonian TV drama. It began airing in 2008.

The show tells the stories of ordinary Estonian people, mainly focusing on their relationship dramas as well as other adventures. All the stories featured are true, though with actors playing the roles. The show seeks out the most interesting and often scandalous (or quasi-scandalous) stories from across the country. The second-ever episode, for example, in 2008, showed the husband of a married couple realizing he was gay, and what happened after. (Estonia is more tolerant of LGBTQ+ people than most or all of the other former Soviet republics, but the situation isn’t perfect, and was certainly worse in 2008.) Other episodes featured polyamory, rape, loveless marriages, prostitution, suicide, xenophobia, and on and on.

The show airs on Estonia’s Channel 2, which features a range of original Estonian programming and international shows. The creator and producer is Tuuli Roosma, who’s several times been named Estonia’s best female TV producer through polls in Week (Nädal) magazine. One of her more interesting achievements is the show and book Mamma Mia, in which Estonian women talk openly about their dreams, problems, and beliefs about family and gender roles.

The show’s main writer is Aidi Vallik, who is also a teacher, poet, and children’s writer. In addition to writing for Secrets, she writes the TV show Behind Closed Doors (Suletud uste taga).

The show is also unusual in that it is directed by a very large team of people; almost every episode is directed by someone new. Directors have included Arbo Tammiksaar (coincidentally, Vallik’s husband), who is known as a director of feature films and documentaries.


Producer: Tuuli Roosma
TV channel: Kanal 2


The show’s official website.


Episodes are not available on YouTube, but they can be found on the show’s website.

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied 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.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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