Salatut elämät's main focus is the fictional street Pihlajakatu, located in Ullanlinna, Helsinki. Other locations include a high school, a hospital, Café Moose and an inn, Amanda, which contains the hotel, a restaurant...展开and a gym Amadeus. R-Kioski, a corner shop owned by Ismo Laitela, is also one of the main settings. Former "main café" was Kentauri which, however, exploded during a wedding celebration in the season finale of the 11th season.
The series has dealt with subjects such as abortion, drug abuse, alcoholism, homosexuality, incest, animal rights, religious fanaticism, gambling addiction, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, cancer, eating disorder, school bullying, narcissistic personality disorder and its effects to the family, the search of biological parents, stealing and racism, and therefore caused public debate.