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Goede tijden, slechte tijden

Goede tijden, slechte tijden (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌ ɣujə ˈtɛidə(n) ˌslɛxtə ˈtɛidə(n)], English: Good times, bad times), also known as GTST or simply Goede tijden, is the longest-running Dutch soap opera, which began on 1 October 1990 on RTL4. The programme was the first daily soap in the Netherlands and also in Europe. The soap is produced by Joop van den Ende and to date over 5,000 episodes[1] have been broadcast. It was inspired by the Australian soap The Restless Years, although it started following its own course during the third season. GTST is broadcast Monday to Friday at 20:00. Around 1.5 million viewers watch each episode. It is the highest-rated soap opera in the Netherlands.

Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden
GenreSoap opera
Created byReg Watson
Written byRohan Gottschalk (Head writer)
StarringPresent cast
No. of seasons29
No. of episodes5,950 (as of Januar 25, 2018)
Executive producer(s)Peter Römer
Running time23 min. w/o commercials
30 min. w/ commercials
Original networkRTL4
Original release1 October 1990 (1990-10-01) –
External links

The soap mainly revolves around the lives of the families Alberts, Sanders, De Jong, Van Houten and Bouwhuis. It all takes place in the fictional town of Meerdijk. Like any other soap, marriage, divorce, kidnapping and business are a few of the ingredients of GTST, although in recent years, GTST has become known for writing and producing more controversial storylines. GTST is also known for having a summer break each year, ending a season sometime in June with a cliffhanger, only to resume three months later in September. Although the early cliffhangers often revolved around family drama, later cliffhangers have often revolved around disasters and unexpected twists.

Many former actors who once were part of the cast are now well known in the Netherlands and Europe, such as Katja Schuurman, Reinout Oerlemans and Antonie Kamerling.

In 2016 the show got a spin-off called Nieuwe Tijden (English: New Times), which follows some of the younger characters from GTST and some new characters as they go off to college.



Present charactersEdit

Actor Character Duration
Cecilia Adorée Tiffy Koster 2016, 2018–
Faye Bezemer Lana Langeveld 2017–
Dorian Bindels Daan Stern 2018–
Floris Bosma Rover Dekker 2018–
Caroline De Bruijn Janine Elschot 1992–
Alkan Coklu Amir Nazar 2017–
Ferry Doedens Lucas Sanders 2009–
Melissa Drost Sjors Langeveld 2017–
Stephanie van Eer JoJo Abrams 2018–
Everon Jackson Hooi Bing Mauricius 2005–
Tim Immers Mark de Moor 1992–1993, 1995, 2018–
Giovanni Kemper Q Bouwhuis 2018–
Anouk Maas Zoë Xander 2017–
Jette van der Meij Laura Selmhorst 1990–
Britt Scholte Kimberly Sanders 2016–
Joep Sertons Anton Bouwhuis 2010–
Ferri Somogyi Rik de Jong 1995–2004, 2007–
Babette van Veen Linda Bouwhuis–Dekker 1990–1998, 2005–2006, 2015–
Marly van der Velden Nina Mauricius–Sanders 2005–
Erik de Vogel Ludo Sanders 1996–
Bertrie Wierenga Shanti Vening 2019–
Dilan Yurdakul Aysen Baydar 2012–

Recurring castEdit

Actor Character Duration
Various child actors Nola Sanders 2013–
Luca Savazzi Leon de Boer 2014–
Michael de Roos Alex de Boer 2014–
Various child actors Manu Mauricius 2015–
Roel Dirven Flo Wagenaar 2018–
Various child actors Max Mauricius 2018–
Barrie Stevens Rudie Reuvers 2019–

Cast changesEdit

Actor Character Date
Tim Immers Mark de Moor Departs February 15
Giovanni Kemper Q Bouwhuis Departs February 19
Jop de Vries Rob Bekkers Debuts February 21
Jerome Talsma Bram Bouwhuis Returns February 21
Various child actors Louise Stern Debuts February 22

Original cast membersEdit

Actor Character Duration
Antonie Kamerling Peter Kelder 1990–93, 1995
Reinout Oerlemans Arnie Alberts 1990–96
Joost Buitenweg Rien Hoogendoorn 1990–92
Frédérique Huydts Annette van Thijn Dekker 1990–92
Babette van Veen Linda Dekker 1990–98, 2005–06, 2015–
Isa Hoes Myriam van der Pol 1990–94
Ingeborg Wieten Suzanne Balk Carpenter 1990–2000
Marlous Fluitsma Helen Helmink (#1) 1990–91
Rick Engelkes Simon Dekker 1990–94, 1997–98, 2003
Jette van der Meij Laura Selmhorst 1990–
Wilbert Gieske Robert Alberts 1990–2008, 2015–16
Wim Zomer Daniel Daniel 1990–99
Inge Ipenburg Martine Hafkamp 1990–94, 2003–05, 2017
Hein van Beem Nico Stenders 1990–91
Antoinette van Belle Stephanie Kreeft Stenders 1990–94
Dieter Jansen Jan van Ede 1990–91
Djuna Hougee Petra van Ede 1990–91
Carola Gijsbers van Wijk Wil de Smet 1990–98

Controversial storylines and scenesEdit

The death of Frits van HoutenEdit

Businessman Frits van Houten was introduced in the second season and the residents of Meerdijk soon found he was a ruthless man who was willing to go very far to get what he wanted. He didn't have any friends, but the women seemed to throw themselves at his feet, resulting in many affairs and one-night stands, although he only married one, his true love Dian Alberts. Throughout the years, Frits had received many death threats, but he never took them seriously. One night, he was at his house taking a bath when a person unknown to the audience showed up. After Frits spoke a few lines, indicating he knew whoever it was, he or she removed his TV from the table and threw it into Frits' bathtub, electrocuting and killing him instantly. He still had a glass of champagne in his hand which he crushed while being electrocuted. This has remained the most significant scene from GTST. The murderer was revealed to be his secretary and once one-night stand Hannie van der Kroeft, who had been infuriated by his behavior towards her. However, more than ten years later, it was discovered by Frits' now adult daughter and son that Frits had a twin brother, who was the one who killed Frits that night.

The truth behind Stefano Sanders' paternityEdit

Although a rewrite in paternity isn't unusual in soap operas, this one had been attached to a dirty little secret Stefano's presumed father Ludo was never meant to find out. Ludo had been married to Stefano's mother Sophia years ago and had always thought his wife and son died in a car explosion. It was later revealed that Stefano had survived and had been raised by an Italian mob family, and Ludo and Stefano were reunited with each other. Years later, Ludo's father Maximilliaan died and on his funeral, Sophia showed up, who had never even been in the car at the time and had assumed it was Ludo who had died that day. While trying to reconnect with his ex-wife, Ludo found her diaries and aware of her unstable mental state, Ludo started reading, and to his horror discovered that Sophia had been raped at a young age by his own father. Sophia admitted Stefano was not his son, he was Maximilliaan's, making Stefano his brother and not his son. Sophia was admitted to a mental institution and slit her wrists not long afterwards. Although both Ludo and Stefano needed time to process all this, they remained a part of each other's life and Stefano still refers to Ludo as his father.

Drugs and jailEdit

Weeks before Rik de Jong would finally marry his true love Anita Dendermonde, he discovered that his teenage son Job was forced to smuggle drugs to Singapore. Refusing to let his son become a part of this, Rik made a deal with Job's boss and offered to smuggle the drugs to Singapore. Rik and Anita took off for their honeymoon, but at the airport in Singapore, Rik's bag was checked by security and he was taken into custody. He was transported to a prison nearby and became cellmates with another Dutch man, also a drugs smuggler. Anita tried to do everything she could to get Rik out, but his cellmate Jan told him he'd already been in jail for two years and he had only smuggled a very small amount of weed; Rik would never get out again. Devastated, a very pregnant Anita traveled back home to contact her lawyer while a fire was started in Rik's prison, leaving his cellmate deceased. Knowing he would not get out anytime soon and wanting Anita to move on with her life, Rik took on Jan's identity and Rik himself was declared dead. Anita tried to move on with her life, giving birth to a little girl whom she named Rikki. She soon ran into her first love Mickey and in a spur of the moment they decided to get married. Mickey however discovered Rik was alive, but kept this from Anita. On their wedding day, Rik was released from jail and returned home to find Anita about to marry Mickey. Rik and Anita soon reunited and decided to go to New Zealand with Rikki to join Job who had moved there months before.


At the end of season 19, the character Lucas Sanders returned to Meerdijk from New York and revealed that he was gay. This marked the first time in GTST's history that a major character was openly gay. During the course of season 20 it was implied that Lucas has frequent one night stands. He was gay bashed, which was witnessed by his sister's boyfriend, who took a long time to step forward. Most later story lines involving Lucas did not deal with his sexuality. On 18 October 2010, shortly after the start of season 21, GTST introduced a new family, the Bouwhuis. One of their sons, Edwin, draws the attention of both Lucas and his best friend Wiet. Both try to win him over and he eventually starts a doomed relationship with Wiet, withdrawing from her whenever she wants to get close. Lucas suspects that Edwin is deep in the closet. During Lucas' 20th birthday party, Edwin kisses Lucas, but later insists that was a mistake. On the February 16th episode, Edwin tells Lucas that he intends to break up with Wiet as he is no longer in love with her, but with Lucas. The same night, Wiet overdoses on GHB. Edwin postpones the breakup. When Wiet is released from hospital, Edwin reveals to her that he is gay and has fallen in love with Lucas. He then visits Lucas. The two of them go to Lucas's bedroom and sleep with each other. The love scene between the two boys—who are seen with their shirts off and making-out prompted a wide reaction on social networks minutes after the broadcast. There was a pretty even split between negative and positive reactions. The Dutch gay rights organization COC noted that, alarmingly, many of the negative reactions came from younger viewers. Broadcasting network RTL and production company Endemol have defended the scene as a reflection of society and have indicated they won't back down on the story-line. After this Edwin and Lucas get involved in a relationship against the will of Edwin's father, Anton. When He finds his son and Lucas kissing in his doctor's practice, he beats Lucas up. Lucas ends up in the hospital. After months of problems Anton accepts his son and boyfriend. After a shooting accident on the wedding of Lucas's sister Nina, he gets injured and ends up in coma. He is in a coma for months and Edwin is with him every day. After a few months Edwin falls in love with Lucas's doctor, Ron, the intern of Anton (who started working in the hospital of Meerdijk). When Lucas wakes up of his coma he breaks up with Edwin. In the meantime, a deadly virus (Ebola) is spreading through Meerdijk. Ron gets infected and dies in the arms of Edwin. After Ron's death, Lucas and Edwin get together again, but the virus is still spreading. After a while Edwin gets the virus too. He fights for his life, but eventually dies. It took months for Lucas to start to feel normal again.

A few seasons later he falls in love with a man called, Bilal, an Islamic. The relationship didn't work out.

In season 24, Lucas meets a police officer called Menno Kuiper. The fall in love and after half a year get married. This was the first Dutch soap gay marriage ever and the whole world was talking about it.[citation needed] Because of this attention, the wedding episode was released with English subtitles. After a while Menno starts to beat Lucas and appears to have a trauma. Lucas tries to keep it a secret for his mother and sister, but after he ends up in the hospital he tells it. Together they do an intervention and Menno gets in therapy. Unfortunately, it didn't help and he leaves after an emotional goodbye with Lucas.

Later in the series, Wiet van Houten falls in love with a new character called Anna Brandt, who is revealed to be bisexual. They are in a relationship.

Live Event

GTST had a live event in the years 2011 till 2015 called GTST live especially for viewers. In 2014 over 200,000 people visited this event.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Press Release: 5000ste aflevering: 'GTST' trakteert kijker op gelijktijdige, extra aflevering via second screen app".

External linksEdit