On October 1, 1990 the first Dutch soap opera GOEDE TIJDEN SLECHTE TIJDEN aired its first episode on RTL4. It was based on the Australian soap opera THE RESTLESS YEARS. At first there was a lot of criticism. The acting and the quality of sets wasn't good enough. RTL4 even wanted to cancel the show after only four weeks. But then the show's popularity started to grow and now, 20 years later, the show is still very popular. This is the soap that daytime legend Elizabeth Hubbard guest starred on.
Last Friday GTST had existed exactly 20 years, but the show has been celebrating this anniversary during the whole week. Every day the show used a different opening sequence from the past ending on Friday with the debut of the new opening sequence.
The week started on Monday with a tribute to the very first scene of the show. You can watch both versions of this scene below.
This was already a great start, but the rest of the week was even better. Lots of good memories and a few tears while the people of Meerdijk were getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the local pub “De Koning” owned by Jef Alberts (Bartho Braat). Lucas Sanders (Ferry Doedens) and Noud Alberts (Ruud Feltkamp) were making a film for Jef to show to him at the party and that’s how the flashbacks became a part of the show.
The first person they interviewed for the film was Laura Selmhorst (Jette van der Meij, the only original cast member that is still on the show).
On Tuesday Lucas and Noud went to Rik de Jong (Ferri Somogyi) and Charlie Fischer (Lieke van Lexmond). Rik is now in a new relationship with Charlie, but early last year he lost his wife Anita Dendermonde (Sabine Koning). They were one of the most popular couples in the history of the show so of course we got a lot of great flashbacks from them. In the same episode we also saw Jef talking about his children.
Wednesday focused on the Van Houten family. Frits van Houten (Casper van Bohemen) was one of the most iconic villains of the show. He was killed off in 1995, but his three children with three different wives are still on the show: Jack van Houten (Mark van Eeuwen), Sjors Langeveld (Inge Schrama) and Wiet van Houten (Pip Pellens). I really enjoyed the flashbacks of Martine Hafkamp (Inge Ipenburg). She's definitely one of my favorite characters.
Thursday's episode revolved around the Sanders family and especially the head of the family, Ludo Sanders (Erik de Vogel). I thought it was funny when Lucas said he should make a film about his own family because he didn't understand most of it himself. It's true, the Sanders family tree is very complicated. Lucas' sister Nina (Marly van der Velden) is also his cousin.
Friday was the day of the party at "De Koning". This whole week and all those flashbacks were amazing, but this last episode was the highlight for me. Especially the scene where Laura talked about the people who have left them in the last 20 years and also the people who sadly passed away. You could tell that the scene was a mix of acting and real emotions. And then they showed Wik Jongsma, Frederique Huydts and Guusje Nederhorst. All three actors died way too young. I really appreciate the show for giving them extra attention during this anniversary.