Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (GTST) which translates to Good Times Bad Times is one of the most popular TV series in Netherlands. Owing to its popularity GTST has its website that is called gtst shortie. This website contains short videos that capture the summary of an episode and helps viewers come up to date with the show in no time. The show has been running strong since the late 1990’s without showing any signs of slowing down. GTST has the privilege of being the first ever daily soap in the Netherlands and that emotional bond with the audiences is hard to break. GTST has completed more than 5000 episodes. Although initially it was said to have been inspired by ‘The Restless Years’ the popular Australian TV soap, GTST started going its own way and brought uniqueness from the third season onwards. Even after 26 years, GTST still holds the prime spot for telecast which is Monday to Friday 20:00. It is said that more than 1.5 million people watch each of the episodes. This makes it the highest rated and one of the most popular soap operas in Netherlands. The story line of GTST revolves around five families namely – De Jong, Sanders, Alberts, Bouwhuis and Van Houten. These five families live in a quiet town named Meerdijk. The show has all the elements a daily soap should have such as divorce, marriage, business and kidnapping. However GTST has moved ahead with the times and started writing more controversial storylines. The video summary available on gtst shortie captures the emotions of the actors well and gives a proper gist of the story. This makes it easier for people to catch up with their favorite shows even when they are on the go. All they need to do is logon to gtst shortie and watch the summary clips of their favorite shows that they missed.
GTST producers also take care of their viewers and do something unique that no show ever does. They have a summer break every year. This means that families can go away on holiday and come back with the peace of mind knowing that they did not miss a single episode of their favorite show. The show takes a break in June and resumes in September. The producers also break with a cliffhanger that makes viewers eagerly looking forward to the start of the next season. Although the initial cliffhangers included family drama, later it revolved more around unexpected twists and disasters. It is obvious that with so much popularity for the show, the actors also have cult status in the Netherlands. Some of the best known actors are Reinet Oerlemans and Katja Schuurman. Antonie Kamerling was also a very successful and well known member of the cast however the actor decided to commit suicide in 2010 citing chronic depression.
2016 has seen something new happening that is called Nieuwe Tijden or New Times. This spin off follows the younger and new characters from GTST. This can also be viewed on gtst shortie. Although the show has seen quite a few changes over the years, one actor has stuck with the show since 1990. Her name is Jette van der Meij who plays the character of Laura Selmhorst. A few other actors have been part of the show for many years however they have done so in parts. Babette van Veen was part of GTST from 1990 to 1998, then 2005 to 2006 and then 2015 onwards. Rick Engelkes was part of the show from 1990 to 1994, then 1997 to 1998 and then 2003 onwards. Wilbert Gieske was part of the show from 1990 to 2008 and then from 2015 to 2016.