When I received the press release about the show, detailing the plot, the cast and their characters, the production team, I somehow knew that we had to expect a great show. But what I didn't know was just how good it actually really is. Watching it was just affirmation that this is a great show. I was shocked, I was scared I laughed! Three different emotions in a space of 45 minutes. I already have favourites and characters that I don't really like. I want to know what happens next, which is always good for a TV series. The writing is really great and the one liners ("I really don't understand idiots") will leave you with a smile.
Bravo to Luke and Josh Rous on an excellent show. Bravo to SABC 2 for commissioning the show and for finally airing it. To think that Gerhard Pretorius, SABC 2's channel head, then head of content, signed for the show in March 2012, but we only get to see it now, is unbelievebale.
Geraamtes in die Kas is an Afrikaans drama series, set in Johannesburg about four psychologists who work at Vermaak en Vernote (Vermaak and Partners). They all have their secrets- issues they are dealing with.
If you missed the first episode, then you missed the start of what is sure to be a successful South African show.
We did a post about the show earlier this month- but if you missed it, go here
Here's who the main characters are and what they are about and what we think about them from what we saw on the first episode.
Adriaan is a 45-year-old retiring psychiatrist who has built up his practice, Vermaak en Vernote, and is very much in the business of making money off mental health problems. Up until now, the only problem in Adriaan’s life has been the shadow his father's psychiatric legacy has cast over his own profession. But Adriaan is in for a surprise when his long estranged father dies which sets off a rollercoaster of emotions.
Excellent casting and excellent acting by Gys. Adriaan is basically a shrink with major daddy issues and now on a mid-life crisis. Everything he's done, it to get his dad's attention and when that didn't work, he realised that nothing will. He became a shrink just so he could make waves in the industry and therefore make his father proud of him. In one scene with a patient, he tells her that all he has ever wanted, is approval from his father- and that he really wanted him to be at his graduation ceremony, but he wasn't. I could believe the emotional turmoil Adriaan is going through, after all we all want approval and affirmation from our fathers. Our heroes.
Susan is one tough cookie. This 34-year-old Afrikaans speaking full bright scholar from Stellenbosch specialises in criminal psychology and has been working at the practice for the past five years as Adriaan’s right hand lady, as an expert witness in criminal cases and a deft hand at unravelling complicated patients. Unable to separate her work from her life, she has never been able to have a relationship that lasted longer than a cup of coffee.
Susan is one of my favourite characters. She's hardcore- she seems very sweet, but don't mess with her. She impressed me with how she dealt with one of her patients, Retief, who was being evaluated mentally. Retief had kidnapped minors and done unspeakable things to them. The way she handled him, finally exposing that he was crazy, but was all part of his plan, was genius. The writers know what to do with her. Anel is great in the role. I last saw her as Liesl in 7de Laan in the early 00s. She's become a really great actress.
Veronika is Adriaan’s long-term friend and spiritual advisor – too bad he’s never taken her advice. But there’s more to this relationship than meets the eye. Years of sexual chemistry and unasked questions flow under this bridge back to college days when Adriaan and Veronika dated. Their relationship ended right after graduation when Adriaan discovered his father cheating and Veronika discovered Adriaan’s emotionally unavailable state. Veronika is a fine nurse and had what it takes to become a fine doctor, but chose the role of a helper rather than that of a healer, serving the community in a government HIV Clinic. Over the years Veronika has continuously tried to redeem Adriaan while he has continuously tried to corrupt her. In Veronika, Adriaan finds the one honest voice in a sea of deception. Amidst the many people begging for his help, she is one person offering it.
Helene came back from her sabbatical for this role. As much as we didn't see a lot of her in the premiere, she's a key character as she's Adriaan's conscience. He's crutch. I think she's the only one who can get through to him, make him see sense. The weird thing is, I'm certain that Adriaan has a love/hate relationship with her. I'm looking forward to see what the writers do with Veronika. I still need to know what prompted her to not be a doctor. That has to be a story there and I wonder if it has to do with Adriaan.
Palesa treats men with too much time, money and ego whose biggest problems are deciding whether to choose canary yellow or blood red for their new SLK's.
Palesa escaped the township by means of the guilt money sent to her mother after her father left them. Since then she’s placed herself on a fictitious pedestal she’s determined never to get knocked off. She’s re-invented herself so many times and at so many levels that if you asked her, she’d be hard pressed to remember where she really comes from. That is except for the one tiny blemish on an otherwise spotless coat of impenetrable armor – a mother who is dying of HIV.
What is it with 7de Laan not showing the full abilities of its actors? I didn't know that Vuyelwa could be so amazing on screen? She's confident, sexy and she's in-charge- and she lets whomever she deals with, know that. She's not to be messed with, but as much as the walls are up, they are not made of steel. She's going to be another interesting one to watch- especially her relationship with the new therapist, Rudy Abrahams.
Do not make jokes about this man’s name or he will... well, he won’t do anything because he’s kind of a hippy, pacifist. He might make you listen to a favourite “Brasse Van Die Kaap” track or worse, play you something on his trusty guitar. At best, he may only try to tell you what your favourite type of music is, down to the group, album and single - it’s what he calls his ‘gift’. Rudy is to be the newest addition to the practice, and perhaps the last possible choice anyone would have guessed at just a week before the news of Adriaan’s father’s death. Rudy is married to Aesha, now expecting twins the couple have had their fair share of obstacles. What with Aesha’s family disowning her for marrying beneath her, his frowned upon attempts to combine music therapy with child psychology, and a miserable salary from his current job, all they’ve had to keep them going is each other. So far that’s been enough.
This is an interesting role, mainly because I think he's the only one who actually doesn't have as many problems as the others. His main problem is money. And dealing with a pregnant wife. But he understands each member of the practice and I think he's going to be make major moves and give the practice that edge. He knew that one of Adriaan's patients had been sexually abused, without even consulting her. He knew what Palesa's favourite song was and he's a person who will clearly push until he gets what he wants.
Classified as a “near-savant,” Gavin has an IQ of 179, is a retired neurosurgeon and has what might be considered a minor superiority complex. Finished high school at the age of 15, University by 17, medical school by the age of 21 after which he proceeded to specialise in neurosurgery. Problems set in when he had his license revoked after the onset of acute Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NLP) better known as a God-complex. Only in Gavin’s case, just like everything else in his life, it couldn’t be something small, but rather a crippling mental blow that would lay him low despite all his mental prowess.
Gavin is the Sheldon Cooper character of the show and provides the needed comic relief. He's one of those obnoxious people, who only care about themselves and doesn't care about other people's feelings or opinions. He's a douche and he knows it. He's pursuing Susan Brink and he seems to be the only one who can- yet she finds him deplorable. Not that he cares. He think he's awesome and anyone who doesn't think so, is clearly an idiot. He's my favourite character.
Caleb is the innocent, shy, receptionist that is going to win Palesa’s heart. At 23 he is currently working towards getting his Matric. When he was 17 his mother, a policewoman, was shot and killed in the line of duty leaving Caleb and his two younger sisters alone. Caleb promptly dropped out of high school 4 months short of matriculating and went to work as a gardener to support his sisters. Four years later he got a job working on Adriaan’s estate. Adriaan, impressed with Caleb’s eloquence and manners, offered him a job cleaning up in the office. What with the volatile personalities in the office, Adriaan and his team seem hard pressed to hold onto any one receptionist, and in between finding a new one Caleb lands up filling the position.
It was obvious that he's going to be Palesa's love interest, especially because he's forbidden fruit and I have a feeling that Palesa loves that. Plus she's obviously in power and having someone young pursue you will allow her to be in a dominant position and call the shots. Caleb is a naturally clever guy and it's only his circumstances that have stopped him from being a great person. He's charming, clever and witty and as much as it irks Palesa (and Susan) in the first episode, he's going to be an asset to the practice (and Palesa). Now I wonder if Rudy will have an issue with Caleb.
Aesha is Rudy's wife and when we meet her she's out-of-control-pregnant-hormones in human form. Even carrying twins, Rudy knows just how to handle her and the two have a loving if not complicated relationship. She is a high school biology teacher, and as much as she hates to admit it, Aesha’s rational mind cannot cope without her husband's sensitivity and reassurance. And if she had any doubts about their difficult pairing, Rudy has faith enough for both of them - but how long will that faith last?
We didn't learn much about Aesha, except that she's pregnant with twins and is demanding of her husband. Her pupils tease her and she's had enough of it and worse, she wants Rudy to do more for her- so clearly she's from money. She's more of a guest character than a main one, but later on, there's sure to be something big and a crossroads for her and Rudy and it's about the twins.
The supporting guest actors make the show even better- Marissa Drummond was excellent as one of Adriaan's patients. There is going to be 75 guest stars, most of them some of South Africa's best.
It's going to be an interesting three months ahead.
Geraamtes in die Kas airs on Tuesdays on SABC 2 at 7.30pm