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Slechte Tijden, Slechte Tijden.

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Today I received a message from a loyal reader, Jessica Deen. It said “Shallow Man, I’m new to your blog, and was shocked to see  in a recent post of yours that Goede Tijden slechte Tijden (GTST) is still on TV. I stopped watching it around the time I had my first period.  Would you mind watching it and then providing more information on the current storylines?”

Being as ever, like Jesse Pinkman to the wishes of  Walter White, the shallow man has obliged and sat through more episodes of GTST in order to provide an update on a programme which like Keith Richards, continues against all odds to exist. The things I do for my readers!

What beautiful Antelope and Lions

The first thing one notices about GTST, (apart from the acting which i’ll cover later) is that every minority type is included in the show. So they have token Gay characters, two token Muslims, one of whom in order to make sure that their viewers, who are not exactly the smartest puppies in the litter, are 100% sure that she’s a muslim, permanently wears a scarf on her head. There’s a black guy, and more dumb blondes and brunettes than a typical edition of Vandaag de Dag.  Every character looks as if they’ve just stepped out of the pages of glossy mens or womens magazines, for example, Botox monthly.

As well as the dubious pleasure that the show provides to its viewers, an ecosystem of sunbed salons, plastic surgeons, reading teachers, opticians, make up artists, and makers of stuffed bras and underpants are supported by the cast of the show.

http://www.rtl.nl/soaps/gtst/home/#/inwoners

We can't act, but we're pretty
We can’t act, but we’re pretty

 

God forgive me, but here is a storyline from the show

Rik is engaged to Nuran the token headscarf wearing Muslim character. But Rik, na een ruzie with Nuran (an argument),  has had a fling with a woman who has an incredibly rare and exotic name in the Netherlands…………………..Femke! She’s a hard toiler, and a bunny boiler, not too smart and a bit of a tart. Poor Rik has attempted to use the oldest and worst excuse in the book for infidelity, he was drunk, then he woke up next to Femke! She wants him, but he loves Nuran. She’s been hassling him and then Femke walks into a cafe in broad daylight and kidnaps Rik’s grandchild.

 

My child is missing. Cue shocked facial expression
My child is missing. Cue shocked facial expression

There then follows a dramatic three-minute search for the child by the characters, who all wore their this is serious facial expressions.

The child is missing, serious facial expressions please
The child is missing, serious facial expressions, please

The child is found, but only after a cryptic message from Femke.

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The sentence to strike terror into the hearts of every Dutch Lion
The sentence to strike terror into the hearts of every Dutch Lion

 

Rik, then has to tell the other Muslim character in the show, a tough policewoman who unlike the rest of the cast has only managed to learn a single facial expression, (as opposed to serious, happy, surprised) a sort of mildly pissed off look which she probably perfected by thinking “what the hell am I doing on this second-rate TV show?”

I'm paid less as I can only do one facial expression. Serious
I’m paid less as I can only do one facial expression. Serious

She’s also the sister of Rik’s fiance, which doesn’t help matters. Following this, Rik decides to tell Nuran about his fling with the friendly Femke, who as Rik sensitively explains to Nuran “ze is gek! Totaal gestoord!” Which was how I began to feel after sitting through 24 minutes of this program.

Just think of the money and look serious
Just think of the money and look serious

I learned a new Dutch curse expression while watching this entertaining and informative show, that applies to the two “actors” pictured above, “Hou op allebei!!” Will Nuran stay together with Rik? Will the shallow man have a nervous breakdown if he continues to watch this show? Probably.

One last thing, if any of you know President Obama, please suggest to him that his protectors of democracy at Guantanamo Bay, force their prisoners to watch the programme. I guarantee that they’ll be handing over the secrets of terrorist plots after only a few minutes of watching this show.

No actors with less of a performance range than a second-hand electric car were hurt during the writing of this article, but the shallow man definitely was.

The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man is available from BOL.com. and of course Amazon.

A good seasons gift, but for adults only
A good seasons gift, but for adults only

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About Simon Woolcot

Infamous blogger, annoyance and self-confessed Shallow Man. Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. As well as writing this blog, Simon also has a YouTube channel of the same name, writes and directs videos and hosts seminars about life in the Netherlands. He also works as a content marketing and SEO specialist.