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German soaps: GZSZ, UU & AWZ


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Two more familiar faces will appear in the VL reboot:

  • Gabriele Metzger, who was the only cast member to appear on the original show during its entire run, will return as Charlotte "Charlie" Schneider. At the beginning of the show, Charlie was Clarissa's snobby and man-crazy best friend. Once she and Clarissa had parted ways, Charlie became a more humble person. In addition, several of her family members were introduced, including her brother Lars, her nephew Olli, her niece Olivia, and her secret daughter Bella. At the end of the original show, she was married to police officer Frank Helmke and was the owner of the restaurant "Schneider's". On the weekly version of the soap, Charlie only appeared as a background character.
  • Jo Weil will return as Oliver "Olli" Sabel, Charlie's gay nephew. On the original show, Weil was a contract member from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2007 to 2014. He was a fan favorite, but departed the show before VL became a weekly soap. At the end of the original show, Olli was said to be in New York.
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1 hour ago, Huntress said:

Two more familiar faces will appear in the VL reboot:

  • Gabriele Metzger, who was the only cast member to appear on the original show during its entire run, will return as Charlotte "Charlie" Schneider. At the beginning of the show, Charlie was Clarissa's snobby and man-crazy best friend. Once she and Clarissa had parted ways, Charlie became a more humble person. In addition, several of her family members were introduced, including her brother Lars, her nephew Olli, her niece Olivia, and her secret daughter Bella. At the end of the original show, she was married to police officer Frank Helmke and was the owner of the restaurant "Schneider's". On the weekly version of the soap, Charlie only appeared as a background character.
  • Jo Weil will return as Oliver "Olli" Sabel, Charlie's gay nephew. On the original show, Weil was a contract member from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2007 to 2014. He was a fan favorite, but departed the show before VL became a weekly soap. At the end of the original show, Olli was said to be in New York.

 

Thanks for telling us. It will be good to see Olli again (if I ever get to see any of this...).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tuner doesn't do much these days. Moritz doesn't appear as much as I'd like 😂I love the relationship between Moritz and Yvonne.

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9 hours ago, Skylover said:

Tuner doesn't do much these days. Moritz doesn't appear as much as I'd like 😂I love the relationship between Moritz and Yvonne.

 

Regarding Tuner,

Spoiler

it looks like Emily will soon find out that he is Kate's father. Emily and Tuner were a couple in 2012, but after the break-up Emily had a one-night-stand with a tourist (Roberto) and became pregnant. She always believed that Roberto was Kate's father. Kate was born in the spring of 2013. The girl was adopted by Emily's (now ex-)husband Tayfun, and currently lives with Emily and her new husband Paul.

 

Some casting news:

  • On GZSZ, Cryssanthi Kavazi (Laura Weber) returns from her maternity leave on August 20th, 2020.
  • On AWZ, Birte Glang (Lena Bergmann von Altenburg Öztürk) departs the show on August 11th, 2020. Glang was the third actress in the role. Juliette Greco debuted as Lena in May 2007. In early 2013, she was replaced by Maria Kempken for six months during her maternity leave. Greco returned in September 2013 and departed again in August 2018. Glang took over in January 2019. Despite being on contract, Glang's Lena never really had a major storyline and in hindsight, the recast didn't make much sense. In her early years on the show, Lena had various affairs. She gave birth to her and Maximilian's son Alexander in 2009, which tied Lena to the Steinkamp family (a connection that was hardly used in the show's storylines). Since 2013, she had been married to Marian Öztürk (Sam Eisenstein).
  • In turn, there are two new contract members on AWZ: Lisandra Bardél plays Malu Santos, a mysterious woman that Finn (Christopher Kohn) meets at a spiritual retreat. He soon feels attracted to her, but then it turns out that Malu is his brother Justus's (Matthias Brüggenolte) secret girlfriend. Dominik Flade plays Yannick Ziegler, Ina (Franziska van der Heide) and Lucie's (Julia Wiedmann)a brother.
  • On UU, Alica Hubiak (Jana Huber) departs the show at the end of August when her character eventually dies of her terminal illness. Hubiak only joined the cast this past April. She quickly became a fan favorite, but the character's demise had been planned for months.
  • There's also an unexpected return as Sarah Bogen reprises her role as Lili Mattern after being off the show for 8 years. Bogen debuted on the show in November 2001 when she was only 12 years old, and for years, she was the youngest contract cast member on any soap. In 2012, following the murder of Lili's adoptive mother Rebecca (Imke Brügger), Bogen was released from her contract. She departed the show in October 2012 and Lili moved to Namibia to live with her step sister Romy. Now Lili returns to Cologne to support her step father Rufus whose youngest daughter Lotta has apparently been kidnapped
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On 8/6/2020 at 8:19 AM, Huntress said:

Regarding Tuner,

  Hide contents

it looks like Emily will soon find out that he is Kate's father. Emily and Tuner were a couple in 2012, but after the break-up Emily had a one-night-stand with a tourist (Roberto) and became pregnant. She always believed that Roberto was Kate's father. Kate was born in the spring of 2013. The girl was adopted by Emily's (now ex-)husband Tayfun, and currently lives with Emily and her new husband Paul.

 

 

Sounds interesting. I'm enjoying the story between Leyla and John.

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I've signed up to RTL Now so I can watch old episodes. It's funny that not many of the old cast in the 90s stayed for long, but a lot of the current cast have stuck around for a long time. I just saw an episode from 2007 with Philip, John and Emily all in it.

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Yeah, in the 90s/2000s, it was extremely rare for a character to stick around longer than 3 or 4 years. It was usually only the older cast members that stayed on board to create the "backbone" of the show. This applied to all soaps, not just GZSZ. In the early days, most youngers "actors" didn't have any experience before being cast on a soap, and it showed. Because the soap genre had a bad reputation, many younger actors were eager to leave their shows to get "better" roles. Only some of them were lucky, though, and a lot of these actors quit acting altogether to find success in other professions. Some former GZSZ actors of the 90s became successful directors, for example. In other instances, people were fired because their characters had become stale or because they were unpopular.

 

Storytelling was also very different back then because there wasn't that much emphasis on character development. There were a lot of cheesy, over-the-top storylines that wouldn't work today.

 

However, there are lot of storylines that are popular on American soaps that German soaps have never or rarely done, such as "Who's the daddy?", baby switchs, return from the dead, long-lost twins, rape, plastic surgery/people wearing masks to pose as a different person, brainwashing, multiple marriages to the same partner, science fiction or supernatural stuff, and the likes.

 

Over time, some characters managed to become essential to the show's storylines (or their actors are very friendly with TPTB), and this is why they have sticked around for so long. I mean, back in 2004, I could have never imagined that Emily would still be on the show in the year 2020. She was a very unpopular character at that time and wasn't even well integrated into the cast for years. Same goes for Katrin. Philip has been a bore ever since, but apparently he's popular enough. Maren and Lilly, who have both been on the show for 10 years, also started out as rather peripherical characters.

 

If you look at these episode counts from January 1995, you will probably not recognize any familiar name except Jo:

 

January 1995

Total Episodes: 22

 

01. Sandra Keller (Tina Ullrich-Zimmermann #1) : 17
*** Alexander Kiersch (Patrick Graf) : 17
03. Wolfgang Bahro (Dr. Jo Gerner) : 15
*** Sali Landricina (Peter Becker #2) : 15
*** Lisa Riecken (Elisabeth Meinhart) : 15
*** Victoria Sturm (Milla Engel) : 15
*** Saskia Valencia (Saskia Rother) : 15
*** Claudia Weiske (Elke Opitz) : 15
09. Hannelore Minkus (Beatrice Zimmermann) : 13
*** Jan Sosniok (Tom Lehmann) : 13

 

11. Hans Christiani (A.R. Daniel) : 12
12. Andreas Elsholz (Heiko Richter) : 10
*** Frank-Thomas Mende (Clemens Richter) : 10
*** Julian Scheunemann (Charlie Fierek) : 10
15. Matthias Matz (André Holm) : 9
*** Angela Neumann (Vera Richter) : 9
*** Julia Gerke (Jenny Gruber) : 9 *
18. Judith Gerke (Jessi Gruber) : 8 *
*** Irene Neuner (Dr. Rebecca Scheele) : 8 *
*** Bastienne Voss (Mona Dorngräber, owner of "Modern Times") : 8


22. Ernst Dollwetzel (Jens Liebermann, owner of "Modern Times") : 6
*** Volker Lüdecke (Uwe Kraus, Tina's kidnapper) : 6
*** Simone Storch-Bicking (Ariane Lehnert, owner of "City Lights") : 6
25. Frank Halatsch (Willi Gerner) : 5
*** Werner Schuster (Manni Fürst, reporter at "Morgenecho") : 5
27. Elke Lanzendörfer (Officer Borg) : 4
*** Dagmar Sitte (Rita Sahmel) : 4
*** Sabine Svoboda (Officer Schwenke) : 4
30. Raphael Schneider (Andy Lehmann) : 2 *
31. Tanja Wenzel (Mascha Marcks) : 1

 

* became contract cast members at a later point.

Edited by Huntress
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9 hours ago, Huntress said:

I mean, back in 2004, I could have never imagined that Emily would still be on the show in the year 2020. She was a very unpopular character at that time and wasn't even well integrated into the cast for years.

 

That's interesting. I think Emily is easily the best character on the show now and possibly even the central character. 

 

9 hours ago, Huntress said:

Yeah, in the 90s/2000s, it was extremely rare for a character to stick around longer than 3 or 4 years. It was usually only the older cast members that stayed on board to create the "backbone" of the show. This applied to all soaps, not just GZSZ. In the early days, most youngers "actors" didn't have any experience before being cast on a soap, and it showed. Because the soap genre had a bad reputation, many younger actors were eager to leave their shows to get "better" roles. Only some of them were lucky, though, and a lot of these actors quit acting altogether to find success in other professions. Some former GZSZ actors of the 90s became successful directors, for example. In other instances, people were fired because their characters had become stale or because they were unpopular.

 

I watched the first episode yesterday and the acting was much weaker, but acting was weaker across the board back then. I suppose Leon's one of the only younger characters to have survived from the 90s and even he had a 2 year break. 

 

Why was Emily unpopular to begin with?

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7 hours ago, Skylover said:

I watched the first episode yesterday and the acting was much weaker, but acting was weaker across the board back then. I suppose Leon's one of the only younger characters to have survived from the 90s and even he had a 2 year break. 

 

Yeah, the acting in the first year was atrocious – like I said, most younger actors didn't have any experience prior to GZSZ, and the older actors were stage actors. So there's a good mixture of "can't enunciate at all" and dramatic overacting. The worst were the actors playing Marina, Julia and the first Claudia, but Heiko and Tina were horrible in the beginning as well. The only really good actors were the first Peter (RIP), Frank, Lilo and Daniel. The sets also looked like a theatre, camera work was static and the sound mixing was horrible, especially in outdoor scenes. All in all, the first year can be mostly viewed as an experiment, and it gets much better afterwards (after the first big cast purge in spring 1993).

 

Leon is the only (former) younger character from the 90s who is still on the show. John debuted in 2001 (and also took a break).

 

7 hours ago, Skylover said:

Why was Emily unpopular to begin with?

 

Well, when she arrived the character was only 15 years old, and she quickly developed a crush on John, barging in between him and his girlfriend Paula (who were a very popular couple at that time). Emily and John slept with each other, not knowing they were half-siblings. The audience hated this storyline. In the following years, Emily had typical teenager storylines... she spent time on a pony farm and became friends with a troubled girl named Nele who was abused by her mother. Nele also became a contract role and for a while, both girls had filler storylines such as being crazy about a boy group and stuff like that. Nele soon vanished and again, Emily didn't have any friends on the show. Following the traumatic deaths of her father Hannes and her aunt Senta (who was like a mother for her), Emily worked as a model and a singer, then developed a drug addiction, which ultimately led to the death of another character, Franzi (Philip's ex-girlfriend). This was the turning point and the character gained popularity (also because Anne Menden had grown as an actress).

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On 8/14/2020 at 9:04 AM, Huntress said:

Yeah, the acting in the first year was atrocious – like I said, most younger actors didn't have any experience prior to GZSZ, and the older actors were stage actors. So there's a good mixture of "can't enunciate at all" and dramatic overacting. The worst were the actors playing Marina, Julia and the first Claudia, but Heiko and Tina were horrible in the beginning as well. The only really good actors were the first Peter (RIP), Frank, Lilo and Daniel. The sets also looked like a theatre, camera work was static and the sound mixing was horrible, especially in outdoor scenes. All in all, the first year can be mostly viewed as an experiment, and it gets much better afterwards (after the first big cast purge in spring 1993).

 

Leon is the only (former) younger character from the 90s who is still on the show. John debuted in 2001 (and also took a break).

 

Yes, Heiko was particularly bad, judging by the first episode. Although I did enjoy him wandering around shirtless :lol: 

 

On 8/14/2020 at 9:04 AM, Huntress said:

Well, when she arrived the character was only 15 years old, and she quickly developed a crush on John, barging in between him and his girlfriend Paula (who were a very popular couple at that time). Emily and John slept with each other, not knowing they were half-siblings. The audience hated this storyline. In the following years, Emily had typical teenager storylines... she spent time on a pony farm and became friends with a troubled girl named Nele who was abused by her mother. Nele also became a contract role and for a while, both girls had filler storylines such as being crazy about a boy group and stuff like that. Nele soon vanished and again, Emily didn't have any friends on the show. Following the traumatic deaths of her father Hannes and her aunt Senta (who was like a mother for her), Emily worked as a model and a singer, then developed a drug addiction, which ultimately led to the death of another character, Franzi (Philip's ex-girlfriend). This was the turning point and the character gained popularity (also because Anne Menden had grown as an actress).

 

Thanks for the info. Who would you consider to be the most popular characters on the show? Jonas is annoying. I didn't know Laura was Yvonne's daughter, she looks too young to be, but I googled and it says Yvonne had her when she was 13. Lots of the characters look too young to be the parents of their children. Maren doesn't look old enough to be Tanja and Lilly's mother, and Nina being Toni's mother is nothing short of ridiculous, I was so shocked when I heard them say that.

 

 

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On 8/19/2020 at 1:10 AM, Skylover said:

Thanks for the info. Who would you consider to be the most popular characters on the show?

 

This is quite difficult to answer... I guess the most popular ones would be Jo, Katrin and Emily... followed by Felix, Nina, Erik, and maybe Sunny? A lot of the male characters – Leon, Paul, John and Philip – are characters who are just "there" and do not polarize. The women are more nuanced, but this has always been the case.

Jonas isn't that bad... he works well as a supporting player in family storylines, and I also like him with Merle.

I don't think there's an universally hated character on the canvas right now. I know the audience hated Leyla, Shirin and Nazan's cousin, who just departed the show, but she was only a guest role.

 

2OH3AMID2FSVMIEOWPINYNKDUE.jpg

 

On UU, it looks like veteran actor Ben Ruedinger has departed the show after playing the part of Till Weigel for almost 20 years. Swiss born Ruedinger joined the cast in October 2000 when Till, middle son of the Weigel family, received a recast. Previously, Stephen Dürr had played the part from the show's first episode in 1994 to December 1996. In July 2020, a cast list was published by RTL which stated that Constantin Lücke would be playing Till; however, Ben Ruedinger still appeared on screen at that time. Now Till has disappeared in the middle of an important storyline, and there are spoilers that indicate that he will have a terrible accident that requires plastic surgery. Constantin Lücke is a seasoned stage actor with many years of experience. On television, he is best known for his main role on the telenovela "Rote Rosen"; he also appeared in small roles on "Verbotene Liebe" and "Alles was zählt".

 

Kai Noll, who's played Rufus Sturm since 2003, is also departing the show in early September. Maybe the show's budget is strained and they're happy to see two big earners gone...

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15 hours ago, Huntress said:

 

This is quite difficult to answer... I guess the most popular ones would be Jo, Katrin and Emily... followed by Felix, Nina, Erik, and maybe Sunny? A lot of the male characters – Leon, Paul, John and Philip – are characters who are just "there" and do not polarize. The women are more nuanced, but this has always been the case.

Jonas isn't that bad... he works well as a supporting player in family storylines, and I also like him with Merle.

I don't think there's an universally hated character on the canvas right now. I know the audience hated Leyla, Shirin and Nazan's cousin, who just departed the show, but she was only a guest role.

 

2OH3AMID2FSVMIEOWPINYNKDUE.jpg

 

On UU, it looks like veteran actor Ben Ruedinger has departed the show after playing the part of Till Weigel for almost 20 years. Swiss born Ruedinger joined the cast in October 2000 when Till, middle son of the Weigel family, received a recast. Previously, Stephen Dürr had played the part from the show's first episode in 1994 to December 1996. In July 2020, a cast list was published by RTL which stated that Constantin Lücke would be playing Till; however, Ben Ruedinger still appeared on screen at that time. Now Till has disappeared in the middle of an important storyline, and there are spoilers that indicate that he will have a terrible accident that requires plastic surgery. Constantin Lücke is a seasoned stage actor with many years of experience. On television, he is best known for his main role on the telenovela "Rote Rosen"; he also appeared in small roles on "Verbotene Liebe" and "Alles was zählt".

 

Kai Noll, who's played Rufus Sturm since 2003, is also departing the show in early September. Maybe the show's budget is strained and they're happy to see two big earners gone...

Will you miss Till or Rufus? 

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Well, Till is the last remaining original member of the Weigel family... and while Ben Ruedinger clearly isn't the best actor in the world, the character is needed on the canvas, so it's good that they decided to recast him.

 

Rufus on the other hand hasn't been a viable in character in years and he should have exited years ago. When the Sturm family was introduced in 2003, they consisted of Rufus, his wife Ariane, his son René from a previous marriage, and Ariane and Rufus's daughter Romy. Rufus's backstory was that he worked as a writer of romance novels, using a female pseudonym. René was killed off in early 2006, Ariane departed a few months later, and Romy received a recast around the same time. She eventually left the show in 2009, so Rufus was left without a family. He was paired up with police officer Rebecca Mattern, until she was murdered in 2012. In the meantime, Rufus had fathered another daughter, Lotta, with a short-term character named Heidi. After a longer relationship with Anna Weigel (Till's younger sister), Rufus married Britta Schönfeld in 2018. Rufus leaves town with his daughter Lotta on September 9th, 2020.

 

UU's tv ratings have hit rock bottom in recent weeks. However, UU is always among the 10 most streamed programs on TVNOW. GZSZ is usually #1, and AWZ is among the top 3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Till recast on UU has now been made official: Constantin Lücke first airs as the new Till on September 24th, 2020.

https://www.rtl.de/cms/bei-unter-uns-constantin-luecke-ist-der-neue-till-weigel-4610920.html

 

On AWZ, there are 3 exits: Original cast member André Dietz (Ingo Zadek) departs the show after 14 years. Also out are Amrei Haardt (Nathalie Reichenbach) and – once again – Francisco Medina (Maximilian von Altenburg). Ania Niedieck (Isabelle Reichenbach) returns from her maternity leave on September 23rd.

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