What is “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten”?

“Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten” is a very popular German soap opera that has been running on the German channel RTL since 1993. While the show was not very well received in the first few weeks and months, it slowly turned into one of the most popular soap operas that were ever shown in Germany – and even in 2015, the show it still fresh and attracts plenty of viewers.

What is the show about?

“Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten” means “good times, bad times” and is a very apt title for the series that tells stories about the lives of people who live in a neighborhood in Berlin. While there are some older characters (one of the actors has been in the show since 1993), the main cast is made up of young people – and of course this also influences the kinds of stories that are told: many of the characters have some sort of problem with their love life, others are not very happy with how their life is going in general, and sometimes you have serious problems like murder.

While many of the plots can be quite predictable – as they often are in soap operas – this German soap opera manages to capture the viewers’ attention because the writing of the series has improved over the years, and the actors and actresses are also doing quite a good job. You can’t help but rooting for some characters while others you would like to see driven over by a truck – twice.

Can I still get into watching this series?

If you have never watched this show on German TV before, or have missed out on a few seasons, then it will take a few episodes until you understand which character has which problem. And you’ll also need a while to understand how all of the characters are connected to each other. Once you got hooked though, you will notice that you really don’t want to miss an episode. Fortunately, the internet gives you the option that you can also watch some episodes on demand in case you missed a day.