Great new local production
Geraamtes in die Kas is a drama with plenty of promise and an impressive cast. Buhle Mbonambi spoke to actress Anel Alexander
GERAAMTES in die Kas means skeletons in the closet. And boy, are there skeletons in SABC 2’s new drama series.
The show, which airs on Tuesdays at 7.30pm, boasts an all-star cast of Gys de Villiers, Helene Lombard, Vuyelwa Booi, Kim Engelbrecht and Anel Alexander. Set in a Joburg psychology practice, Vermaak en Vennote, Geraamtes sees its characters battle their own demons and issues, while helping their patients battle
theirs. Vermaak en
Vennote comprises the
eccentric Adriaan Ver
maak (De Villiers) who has major
daddy issues; the sassy sexologist, Palesa Ramaphosa (Booi) who has some major relationship issues; unconventional
music therapist Rudy Abrahams ( Wayne van Rooyen) and criminal psychologist Susan Brink ( Alexander), who is the glue that holds the practice together.
Dr Susan Brink is a complex character. She’s a criminal psychologist and, in a way, dealing with hardened criminals has taken its toll on her.
“She doesn’t see things as black and white – it’s almost always a grey area. Ethics are very important to her and that’s one of the difficult things when lines get blurred – she doesn’t know what to do.
“She’s self- righteous though, which can sometimes be very irritating. But her heart is in the right place,” Anel said.
“Susan is perfect for her job. She’s one of those people who are organised, have a set way of doing things and love stability. Susan is that person. She’s the one who always has to make the big decisions for the practice.”
This makes Susan closer to Adriaan than the other partners.
“She’s his right-hand woman. I think she understands him; his eccentricities and his issues.
“She did her thesis on Adriaan and his methods, so he’s always been her mentor. So because of this the other partners always ask Susan to speak to Adriaan when he has gone overboard.”
All this makes Susan dedicated to her work.
“Oh, she’s a workaholic. She has no time for anything but her work. She really gets into it and doesn’t allow any distractions.
“She sleeps in the office sometimes. It’s actually most times (laughs). But I love how dedicated she is.”
Anel was attracted to Geraamtes because it was a different premise from other shows.
“The concept intrigued me. I kept imagining just how many great stories we could tell and how far we could take the show. I’ve done quite a lot of soapies and dra- mas and Geraamtes most interesting.”
What drew her to Susan’s character was how complex she is and the cases she gets to work on.
“Susan is a tough cookie. She’s nice, but don’t ever mess with her. “I love no-nonsense characters. “Another thing I love about the show is the extensive research that has been done for each case. Some are bizarre, yes, but most are inspired by real cases. I love how the writers have written the cases too. Susan gets to deal with such interesting individuals and most are psychopaths. Like the first episode where she had to evaluate whether her court-appointed patient, Retief, is sane. It turns out he’s not and he’s been playing the courts and Susan. So when she finds out how warped he really is, she makes sure he gets put away for a long time. And this happens in real life.
“I have such appreciation for psychologists now – having to deal with people’s issues and trying their best to make sure they don’t affect them personally.”
Has dealing with all these criminals affected Susan?
“I think so. She’s very meticulous about everything.
“She’s faced with ethical challenges on how to treat her clients, so much so she’s neglected other aspects of her life, especially her love life, or rather, the lack of.”
Speaking of Susan’s love life, Gavin Winters (James Alexander) is the man who hopes to capture her heart. “He’s such a pain!” Anel said, laughing. “I would never date a guy like Gavin and I feel so sorry for Susan having to deal with him.”
is easily the
Gavin, played by Anel’s own husband, is an obnoxious former neurosurgeon with a high opinion of himself, which is what you’d expect from a wunderkind who finished school in his mid-teens and university at 17. As Anel said, Gavin is the local version of The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper.
“He’s a terrible narcissist thanks to his God Syndrome and knowing better than everyone else, like Sheldon Cooper or even Denny Crane ( Boston Legal). He had his licence revoked after rendering three of his patients brain-dead.
He becomes one of Susan’s patients and she diagnoses him with narcissistic personality disorder. But now he won’t go away.”
While he may irritate Susan, Gavin actually does have a chance with her. “Susan is flattered by his attention, even though it irritates her that Gavin thinks he’s doing her a favour by even being remotely interested in her.”
It’s certainly made easier for Anel, acting with James. “James is a really great actor. He’s totally different from Gavin. So I always have to rise to the challenge whenever I’m working with him on a scene.”
This year has been great for local TV. With five new dramas launched, it looks as though local channels are finally serious about commissioning local shows.
“It’s really encouraging. It’s very much more expensive to make local productions than it is to buy international shows, so it’s always a good thing. Besides the viewers being able to relate to the stories, it’s good for our industry. We work really hard and it’s disappointing when we don’t see our shows on TV.
IMPRESSIVE: The cast of
SUSAN: Anel Alexander