Geraamtes in die Kas (Skeletons in the Closet) is a South African, Afrikaans-language psychological drama television series created by Luke Rous and Joshua Rous, produced by Rous House Productions and set in the world of four psychiatrists and psychologists as they balance their chaotic lives with patients, families and careers, while maintaining their own sanity.
The series invites you into the minds of a no-nonsense criminal psychologist, Susan Brink (played by Anel Alexandra); hippy music therapist Rudy Abrahams (Wayne van Rooyen); ego-stroking sex therapist Palesa Ramaphosa (Vuyelwa Booi); and internationally-acclaimed psychiatrist Adriaan Vermaak Jnr (Gys de Villiers), who finds himself in a mid-life crisis when he can't stop arguing with his dead father.
Geraamtes in die Kas illustrates our profound unity as humans, segmented only by different mental problems, riddled with ironic smiles and tears of recognition that will unite everyone who has ever had a breakdown, breakout and breakthrough.
The series was shot over a period of 12 weeks and features scenes taken at a beautiful Houghton-styled mansion turned into a private practice for the residents, psychiatrists and psychologists making money off mental health problems.
Episode 1 takes a look at life at "Vermaak en Vennote" Mental Health Clinic - chaotic as lead psychiatrist Adriaan has made the decision to leave the practice, but a life-altering discovery sparks a personal melt down leading him down a dark path.
Meanwhile he has tasked Palesa with interviewing new psychologist and music therapist, Rudy, who doesn't seem like a fit for the practice.
Susan needs to prove the mental capacity of a suspected child abductor.
Geraamtes in die Kas was created by Luke Rous and Joshua Rous and produced by Rous House Productions, with Joshua Rous as head writer. The title track and music was by Joel Assaizky.
Adriaan Vermaak (Gys de Villiers)
Adriaan Vermaak Junior is a 45-year-old retiring psychiatrist who has built up his practice, Vermaak en Vennote, 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.
Adriaan's mid-life crisis comes in the form of his long dead father Adriaan Vermaak Senior, resurrected as a figment of his strained imagination, he finds himself arguing with the father he never had.
Can Adriaan's nearly corrupted soul be salvaged or will he bring the entire practice down with him on his journey into self-discovery?
Veronika Bezuidenhout (Helene Lombard)
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.
Susan Brink (Anel Alexander)
Dr. Susan Brink is one tough cookie. This 34-year-old Afrikaans speaking Fulbright 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. Many have tried, all have failed.
Except for Gavin Winters, an ex-patient of Susan's with the IQ of a genius and an EQ of a tween. This retired Neurosurgeon, and part-time researcher at Vermaak en Vennote will stop at nothing to get Susan to fall for him.
Gavin Winters (James Alexander)
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.
It was in this state that he first came across Susan Brink – as her patient and a defendant for whom she would bear witness affirming his mental instability in a malpractice case brought against him for rendering 3 consecutive patients brain dead.
What followed was a year of treatment with Susan, the first psychologist to put up with Gavin for longer than three consecutive weeks. She never faltered under his barrage of personal questions and it was only after Gavin declared his undying love for her, that she referred him to someone else.
Since then Gavin has pursued Susan relentlessly, somehow securing the position of researcher at Vermaak & Vennote, only too happy to have a reason for nosing around her work, and offering advice on how to treat patients, which more often than not, is annoyingly dead right.
Their relationship is a tentative one. While Susan insists she wants nothing to do with him, his cocky nature is very attractive to her, as is the forbidden fruit of dating a former patient.
As for Gavin, his bravado merely hides the very real fear of what he knows is a serious mental sickness that he believes only Susan can keep in check. Quite simply he loves her.
Palesa Ramaphosa (Vuyelwa Booi)
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 armour – a mother who is dying of HIV.
Black woman from the township making it in the big city but still supports dying mother. And that is exactly why she's determined no one is going to find out.
For Palesa, being an exceptionally high paid psychologist who deals exclusively with yuppies and buppies, is the reality of her life. Not this quasi-life in which she has a mother who was cheated on by her father, infected, and now spends most of her time nagging Palesa to stay true to her roots.
Caleb Mahlangu (Duke Motlanthe)
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.
Caleb currently lives in Diepkloof and takes two taxis and a bus to get to work every day and he's never late. Now that he's finally saved enough money he's determined to get his Matric and then go to university.
For a young man with no real education and the iron resolve to take any job that'll get him and his sisters out of their desperate situation, Caleb is in fact a very proud young man with an overly developed sense of responsibility.
So far he has managed to keep his lack of education and the two girls he has to support a secret from the rest of the office, believing that it would only make them view him with sympathy he doesn't need.
Rudy Abrahams (Wayne van Rooyen)
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.
Up until now Rudy has been perfectly happy working at a non-profit centre for mentally handicapped children, experimenting with some rather unorthodox music therapy techniques. However, with the advent of two new mouths to feed, Rudy has fast had to deal with the reality of trying to pay off student loans and raise a family.
We meet Rudy as he is getting ready for his interview at the renowned Vermaak & Vennote doing what he always swore he never would – looking to sell his soul bit by bit and land a job that will earn him more money at the cost of helping the people who need it the most and will no longer be able to afford him.
Aesha Abrahams (Kim Engelbrecht)
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?
Although being shunned by her family for marrying Rudy was very painful, it has only strengthened her relationship with Rudy. However, a major turning point in their relationship is going to be when Rudy is faced with the horrible decision of having to choose whether she or the twins will live.
The loss of the twins causes an ever growing rift between herself and her husband. Her family arrives as the saviours, but instead of leaving Rudy and reuniting with her family she breaks under the pressure and the pain of her loss.
The series premiered on SABC2 on Tuesday 29 October 2013, at 19h30. After 11 episodes it moved to SABC3 for the final two episodes (which aired on 14 and 28 January, 2014, at 21h30). The series began from the start again on SABC3 in August 2014 and later repeated in full on SABC2.