Spring (television soap)

Spring (television soap)

Spring is a Flemish-Belgian television soap made by Studio 100 for children's channel Ketnet. Six seasons have been taped since the summer of 2002; the last ran from December 31, 2007 till March 2008.

Season 1

*Spring is a dance-school run by the business-wise inexperienced Maggy Lejeune (who saw her own career ended by a foot injury). Her prime pupils are Evi and policeman's daughter Katrijn; the latter also works as a model for model agent Marie-France whose daughter Chantal is runner up for the solo in an upcoming contest. A true femme fatale at heart, Marie-France makes sure that Katrijn will be too busy doing fashion shoots.

*Maggy's wisecracking brother Xavier plays keyboards in the dance studio's namesake band (completed by singer/guitarist Evert, Katrijn's bass-playing brother Pieter and drummer Thomas); but by choosing to miss rehearsals he finds himself ejected. Evert suggests to continue with his DJ-ing cousin Jonas.

*Evert fancies Katrijn but she's in love with Arne, a drug-dealer with whom Xavier, inventor of the phrase "shark-time", socialises. Arne manages to sell drugs to Jonas, who has become a liability by now. Once Thomas finds out why Evi dumped him he threatens to quit Spring "because Mr. Keysman couldn't keep his hands off my sweetheart". All is not lost though, Arne is handed over to the police (Maggy expresses her anger at the lot), the whole band win a contract, and the girls win the contest thanks to Chantal and Katrijn sharing the solo.

Season 2

*Jonas has left the band and the country to concentrate on his a DJ-ing career. Thomas gave up his drumsticks after all because he's too busy working at his Dad's garage. Their replacements are, respectively, Tien and David (policeman by profession). Bad news for Evert; Katrijn fancies David who's doing shifts with her Dad Roger.

*Katrijn and Evi are lined up to audition for a video by pop outfit Fusion. Chantal is once again runner-up. Meanwhile Xavier joins forces with Axel, a dodgy geezer who fails to pay his traffic fines, to form their own group; Woofer. All they need to do now is look for a singer.

*Spring and Woofer share the same manager (Luc), and because he can't keep them both they're up for a 'best song wins' competition. Spring ask Katrijn and Chantal to front their band; they're filled with enthusiasm but also with swelling egos. But just as Luc can't manage two bands, the record company can't afford bands with two female singers. The girls argue with their boyfriends (Chantal is dating Pieter) and with each other. Because it is feared that Spring will fall apart neither of the "two sweethearts" gets the job. In comes Evi.

*Chantal joins Woofer but the lyrics for their first song are stolen from Spring. When it transpires that Tien is the notorious spray-painter, Axel puts the frighteners on Evert; either he gives Woofer the new song or David and Roger will learn the truth. The band aren't having any of it and Tien reports herself to the police. She's sentenced to removal of her works.

*Maggy leaves Spring to give her fatally ended career another try; in Paris. Her replacement Laura is taking orders from Marie-France to make Katrijn hang up her dancing shoes for good. This scenario would've happened had Maggy not decided that the girls are her main priority. Laura gets the boot and a legal threat from Marie-France if she dares to spill the beans.

*Spring win the audition but no thanks to Marie-France locking up Katrijn; as a bonus Chantal, Evi and Katrijn are all three chosen. With Woofer a name of the past (and Axel out of the picture) Spring become Luc's proteges and tape a video.

Season 3

*Everyone's busy pursuing their own projects; Evert wants to continue as a singer-songwriter, Evi dispenses with her dreads and her dancing shoes to study Eastern philosophy in London, Tien wants to get her driving license and Pieter is into motorbiking. Having spent a few days in Paris Maggy dies in a car-accident.

*Making plans for their 3rd anniversary concert Spring release their current single as a tribute to Maggy. Xavier inherits money from his departed sister; eager to make a world trip he spends it on scratch cards and a guitar. He joins a death metal band till he falls in love with new Spring arrival Roxanne. She sees through his newly-adopted image and persuades him to drop it.

*Katrijn steps up to prepare the girls for their upcoming performance till Marie-France takes over after the announcement that Spring is up for auction. Pia, teacher of a competing dance-school, is keen to buy the site but the girls aren't having any of it; they set their minds on a Mr. Sexy Butt who appears to have other plans. Pia can only spend so much money and Spring is temporarily sold to Marie-France. For once she's the heroine of the day, till it transpires that she wants to convert the dance-school into a photo-studio. It looks like Spring's days are numbered after all.

*Arne is back, but everyone struggles to believe that he changed his ways, particularly Evert who hasn't forgotten about being locked up when he wanted to take Katrijn out. Once Roger confirms that Arne stuck to his community service task of working with streetkids they give him another chance.

*Xavier wins the lottery and argues with Roxanne about what to do with the money. He joins forces with Pia to outbid Marie-France and Spring is back in the right hands. Marie-France is gutted, but learning from Pia's lack of business-instrinct she tries to get a foot in the door by offering herself as financial manager.

*Luc tells Spring that the anniversary-concert will be attended by executives from London. He persuades Evert to hand over the lyrics for a business trip to the UK. A few days later they hear an English version of Spring's theme-tune on the radio. Luc sold their music and put the money in his own pocket. That's not the only setback though; Pieter is leaving the band to be a test driver in Australia. Jo, a painter by day, takes his place.

*The band meet their new manager; he is impressed but only wants to sign Evert. The others feel betrayed by this selfish career-move. Xavier offers to step in and plays the song he wrote for Roxanne; although it doesn't sound bad at all he fails audition. Having his heart in the right place Evert decides to stay with Spring.

*The dance-school gets subjected to a real-life soap. Roxanne shows her true colours by nicking the band's instruments (for which Evert gets the blame); she wants all attention to be focused on the girls and particularly on herself. Eager to become the new face of Spring she puts Marie-France's name under a letter to Chantal and Katrijn stating that the postponed audition is cancelled altogether. Roxanne is close to the exit when the truth comes out but she's given another chance. Katrijn becomes the lead-dancer.

*Chantal is asked by her ex-pat father Christian to join him at his Canadian base. Inititally she says yes, but doubts soon start to kick in, and even Christian sees it. Chantal stays in Belgium with Marie-France and the dance-school now known as Maggy's Place.

*Luc is back to make Xavier an offer he can't refuse; a recording contract in return for Spring's new songs. Xavier pretends to go along with it but phones the police. Meanwhile Jo is kicked out of his flat. He sleeps in Tien's camper-van till Roger and Arlette offer him Pieter's bedroom.

*Spring's anniversary-concert is finally booked at the city hall, but Evert forgot to make adverts. Thanks to the girls' efforts the band play to a packed house, and there are a few surprises in store; Pieter has come over from Australia to play one last time with his mates and Xavier performs his "Song for Roxanne". The makers of the real-life soap tape the second half of the show which draws to a close with "De Mooiste Vriendschap" ("The Best Friendship"), the song that Evert wrote for Maggy.

Season 4

*Summer 2005; Pia is on holiday and unsuccessfully orders Xavier to paint her office. Instead he's staging extra courses to make Spring more viable. His guitar class draws enough interest to add a second one. Evert, short of money to finance his Rock Academy stint, is keen to take part of the load but Xavier isn't having any of it. The second lesson turns out to be the last; Evert attends as a paying student to give the joker a mouthful.

*Katrijn passes her first year as a ballet-dancer. Everyone is pleased for her except Roxeanne; despite modelling for Marie-France she's still gutted with not being chosen as the face of Spring. When Roger and Arlette offer their daughter a trip for two to London, Katrijn drops a bombshell; she quits ballet class because there are too many egos and not enough friends. Roger retaliates by treating her as a tennant; even charged for the most futile of all things. Katrijn walks out and moves in with Jo (who also escaped Roger's moanabouts). As her ego gets the better she quits dancing altogether and starts drinking.

*Xavier is further humiliated by teaching junior ballet dancers and getting captured on videocam. He retaliates by cancelling the subesquent lesson in favour of the American Football club's rifle. Roxanne finds out that a car is to be won and in her greediness she insists that Xavier cheats the draw in her advantage or else their love relation is over. The team-captain wins but gives his ticket, and therefore the car, to Xavier. Fully aware that losing Xavier means losing access to his car, Roxanne puts all her effort to win him back (staging a bellydance-act for a start). From now on they have an on-off relationship. Meanwhile Pia returns and reprimands Xavier for not painting her office and cancelling the ballet class. The little girls appear to be fond of "Miss Xavier" and get their annulled lesson rescheduled.

*Previously struggling to find a job, Tien becomes a mechanic and test driver. She challenges Katrijn, Xavier and Pia for a racing match; Katrijn wins and invites everyone to celebrate at her place (Jo: "My place, that is"). She behaves badly and joins forces with Xavier, number last in the race; together they resume the party at the ballet room where they also spend the night. Wrong timing; Pia's theatre-owning Dad arrives to cast a critical eye on his daughter's efforts. Nursing a hangover, Katrijn regrets her actions ("My behaviour was awful, I gave my friends abuse") but it is too late; her bags are packed. Having no-one left to turn to, she goes back home undoing the damage caused.

*David stages a martial arts class at Spring and takes up PI traineeship. Roger is not happy with this move, let alone with his wife's new career as ombudswoman. He walks out after one argument too many and moves in with Jo, probably thinking that the poor guy runs a Van Asten-refuge. Roger claims that Arlette chucked him out and insists that she'll have to beg him to come home. To cap it all, Jo's spider Marie has to move out and goes missing at the dance-school. Roger eventually goes the same way as Katrijn; he apologises for his behaviour and promises to give David the much-needed advice.

*Marie-France, left to her own devices after firing her assistant Claude, gets plagued by cockroaches. She's too proud to call for help and tries to fix the problem herself to no avail. Marie-France finally succumbs, but fearing for her reputation she insists that the van is parked somewhere else. Christian returns from Canada and introduces fellow ex-pat Roland and his son Bas. Chantal is initially unimpressed with the latter's geeky looks but soon they get on pretty well.

*Evert digs his own grave by telling Xavier's newsagent Dad Francois a thing or two about the pizza business. This inspires him to set up his own pizza hut; he persuades Xavier to give up his Spring co-ownership and join him as a business partner. Roxanne is furious. When Spring and Chantal record a jingle for a pizza commercial ("Mamma mia, what a pizza") Xavier pips them at the post by copying it and handing it over to the radio-station pretending to be Evert. Scheduled to perform at the Pizza Francois' launch party Spring seek revenge by closing off with "the original version of the commercial". Another party spoiler; Marie resurfaces and passes away. Struck by guilt, Roger buys Jo a snake as a replacement pet.

*With her Dad arriving at the wrong time again (Tien is deconstructing a car at the ballet room as part of a bet) Pia is put on a mission to let the girls perform Swan Lake at the start of the forthcoming season. This doesn't turn out to be the easiest of all tasks and Pia decides to put the fun back into the dancing. She asks the band to score the music.

*Arlette's sister's son Jorre spends the summer-holiday with the Van Astens and feels bored. So he decides to frame Katrijn for nicking girlie mags from Francois' newsagent and 20 Euros from Roger's purse. Assisting Xavier as a junior bartender he also taps the counter. Once Katrijn forces him to come clean Jorre is immediately sent back.

*The war of pizzas has now officially begun; Evert thinks that a two-for-the-price-of-one advert for the weekend will be a loss-making exercise for Pizza Francois. Wrong; it only leads to a popularity increase. In order to win back customers he launches a one-week offer of two-for-the-price-of-one ... plus a free soft drink. Xavier retaliates by placing an order from a non-existing address. Francois thinks that the joke has run its course; and right he is cause his chef has gone back to Pizza Carlo.

*Xavier takes the cheating routine further when challenged into a painting contest. He puts his signature on an example made by his teacher Ben who appears to be Jo's ex-boyfriend. Too much information, mate.

*Christian is voted Canadian business man of the year. Everyone is in a celebratory mood till it transpires that the bridge that was built under his supervision has collapsed. Christian gets the blame and returns as an arrested man to Belgium where the press are . Worse yet; Marie-France refuses to visit him in case she's losing customers. Roland turns out to be the culpable one. Christian decides to stay and reconciles with Marie-France.

*Evert sets eyes on David's new colleague Kareema, but there's still no end to the pizza-war, certainly not after finding out that Katrijn is baking for the enemy. Now only listening to the voice inside his head Evert persuades Tien to turn up his motorbike; he ends up in hospital and is charged for crashing a bus shelter. Xavier takes half of the fine and Tien is sentenced to speeding down motorbikes because of her accomplishment.

*Evert doesn't seem to have come down to Earth after his accident, as he places a bottle of paint-diluter at Francois' place hoping that its bad smell will put off customers. Instead the place is set alight when Xavier is there. David and Kareema are on duty and when the bottom of the bottle unveils 'Spring' they end up arresting Evert on suspicion of committing arson. He turns out to be innocent; Francois confesses that he wanted to fool the insurance company after the pizza hut lost money.

*The American Football players see their place shut down because of its poor state. In the meantime they're given access to the Spring site. Xavier joins them to detract his mind from the arson.

*Roxeanne refuses to model as a mechanic for a campagne to make men's jobs attractive to girls. Tien steps in and gets herself a second job in Milan with Roxeanne. She feels guilty for letting her friends down, and then Katrijn phones her to tell that Swan Lake is about to be aborted because there are too many solo-projects going round. Tien doesn't think twice about going back home, much to Roxeanne's anger ("Now I'll never get an international feature"). Marie-France holds Pia responsible ("Manipilating my models because you need them so badly for your poxy Swan Lake") and threatens legal action if she doesn't get any answers.

*Come the big day and Spring perform Swan Lake with the band performing their Greatest Hits. Xavier makes a guest-appearance. Pia's Dad is far from amused, but the Minister of Culture is. ("It's about time you started to experiment") and grants the theatre its financial boost.

Season 5a

The first half of season 5 ran from January till March 2007.

*Summer 2006; Chantal left the dance-school and is replaced by Pia's niece Leen. Xavier sets his eyes on her and has drilled a hole in the bathroom. Leen and Katrijn get a text message from David and seek revenge. Xavier, ending up with shampoo in his eye, tries to get his own back but faces the wrath of a less likely opponent.

*Roxeanne works as an online-teacher for Power.com, run by Pia's other niece Stefanie (who more or less steps in Marie-France's shoes).

*Jo, who devotes his spare-time to boxing, is sidelined by his parents because he failed graduation; unless he passes his re-exams he no longer plays with Spring. Evert, worried that Spring will fall apart, puts more pressure on him; if Jo doesn't prepare now he'll be definitely out of the band. Struggling to get things right Jo resorts to buying the answers. The deal is captured on film meaning that he has to repay charges to keep the pictures unexposed. Jo, who passed by answering different questions, isn't having any of it and calls the police.

*Tien's computer game addiction catches up with her; she gets run down by a car and ending up with a bruised arse (Flemish: "Een blauwe plek op mijn poep") whilst her computer-game is reduced to a jigsaw puzzle. Tien is furious when she finds out that the same person who brought her to hospital (Niek) did this to her, not helped by the fact that she's fined for neglecting the traffic rules.

*David pops the question to Katrijn but she turns him down; soon it transpires that Katrijn has accepted a once-in-a-lifetime offer to study in the USA. However, she doesn't leave before telling Roxeanne a few hometruths ("You're a selfish cow").

*Roger meets a girl (Emma) who bears a resemblance to Katrijn. In fact, she's his daughter from a previous relation.

*Spring open for one-time Idols-contester Brahim who's unable to perform after breaking his neck. With cancellation not an option they fulfill the difficult task of entertaining a non-Spring audience.

*Nele, who works as a messenger, is asked to join the girls and pretends she comes from a rich family living in a mansion. Roxeanne pips both Leen and Nele at the post by passing an audition for Dans Mondial (originally intended for Katrijn). Is this her chance to escape those "Spring wankers" ? No it isn't; Stefanie reminds her of her contractual obligations.

*Evert launches the online Radio Spring and cuts a deal with Power.com. They become frontpage news but for all the wrong reasons; their unintended debut is cut short by a police invasion. It turns out that Stefanie did all this to them, including the disappearance of the unsigned license-papers. Evert is livid. "If it's war you want, then it's war you get".

*"What's that smell ? I know, it's the smell of your lies", "Your dancing is like Spring's radio-efforts; terrible", "You're all dancing like elephants". All these Roxeanne-coined phrases inspire Nele to teach her a lesson, for which she joins forces with Evert. They let Roxeanne wear a Radio Spring-advertising tracksuit which doesn't lit a smile on Stefanie's cock-eyed face. Roxeanne is fired.

* Evert announces on Radio Spring that Power.com is giving away ten bicycles and manages to draw more viewers/listeners. "And what you're gonna do for an encore ?" Stefanie asks. The answer; inviting Latin-pop sensation Belle Perez for an acoustic session. Stefanie immediately regrets her deal.

* There's no love lost between Pia and her elder sister Liesbeth, certainly not since the latter saw her dancing career go down the pan thanks to that devious cow. Leen is fed up with this childish behaviour and locks them up till they've settled their differences.

* Niek and Tien find each other again on Power.com's dating site. Therefore they are singled out to win 2500 Euro and spend four days in the online-room where they're subjected to Big Brother-style challenges. They lose after Niek gets confronted with his ex-girlfriend; not wanting to choose between her and Tien, he walks out.

* Evert wants to miss nothing of the event and doesn't realise that he's neglecting Karima. To make matters worse he receives text messages from a faithful listener who wants to meet him. Karima ends up materialising her break-up threat, but revenge becomes her. Rita is anything but the blonde bombshell that Evert expected to see; she insists on going out for dinner.

* Emma is chucked out and takes over Jo's flat. Karima moves in with her while her place gets a make-over.

* A guy called Joost rents space at the dance-school. Evert discovers that he's burning CDs and gets an offer he can't refuse; the latest hits for 'Radio Spring' in return for tight lips. Stefanie assumes that he's got another sponsor (and therefore breaching his contract) and phones to the studio for answers. Evert humiliates her by sharing this conversation with all his listeners. Confronted with this, Stefanie decides that she's fed up with "that toddler" and vows to "destroy 'Radio Spring'". However, she's not the only one.

* Joost is not happy with the fact that 'Radio Spring' gives away free CDs and sabotages the broadcast. Evert successfully sets up a boobytrap but he can't press charges cause he'll be dragged along if Joost goes down. With lying to Karima not an option, Evert decides to tell the truth. Joost knocks him down and puts him on the backseat of a soon-to-be-demolished car. David and Karima arrive in time to save him.

* Roxeanne rejoins the crew after apologising for her rude behaviour. Unfortunately though, she has to share the next solo with Steven, Spring's the first male dancer. To cap it all, it appears to be the same guy who gave her a shower of paint at a fur-shoot.

* Evert also has some apologies to make after the confiscation of Joost's CD's. The listeners forigve him and send him all their legal stuff.

* Xavier thinks that Steven is gay but changes his tune after being taken for a flight.

* Emma falls out with Karima over an undelivered love-letter to David; entering a food store she's taken hostage. Everyone watches the online-coverage, except Roxeanne who has bigger concerns on her mind (polishing her fingernails for example).

* Roger is brought to hospital after suffering a heart-attack. It was his plan to sell home-made wafers to finance the skate-boards he bought for streetkids. The girls and boys of Spring step in to make it happen. Only Roxeanne manages to put off one customer by telling her that the wafers are a greasy scource of diarrhoea.

* Roxeanne and Steven are forced to practise the tango, otherwise they both face ejection. Roxeanne seeks the opportunity to make Leen jealous.

* Tien accepts a lift from two guys; their red van matches the on-radio description of a getaway car used by escaped prisoners. She wastes no time in phoning the police, but the guys appear to be masons.

*Awakened from his coma, Roger remarries Arlette. Spring are the live-band, Katrijn flies over as special guest, and Xavier stages a prank; he sends the couple a box of mice.

*Prank-time continues; the band-members decide to teach "Supercop" David a lesson; they lure him to an abandoned place (the so-called location of a wedding-gig) and scare the hell out of him. Xavier and Jorre step in at 'Radio Spring'; they get bored and lighten things up by announcing a bomb scare. Consequently they spend the night behind bars.

Season 5b

The second half of season 5 began on November 15, 2007.

*Another new face joins the crew; Xavier takes a shine to Annick and tries to impress her by 'borrowing' Liesbeth's flash car. He brings it back in a damaged state but only gets a fair warning; instead Stefanie is hold responsible because she neglected to take the keys out.

*Annick is no mate of Roxeanne's; she became Miss Diamond after covering the soles of Roxeanne's shoes in Vaseline. And now that they're linked to each other for the next performance Annick is more than happy to reprise this stunt. However, the truth comes out after Jo finds the jar in her bag. Annick will never dance in Spring again.

*After their embarrassing duck-out of the bungyjump, Evert, David and Jo compete for the title of Mr. Spring. One of the challenges is entertaining a Little Miss Hard-To-Please for 30 minutes. Jo becomes Mr. Spring because he didn't resort to bribing the judges (Tien and Emma).

*Power.com launches a love-themed chat-store where a certain Angel supplies strong-minded answers. Thanks to Stefanie submitting a 'Leen to dump boyfriend'-rumour, Angel appears to be Steven and consequently loses his job. Steven gets a slot at 'Radio Spring', but that doesn't stop him from getting wasted and giving Leen and her "poxy family" a mouthful ("Her Mum gives me the cold shoulder, her sister is poison and my love's just a hanger-on"). Sobered and dumped, Steven gives his all to win Leen back and succeeds.

*Niek gets hassled by three bullies who offer protection for 50 Euro and a free car-wash. Promising daily returns they keep raising charges. Niek tries to keep up appearances but by giving them out-of-synch explanations Tien and Evert discover the truth. Together they set up a boobytrap.

*'Radio Spring' stages a talent-contest which Evert is determined to win himself. During the first selection round he faces stiff comeptition from Niek, Xavier and a mysterious cowboy who gets insult after insult ("He sings like a sore-throated horse"). Niek thinks that the radio-contest is getting to Evert's head and calls it quits. Things really take off when "that country geezer" appears to be Jo in disguise. They end up as finalists but thanks to blind technician Stijn the listeners vote for Emma.

*Pia To Leave Spring Shocker; the girls turn down an offer from the Society Club to dance as clowns, but when it transpires that Pia might accept a new job abroad they have a change of heart and do everything not to lose their teacher. Roxeanne predictably refuses to "do a kindergarten circus act". She forsakes her dislike of sheep-wool jumpers ("They smell") for a photo-shoot that should launch her international career; an allergy alert ensures that it's not happening (Stefanie: "You can whistle for it"). Meanwhile the clown's act goes down well and Pia turns out to have no intention of leaving. In fact, the letter that Leen was never allowed to read was addressed to a one-time pupil who dropped by to say thanks.

*Delivering a parcel, Nele discovers that Ladicom, who sponsor Power.com, are guilty of vivisection. Together with Steven, Leen and Jo (pursuing a holiday-job as security-guard)she rescues the mice. They also manage to extract an on-the-record confession.

*Niek takes part in an airbrush-contest. He wins,(but no) thanks to his predecessor who won three times in a row.

*Xavier has a crush on French dancer Celine. Problem though is that he doesn't speak the language ("My worst subject at school"). David passes the right sentences through a microphone; everything works out fine till an interfering Evert puts on his prank hat. Xavier tries to make amends and even uses a Dutch to French-dictionary to write a letter. Too late; Celine has returned to Paris but she sends him a reply.

*The band perform at a wedding. The bride appears to be Evert's ex-girlfriend from his pre-Spring-days. Evert still has feelings for Lien and not wanting to lose her for good he manages to prevents her from going for the old married-in-haste-repent-at-leisure-routine.

*The girls audition for an online-commercial for Power.com's new sponsor. Roxeanne is chosen over Nele (who retreated by her own choice) but the laughing stops when she finds out that she signed to advertise dog-lumps ("So tasty the lady wants to eat them herself").

*Tien and Niek learn that they've been painting stolen cars. They search for the thieves and end up taken in hostage. Jorre follows suit. Thanks to an overlooked mobile-phone they manage to escape.

*Karima gets subjected to racist bullying and insists on leaving the country. Spring organise a march against intolerance and a phone-in, which are almost wasted efforts; Roger successfully persuades Karima to cancel her exit and make a stand like a real cop. Brahim records an anti-racism track with the boys and girls from Spring.

Season 6

*January 2008; Pia is late; in fact, she doesn't turn up at all. Only her mobile-phone is present. During her second phone-call Pia explains that she made a last-minute trip to New York as a stand-in dancer. Liesbeth replaces her sister returns but Roxeanne disapproves, she wants a young female who knows how to teach rather than someone who makes a show of herself. But when Liesbeth offers her money for keeping up appearances she doesn't say no.

*Following an argument with Tien in Spain Niek returns as a single man. Jo, David and Evert cheer him up by staging a boys-only party at the garage. The girls find out and dress up in Roger's cast-offs (Roxeanne: "So yesterday") to attend.

*Stefanie has a business-meeting at a cafe but she mistakes the female director (Renee) for a secretary and gets confronted with her rude behaviour towards the waiter. In other words, the deal is off.

*Jo takes Emma to boxing class where the latter takes up too much interest from his teacher Koen whom he fancies. The good news though is that he just wants to explore her talents. The bad news is that Koen's already got a boyfriend.

*Seeing his new love-song dismissed as "not Spring enough", Evert decides to go solo. Jo takes over the vocals while Niek is drafted in on guitar. However, writing songs is another matter. When they finally premier their first effort in the new line-up Evert appears to know the song off by heart. Oops, back to square one.

*Emma sees that Nele and Niek are made for each other and embarks on a matchmaker-trip. She persuades David to help her out. It all backfires as both Niek and Nele go off her; Emma apologises on radio but finds herself exposed to critical slamming including from Niekt. Jo suggests to fight it out on the set of Spring's new video where Niek admits that he only wanted to teach Emma a lesson and accidentally knocks her down.

*Ego-problems are Stefanie's; she puts herself in charge of solving the financial chaos that Pia left behind. Stefanie wants to turn Spring into a professional dance-school but she's hiding behind a crumbling wall of lies; recruiting male dancers while she's looking for a male teacher and will that fabled performance ever see the light of day ? Juan is willing to do teaching-experience but the affordable fees don't add up. In order to cough up the money Stefanie sets rules about bike-parking and consuming drinks. Steven threatens to walk out for good. Leen is forced to choose between her love and Spring. Eventually no-one leaves except Evert who commits himself to a series of workshops staged by producer Jean Carbonez. Roxeanne smells opportunity but ends up dismissing him as a pervert.

*Nele is deadly convinced that Juan is gonna be her lover but he is well aware of his responsabilities (whether Juan is gay or straight yet remains unknown). Once Nele lets go of the idea she joins forces with Leen to host a new radio-show, 'Seekers Finders'; Juan is one of the first callers, he's "looking for two girls who failed to attend my class". Of a more serious note is the guy, Luc, who looks for a new place to house the inhabitants of the pet asylum.

*A man turns up who appears to be David's grandad. Magic Ferdinand lost his job at the circus because he contracted Alzheimer's. He refuses to face facts but is granted one last show before passing into legend.

*Niek discovers that his own Dad bought the asylum's new site for business interests; Nicholas Senior is willing to succumb if Niek does his advertising bit.

*The tribute show for Ferdinand also serves as a fundraiser for the asylum. Evert collaborates as guitar-playing clown and Pia makes a surprise return.


*Topstars is the Dutch version of Spring; it ran from October 2004 to December 2006 on children's channel Z@PP. The first season was identical to Spring's; the second and third saw Topstars finding its own voice.

Season 2: the opening scenes were adapted for the first half of Spring's fifth season. Ruben (the Dutch version of Xavier) too faces the wrath of the girls after drilling a hole in the bathroom, while singing bass-player Daan has a lot more trouble shaking off his bullies (he even sinks as low as cracking the Topstars-vault). Daan may have passed his exams but he's unable to return to the band because remaining members Bas (the non-singing clumsy version of Evert) and Tom have re-installed Ruben (on drums and joint lead vocals with Tom) and are contractually obliged to keep this line-up.

Bo (Chantal) breaks her leg and temporarily turns to singing. She records "I'm Gonna Be A Star" (a top 40-hit early 2006) with Lars (Jonas) who just made a door-slamming exit at Topstars. New arrival Monica (Roxeanne) does the same and steals the original demo.

Still reeling from her break-up with Tom, Anna (Evi) becomes a lesbian and writes an anonymous love-letter to Marieke (Katrijn); she shouldn't have.

Bo's divorcee father Robert (Christian) returns from his native Thailand and falls in love with Peggy (Maggy). He helps her saving the financially troubled Topstars from falling into the hands of his evil ex-wife. However, Marie-France pulls her meanest stunt by denying her own daughter's existence towards a possible buyer for the site.

The latter scenes too were borrowed for the second half of Spring's fifth season; despite confessing his burglaries Daan gets help from his former bandmates in exposing the car-thieves (which Joost and Bart also take notice of) After their heroic deed Daan is allowed back in the band as keyboard-player.

Season 3: shortly after the relaunch of Topstars Peggy's world falls apart; Robert accepts a job in a foreign country and is nearly tricked into signing over his shares to Marie-France. Peggy arrives in time to rip up the contract but her trust is irreparably damaged. The girls are a lot easier to be fooled. Without Peggy's permission they attend a series of workshops and put pen to paper before taking the stage for their surprise performance; at the newly-launched MF Dance Academy in front of a devastated Peggy. Luckily the committing contracts are invalid as the attractrive Lorenzo is not on Marie-France's payroll.

Anna grows jealous of Marieke spending much more quality-time with Daans girlfriend Femke (who moved in after a pregnancy-scare) and tries to destroy their friendship by attaching microphones to her bag and telling tales. She ends up apologising on Lars' agony-themed radio-show to no avail.

Deserted by their manager, the boys are left with a huge studio-bill to pay. They find a replacement in Henk (father of Bas's girlfriend/employer Sophie), a joking chip-shop owner who sends them to a non-existent festival in Salou with a bag of cocain attached to their van. The trip ends at customs-office with the risk of facing life. Daan is spared this brush with the law as Tom kicked him out of the band for re-awakening his crush on Bo. Learning that she went off to the woods to clear her mind, Daan joins forces with Lars to search for Bo. They get involved in a car-crash which ends the December 29, 2006-episode.

Although new storylines were written, Z@PP chose not to tape a fourth season.


* [http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/TopStars Dutch Topstars page]

* English Topstars page

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