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Bahamian Soap Opera Brings The Drama

By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer THE popular soap opera the Bold and Beautiful introduced global audiences to the Forrester family, while the Ewing family was brought to daytime tv addicts by the soap opera Dallas. In the case of Gippie's Kingdom, the first Bahamian soap opera, audiences will meet the Gibson family. When the soap opera debuts in June, audiences will meet three generations in the Gibson family told through the wranglings of over 25 characters. Written and produced by Dr Ian Strachan and Travon Patton, the first season of Gippie's Kingdom is set to air on Wednesday and Sunday nights at 8.30pm on ZNS TV 13. The new soap opera explores themes of romance, suspense, drama and comedy, wrapped in stories of domestic violence, Haitian-Bahamian relations, juvenile delinquency, marriage, infidelity, illegitimacy, generational conflict, criminal justice and faith in times of trouble. "I wish I could say that I chose these issues or themes deliberately, but I began writing about us as people, the types of people we are and what we face. Themes begin to evolve as the lives of the characters unfold. Of course, whenever I have an opportunity I try to address some of the societal issues that are passions of mine and I do that in this series as well," said Dr Strachan. Bahamians will see themselves in the characters and they will see themselves in the drama faced by Gippie's Kingdom characters. "I wanted to give Bahamians something to look forward to. Something they could talk about that is positive. I wanted to capture the imagination of our people with stories that would unite us. Politics divides us and weakens us. Culture, performed art, whether we are talking about Junkanoo or rake n scrape or a soap opera, can unite us. We want to make people smile, make them laugh, make them angry, make them cry. We want them to hate some characters, love others and cheer." Viewers are already enthusiastic about the soap opera's premiere. Some of them told Tribune Entertainment just how eager they are. "I am very big fan of soap opera's and I think it would be fun to see ourselves on the big screen. I always wondered why we never had a Bahamian soap opera and other countries had their own. I am excited to see what unfolds on the screens," said Michelle. Royann said she will tune in every Wednesday and Sunday once the soap opera does not mimic American soap operas. "I think it is exciting that we have a first soap opera. I used to love watching Mexican Telenovellas and I think Bahamians can produce something similar. I do not want them to mimic American soaps, but I think if it is a Bahamian style soap, people will definitely find it entertaining and tune in," she said. Dr Strachan said he hopes Gippie's Kingdom will breathe new life into Bahamian television programming. "You just need one group to show what's possible, what can be done with a whole lot of effort. Everyone who is a part of this project is enthusiastic about doing something new and so that makes the work seem light, but there is a great deal of time and effort involved. After you cut bush and make that new path, it's natural that others will follow. People have great ideas already, often we just need someone to set the precedent and show that it can be done," said Dr Strachan.

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