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news 28 Mar 14

Pioneering Kosovo Soap Gets Viewers’ Thumbs-Up

Kosovo’s first homemade soap opera woos viewers with tales of love triangles, blood feuds and corruption.

Edona Peci
BIRN
Pristina

Kosovo’s first homemade soap opera, “Stine Dashurie”, does not deal in subtle plot lines.

The main character in “Seasons of Love” - to give it its name in English - moves back from Switzerland to Kosovo.

Alban has a job with the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, and is caught in a love triangle involving a co-worker and her best friend.

To add to the mix, his family has also been involved in a long-standing blood feud.

The soap premiered early in March and is set for a two-year, 70-episode run. It is a first in Kosovo, where the viewing diet usually consists of low-budget imports from Turkey, Western Europe and Latin America.

Trim Musliu, one of the show’s producers, said the series will have a uniquely Kosovo stamp.

“A lot of issues that come up will arouse the interest of TV viewers in Kosovo,” Musliu predicts. “There will be love, blood feuds, intrigues, the problem of corruption and other socio-economic problems that the country faces. It simply reflects the reality in Kosovo,” he adds.

The first few episodes take a look at the yawning economic disparities in the country. On the one hand there is the family of a bank worker whose father is a hardworking watchmaker.

But her best friend’s father, meanwhile, owns a big company and bribes someone to stay quiet during a EULEX corruption investigation.

It’s all done with characteristically dramatic soap-style acting.

The soap strikes a different tone to other domestic TV productions, which have generally been light comedies.

Visare Aliu, a writer for the comedy show “Familja Moderne” (“Modern Family”), said she was happy the new series had appeared, and praised its production values.

“I am happy there are new things in our country,” Aliu said. “But one has to be careful in choosing what to offer the public. We are in a very grim emotional situation [in Kosovo] and the creators have to be very careful in transmitting their ideas.”

So far, most viewers seem keen to give it a try. Arlinda Fejzullahu, a student aged 19, and a regular viewer of Italian soaps, feels encouraged by the new show. She expects “something different and more interesting from Stine Dashurie”, she says.

Fikrije Verbovci, 56, also likes what she has seen so far. “I also watch other soaps, but this one is different,” Verbovci says. “I hope they screen it every day. I have only seen the first episode but I will definitely watch it more often.”

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