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Sunday 27 May 2018
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Westwood Park drawing audiences

21 years later…

A scene from Westwood Park.

IF you have been active on Facebook in recent months you may have noticed a number of clips of local soap opera series Westwood Park which ran for six seasons from 1997 to 2004. Westwood Park creator Danielle Dieffenthaller said the clips are a promotion for the show’s planned return to air as reruns.

“It started 20 years ago and it still has legs.”

Westwood Park centred on the affluent Du Soleil and Gunn-Munroe families and featured an ensemble cast including Dennis McComie, Debra Boucaud-Mason, Natacha Jones, Simone Harris, Richard Ragoobarsingh, Learie Joseph and Theresa Awai. Outside of TT the show has also aired in the Caribbean, North America, London, had been pirated in Nigeria and Dieffenthaller had sold it last year to the Pacific country of Papau New Guinea.

Westwood Park creator Danielle Dieffenthaller.

Dieffenthaller, speaking in a telephone interview, said 21 years later the show was still holding up and entertaining people. She explained the posting of the clips on Facebook was to see if there was still any interest in the show

“People still look and are entertained.”

Dieffenthaller said it was interesting to see the breadth of people that had been watching the show online and there had been viewers from Australia, Cambodia, China, Africa and “everywhere.” She said she was not surprised that quite a few people had been responding.

“I was not surprised (by the response). I have been saying that for years. I have known that for a long time. The only people who don’t know that are those who can benefit most from it ­– corporate Trinidad.”

A behind-the-scenes photo from the local soap opera series Westwood Park.

She added that she had come a long way since Westwood Park and her team has “a whole bunch of other things bubbling” including a local crime drama called Plain Sight. She recalled 20 years ago the producers were “jostling” for money and some of the support had gone to fetes which have since disappeared. She pointed, however, that the brands that sponsored the show all those years ago were still getting brand recognition and “bang for your buck” to this day.

“We would love the support. We think we have proven ourselves.”

She added: “We have so much more where that came from. We want to do something new. We have come a long way and we would like to continue do more.”

She reported a local broadcaster was looking at showing reruns of Westwood Park.

On Facebook the show received 4.9 out of five stars from 17 reviews.

“This is the best show that Trinidad has produced! I grew up watching this and its been many years but it has never gotten old. This show is timeless and in many ways captures the best of T&T that many of us crave – the old days!” one reviewer said.

“Enthralling! I loved watching every weekend and I am thrilled to be able to enjoy the tidbits. I look forward to them! Excellent production! Well crafted stories!” said another reviewer.

“Loved watching this show when I was younger. Loved the characters, the stories. Maybe a reboot can happen.”

To view clips of Westwood Park you can like the Westwood Park-TV Series Facebook page.

 

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