Long before VOD and streaming sites made us mentally cancel local television stations and almost forget how they work, there were AIT soap operas.
AIT gave Nigerians the premium foreign entertainment we so desperately needed in the form of American (and later Mexican) soap operas and we were hooked. For years, we returned, night after night, to catch the latest instalments of our favourite shows. Shows like:
Who could ever forget this show, its many characters, and all the insane storylines that ranged from the traditional (high school drama and cheating married couples) to the supernatural (feuds between centuries-old witches and intersex serial killers)? Whew. The writers on that show had a habit of taking things from 0 to 100 in seconds and tbh, that’s why we loved it.
2) Sunset Beach
Much like Passions, storylines on Sunset Beach ranged from the traditional to the supernatural. My two favourite storylines from the show were the Terror Island storyline – where several characters were trapped on an Island with a masked serial killer – and the Cursed Jewels storyline –where jewels were stolen off the crown of a Madonna statue but they ended up being cursed.
3) Second Chance
Second Chance (or the Ultimate Proof That Rich Privilege Exists in the Afterlife) premiered on AIT in 2005, causing like 80% of the country lose their damn minds. People swore that they watched it for the intriguing storyline – which it had – but I suspect they only did because of Salvador, the hot male lead. Why else did everyone start referring to the show as “Salvador” instead of its actual name?
4) When You Are Mine
As good as this show was, I remember tagging it in my head as the second excuse for the Telenovela Gods to show off the intense chemistry between the leads actors, Sergio Basanez and Silvia Navarro. (The first show they starred in together was Catalina and Sebastian.)
5) Catalina and Sebastian
Or as I like to call it, “The first time the Telenovela Gods struck onscreen chemistry gold with these two actors.“
Catalina (Silvia Navarro) is a gold digger who marries Sebastian (Sergio Basanez) solely for his wealth but is hella shocked when she discovers, after the wedding, that he’s really just the supervisor of the ranch she initially thought he owned and lived on. The gag is that Sebastian really is loaded but is testing Catalina for some reason. Hilariously dramatic hijinks ensue.
Did we forget any other AIT soap operas? Let us know in the comments.