A Friend For All
Our obsessive Naomi love is well documented here, but once again she just manages to turn everything she touches into TV gold. One of the best things about Naomi is her ability to move seamlessly through drama and comedy stories and whichever story she appears in, she always makes it better. We’ve always been very fond of her surprising friendship with Imogen and her involvement in the Daniel/Imogen saga made for a nice support for the pair, particularly Daniel who needed more interactions outside his Paul and love-triangle bubble. Even better was Naomi’s inclusion in Josh’s exotic dancing story. Okay, so we find that story painfully embarrassing but we adored the Naomi and Josh fling last year and they still have a very enjoyable chemistry so it was nice to revisit it. Naomi managed to make Josh fun and likeable again, even if it was only for a few scenes, and with his Amber-centric storyline right now doing that seemed pretty impossible.
One of our big highlights this week has been how Number 28 Ramsay Street has seen a real resurgence in terms of quantity, as well as the constant quality Karl and Susan always deliver. Neighbours households always work best when they’re bursting at the seams with life and energy and despite a few teething problems, it’s been great to see Number 28 become a full house again. Nate has long since become one of our favourites and looking past the awkward familial link, his bond with Susan has proven to be realistic and lovely to watch. We really enjoy his friendship with Tyler, so we think throwing him into the same house, if only temporarily, has been great fun especially as the Kennedys struggle to deal with Tyler’s manchild behaviour. This week also saw the return of Ben (sadly without Libby for the moment), and it was long until he developed quite a sweet friendship with Tyler. The cherry on the top was Karl and Susan’s mutual counselling of the Willis marriage accidentally highlighting the cracks and past troubles in their own marriage – gladly solved in the loving, warm way we’re used to with Erinsborough’s most iconic couple and long may they reign in Number 28.
Turn(er)ing A Corner?
Now bear with us because what we are about to say may shock you, but this week we enjoyed… Amber! Surprising I know! While we’ll never like the character and of course she’ll be annoying us again before long, we were glad to see someone finally call out Brad and Lauren on their inappropriate behaviour. Despite the disaster zone that is Amber’s own love life, it was refreshing to see the character take a more level headed approach and realise just how badly Lauren and Brad are behaving. Amber was critical not only of the “moment” the pair shared but in a rare soap moment, still grieving for her deceased father within a realistic time frame. Taking Amber away from the eternal love struggles could only be to her benefit as a character and to see her behave like a real person – a grieving, upset young woman – was a long overdue time coming.
The Cringe Factor
Never in the history of Neighbours can we remember a storyline that has made us want to hide behind a cushion with embarrassment more than this. Is it possible to die from cringe? Well that’s how we felt this week. As if Aaron’s G-rated exotic dancing wasn’t mortifying enough, Josh decided he’d like to get in on the action and proceeded to practice, audition and then perform. Never have we wanted to turn away more. I’m sure on paper it’s fun or at least amusing – and hey they’ve both got good gym bodies – but it’s awkward and painful as hell to watch. Now that they’ve got a name (The Heat) we expect they’re just going to keep at it, so we better get cushions ready to hide behind. We can’t help but wonder if it’s meant to be sexy and wonder how on earth anyone would get a thrill with those tragic dance moves. Josh was bordering on Ross Gellar style moves, but we can’t say Aaron – the professional – was much better. Yikes. Let’s hope most of The Heat’s performances happen off screen.
Another week, and yet more clandestine private chats between Brad and Lauren. Yet to make matters even worse this week (and that is quite the feat), the pair shared a “moment” – a so-called romantic connection that shocked both of them. Sadly, it was unable to shock Brad into investing in his relationship nor shock Lauren into realising that Matt isn’t long dead and crushing on her married ex is wholly inappropriate. What has made Brad and Lauren’s relationship as seedy as it’s become is the pairs’ constant indecisiveness. They have, since the Willises’ arrival denied any feelings despite evidence to the contrary and ultimately have driven confident Terese into an insecure functioning alcoholic. All the while living into each other’s pockets with daily conversations at Harold’s. And while Terese’s actions with Mary were out of line, it was annoying to see Brad berate Terese for her mistakes, yet forgive Paige of hers. Surely his calculating daughter needed a stern talking to? We remain firmly Team Terese in this sorry mess.