Now, first things first, Toadie’s accident this week may not have looked overly impressive and yes, slightly forced but all that can be forgiven when the aftermath delivers – and it has, in spades. Paralysis storylines are classic soap staples and by now don’t really tend to have the dramatic effect they perhaps should. Where this storyline differs, however, is how down to earth the reactions are, and how the actors delivered. Ryan Moloney really delivered Toadie’s horror as he realised what had happened to him and as ever, Eve Morey was fantastic as Sonya, almost on the brink of a nervous breakdown as she struggled to hold everything together during Toadie’s hospitalisation. It’s the real, raw drama that the Rebecchis always do so well and they turned what could’ve been a ‘same old same old’ story into something quite powerful. We hope Toadie’s road to recovery is well paced and as well written as the initial aftermath has been. If so, we’re going to be treated to more great drama from Eve and Ryan.
We’ve always been big fans of some of the more unusual and unexpected friendships and interactions that have popped up in Neighbours over the years and this week it was the turn of the bond between Nate and Ben. We’ve already talked about how well Tyler works as a surrogate big brother to Ben but with Nate also loving at Number 28, it was about time we got to see some scenes between and his… cousin’s stepmum’s grandson. The scenes didn’t disappoint and Meyne Wyatt clearly relishes the chance to do some comedy, just like we get in Nate’s own friendship with Tyler. Nate and Ben’s inability to entertain Nell was very funny but more than that, it was good to seeing the slightly morose Ben crack a smile. What could’ve been merely a comedy plot was punctuated with some nice characterisation as Ben found a second confidante. We’re loving the new lease of life in Number 28 and long may it continue.
It was a tough week as well for Naomi and Kyle Canning as they both struggled with the worry that they might have been to blame for Toadie’s accident. As you know we love the Cannings – they feel like classic Neighbours to us – and all the characters feel like a family together. That’s why, even with all the finger pointing, we really really enjoyed the scenes with Kyle and his auntie Nomes, even if he did later drop her in it – oops! Still, there was a little bit of Canning light relief as Kyle’s hopeless apprentice was a walking disaster at Dial-a-Kyle and his dopey behaviour made Kyle look like the local genius!
After School Special
If there’s something Neighbours is a little guilty of it’s making ‘modern issues for teens’ plots a little cringey. We remember the time Amber got bullied on social media and it didn’t go well. Having Ben return with a secret was a nice idea and the premise of it worked really well, in fact had there been more teen characters around it might have been a success. Unfortunately the only people around to react to Ben’s nudes were extras so the whole thing fell flat. Having Ben perform a song with his video warning of the dangers of sending nude photos was meant to be a poignant moment that students and viewers alike could learn from however it was so laboured and unbelievable that it came across as a bad after school special. It’s the kind of video a teacher like Brad would make you watch. And having Karl watch can’t have done Ben’s street cred any good either. Awkward.
Josh stepped up to a whole new level of creepy this week as he continued to catfish Amber whilst pretending to be her parenting forum friend Phoebe. He’s had plenty of opportunity to come clean but instead he comes across as a complete stalker! Taking advice from Aaron he got a second phone and started texting Amber from it. We just can’t believe this is the same character we had as one of our favourites last year. He’s stooped to a really nasty level and we’ve lost all love for him. The only good thing that has come from this is the twist at the end of the week where Amber confessed to Phoebe about Lauren and Brad – and now Josh knows too. He’s got a real dilemma on his hands.