Another week, more love for Terese. We’ve already shared our excitement about Terese’s recent storylines giving us a chance to see a different side of her and expose her vulnerabilities – not only in regards to her failed marriage but also her health. Despite the kids’ behaviour and feelings of hurt towards their father, despite Paige’s terrible, nasty behaviour and despite the fact she has every right to continue being angry, Terese has proven why she’s one of our favourites by taking the moral high ground. She’s not cashed in on her injuries, she’s not tried to turn the kids against their father – rather she’s doing her best to muddle through a tricky situation and far better than Brad and Lauren have managed. Speaking of, we can’t deny the fact that we’re loving Lauren getting a taste of her own medicine. For the grand love that she and Brad are supposed to share, Lauren’s become crippled with fear and neuroses in record time as she worried that Brad will be tempted away by caring for Terese. We’re loving to see the shoe on the other foot and for Lauren to realise what she and Brad put Terese through for over a year. Now Brad needs the same reality check…
Better Than Ever?
Neighbours’ track record with mental health storylines has, shall we say, been spotty at best. In 30 years the show has been keen on the odd ‘crazy’ character to liven things up and Sindi’s mental deterioration was infamously quite poor indeed. So with that in mind it’s been so refreshing to see how well the character of Steph is working since her return. Her reintegration into Erinsborough is slow and believable and her own, frequent concerns about relapsing feels real and relatable. Who would have thought that the character could come back from that dark exit of 2013, dare we say it, better than ever? Steph’s mental illness has really breathed life into a character who needed it and we can’t help but root for her as she overcomes her troubles. This latest dark plot with Paul plotting against Steph leading to her doubting her sanity is sad to see but great TV. While Paul desperately needs his just desserts we’ve loved that it has led to recurring visits from bitter Vanessa, whose clashes with Steph are a joy to watch. We can’t wait to watch it all unfold.
There is little Sheila can do wrong in our eyes – leaving Toadie to burn might have been one of those things though, yikes. But we get it, she panicked and then was eaten up with guilt. It was a pretty dark and upsetting plot for poor Sheila and quite a surprising story for Neighbours to do! A much loved neighbour leaving another to die! But one thing we really loved was how Sheila’s upset and guilt was handled with her panic attacks and so on, but also how it was resolved. It would have been very soapy for the residents of Ramsay Street to find out and turn against her, making Sheila’s life a real misery. Instead Toadie understood her upset and forgave her like a good friend. It was a surprisingly simple and upbeat ending for a plot that could have spiralled into something much more vicious.
Teens running away from home are as much a staple of Neighbours as a street game of cricket or a loveable pet dog – but are they actually interesting? Not really. We like Ben a lot – Piper we’re on the fence about still – but watching them suffer and naively talk about money and travelling in a scruffy motel room isn’t all that thrilling to watch. They have a nice friendship and we love their families but there’s little drama when we know they’ll both end up home and safe. Having officer boring Brennan on the case didn’t help matters either and we don’t find their fire-starting reasons all that convincing. Now, if they’d managed to use this as a reason to bring back Libby to help parent her troubled son then we’d be right on board!
Paige, Paige, Paige. Where exactly did it all go wrong for this once brilliant character? Let’s set aside the fact that she acts like an immature brat in her relationship with Mark. Let’s set aside the fact that a slew of sensible, mature characters fawn over her and defend this immaturity to the point where Mark is forced to ‘make it up to Paige’ whilst doing nothing wrong – Mark has many faults, his treatment of Paige is not one of them. Let’s even ignore the fact that Lauren and Brad seem to find it an impossibility to ever show anything approaching stern treatment of her and seemingly let her away with anything, including criminal activity. Let’s focus on the fact that Paige is worryingly obsessed with her parents love life. Don’t get us wrong, we get it. She never knew her parents and has an idealised dream of them together – but Paige isn’t 12. Her obsession isn’t cute, it’s disturbing. She shows absolutely no maturity, no understanding of how the world works or how difficult relationships can be and worst of all, her continued treatment of Terese is, at best, rude and at worse, horrible. If we were Terese, we’d refuse to let her in the house, nevermind listen to another tired rant or thinly veiled warning to back off.