Steph and Mark hooked up again this week and what can we say, we’re fans. We liked Mark and Paige at the start and we have a love/hate relationship with Mark because let’s face it – he can be quite a boring stickler. But him and Steph seem to have real chemistry, something they were unable to deny last week when their pact to just keep things simple as friends lasted all of five minutes. We weren’t totally sure on Mark as the family man going on picnics with Charlie (even though his babysitting for Nell is really cute) but it’s when Mark and Steph got their flirt on that we really enjoyed their scenes. Even Steph was up for a bit of saucy “handcuff me” role play (which is surprising considering her past, but we’ll let it go) but their bonding scenes were nicely played and we’re interested to see where things go from here – that’s if Paige doesn’t cause more trouble (see below!).
Is it just us or is Xanthe becoming a bit of a star? We’ve long bemoaned
that Neighbours has lacked one of its most iconic character ‘types’ in recent years – the warm, funny, somewhat ‘dizzy’ blonde. The show has a long tradition of these strong, comedic young females and their presence often livens up many scenes, particularly the teen relationship dramas which do sometimes veer into the less than interesting territory. The last two teen gangs (both awful in our opinions) were made up of the fantastic but not necessarily funny Imogen, the dreadful Amber and the less said about the likes of Summer and Tash, the better. So Xanthe has been a real breath of fresh air and as she settles into the show, she’s become a real stand-out. We loved her absolute ineptitude at Harold’s, her inexplicable ability to hold onto the job and the complete disregard for the customers and indeed, food hygiene. We hope the character continues on this high note and doesn’t succumb to, or bogged down in, forced drama.
Very randomly there was a cameo from Andreas this week who appeared to give Imogen something to look at and for Paige to suggest she move on with. Ah Andreas, remember him? He used to work at The Waterhole and Harold’s and had a strange comedy subplot with Sheila where it was revealed he couldn’t speak English and was utterly hopeless at the job. Breaking things, wrong orders and so on. But Sheila liked him. It’s the sort of bonkers plot only Neighbours can do but we loved it at the time. Well he reappeared at the end of last week, complete now with ropey English and an endearing smile. We always love when guest characters and extras make regular appearances, especially someone as sweet and silly as him. Even if Imogen wasn’t ready we could do with seeing Andreas every now and then if there are more deliveries in the street.
Snappy and Unhappy
Our long-term readers will we that we’re big fans of Imogen Willis. We even stuck with her through that odd period in where she became obsessed with Mark Brennan and generally made herself a bit of a nuisance but the character soon got back on track and Ariel remains a great screen presence. That said, we can’t be the only ones bored of Imogen and Daniel? The show has done that most annoying of soapy traits but refusing to allow characters to be happy and make any and every hurdle a break-up situation. It’s got to the point where we’re rooting for the characters to be apart because the constant to-ing and fro-ing just isn’t entertaining. What’s worse is that Imogen’s typical neurotic aspects (which we love) have went into overdrive with the character snapping at everyone and generally being all over the place. Why Tyler gives her the time of day between her hot and cold all the time, we have no idea. We can only hope future rumoured events bring back the Imogen we know and love and put her trivial love problems into perspective.
Is there anyone more infuriating in soap right now that Paige Smith? What happened to the fun and independent girl we loved when she first joined? We enjoyed Paige and Mark but since it went sour (and Paige wasn’t entirely blameless here thanks to her sulky immaturity) she’s not behaved to her best. We get it, break ups are hard – even harder when the man you were meant to marry hooks up with a neighbour in record time under your nose. But we’d have more sympathy if she hadn’t been making doe eyes at Tyler last year, talking about having feelings for him and being a petty brat most of the time. She’s showing her worst colours lately in her reaction to Steph and Mark. Using Tyler was another cruel move and the cat fight with Steph made her look even nastier. She’s been a nasty piece of work lately, from her treatment of Sonya and now with this show – claiming Steph only wanted Mark so it would look better for her custody appeal. The irritating thing is, with parents like Brad and Lauren enabling her behaviour she’s not going to grow up anytime soon.