Now anyone who reads our blog or Twitter knows how we feel about Ramsay Street’s resident pooch, underwear thief, ball stealing and all round gorgeous girl, Bossy. So you can only imagine how badly we’ve dealt with this recent illness story. We’ve been in floods! Both Chris Milligan and indeed, Bossy herself, really sold it to us and turned what could have been something trite or sentimental into something really heartbreaking. This was nowhere more evident in last week’s scene where Kyle faced saying a final goodbye to Bossy. It was one of those scenes where Neighbours ceased to be a soap and instead was more of a mirror of that most heartbreaking experience in real life: saying goodbye to a pet. I doubt anyone who has ever lost an animal could watch the scene and not get misty eyed. Seeing Bossy grow up from puppy to full grown dog before our eyes made it all the sadder as it felt like we too might be saying goodbye. Amy’s 11th hour heroic act had us overjoyed as we really, really couldn’t face the idea of losing Bossy in such awful circumstances. The last-minute save, however, didn’t take away from a powerful and very human scene. Now, please, Neighbours, no more pet illness plots ever. We can’t cope.
Returns and Regrets
Georgia’s brief return this week left us with mixed feelings, but it still managed to make our top spot. After a long period of disliking Kyle and Georgia together (remember the whole Kate debacle? ugh) we grew to enjoy them as a couple and their wedding was pretty heartwarming. Perhaps that’s why when Georgia returned this week and stunned everyone by saying she had regrets about getting married and wanted to go and find out who she really was, it seemed to jar with the story we remembered. With this and Amy’s connection with Kyle it’d be easy to think it was just a soapy rewrite but actually Georgia’s doubts don’t come as much of a surprise. Remember her bucket list? Her doubts over wanting a baby? It doesn’t seem that much of a stretch to believe that some time away and some freedom has made Georgia rethink her life. It’s never easy to split up a soap marriage for good but somehow it worked and the performances made it believable and fairly touching.
If there’s one kind of plot that’s guaranteed to receive rave reviews from us, it’s a Karl and Susan comedy plot and the latest was no exception as Karl roped in poor Ben to create Erinsborough’s latest ‘hit’ band, K2. It’s always a treat to see Susan play the straight man to Karl’s more eccentric antics and the way the show has embraced Karl’s dodgy musicianship and constantly pokes fun at it always brings a smile to our face. Karl getting carried away, pre-empting K2’s success, complete with t-shirts, whilst being completely oblivious to Ben’s horror was hilarious. Felix Mallard has really proved himself worthy of the Kennedy title, following in the long tradition of strong comedic actors to live in that household and has a really natural, believable chemistry with Jackie and Alan which made the scenes all the more strong. We’re sure it won’t be the last we see of K2 or Karl’s determination to rejuvenate his music career and we love it.
Boy Free and Better For It.
We don’t want to jinx it by saying she’s growing on us but there’s been something different, something likeable about Amber Turner this week. It might just be that she’s free from the shackles of a horrible love triangle and she’s carving out a personality away from simply the girlfriend or the prize, but we actually liked her this week. Maybe the pregnancy is changing her – who knows. We saw different sides to her this week as she offered genuine and touching support to a struggling Sonya and then to Imogen who was concerned about Terese’s drinking. It made a nice change to see her taking the time for others and being a good support rather than being focused on her own problems. Deciding to have a boy free zone and go camping showed a nice bit of growth too and we enjoyed the humour of her banning Daniel talk and acknowledging the awkwardness. More of this Amber please!
Now, we do like Aaron and we think his romance with Nate has lots of potential. We love that show defied expectations by doing a more slow-burn plot instead of rushing them together as expected and they could end up being a pretty funny odd couple pairing. That said, this week we didn’t really enjoy Aaron being attacked by a random thug and failing to identify Nate as his knight in shining armour. Not only did it hinge on the fact that Aaron happened to set up Josh with the girlfriend of Erinsborough’s seemingly most angry man but we found it a little too convenient that Josh wasn’t the target of the man’s rage. Not only that but the effects of a pint glass of beer to the face seemed to last a little too long as Aaron struggled to see his saviour for what felt like the better part of 30 seconds! Needless to say Aaron’s campaign to find his hero also seemed a little strange and out of place. The scenes that ended the week between Nate and Aaron were much better, and free from the plot device attack!
Neighbour vs Neighbour
Every so often Neighbours pulls out of one the more exhausted plots out of the bag of stories and gives it an airing to varying degrees of success. One of these plots, and probably one of the least successful, is the good old ‘neighbour sues another neighbour’ story. It’s been done a lot. A lot. And it may just be us, but it never really works too well for us. Therefore, Toadie intending to sue Naomi really didn’t do it for us this week. Don’t get us wrong, we understand Toadie’s plight and we’ve loved watching the very real struggles Toadie and Sonya have faced in the aftermath but it’s never to fun to watch neighbour vs. neighbour in a potentially legal setting. It’s all very angry, unsympathetic and nine times out of ten, ends with the victim realising they’re behaviour is out of line and dropping the case. We’re just glad Toadie came to that conclusion within a week instead of it being dragged out!
Erinsborough’s Valentine’s Day hit scenes this week and in classic Neighbours style, offered a great opportunity for some great character driven humour. When Brad revealed his expensive gift for Terese (which of course, we never saw!) four of Ramsay Street’s finest decided to prove their love with tattoos of their partners’ names. Karl, ever the cheapskate, revealed a coupon and tattooed disaster soon ensued. What was on paper a bit of a cliché comedy story was truly funny thanks to some great writing and performances. You can always rely on Karl and Toadie for some humour but it was great to see Chris Milligan stretch his comic skills after a heavier couple of months and to see James Mason offered a rare chance to have some laughs onscreen. We hope the show continues to throw us these smaller comedy plots, especially if they’re as funny as this.
Knickers in a Twist
As The Book of Secrets continues to rumble on, a new mystery began this week that was every bit as funny as it was when we discovered Ramsay Street’s resident erotic author – just who was the Ramsay Street knicker thief?! It was the type of story that could only be done on Neighbours and was an absolute pleasure to watch. Sheila was at her best as she pointed accusations at Lou and came up with various schemes to catch their thief whilst Susan, Sonya, Georgia and Terese proved an excellent combination as more of the cast fell victim. What was every bit as good was the reveal of Bossy’s lingerie fetish, Kyle trying to cover for her and Karl’s foray into erotic male undies! A sight we were gratefully spared!
We finally got to see Naomi and Imogen pair up again this week as one of Ramsay Street’s most unlikely friendships reunited. Imogen’s young and straight laced whereas Naomi’s an older wildchild, yet as we’ve said before their friendship just works so well – helped of course by Naomi and Imogen being two of our favourite ladies in the show. We’re more than happy to see them push each other with their very different outlooks on life and hope the show continues to remember how great they are as friends.
The Truth Hurts
We thought the Georgia and Kyle plot about trying for a baby was really well handled this week. In light of the tragedy they faced last year it was sensitive and moving but we were a little disappointed that Georgia wasn’t just honest with Kyle from the start. We all know Kyle is a completely loving guy and she should know by now that he’d support her, but if he finds out she’s kept her pills, things might descend into a horrible Canning row and we don’t want that! Georgia and Kyle are so much better happily married and we don’t want this to change.
Paige’s online dating story took a surprising turn this week as it seems her online lover stole the Turners’ money. It’s not a twist we were expecting and honestly we found the idea that someone as savvy and cynical as Paige could be fooled by something like this. Sure she got caught up in the flirtation but when she went off on her date to meet supposed scammer Bryson she broke every rule in the online dating rulebook. We found it hard to believe Paige would go against all we learnt about meeting people from the internet told to us in about 2004!
Another week of powerful drama from The Canning saw poor Sheila laid up in hospital having suffered a heart attack – triggered by her discovery of Gary’s lies – and all of Gary’s secrets tumbling out. The Cannings have the perfect mix of comedy and serious emotional drama and we really believe in them as a tight knit family. Naomi’s upset and then her reveal of her brother’s true colours was the perfect moment to expose Gary’s lies. We sat back and watched as Kyle saw who his dad really was with years’ worth of disappointment and upset coming back to him after making such progress with him. Chris Milligan did a fantastic job with the emotional scenes proving how wasted he was in the Kate/Georgia triangle and our hearts broke for shattered Kyle.
It was a great week for Chris and Nate who are fast becoming one of our favourite couples. Despite rushed and rocking beginnings, followed by a couple of big emotional plots when the couple should have been having fun and getting to know each other, ‘Chrate’ have become a sweet and natural pairing. This week saw his closure with Josh and the return of Chris’s ongoing problems following the coward punch and it was sad but also a much appreciated dose of realism in comparison to Neighbours’ numerous miracle recoveries. Chris at Lassiters’s should provide some new opportunities for him given the declining relevance of the garage since the departure of Lucas in 2013. With Lucy’s return just ahead, it looks set to be an interesting new start for Chris.
With a lot of heavy drama with the Cannings, it was nice to see some lighter material with the Turner siblings this week. Scenes between Paige, Amber and Bailey as a trio are quite rare and usually are far from civil, so we enjoyed Paige developing her relationships with her sublings and becoming the fun big sister. As the Turner siblings had fun with the news that they owned the house, and had even more fun at the thought of a big cash pay-out, the only downside to the story was the predictable reaction of Matt who cast a downer on proceedings. His hurt pride did little to endear him to us and we’d just wish he’d loosen up. That said, it was only a minor fault and we liked seeing what seemed a long forgotten plot point brought back into play.
Once a Cop, Always a Cop
Oh Brennan – we have such a hard time with you. We love smiley, friendly, OCD Mark. We love the Mark who babysits Nell and is best mates with the Rebecchis and who flirted with Paige. But investigating, do-gooding, sticking-his-nose-in-other-people’s-business Mark – we don’t like you so much. We know for him it’s “Once a cop, always a cop” but we’re so tired of his constant snooping and getting old contacts involved all in the name of ‘helping’ others. It’s far too serious and grumpy for our liking and even when he’s doing it to help out Sonya and stop her from getting hurt by Erin we just wish he’d be a lot less uptight and ex-cop about the whole thing.
It can’t be just us – this Daniel and Josh fighting it out to win the heart of fair maiden Princess Amber is less love triangle, Disney fairytale and more cavemen fighting over the prize. It’s fair to say we’re no fans of Amber (why are these two guys fighting over someone who wears as much fringing as she does and who whines for Erinsborough?!) but she’s said plainly (although hard to believe) she doesn’t want to date anyone right now. So what we have instead is revisiting the tiresome and awful Jamber plotline and adding in Daniel’s vibey intense connection type-love for her. Please spare us. We love Josh – he had a complete turn around. But we’re starting to see glimpses of old Josh, the Jamber Josh, and the thought of returning to that terrifies us. Please make it stop.
All About Eve
It’s been a terrible week for poor Sonya as she struggled with her addictions in light of the ongoing poison pen letters but an absolutely fantastic week for the actress behind her, Eve Morey. One of the show’s finest, Eve never fails to play Sonya perfectly. Her nuanced and realistic portrayal of her character is powerful and moving – and we have to credit Neighbours for the brilliant depiction of an addict struggling to stay clean. This plot has afforded us a great opportunity to see this darker side of Sonya and the stark realities of her daily struggle. Eve is a true talent and we can’t praise her enough for turning Sonya into one of the all-time greats in our opinion. She has us hooked and we can’t wait to see where it goes next but we can imagine, whatever twists the plot takes, Eve will continue to give her all in the role.
It was a big week for the Canning family as they dealt with the shock return of Kyle’s wayward father, Gary. For characters that are normally involved in the more comic side of Erinsborough life, it was refreshing to see Colette Mann and in particular Chris Milligan receive some meaty material and they totally delivery. We’ve loved the various rows and arguments but above all we love that they’ve managed to come through it as a family. It’s also great to see the unusually stable Georgia and Kyle relationship continue to go strong. Yes, Kyle may have been a bit too quick to buy Gary’s obvious lie as an excuse for his absence but we’re intrigued to see what he’s hiding and hope Naomi is back soon to stire things up!
Elvis the Pig
This continuing saga of Elvis, the porcelain pig, had us smiling all week. It goes without saying that actors Alan and Jackie clearly relish every minute of the fun and humour and that’s so clear in their performances. They can make us smile with a single facial expression and because they’ve been their so long, the characters’ quirks feel real and all the funnier – Karl’s tightness with money and Susan’s exasperation at his latest notions. Not only that but it was nice to see Chris and Nate get involved with the comedy and gave us a chance to see a lighter side to their relationship. More please!
This is a superb plot – don’t get us wrong, we adore it – but we have a real problem with Brad’s behaviour right now. He is well aware of Terese’s feelings and that she has struggled to accept his kiss with Lauren and their closeness lately but still he seems to spend every waking moment around Lauren and is forever asking her for marriage advice. Er hello! What a stupid decision. We understand him wanting to spend time with his daughter Paige but he’s not even trying to be mindful of Terese’s feelings. If there’s one shining light it’s that Brad made his feelings about how much he loves Terese clear to father Doug whereas recently you’d have believed he was sabotaging his marriage by choice! We love the Willis family so we hope some time apart works to mend their relationship.
The Cult of Rain
The one poor plot in a great week of Neighbours drama unfortunately falls to another Amber and Daniel plot – this time with Daniel’s ex Rain. It’s incredibly difficult to find any enjoyment in characters who talk about ‘zen’ and have dreamy ideals when in real life we’d stay well away from these flaky people! This sustainable New Eden community development isn’t an interesting plot to watch and Rain is nowhere near charismatic enough for us to believe that she can win Amber over. The guided meditation sequence was creepy rather than enchanting but if Rain steps up her creepy hynoptic powers we might like her a little more.