Hits and Misses – 18-22 May 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Hit and Fun

er32_0000_Layer-5At the moment it seems like Neighbours can do no wrong when it comes to Imogen’s interactions and this week we saw an entirely new one in a rivalry turned friendship with Nate. At first the loggerheads over cycling versus driving seemed to come out of nowhere but after Imogen caused Nate’s little bike accident, we were grateful of the sniping and then fun scenes. Obviously they clashed – Nate’s cool and laidback and Imogen’s definitely not which she proved with her legal jargon spouting and then very earnest attempts to make it up to him – but once the air had thawed, their friendship was much needed. Imogen deserves a friend that isn’t attached to the very complicated love mess and with Nate being gay there’s no chance he can complicate her fragile heart either. It was nice he was there to give her a friendly ear as well as make her laugh. We hope they stay friends!

Ezra in Erinsborough

er32_0003_Layer-3We said goodbye to one villain the other week, nasty Dr Nick, only to say hello (again) to another this week – Ezra, back to taunt Terese and make her life hell. We’re huge fans of Terese and although she left quickly this week after Ezra’s arrival, we already enjoyed his sinister appearance in Erinsborough. Once again he’s the type of villain Neighbours really excells at – the one you want everyone to rally against and see their true colours. Within one short day of his arrival Ezra was already harrassing Terese and Brad and making sure she was belittled and demoted at every point. Our only concern is that with Terese gone to visit Piper, Lauren and Brad could grow suspiciously close. Watch out Terese – Ezra might have a bigger impact than you already thought!

Naomi’s Heartache

er32_0002_Layer-4Oh Naomi, Naomi, Naomi. Look how far she’s come. When she arrived, she was truly a breath of fresh air and we adored her. However, her crush on Toadie (although it was great TV) brought out the worst in the character as she sought to bag another married man via underhand means. Since then the character has really blossomed: warm, loving and really trying to find love with someone who respects her and loves her back without lies, adultery and manipulation. Therefore we were sad to see Paul dump Naomi this week by Sheila’s request, just as their relationship was beginning to hot up. We hate to see Naomi heartbroken and while we’re not yet entirely sold on the idea of her relationship with Paul turning romantic, it’s a shame to see the character tossed aside when she’s finally being open, honest and vulnerable. Even if she doesn’t reunite with Paul, we hope she’s not thrown into the Mark, Paige and Tyler triangle, which is complicated enough as it is.

Misses

Flat Tyres

er32_0001_Layer-2The Dimato plot has been rumbling on for some time now particularly by Neighbours standards and it certainly didn’t get off to a strong start. Matt and Brennan weren’t fitting or particularly interesting protagonists and frankly, the less said about Dimato himself the better. Phase two of the storyline seems to be doing its best to make up for some of these shortcomings by trading Mark for his more spirited brother, Matt for his much, much more spirited stepdaughter and awful Dimato for the fantastic, fiery Michelle. The latter has been a joy to watch and although the villain of the piece is really lifting scenes and has brought a great energy to a somewhat less than amazing plot. Tyler and Paige, much as we like them as individuals, can’t really do much with the story and at the end of the day, what twists and turns can you really eek out of a plot about stolen car parts? Apart from several close calls with Mark, that’s about it. Our advice would be to bring this plot to a quick but keep Michelle around to cause some havoc.

Repeat Offender

er32_0004_Layer-1We’ve mentioned time and again that we don’t like Amber and in particular, her relationship with Daniel – which really brings out the worst in what should have been a great, iconic character. That was nowhere more evident this week as Daniel discovered Amber’s paternity lie and realised he may not be the father. Rather than breaking the pair up (something much craved by the audience judging by the response to their relationship) Daniel forgave Amber and turned his anger on Josh. Josh, as ever, seems a real victim of ‘Danber’ whether he’s moping around after Amber, or even worse this week, terrorised by him and Amber as he developed his friendship with Danni. Yes, it is insensitive but time and again, Daniel and Amber were insensitive to Josh’s feelings. Time and again they flaunted their relationship in front of him. And time and again they’ve told him to butt out of their relationship. When he finally does? He is attempted to be driven out of The Waterhole and receives a smack in the mouth. We’re glad Josh didn’t retaliate and be painted as the villain of the piece but he certainly has the patience of a saint.

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Hits and Misses – 11-15 May 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

The End of the Lie

er31_0004_BackgroundThis week saw the end of one of the show’s darkest stories and the exit of one of their most original and complex villains in many years – Nick Petrides and his cancer lie. The plot has produced some terrific drama and took a character we all think we know well, like Paul Robinson, and turned him on his head and showed us a whole new side of his character: vulnerable, remorseful and scared. After Georgia’s uncovering of Nick’s lie, it was no time at all before Brennan was taking Nick into questioning and his house of cards began to collapse in epic fashion. Our highlight, however, wasn’t Georgia’s justice or even the great scene where Karl, Paul and Naomi pieced everything together but rather the exploration of Nick’s relationship with Terese. Horrified by her brother’s actions, Terese was stuck between a rock and a hard place as she urged her brother to give himself in and yet, loved him too much to do it herself. It’s been some much welcomed drama for Terese and we hope there’s lots more to come as he is left to deal with the fallout of her brother’s lies.

Love TroublesĀ 

er31_0002_Layer-2We’ve already made our appreciation for Tyler and the Tyler/Imogen pairing clear – we really love them together. Tyler’s been exactly the sort of fun Imogen needs to show her how to let her hair down and once again they had some great scenes this week. Travis and Ariel showed a natural chemistry in the scenes where Tyler tried to make Imogen’s first time special and after his realisation that he might be rushing her, we were impressed at how he handled the situation – like a proper gentleman. Of course, it wasn’t meant to be (what with Imogen still in love with Daniel) and she left him disappointed and their sparky connection severed. We then saw Imogen in a heartbreaking moment – which almost made our scene of the week – tearfully write in her diary before collapsing into sobs. Our hearts truly broke for her and we really hope she finds happiness soon.

Bye Bye Bailey (and Lou)

er31_0003_Layer-1Okay so Bailey has been a real brat the last week or so in his grief, but we’ve always had a real soft spot for him so we were really sorry to see him leave this week. On the plus side he had a nice exit and the scenes saying goodbye to his family members were lovely and touching. It’s going to be pretty strange without him but we hope that someday we hear he’s off to work for NASA. We also saw another departure for Lou who we know will be back at some point, but this one felt a bit more like a goodbye than previous occasions but the tributes and speeches were a nice touch. But our absolute highlight had to be Lou’s present to Sheila (a photo of his face) which she threatened to use as a dartboard and her present to him – a great big smacker on the lips. Classic! We’ll miss Sheila and Lou’s interactions a lot.

Misses

Josh and Danni

er31_0001_Layer-3We’re definitely not opposed to Josh having romance and stories outside of Amber and we actually like Danni a lot but the Josh and Danni pairing just didn’t seem to work that well this week. Firstly it all seemed just like a big plot device for Amber and Daniel to get pissy (which we hate) and make even more mess for the godawful pentagon (or whatever the triangle has become now!) and secondly it seemed so rush. We know Josh is a fan of the older woman but for someone so hell bent on winning back his precious Amber would he really go there with the woman who caused her family so much pain – even if accidental? We’re not sure. In some ways Danni is probably quite similar to Amber – blonde, dull, quite needy – but we’re just not really feeling much of a connection between them. Still, we’ve got a feeling they won’t last long now that the baby secret is out!

Hypocrital Daniel

er31_0000_Layer-4Our dislike of Daniel is well-known on this blog. For a character who is the son of such icons, he’s not just been a disappointment since his “”vibe” with Amber began, but an actual nuisance. What bugged us most this week was his hypocrisy and rudeness towards love rival Josh. While we’re no great fans of the Josh and Danni pairing, it’s certainly none of Daniel’s business and his infuriating need to fight Amber’s battles despite being explicitly told not to is a long running character trait. Daniel failed to grasp the irony as he criticised Josh and warned him not to flaunt his relationship – a very crime Daniel and Amber have been guilty of doing ever since their affair behind Josh’s back. The scene did nothing for Daniel’s character and we’re really hoping the show finds a way to turn him around. The character onscreen is absolutely nothing like the character we were introduced to and we really need the show to realise that.

Hits and Misses – 20-24 April 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Lycra Laughs

Ner27_0002_Layer-1eighbours never ever disappoints when it comes to comedy capers and this latest turn of events looks to be no exception. Feeling like he might have been a bit tubbier than he liked, Karl decided he’d start a biking club for the men of Ramsay Street. Cue jokes about sore bums and Susan berating their efforts and choice in Lycra and we had us a perfect Neighbours comedy plot. We can’t help but feel a little bad for Lou as the other guys felt he was slowing them down but we had to laugh like Susan that their cycle route depended solely on where they could get a decent cake and coffee. Now that’s our kind of bike club. Please give us plenty more of these fab ‘club’ plots – we’d be up for the proposed girls’ club too!

Rebecchi Return

er27_0000_Layer-3With a cast as small as Neighbours, it’s fair to say cast absences tend to be very noticeable and even moreso when the character in question is one half of one of the show’s most popular couples. And this has certainly been the case for Sonya, who was off in America caring for Callum to cover Eve Morey’s maternity leave. So this week we were delighted to see Sonya return, along with nice new hair-do and settle in as if she’s never been away. We loved how the show didn’t make a huge song and dance about her return, merely adding her into a scene where Danni sought Toadie’s legal counsel. The natural, everyday return is something really befitting Toadie and Sonya’s ‘normal’ relationship and we’re glad the show didn’t engineer an OTT exit and return story to facilitate Eve’s absence like so many soaps before. Even better, it’s been great that Sonya’s time away has been very brief and we can’t wait for more fantastic Rebecchi family scenes to come.

Masterful Michelle

er27_0001_Layer-2As we bemoaned the return of Dimato, truly the character that just won’t quit, we were pleasantly surprised to see that he’s heading off to lay low! And who are we getting instead to continue the plot? The wonderful Michelle. Yes, despite her brief appearances so far, she’s quickly caught our eyes as one to watch. Managing to be more sinister than Dimato himself (faint praise we know) she’s injecting a bit of personality and charisma into this plot – something that was sorely needed. Ra Chapman plays the character with ease and it’s great to have a scheming female character who doesn’t have Naomi’s vulnerabilities and wouldn’t think twice about manipulating poor Tyler for her own purposes. Though the story is far from our favourite at the minute, we have high hopes for devious Michelle.

Misses

Sisterly Strife

er28_0001_Layer-1Now we’re big fans of Paige on this blog – she arrived last year as a real breath of fresh air and we quickly took her to our hearts. Fiery, funny and of course, hiding a massive secret, she quickly became a fan favourite, so just what has gone wrong recently? That fiery nature we loved has become aggressive and argumentative. Poor Imogen and Josh have bared the brunt of Paige’s wrath in recent weeks and we’re sick of this change in character for one of our faves. Plus Friday’s reveal that Amber is pregnant means there’s a possibility that Josh is the babydaddy and we’re certain Josh will feel his sister come down on him like a tonne of bricks. We hope, much like Imogen’s turn for the worse last year, the writers recapture what it was about Paige that made us love her and move away from the current direction.

Cheese and Dimato

er28_0000_Layer-2Really? Really? Dimato again? The main problem with Dimato is that he’s just not scary, he’s a cheese-tastic lite villain and frankly he’s boring. On the bright side, as we said above, we’re fond of Michelle and although she’s just as tiny as Dimato we actually find her a lot more threatening. Gangster plots aren’t great in any soap, least of all the warm and fun Neighbours so most of the time Dimato is talking about his dodgy operations we’re zoning out. And not only do we hate Dimato but it drags Tyler down – who we really enjoy – and means more boring Brennan police plots.

Hits and Misses – 13-17 April 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Funeral for a Friend

er26_0001_Layer-2In another week of high emotion, we witnessed Matt Turner’s funeral and although far from an iconic character, we were really impressed by the effort made with the character’s farewell. Having seemingly learnt a lesson from the mistakes made with Kate’s and Priya’s funerals (rushed, and non-existent respectively) it was great to see Matt get a traditional Neighbours send-off. There was some wonderful emotional moments with Lauren and Bailey, played fantastically by Kate and Calen, and even better it was great to see a proper turn-out at the service. As Neighbours fans we’re used to seeing notable absences at weddings and funerals but instead everyone who would’ve been there was there – and that makes a huge difference in terms of believability. He may have been far from our favourite character but it’s great to see a regular given the respect and emotion they needed with such a shock exit.

Bromantic

er26_0004_Layer-1It’s been a tough time for poor Nate lately with the end of his relationship with Chris and we were worried that Chris’s departure would leave Nate in a precarious position – it’s no secret that Nate hasn’t been quite as well integrated as some of the other new cast. However we were wrong to be worried as it seems Nate is finally beginning to develop a really natural and fun friendship with fellow newbie Tyler. In comparison to boring Brennan, it’s refreshing to see two of the younger cast having fun instead of getting hung up on their jobs or romance difficulties. It helps that the actors have a really natural and fun chemistry together and we’re pleased to see it bring out a whole new side of Nate. More of this bromance please!

Nurse Naomi

er26_0003_Layer-3Who wouldn’t love a very glam and entertaining woman like Naomi as their PA and secret keeper? She’s been an amazing assistant and friend to Paul this week as he suffers through Nick’s scheme and we can’t help but fall more and more in love with her as the weeks go on. No wonder Paul wants her around she’s the perfect pick me up, ever when Paul chucked his guts up over her dress (yuck!). We’re hoping that it’s not long before Naomi realises what Dr Nick is up to because seeing Paul so ill and fragile is hard going, but his scenes with Naomi have been so enjoyable.

Misses

Kill Joy

er26_0002_Layer-4We know that Brennan’s the good cop and being the good guy isn’t always fun, but we’re just so tired of his grouchy kill joy approach to everything. Granted it hasn’t helped that much of his time has been tied up in the Dimato plot but this week we also had him nagging at his brother and being off with Naomi too. Fine, Tyler is a bit immature and needs a steer in the right direction and Naomi has been letting him down to help Paul but Brennan’s been so uptight lately when you think he’d be happy to be back in blue. We enjoy Brennan scenes when he’s getting ratty over cleaning or he’s having a laugh but he just seems to have lost that fun factor lately.

Squashed Dimato

er26_0000_Layer-5This week finally saw the end (we hope!) of the Dimato plot and we have to wonder, are we the only ones questioning the point? Setting aside the fact that basing a story around the bland Brennan, Matt and a guest character was never going to be a hit but surely the story should’ve had some long term consequences? It could’ve had led to some really interesting drama for Matt and Lauren’s marriage but with Matt’s death, it no longer mattered. And had Matt’s death been Dimato related, we could understand it but he was coincidentally killed by an unrelated character. So with all that in mind, was it really worth putting us through weeks and weeks of boring threads outside Grease Monkeys? We think not.

Hits and Misses – 6-10 April 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Turner Tragedy

er25_0002_Layer-2This week we waved goodbye to Matt Turner and I think it’s fair to say after the rushed and underplayed response (apart from Paul’s fantastic depression arc) to Kate’s untimely death, we were all wondering how the show would deal with Matt’s death. We were pleased to see Neighbours learn from last year’s mistakes by both giving us a proper response to Matt’s death in the aftermath episodes and not rushing into the funeral and jumping ahead in the timeline, thereby sacrificing dramatic potential. Kate Kendall gave a powerful and raw performance as always and in particular her scenes with Tom Oliver tugged at our heartstrings. Matt’s death also meant that Amber’s self pity over her non wedding was put into perspective and we were really happy to see Calen Mackenzie give his best performance so far as Bailey struggled with his father’s death. With the funeral to come and Sharon still around, we can’t wait to see what developments the next few weeks bring.

Tension Down the Well

er25_0000_Layer-4The well plot was pretty ridiculous and we spent time last week moaning about it, however our minds were almost changed this week as we found ourselves pretty gripped by the cliffhanger and tension surrounding the drama. Even though we knew there was no possible way Daniel and Imogen wouldn’t make it, as the water started pouring and Imogen began hallucinating we couldn’t help but be gripped. Switching between the scenes in the well (great set!) and over ground where a clueless Josh and Kyle continued with their mission to drain the lake, oblivious to the trapped pair, was a great touch. We think Tim Phillips and Ariel Kaplan did a great job convincing us of their plight. Great scenes.

Bailey and Alice

er25_0003_Layer-1Space Alice was back this week and completely clueless to Bailey’s grief over his dad’s death as she berated him for not being around on social media. We’ve always been big fans of Bailey and Alice so we were thrilled to see them reunited even in such sad circumstances. As Bailey pretended everything was fine to cope with his pain, Alice carried on in her usual manner only aware of Bailey’s problems when he grew a little hot and heavy. Bailey’s final breakdown was incredibly simple and moving – Calen Mackenzie did a great job and left us feeling genuinely choked up.

Misses

Cheerio Christos!

er25_0004_BackgroundThis week saw everyone’s favourite injury-prone mechanic Chris Pappas leave Ramsay Street for good to start a new life in New York with baby mama Lucy Robinson. We are pretty sorry to see Chris leave Neighbours as our freckled friend made quite the impact as Neighbours’ first regular gay character, but we were pleased he had a fairly upbeat exit. Sadly Chris leaving meant a disappointing and rather rushed end to the rather touching Chris and Nate relationship which we had grown rather fond of. Chris’s final scenes with his friends were nice (although Josh’s inclusion was a little strange considering the history) although we think the obligatory ‘taxi goodbye’ scene might have been a nice touch.

Driving Miss Danni

er25_0001_Layer-3Now, don’t get us wrong, we know Neighbours has a limited cast for budgetary reasons and that also includes guest cast. Therefore if a recurring or guest cast member pops up, it usually means there’s a proper purpose for them. This was nowhere more evident this week when Danni Ferguson popped out of the Erinsborough black hole of guest cast to promptly run Matt over. We are big fans of Danni and at one point suggested she be made a regular and while it is great to see her get her biggest story so far (and potentially her final story), we would’ve liked to have seen her establish a bit more of a regular presence at the garage before the story began. But if having Danni around meant we lost out of the recent influx of returnees then the right decision was made! That said, we’d have happily sacrificed a Dimato appearance or two if it meant some more Danni!

Hits and Misses – 3-7 Nov 2014

hitsandmisses

Hits

The 7000th Episode

er8__0003_Background-copyOur number one spot this week simply had to go to the wonderful, low-key celebration that was theĀ  7000th episode. Now, don’t get us wrong, we half-expected such a milestone to be celebrated like the 5000th and 6000th episodes before it, with dramatic twists and action. However, not long after the tornado and with a season finale and 30th anniversary year ahead, a smaller celebration was a perfect way to mark the achievement. And what an episode it was. Neighbours channeled its roots and delivered a hilarious episode with old-school comedy that had us grinning from ear to ear. The saga of Karl’s scratch card won’t soon be forgotten and nor will Toadie and Sonya’s naturist lunch. To cap it all off, the mysterious letter about Sonya should kickstart a new and exciting whodunnit in the episode’s closing moments. Here’s to 7000 more!

We Love Imogen

Ier8__0001_Layer-3mogen Willis is one of our favourites by far. She’s got a strong-minded personality as well as a sensible and intelligent head on her shoulders. This week saw the caring and thoughtful sides of Imogen come to the fore as she tried to support and look after her brother Josh, putting his case ahead of her own studies and health. It’s not that we ever forgot how much we liked her but this really showed her back to her best, when the crush on Brennan and Amber cheating saga had made her sharper and nastier than before. Imogen is such a well rounded character but we were glad to see her more sensitive vulnerable side this week.

Danni

er8__0002_Layer-2Back briefly with a swish new hairdo and new clothes was everyone’s favourite mechanic Danni Ferguson. Although she was only ever a guest character we really liked her time on Neighbours and she gave Sonya, Mark and Chris another friend to interact with. We’ve always liked Danni’s personality and she had an interesting backstory with her abusive ex so we could easily see her fitting straight back into Ramsay Street. We think the garage needs her too – not just to break up that testosterone cave – because Brennan is off solving crimes and Chris is struggling, but even if she just makes fleeting visits we’d be happy to see her.

Misses

Suffering in Silence

er8__0000_Layer-4We’re huge fans of Susan on this blog and Nate has been growing on us by the week but the latest plot developments have us worried for both. It’s fantastic to see the show tackle PTSD in such a harrowing manner – some of Nate’s stories have been powerful indeed. However, his over reliance on Susan is putting the world’s favourite agony aunt into an impossible position. It’s sad to see Susan suffer in silence (by the way, Karl getting blown up truly shocked us) and we hope the plot moves so that Nate can deal with his demons and Susan isn’t burdened with being his only form of support.

Hippie and the Tramp

er8__0004_Layer-1Every week we try and give Daniel and Amber a chance. Honestly. He is the child of Neighbours’ legends Scott and Charlene and Amber is his chosen love, so we recognise that they’re key players. However, we find them infuriatingly unlikeable. At this point it’s difficult to think of one positive thing to say. Daniel’s work shy and sickeningly positive to the point of immaturity and Amber’s sulky and selfish personality just makes her seem like a brat. We can’t believe these two, who have been living out of a car, can believe they’re mature enough to get married!