Hits and Misses – 9-13 Feb 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Saucy Secrets

er18_0000_Layer-4This week saw a surprising and very, very welcome return of the Book of Secrets plot. It’s no surprise that we absolutely adored it, not only because Neighbours doing their cheeky and saucy comedy is TV gold, but because it included so many much-loved characters and nods to the past. We had Lou’s cover design and planning which actors would play the roles in the movie, Kyle getting involved in the accidental airing of Karl’s first draft and of course Paul’s surprise role! We loved the reference to the Paul and Sheila cling-film in the cool room incident and once again the Blue Box mention. Karl and Susan getting kinky inspiration from the novel is exactly the sort of thing we expect and it gives us a great big warm laugh. This seems like it might be a conclusion to the plot and while it was fitting end, we hope it’s not the final chapter of EM Williams.

Classic Comedy

er18_0002_Layer-2Now, if there was one unexpected star of this week’s episodes, we were certainly shocked that it was The Waterhole’s latest barman and apparent sex god, Andres. Yes, the smiling klutz amused us by being utterly terrible at his job and reiterating what seemed like his one line of English. And it was hilarious! It was classic Neighbours comedy and better yet, led to some fantastic scenes between Lou, Sheila, Paige and Bailey. The war of Lassiter’s businesses was gold and the sight of Sheila throwing herself off the wheelchair won’t soon be forgotten. More please! “Okay?”

Bringing Up Baby

er18_0003_Layer-1Lucy and Chris continue to be a real highlight of the show at present and this week was no exception. Chris is one of our faves and we’re really hoping the show ties down Melissa Bell on a regular contract because this plot has so much potential. This week it was great to see the drama ramped up as Chris and Lucy confronted their different ideas on parenting and their potential child’s future. We loved seeing Paul sticking his oar in and Nate continued to be brilliant as the mediator between Chris and Lucy, despite his own lack of interest in fatherhood. What’s more it was intriguing to see the issue of SMA raised between the prospective parents. It proved to be a real unexpected curveball in their plans and have to give kudos to the show for tackling a condition that his rarely, if ever, been explored in TV drama.

This week was so great here are the other things we loved:

  • Gen X vs Gen Y vs The Babyboomers cricket!
  • Cat and the ongoing Erin plot
  • Imogen and Paige’s sisterly chat
  • Lou getting stuck into brilliant comedy plots

Misses

Dad Dilemma

er18_0001_Layer-3Oh Matt Turner, what are we going to do with you? Let’s get one thing straight, Neighbours’ dads tend to be a bit hit and miss – and indeed have a shocking miss rate in comparison to the multitude of strong matriarchs over the last 30 years. Matt Turner is the latest in the line of bland, overprotective dad like many, many more before him. And this latest plot regarding the Turner house does little in revealing anything new and interesting about the character. Matt is consumed with his own pride, and money struggles are never the most watchable stories in any soap. It just feels a little same old, same old. Hopefully Matt’s desperation for money could take the character down new paths and provide somewhat edgier stories but until then, the jury is out.

Party Pooper

er19_0004_Layer-5In what was a great week for Neighbours, there was only one real low point to the week and unsurprisingly it was yet another plot centred on Amber Turner’s love life. We don’t need to tell you the age-old story, we’ve seen enough of it on screen, needless to say it made Josh look even more desperate and Daniel didn’t come out of it well either. We’re beyond fed up of this plot and having it all set at a pool party of extras didn’t make it any better. Naomi slightly improved things but we’re not sensing much chemistry between her and Brennan so we found the whole party flatter than a deflated palm tree. Please Neighbours, we’re begging you, stop with this Jamber or Danber stuff – it’s awful.

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Hits and Misses – 2-6 Feb 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Real Love

er18_0004_Layer-4I think it’s fair to say that when Nate rocked up in Ramsay Street last year with severe PTSD and found himself in a serious relationship with Chris in weeks, we all feared that the show’s first long-term gay relationship could be too rushed and disappointing. However what has surprised us most has been how Chris and Nate have really grown on us as a pairing. Sweet and loving, Chris and Nate have faced every challenge with maturity and the kind of realism one expects of real people. In the world of soap it’s an unfortunate truth that characters have melodramatic love lives – Amber Turner, we’re looking at you! – but Chris and Nate stand out as a genuine, heartfelt and at times, moving depiction of a young couple. Neighbours have done themselves proud with Nate and ‘Teddy’.

The Perfect Blend

er18_0004_Layer-3It’s just occurred to us lately that as we enter the show’s 30th year, it appears Neighbours appears to having done a bit of growing up in a completely different way! The show has gone through several reinventions during its time, sometimes edgier and sometimes saccharine to the point where the show lacks its bite. What has been great to see recently is that the show isn’t afraid to tackle bigger issues and darker scenes, even if we do have the odd “substances” reference to put up with! Chris and Nate are being treated like any other couple in the show, and their onscreen kisses and moments of affection are not shied away from – a far cry from Chris and Hudson’s sexless pecks on the lips. The Lucy baby plot, with discussions of IVF and gay parenting are fresh ground for soap. Sonya’s surprisingly effective mugging, finally labelling Sonya and Erin as “junkies” and Erin offering sex for drugs were frank and great moments. In our opinion, the perfect blend of Neighbours is comedy mixed with real, grounded drama – and if that involves the show pushing the boundaries of its G rating, then so be it.

Teenage Kicks

er18_0004_Layer-1Erin’s daughter Cat arrived this week and with it she brought an injection of fun into the Rebecchi household which has been missing since Callum moved to America. On her bike with bushy hair, Cat reminded us of a female Toadie in his youth – a lot less rebellious of course – but it was great to see his fun dad role return. The Erin plot continues to be a really interesting a well written story and Cat easily added to this, showing us a different side to Erin too. Seeing Cat play cricket on the street with a hapless Bailey made us think that she could quite happily slot into Erinsborough if the show decided to make her a surrogate Rebecchi and we’d be happy with that.

Misses

Water Works

er18_0004_Layer-2If there’s one thing we hate on Neighbours, it’s overly contrived plots. If there’s two things we hate, it’s stories where characters bear grudges over an accident (and no, we will never forgive you, Miranda and Steve Parker) so you can imagine our happiness this week when we got both plots in one! We are of course talking about Karl drinking Brad’s chemicals when he accidentally mixed up identical water bottles. Leaving aside the fact that they both had the same water bottle (Harold’s must have a sale on), it was the clunky writing that signposted the twist scenes ahead that made the twist so jarringly predictable – even if seeing Karl in hospital, on the other side of the stethoscope, is not a sight we enjoy! It seems like the story may just have been a way to kickstart Susan’s disappointment with Brad as a teacher and if that’s the case, they could’ve found a much better story to begin hostilities. Or, if criticising Brad’s teaching is really hiding Susan’s anger at the accident, we hope she gets over it fast.

Sherlock Moans

er18_0004_Layer-5Does anyone else get the same deja vu that we do when watching Brennan? It seems a month doesn’t go by when he’s not calling an old police mate and investigating someone who has a set of dodgy eyebrows. And we had that again this week, where once again Brennan investigated and no one believed him. We’ve been here so many times before and it never gets any more interesting to watch. Not even our favourite Naomi could save it and we hated to see her dragged into another boring Brennan plot. It looks like the two are being set up as a new romance which we’re hoping isn’t as stale as it has been so far – vivacious Nomes deserves someone with more life than Mark!

Hits and Misses – 19-23 Jan 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Canning Fallout

er16_0004_BackgroundAnother 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.

New Beginnings

er16_0003_Layer-1It 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.

Family Fun

er16_0000_Layer-4With 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.

Misses

Once a Cop, Always a Cop

er16_0001_Layer-3Oh 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.

Cavemen

er16_0002_Layer-2It 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.

Hits and Misses – 5-9 Jan 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Reunited

Ner14_0001_Layer-3eighbours 2015 started back in the UK with some pretty dark scenes. Not only did we have the fantastic and nail-biting Sonya plot but the last we saw of Terese was her being locked in the room with Ezra. Thankfully we learnt that a shaken Terese managed to get rid of Ezra, but we were really pleased that after a bitter and sad end for The Willises in 2014 was changed with Brad FINALLY coming to his senses. With Brad actually listening and supporting his wife they both grew stronger and we were thrilled to see the family coming back together again. It’s been a difficult twelve months for the whole family but we’re very happy to see them as a strong unit again.

Sibling Silliness

er14__0004_backgroundBailey and Paige teamed up this week for some really enjoyable scenes. Out of all of her siblings it seems to be Paige’s bond with loveable nerd Bailey that we love the most. They’re funny and endearing together and you get the sense she’s very caring and protecting of him, even if this week he did try and get involved in her virtual love life. We hope these two continue to give us the fun sibling factor which is missing from the Bailey and Amber relationship.

The Kennedys + Chrate

Iter14_0003_Layer-1 was a great week for the Kennedys as they continued to receive the strong, comedic material that made a welcome comeback in 2014. Karl and Susan never fail to make us laugh and even better was the fact that the usually somber Nate and Chris finally got in on the act and felt at home in the Kennedy household. After a somewhat rocky start and an unfortunate incident where Susan was nearly buried alive, the new Kennedy family unit is becoming fun, warm and a pleasure to watch. That said, it’s great to see Nate’s PTSD issues continuing to be explored, even if the rushed conclusion and explanation to last year’s burial cliffhanger wasn’t the strongest plot.

Misses

Bail Out

er14_0000_Layer-4This week of Neighbours gave us so many great moments (the one notable exception below) that it’s hard to pick faults in what has been a dramatic and welcome return to our favourite Aussie soap. But we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed to see Sonya fall into a naive bad habit and pay for Erin’s bail. We love the plot and our Scene of the Week proves how good it’s been but this just seemed a little bit much, even from the sometimes OTT Sonya. After everything Erin’s done to her and her family would she really have paid Erin’s bail? Not convinced.

Feeling Sleepy

er14_0002_Layer-2‘Danber’ began 2015 as they ended 2014 – being one of the sole poor points of the entire show week after week. It was more of the same as the Rain story met its undercooked climax and Amber moronically was swayed by some mild meditation sessions into breaking up with Daniel. Unfortunately for us, not for good. They had reunited by the end of the week and normal business resumed. The only highlight of the story has been poor, lovelorn Imogen’s supporting role and the home truths Rain brought up before her departure. Let’s hope the audience was supposed to agree with her deductions – we certainly did.

Scene of the Week – 5-9 Jan 2015

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It was a strong return for the show this week but despite that, there was zero competition for scene of the week as Sonya finally confronted her stalker, Erin. In an unusual break from Neighbours’ normal techniques, the scene played out uninterrupted and delivered an emotionally powerful and effective moment worthy of the dark subject matter at hand. True to form, Eve Morey never fails to deliver in emotional scenes and Adrienne Pickering must be credited for going toe to toe with Eve and helping form a believable, complex character within a mere handful of episodes. Exploring Sonya’s past always ensures we get some fantastic drama and this was no exception. We can’t wait to see where the story goes next.