Hotel Death Trap Week – 4-8 April 2016

Hotel Death Trap Week definitely lived up to the Neighbours tagline “Unmissable Drama” and because it was so good, we thought instead of our usual Hits and Misses we’d just talk about what was so damn great about the week.


The Willis Family

er66_0001_Layer-6One thing we’ve been so thrilled about this week is the Willis family totally coming into their own as a key family in Neighbours. They’ve been involved in some really big dramas during their time in Erinsborough but this week really took them to hell and back and cemented them as an iconic family within the show. No death has been as tragic or effective as Josh’s for a long time and all the crucial reactions were played perfectly. With Terese at the heart of the hotel and Brad’s father dying at the same time his son returned – these made the family central to the show’s big week. We’re very excited to see how the family moves forward in the light of these events, especially with Terese so close to Paul. Terese especially deserves to fulfil her potential and become the queen of Ramsay Street that we knew she could be from day one.

Ned Willis Arrives

er66_0004_Layer-4For some time we started to wonder if we’d ever see the hardly mentioned Ned Willis, Brad’s first son (who’s mother is Beth Brennan aka 90s pop princess Natalie Imbruglia) but thank god for his arrival this week. As we’ve already said the Willis family have stepped right into front and centre of the show this week and Ned’s arrival only adds to their complicated family drama. There’s obviously a lot of unresolved history there between Ned and his estranged dad and we can’t wait to get in the thick of it. There’s bound to be awkwardness in the whole family considering they haven’t seen each other for years and Lauren has already got her suspicions seeing after seeing a gang tattoo on his chest. Is Ned going to have a bit of a dark side? So far we’ve been impressed by actor Ben Hall and we’re excited to see what Ned gets up to in Ramsay Street!

Goodbye Kyle (and Bossy)

er66_0000_Layer-7-copyJosh and Doug were not the only neighbours we waved goodbye to this week – though at least this one was in better circumstances. Yes, after eight years, Kyle departed Ramsay Street, beloved Bossy in tow, to start a new life in Germany with Georgia. The character has been on such a journey since 2008, from recurring school bully to much-loved regular and a real fun, charming part of the Neighbours community. Kyle found his life turned upside down this week with Saskia Hampele’s return as Georgia and her revelation that she wanted Kyle back. We loved how the scenes were handled this week. Despite our worries Kyle might leave on a sour note, all three characters – Kyle, Georgia and Amy were written with sensitivity and a real sense of believability about the situation they found themselves in. Chris Milligan did some very fine acting work as Kyle struggled to work out what his confused heart truly wanted and after a brush with death, he decided it was Georgia that truly had his heart. And as much as we love Amy, we found it hard to disagree with the resolution as Kyle and Georgia had such a history. Sadly, with Kyle departing, we also said goodbye to the delightful Bossy, Kyle’s faithful companion. We wish she could’ve stayed on Ramsay Street but there’s something quite fitting about Kyle refusing to leave behind the one woman who never left his side. We’ll miss you terribly, Kyle and Bossy!

Doug’s Demise

er66_0003_Layer-3This week we waved goodbye to not one, but two members of the Willis family – and one of the longest running characters in the show. Arriving in 1990, Doug and the first incarnation of the Willis family lasted four years give or take and after a long, long absence, Doug made a brief return for the 20th anniversary in 2005. No one could’ve guessed that the Willises would become a permanent fixture again in a new guise and that Doug would return and we’d see his sad dementia story play out. It sometimes seemed that we may see Doug waste away from his illness, or be placed in a home, and so we never would’ve thought he’d be a second casualty of last week’s drama. His final actions – reuniting Brad with his estranged son, Ned, were very poignant and a fitting end to a character with such a legacy and history in the show. His ghost, watching over his grieving son and grandson, smiling and walking away was oddly touching despite our feelings on ghosts in soap! It seemed that in death Doug was free from his pain and confusion, and happy again, and that’s how we’d like to remember him.

Sarah’s Return

er66_0002_Layer-5The big week wasn’t complete without a high profile return so we were delighted to see Karl open the door on Sarah at the start of Tuesday’s episode. Long before Izzy Hoyland, there was Sarah Beaumont, the original other woman and was arguably part of the story that really cemented the legendary status of the Kennedys. Last seen in 2013, we thought we’d seen the last of Sarah and received closure on that part of Karl’s life, so it was surprising to see the character return and even better to see that she’s got a secret locked in her closet. Despite how much Karl and Susan have moved on and made peace, Karl’s behaviour around Sarah awakes Susan’s deep insecurities and before we know it, all the tension long since put to bed (so to speak) is unsettling the Kennedy union. We never like seeing Erinsborough’s most iconic couple fighting but we love when their rich history is explored and proves that Karl and Susan have earned their place as the show’s most enduring characters. What’s Sarah hiding? We have no idea but we hope this isn’t a flying visit!

Rebecchi Drama

er66_0005_Layer-1It seems no big week would be complete without Toadie somehow managing to get himself caught up in at all and being at death’s door – the Lassiter’s explosion was no different. Yes, let’s get it out of the way: Toadie’s life is in peril a lot, and yes, so soon after the Erinsborough High fire, it may have been better to swap characters and have Sonya in peril. However, putting that aside, you can’t help but be quickly won over and engrossed in any kind of Rebecchi drama on the strengths of the actors involve. Ryan and Eve are one of the longest-running couples the soap has ever seen and as the years pass, their relationship grows even more real, deep, and immensely believable onscreen. Eve seizes any dramatic acting opportunity with both hands and her despair, worries and upset never fail to move us. Their conversation (one that could well have been their last) tugged at the heartstrings and the tantalising hint that Toadie has something he wants hidden from Sonya make us hopeful that some big Rebecchi drama is on the way.

Other things we loved: Nate’s return! Nene’s meltdown! Paul’s panic!

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Hits and Misses – 28 March-1 April 2016

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Hits

Ben’s Back

er65_0000_Layer-4It was lovely to see Ben Kirk back on Neighbours this week. Felix Mallard gave great performances the last time he was on the show and it’s always nice to have characters in the show who are links to the past. The Kennedys’ place was feeling a bit empty with Nate gone so even better to have grandson Ben back in the family home. This time Ben’s trying to knuckle down with his studies, as well as playing his guitar, but we hope he still makes time for fun with his friends. When he was in town before we watched his great friendship with Tyler develop and with Piper too. But Ben might have more on his hands than he bargained for if Xanthe Canning has any say, seeing as she is completely smitten with the boy. We loved their scenes together as Xanthe took on Paige’s advice to be a ‘bad girl’ and ended up getting drunk with Ben. Vom all over Susan’s shoes – yikes!

Control Freak

Ter65_0003_Layer-1he Brodie plot stepped up a gear this week and we quite enjoyed the darkness of it (if you ignore the number of times they said the word “dumped”). Chas/Brodie/Chas/Brodie had his pride hurt this week when Brad pushed him too hard on training and after sulking wanted to move away (he’s only been around for five minutes). Enchanted by his pouting Piper was seduced into a night away at the motel. But things so moved onto a darker path when Brodie began deleting texts from her phone and sending messages on her behalf. The controlling alarm bells began ringing. Driving a wedge between Piper and her family and running away to Perth sounded all very Romeo and Juliet to her at first, but having discovered he’d taken her phone and had locked her in the car, Piper got a wake up call. Luckily for Pipes Tyler came to her rescue and she left him crying by the roadside. But with Brodie bitter, twisted and controlling and looming omniously over Tyler in the Lassiters boiler room, we’re not sure this is really the end…

The Quill-ainous Family

er65_0001_Layer-3Now look, the accents may be all over the place and don’t even get us started on trying to work out the Quill extended family tree… Honestly we have no idea, we’re pretty much smiling and going along with it at this point but we’ve loved the increasing presence of the Quills on Neighbours recently. The show’s decision to open up Erinsborough and create an expanding wider community makes the show feel bigger and full of life for the first time in years. We’ve loved the likes of Courtney, Tim, Andreas, Hilary, Doug… We could easily go on… And the Quills are no different. So long has Lassiter’s been under control of the Robinsons that you often forget that for a period in the early 00s, the small (but no means bad) Lambert family were providing plots for our regulars. And so too are the Quills. We love the nasty Julie throwing her weight around and going up against Paul. And we’ve really enjoyed Erinsborough expensive shoe connoisseur Tom exploiting naive Aaron. We highly suspect some combo of the family is responsible for upcoming events but we hope the show is in no rush to get rid of them entirely when they provide so much villainous fun – and having such active guests stirring trouble mean our regulars aren’t driven to out of character villainy in order to further plots.

Misses

Bad Decisions

er65_0002_Layer-2It was a week of really bad decisions and look no further than two of our favourites, Steph and Terese! Steph, obsessed with trying to get Charlie back and being able to provide for him by running a successful basis could have seriously undermined her chances this week by trusting her friend. Cutting costs she may have been but Steph surely knew that there was no way the goods were got by entirely legitimate means and when Paul is the one moralising, you know you have problems! This proves that she really needs Paul’s business acumen and why the pair make a surprisingly good team. And poor Terese, stuck between a rock and a hard place, is torn between loyalty to Paul and fear of upsetting new boss, the power-suited, icy Julie Quill. But by putting her faith in Julie and her (incredibly mobile) scale model Lassiter’s future plans, Terese runs the risk of upsetting friends, family and getting sucked into the Quill’s dodgy deeds. Furthermore, she might also regret assuming Paul is responsible for all Lassiter’s current maintenance issues! Hopefully Steph and Terese, both intelligent, strong women, soon see the light and do what’s best for them and keep things above board.

Trust Issues

er65_0004_BackgroundIt wasn’t a good week for Kyle and Amy as the ghost of Georgia (not literal, but with upcoming events, who knows!) coming between them. We’ve already said that Amy’s mistake to go behind Kyle’s back to read the letter after he threw it away and affirmed his commitment to her, was a crucial mistake. It showed Amy’s lack of trust in Kyle, but worse, showed how her curiosity got the better of her despite the fact that, at that point, she had no real reason to doubt Kyle. In the aftermath, instead of letting the subject drop, Amy’s guilt and insecurity drove a wedge at the heart of her relationship in a way that the mere existence of the letter couldn’t. By finally telling the truth, the damage was unfortunately already done. How could Kyle continue to trust Amy? And how could Amy be angry that Kyle’s curiosity was now piqued by Georgia’s letter?! No one is coming out of the story smelling of roses and it’s sad to see the happy relationship implode at a disastrous rate, even though we’re loving the reality of the drama.

Neighbours 2015: Top Ten Best Bits

It’s 2016 and something exciting has happened for the first time in history: Neighbours now airs the same episode in Australia and the UK on the same day! That’s called progress, people! It’s only taken 30 years but it’s finally happened.

2015 in Neighbours was a historic year too and gave us some brilliant moments in the 30th anniversary, so as we begin a brand new year of Neighbours enjoy our Top Ten Best Bits of 2015!

10 – Sonya and Erin’s troubled past

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Now if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know we enjoy when Neighbours goes dark. Not down the Dimato route you understand, but rather when the show tackles dark topics in a surprisingly gritty, head-on way. We’re all used to the show skirting around certain issues but one of our favourite things about Jason Herbison’s tenure on the show is his willingness to go to places the show would perhaps have shied away from in recent years. One of these such plots involved the arrival of Sonya’s old friend, junkie Erin. For the first time in a long while the show directly explored Sonya’s addiction – not simply to gambling, but drug abuse. Yes, they could only say substances but who cares, we got the point. Erin was unsettlingly realistic in her depiction and the actress nailed someone desperate for their next fix. Eve Morey delivers time and time again when given dramatic, meaty material and this was no exception as we saw Sonya racked with guilt at her part in the ruination of Erin’s life. We liked Sonya and Erin being labelled “junkies” for, we believe, the first time on screen, and Erin offering sex in exchange for drugs was shocking. The ending with Erin running off, unable to get clean, and once again abandoning her daughter was an unusual downer for Neighbours but perhaps an ending such a dark story needed.

9 – Amy Williams

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She’s only been in the show since the summer but already Paul’s daughter Amy has made a really positive impression on us. Once thought of as the forgotten child of Paul Robinson, Amy has already cemented herself firmly in the street, quickly forming bonds with the Cannings, Sonya and now Steph. Her friendship with Steph has been particularly enjoyable as they seem like likely friends and she has good chemistry with Kyle too. We also saw the arrival of her ex Liam (he was hot, just saying) and this gave Zoe Cramond even more chance to show us her acting chops. She’s really impressed us with her performances and she’s livened up the Robinson clan, bringing us another independent and headstrong female character. We’re looking forward to her future on the show.

8 – The Return of Steph Scully

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It’s far to say all Neighbours fans got a real shock earlier this year when it was revealed that Carla Bonner was returning to the show as Steph, not for a guest stint or closure for her character but rather, a whole new beginning as a series regular. Many wondered whether Steph had anything more to give, and many more wondered whether the show could really redeem her after her actions in her last stint. The answer to both was a resounding yes. Carla Bonner, as ever, delivers great performances and immediately brought back a warm sense of history. Her redemption arc has been wonderfully played and if anything, Steph’s tragedies, her mental illness and her desire to not only win her children back but indeed, win her neighbours back brought a real sense of freshness to a character that first appeared an amazing 16 years ago. Steph feels more exciting, interesting and perhaps relevant now than ever and we can’t help but root for her to overcome her troubles and become a positive figure of someone living with, and coping with, a mental illness. Paul’s dark plot of revenge and the fantastically dodgy-but-interesting Belinda have been highlights of the latter months of the show and we really can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for this Neighbours icon.

7 – Nasty Nick

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Ah Nasty Nick! Who doesn’t love a good villain and Neighbours certainly had that this year with evil Dr Nick Petrides. Introduced as Terese’s ambitious brother he gave us a chance to learn a bit more about Terese’s past and how Nick had helped her succeed. It didn’t take long for Nick’s bad ways to surface, after placing a bet that he could seduce Georgia he then spent weeks sending her into a mad descent trying to prove he was the villain we knew he was. It was one of Neighbours’ darkest plots in a while as Nick tried to secure funding for his specialist centre by convincing Paul he had cancer and giving him treatment – yikes! Nick was truly evil but oh so fun to watch. He was sleazy, slimy and dastardly which made his downfall a very exciting plot.

6 – Nate Kinski

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When we left 2014 we weren’t totally sure we were that keen on Nate. On paper his PTSD army struggles were great but we weren’t completely taken by him. In 2015 this completely changed. Nate has easily become one of our firm favourites and we’ve seen new sides to him. At the start of the year it was all about Chrate – Chris and Nate were a sweet couple that we really got behind as they both dealt with their own issues. They had nicknames for each other and everything. Sadly this ended with Chris moving on, but Nate working in the Waterhole with Sheila was a genius move. These two have been comedy gold, with Nate’s eyebrows doing most of the work for him! We really like his dry and serious approach which is a good foil for Sheila’s madder ideas! We also saw him forge a bit of a bromance with Tyler which was good fun too and later in the year saw him get together with Aaron. While we don’t like it as much as we enjoyed Chrate, Nate remains one of our favourites and we hope he continues to get good comedy material in 2016!

5 – Erinsborough High Fire

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Stunts in soaps are a staple but for budget reasons when Neighbours does a stunt it has to be for good reason. This year’s Erinsborough High fire did exactly what stunts should, but often fail to, do. The fire brought so many existing stories crashing together, furthering the plot of each of them and making things even more complicated – it wasn’t a fire just for the sake of it. Brad had to make a huge choice between Lauren and Terese which lead to huge repercussions for both families, Amber went into labour with her sick baby in the burning classroom, Toadie (now paralysed) was trapped by a staircase and left by a panicked Sheila and Paige and Tyler got trapped in a lift forcing them to face up to their feelings (we won’t dwell). All the heightened tension really added something to these plots and the stunt involved many characters and was even more effective than 2014’s tornado. We wonder what’s on the cards for next year.

4 – Comedy Capers

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As ever, a key ingredient of success of Neighbours (the perfect blend if you will) is the show’s ability to mix drama with comedy and this year was no exception. Not only did the comedy highlight of last year – The Book of Secrets – rumble on with Karl’s first draft exposed to the community at large but we had a number of other highlights. Sheila treated us to some dining in the dark, Andres (The Waterhole sex god) repeated his one line of English, the inaugural Erinsborouh bake-off brought he return of the fantastic Janelle Timmins (bring her back again, thanks!), Hilary Robinson’s acerbic tongue had us cackling (who could forget her casual shade of Harold in the Lassiter’s lift?), Bossy revealed her lingerie fetish and the men of Erinsborough got some unfortunate tattoos… Not only did we got some classic comedy plots but in the Neighbours tradition, a lot of the humour comes from within the characters and their witty exchanges. Karl and Susan never fail tot make us laugh and that continued this, Nate’s comedy skills were used to great effect and really softened the character, the much-missed Naomi lifted every scene she was in and of course, Sheila provides fun to each and every scene she appears in. Her popularity among the LGBTQI society being one of our particular favourites as Sheila embraced her gay icon role. We hope 2016 brings many more laughs our way.

3 – The 30th Anniversary Celebrations

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Another year another milestone for Neighbours. This season celebrated an incredible 30 years on air and as the big anniversary approached, fans wondered how it would be celebrated. The big anniversaries in Neighbours have been very notable in the show’s history. The 20th remaining the one to beat with its mass returnees via the documentary, whilst the 25th was a limp, anaemic affair with a wedding no one cared about and an attempt made on Paul’s life. The 30th repeated the wedding no one cared about (but thankfully it didn’t go ahead) but instead celebrated Neighbours’ past in a much more warm, nostalgic way. The year was full of returnees from Lucy to Hilary to Guy to Harold to continuing appearances from Lucas and Vanessa. The most prominent and perhaps most exciting of all were the wonderful (and surprisingly touching) return from Delta Goodrem as Nina, and of course, the return of the legendary Anne Charleston as Madge. Fans were wary of the idea and indeed many feared for Harold’s life but Madge’s return was handled beautifully and it was a joy to see the iconic couple reunited. Her part in ensuring Harold’s happy ending, settling with Sky and her kids (it was brilliant to see Steph McIntosh too) was a fitting end for the character and a jewel in the crown of a fitting anniversary year.

2 – The Canning Family

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Families are at the heart of Neighbours and one family that were firing on all cylinders in 2015 was The Cannings. Headed up by matriarch Sheila you can’t go wrong. Sheila is exactly the type of character Neighbours does best. She’s hilarious and full of life, not afraid to flirt or fight and we couldn’t love her more if we tried. We’ve seen the emotional side to the family at the arrival of Kyle’s dodgy dad Gary and all members of the family slip between comedy and drama effortlessly. Kyle always has faithful Bossy by his side but this year saw the breakdown of his marriage alongside finding love again with newcomer Amy. How could we discuss the Cannings without one of its biggest stars – Naomi. Everything she touched was gold once again this year. Perhaps the Paul romance wasn’t as dynamic as it might have been but we liked her lighting the touch paper of his downfall. Obviously we were absolutely devastated to see her go, we’re just glad she got a happy ending and a nice goodbye seen with her unlikely best friend Imogen. We’ve got a feeling 2016 will bring another Canning departure but here’s hoping for more arriving!

1 – Lauren, Brad and Terese

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It was a story that was over two years in the making and this year it finally exploded in epic fashion – yes, the Brad, Lauren and Terese triangle reached its dramatic climax this year. We’ve loved this slow-burn story, almost reminiscent of the fantastically plotted, slow unravelling of Izzy Hoyland’s baby lie back in the 00s. However, as with any slow-burn, the pay off has to be worth the gradual build-up and it certainly was. Once the kiss between Brad and Lauren was revealed in 2014, it seemed like Lauren and Brad seemed capable of remaining friends and parents to Paige without things becoming complicated but the tragic death of Matt early this year changed things forever. Terese’s growing insecurity and turn to alcoholism was brilliantly handled acting as a co-catalyst (and in our – and Brads eyes – justification) for Brad and Lauren to finally take things to the next level. The fall out, and in a Neighbours first, a three-hander episode, was excellent and the show was stolen by Rebekah Elmaloglou’s powerful turn as Terese. The story has cemented her role as a modern icon of the show and the sad, painful and real break-up between Brad and Terese in the final weeks of the season were very touching indeed. We can’t wait to see what the newly single Terese does next and we hope that Brad and Lauren learn the grass isn’t always greener and face their own relationship dysfunctions as they inevitably reunite.

Hits and Misses – 7-11 Sep 2015

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Hits

Returns and Regrets

er47_0002_Layer-3  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.

Chart Topping

er47_0000_Layer-5If 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.

er47_0001_Layer-4We 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!

Misses

Random Attack

er47_0004_Layer-1Now, 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

er47_0003_Layer-2Every 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!

Scene of the Week – 7-11 Sep 2015

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This week’s Scene of the Week was not only a cliffhanger but took everyone – and not just Kyle – completely by surprise. We’d seen this handsome stranger wandering through Lassiters earlier in the episode but then when he showed up on Ramsay Street we knew he had to mean business and it wasn’t long before he was dropping a bombshell. Greg seemed to know an awful lot about Kyle’s wife Georgia, including knowing that she was due back from Germany but what no one expected was the revelation that he and Georgia were in love! Talk about coming from the left field. It was a good scene and made a nice cliffhanger for the episode. And honestly it’s hard not to love a scene where Kyle Canning looks so confused and sweet.

Hits and Misses – 10-14 Aug 2015

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Hits

Three’s a Crowd

er43_0004_Layer-1Love Triangles. It’s fair to say that in the past 18 months we’ve all had more than our fair share of love triangles as viewers and sadly, few of them worth talking about. The slog that was Josh, Amber and Daniel finally crawled to its inevitable conclusion recently (and frankly we’re glad Daniel is free of that albatross around his neck) while the slow burn of Terese, Brad and Lauren is heating up and surely set to explode in coming weeks. Aside from these big two, we’ve had far too many smaller triangles, often involving guests, that have become more than a little monotonous in their frequency. However, it was shocking this week when the latest: Daniel, Imogen and Casper, kicked off that it managed to be not only watchable but funny. It’s helped by the fact that Ariel and Tim are strong actors and the fact that we all know where it’s going, and there’s a knowing sense that the characters do too, so it was all played for laughs and managed to be quite charming. Imogen’s high-strung pretence that she fancies Casper, Daniel playfully inviting himself to university to snoop and Casper developing a bromance crush on Daniel was genuinely funny and a welcome change from all the recent triangle angst.

Farewell Fugglesworth

er43_0002_Layer-3What Neighbours proves time and time again is that it’s not the big, OTT dramatic plots it needs to entertain us and give us that warm Neighboursy glow. No, sometimes it’s just the simple, fuzzy, character led silliness that works. The Rebecchis are still having the very real and believable issues surrounding the adorable Nell’s daycare, but this week things took a traumatic turn when Nell’s favourite teddy – Captain Fugglesworth – went missing. There was no last minute save, no back from the dead plots for Neighbours – oh no no. Instead we got a very fun and cute memorial service held by Susan to celebrate Captain Fugglesworth’s life. Okay it was a silly plot, but it was cute and believable – even Kyle, clinging to his cuddly penguin, shed a tear. Luckily for all involved Nell coped with the loss pretty well and Sonya and Toadie reached a conclusion over their babysitting dilemmas.

Awkward Encounters

er43_0003_Layer-2Kyle’s a pretty loveable dude. If we were to pick a Ramsay Street resident we’d like to go to the pub with, it’d probably be Kyle – with Bossy, of course. He’s had quite a big role lately which has been nice and this week we saw him grow ever closer to Amy and find himself with a bit of problem on his hands. The friendship and chemistry with Amy has been pretty nice, although we did grow to love his marriage to Georgia. With her gone it’s hard to see a future there, even if Kyle’s a loyal guy and Amy seems quite suited to him…it’s a tricky one. But he made matters more complicated after a lingering hug with Amy…oops. Speaking of Georgia, we enjoyed her brief video call this week to remind Kyle just what his situation is and cause him a bit more angst. At the heart of Kyle is just a happy-go-lucky, simple guy, so maybe he’d be better off sticking to being just friends with Amy.

Misses

Insensitivity

er43_0000_Layer-5As bad weeks go, Tyler had a pretty rubbish one. After doing what he thought was a good thing and being there for Ben as a bit of an older brother figure, he got a real telling off from the Kennedys – but then things got a whole lot worse. We love Tyler and we’re pretty fond of Mark and Paige together but even we were feeling a bit irritated by the loved up pair’s total lack of sensitivity and awareness of Tyler’s feelings. It’s obvious to anyone with half a braincell to see Tyler carries a torch for Paige so to have them get cosy in front of him and coo obliviously at each other just seems a tad unfair. Not to mention no one except Karl seemed at all bothered that Russell (Papa) Brennan made Tyler’s mood change dramatically. No wonder Mark takes forever to solve a crime, his powers of observation are appalling. Here’s hoping for some nicer times for Tyler soon.

Crone Ceremony

er43_0001_Layer-4Now don’t get us wrong, we do enjoy when Neighbours occasionally embraces its quirky side and throws us the occasional scene that is so odd, so funny, that it works. Just this week the toy funeral in the wrong hands could have been terrible but the show edged on just the right side of eccentric Neighbours humour. Therefore it was all the more jarring when the following episode contained a ‘crone ceremony’ which is an example of what not to do. Setting aside the fact that two unique garden ceremonies in the space of two episodes was too much and stuck out like a sore thumb, the crone scene lacked the tongue in cheek comedy that Captain Fugglesworth’s funeral had. The crones may have been made up of some of the show’s strongest actresses but even they couldn’t save what was a weird and ultimately very flat scene. We think there was probably a much funnier way to cheer Sheila up and it’s a shame we missed out on it!

Hits and Miss – 8-12 June 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Tense Terese

er34_0002_Layer-2  Ah, poor Terese. As sad as it was to see her on edge, worried about her husband and fearful of his growing relationship with Lauren, we can’t deny that we love seeing more of the character scrambling to hold her life together. This week we loved Terese being the only one to act like an adult in regards to Amber and Josh’s pregnancy. Rather than the cause for celebration or indifference that everyone else seems to treat it as, pragmatic Terese was quick to point out the massive changes ahead. While her dig at Amber was maybe a bit out of line, it was realistic and it came from a place of great characterisation. Since her arrival on the show, we have seen Terese’s perfect marriage begin to crack and every lie from Brad or Lauren only adds to the drama. We can’t help but feel sorry for Terese but most importantly, we loved the character’s growth. Having grown accustomed to being disappointed by Brad’s all-too-frequent white lies, Terese didn’t rant and rave but issued a stern ultimatum. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for all involved!

Better and Better

er34_0000_Layer-4Post-Chris, Nate continues to get better and better – fast becoming one of our favourites! Not only has his friendship with Tyler been fun to watch, as has his continuing bond with Karl and Susan, but giving the character some lighter material has been a revelation to us. Meyne Wyatt has a fantastic dry delivery and his double-act with Sheila has been one of the most unexpected highlights in recent weeks. He’s the perfect ‘straight’ man to Sheila’s OTT antics and the way Sheila has adopted him as the surrogate, gay son she’s been missing since Chris’s departure is sweet, as misguided as some of her actions are! We felt so sorry for Nate this week when Alistair turned him down with an abusive outburst and we can only hope sweet Nate gets some love soon! Maybe with someone less angsty than Chris!

Goodbye Georgia

er34_0003_Layer-1This week we waved goodbye to Georgia, who sadly chose to leave us mere months after her character finally started to work! We’ve often criticised the character for her numerous, numerous relationship based storylines where she’d whine and whinge and generally, be quite unlikeable. However, since she and Kyle married, the character took a real turn for the better and we’re left a little disappointed that she’s gone! The all-new, mature Kyle and Georgia were fun to watch and it was refreshing to see them deal with their issues like adults instead of arguing and constantly breaking up. Just as good was the fantastic Nick plot, which was a real highlight of the year so far and a good change of pace in terms of Georgia’s stories. We think/hope Georgia and Kyle reunite one day but until then, let’s laugh at the fact that she took off to Germany with a day’s notice and left Erinsborough Hospital in the lurch once again.

Misses

Down the Well

er34_0004_BackgroundWe know Neighbours have a limited budget so if they’re going to build a well set and have a whole plot centred around it then they might as well get their money’s worth, right? Wrong! We can’t believe how ridiculous this plot was this week – to have Paige and Tyler decide that the best place for them to hide out was the old well. Does Paige not remember her sister almost died down there? By some miracle not only was there no water in the well, the ladder was fixed and amazingly there was phone signal. To top it off what made the well trip even crazier was that Tyler and Paige seemed to find it so cosy (read: dank, dark, smelly, wet…) that it was the perfect place for a pash. Call us mad but a well isn’t top of our romantic date ideas. Thank goodness it was short lived, if only we could say the same for this Tyler/Paige money plot. Yawn central.

Who’s the Daddy?

er34_0001_Layer-3In the biggest “who cares?” plot of the moment, we found out that low-and-behold Josh is the father of Amber’s unborn spawn. Can’t say we’re surprised, it seemed obvious from the get-go that this was going to be the catalyst for splitting up Drippy and Hippie. Nevertheless Josh continues in his sharp decline of likeable and we find ourselves wondering what happened to the guy we liked so much. This Josh is so creepy! He’s your typical predatory, overbearing “Nice Guy” all in a bid to win Amber back. We don’t even like her but even we think she should stay well away from Josh whose enthusiasm for becoming a dad and latching onto Amber forever more is like something out of a domestic psychological thriller. Yikes. Is there any saving Josh now? Or should we just give up all hope of ever liking him again? We’d pin our hopes on Imogen talking some sense into him but even she might not be able to help considering her pre-occupation with Daniel.