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.
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Hits and Misses – 30 March-3 April 2015

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Hits

Rocky Marriage

er24_0001_Layer-4   It was another bad week for Lauren and Matt in terms of their marriage crisis but a good one for us viewers as their fiery arguments continued. It may have taken some time but it’s great to see some real drama and anger in a marriage that’s faced a lot of trauma on Ramsay Street so far and come out unscathed. However, as things appear to be looking up, Matt’s secret hook up is waiting to be revealed. Yes, this week resident good guy Matt succumbed to the charms of Sharon Canning much to Terese, and the viewers’ shock. It was a brilliant twist that we’d been hoping for since their flirtation at the wedding. We’re not one to often push for infidelity in Neighbours marriages but in this case, it’s felt natural and a long time coming. We can’t wait for the truth to come out!

Familiar Faces

er24_0004_Layer-1The anniversary week continued with yet more returns including some faces we never thought we’d see again! Let’s start with Nina, who probably had the biggest impact out of all the recent returnees. Watching Delta onscreen has been a joy and it has been wonderful seeing the character reconnect with her old neighbours. The reprise of ‘Born to Try’ gave us goosebumps and the performance of ‘Only Human’ was a great bookend for all the anniversary events. We even found time for a mini story about her relationship troubles with Jack – and we’re very glad they reunited. Also this week we saw the long awaited return of Des, original character and all-round Neighbours icon. Although he was before our time, it’s always brilliant to see the show’s history be revisited in any form and to see an original character back and serve as a true friend for Paul was an unexpected highlight for us. Another highlight was the web chat cameo from Sky! With Stephanie McIntosh pregnant in LA we knew Sky wouldn’t rock up in Ramsay Street but it didn’t even matter. We were grinning as we heard all about Scotty Jr. and tying Harold’s exit to Sky, with him finding a proper place to call home with his granddaughter was the perfect ending. And all this is without even mentioning Tom and Guy! Can you tell we like returnees?

Doctor Death

er24_0000_Layer-5Just as we thought we couldn’t enjoy Dr Nick’s meddling in Ramsay Street any more, the show drops this killer plot twist into the mix! Friday’s episode saw a frustrated and devious Nick change Paul’s blood test results and deliver the news personally that Paul has cancer and could die! It was a really dark and twisted move from Nick, who is hell bent on getting the funding for the research centre but we couldn’t help but love how wicked it was! Really nasty villains don’t crop up in Neighbours too often but when they do and they’re as love-to-hate as Nick then we feel really spoiled. We can’t wait to see how far Nick’s lies go and how this will change Paul’s life – and how on earth will Nick get away with this? So exciting!

Misses

Hi and Bye

er24_0002_Layer-3Now as you can tell from above, we’re fond of a returnee and while we understand Neighbours’ budgetary constraints and are aware that that’s most likely the reason these returns are so brief, some are ending up even shorter than expected. Whilst Nina provided the ideal template of how to do a short guest return, we also liked how Des and Sky’s fitted well with the plot as well as providing a glimpse of how those characters lived have turned out away from Ramsay Street. Tom and Guy? Not so much. It was brilliant to see them – especially Guy – but both got a scene each before disappearing. Would Guy really not hang around a few hours to support his sister and niece after the wedding fiasco? We hope no one views this as us being ungrateful as its a case of the more returnees the better as far as we’re concerned but in future, we’d like to avoid some ‘one scene wonders’!

Sending our Love Down the Well

er24_0003_Layer-2In the least anticipated wedding of the century it was obvious things weren’t going to run smoothly but I don’t think anyone saw “being trapped in a well” as a reason for Daniel’s no-show (unless you’re a fan of spoilers, of course!). While the well set is good and the actors did a convincing job of portraying the horror of being trapped the whole situation was bizarre and honestly pretty ridiculous. Daniel isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but you’re hard pushed to believe even he would go down a well to retrieve a ring that was dropped down there a hundred years ago – even less believable that Imogen would follow, love or no love. Imogen’s one of our favourites so she can just about save this plot, but if things get really desperate we wouldn’t mind if she had to sacrifice Daniel for the greater good.

Our Top 5 Neighbours Moments Ever

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In celebration of Neighbours’ 30th Anniversary we decided to put together a list of our Top 5 Neighbours moments of all time. Considering neither of us were alive in 1985, we can only really remember about 20 years’ worth so you’ll have to forgive some early omissions (sorry Scott and Charlene) as our focus is on those iconic moments from the nineties and noughties. There were lots of moments that narrowly missed out in our Top 5 (ranked by year, not by merit) but we hope you enjoy our choices!

Susan slaps Karl (Episode 3110, 1998) – [watch clip]

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Ask any Neighbours fan, casual or die hard, to name their top five most memorable moments of the last 30 years and we’re certain 99% of them will describe one powerful Neighbours scene, universally known to all as ‘The Slap’. Few soap scenes gain such a legacy, such a memorable tag that two words are enough to let any other fan know exactly what they’re referring. The build up was fantastic, as Karl exchanged a kiss with Sarah Beaumont in the 1997 finale – a simple kiss that led to one of Karl and Susan’s most iconic stories and arguably the story that truly put the Kennedy family on the map and cemented their role as legends in the making. As Susan discovered Karl’s deceit, she was overcome with emotion and Jackie Woodburne sold it to hell and back, Despite the fact that Karl and Susan had only been on a few years, Jackie and Alan succeeded in making a really believable pairing and to see it ripped apart was fantastic TV. As Susan tore her husband apart, her anger erupted in a vicious slap that was destined to go down in the Neighbours’ history books. Vicious and raw, you felt like you were really experiencing Susan’s fury. A scene often imitated by many a soap but never bettered, ‘The Slap’ will always remain an unforgettable memory in the history of the show.

The Lassiters’ Fire (Episode 4630, 2004) – [watch clip]

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The 2004 Neighbours finale certainly was an explosive one! Not only did it see the whole of the Lassiters complex burn to the ground, losing the iconic Coffee Shop and Lou’s Place pub, but it also saw the return of legendary Paul Robinson – in a roll neck sweater murdering Gus Cleary no less! It was one of the most dramatic stunts that Neighbours have ever done and sad for us and the characters to watch their livelihoods and favourite places turn to ash – especially moving for poor Lou and Harold. The tension didn’t just end there as the Ramsay Street residents knew Stuart and Sindi were still inside the burning building. Both of them were fine, of course, except for Stuart’s brief, obligatory blindness plot. It was an amazing way to end 2004, leading to another gripping year of Neighbours. We also love that ten years on this plot was revisited when Gus Cleary’s brother murdered Paul’s niece Kate in revenge for the death of Gus all those years ago.

Karl finally learns of Izzy’s lies (Episode 4772, 2005)

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Right in the middle of the fantastic 20th Anniversary week, Neighbours pulled out such a satisfying moment in the Izzy and Karl saga that it had to make our Top 5. Izzy and Karl’s relationship had been a real slow burn and watching the Kennedys divorce was heart breaking for viewers, but while Karl played happy families with his precious, devious “Isabelle” we all knew she was playing him for a fool. Desperate to cling onto Karl after he found out her miscarried baby wasn’t his, she lied saying that Guy Cleary had raped her and Karl – being the lovestruck idiot he was – believed her! This classic moment we’ve picked came just after Karl overheard Izzy telling her brother Max that she’d lied to Karl – claiming she had no choice. Karl overheard everything and Izzy was left to chase him outside and was humiliated on the Lassiters complex in front of everyone. A truly satisfy climax to a long running story with Izzy, an incredible soap bitch, finally getting the comeuppance she deserved.

The plane crash (Episodes 4836 – 4838, 2005) – [watch clip]

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Now, it’s no secret that Neighbours’ 2005-2007 era isn’t looked back on for its great storytelling. By the show’s own admission, it was a period where plot was often placed before character and big, bombastic plots replaced character-led story. In many ways, the plane crash signalled this change in direction and while we could talk for days about the mistake of killing off the Bishops and lack of proper aftermath, it would be wrong to lump the plane crash in with what came after. Technically, it was an incredible feat and something yet to be matched. Given the show’s small budget, to stage a plane crash was a fantastic achievement and what was even better, was that we could overlook any budgetary constraints due to some wonderful directing. The eerie silence as the plane veered towards Bass Strait, the outpouring of emotions and ‘I love you’s’ were exchanged, Izzy choosing Karl over Paul, Susan promising Alex that Karl would protect Zeke and Rachel – all brilliant. We can remember our hearts in our mouths as rivals Izzy and Susan found each other in the water, and Izzy’s haunting screams when Susan disappeared. The choral music, the grief from those left behind and Janelle’s vision of Dylan were all highlights but for our money, the most moving moment was the realisation that Serena was overcome by the waves and slipped away, never to be found. While we believe David and Lil were gone too soon, Serena’s exit remains one of Neighbours’ most powerful.

Stingray Timmins dies (Episode 5174 – 5175, 2007)

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Finally, in our Top 5 Neighbours moments we’ve chosen a really poignant and moving episode which we’ll always remember – the tragic death of Scott “Stingray” Timmins. Stingray was a hugely popular Neighbours character who, with his bogan family, brought chaos, laughter and catchphrases (caketaker!) to Ramsay Street. In many ways, this made his death even sadder. Viewers had just seen Stingray be a donor for his niece Kerry (and the operation had been a success for all involved) and there were celebrations all round for Janelle’s “39th” birthday, but as Stingray sat down and fell quiet, his family and friends mistakenly believed him to be asleep. As family and friends partied around him obliviously, Stingray had died from a brain aneurysm. Heartbreaking! In a wonderful touch, the next episode showed a video message Stingray had recorded for Kerry, talking her through each and every family member. We all, the Timmins family included, watched through tears. To this day we still think it’s a real shame Stingray was killed off, but if there is a silver lining is that we got to see him again in the incredible Neighbours Vs Zombies spin off!

Hits and Misses – 16-20 March 2015

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Harold and Madge

er22_0002_Layer-3It was a welcome and surprising return this week for one of Neighbours’ most iconic couples – the legendary Harold and Madge Bishop. Only Neighbours could make Madge’s imaginary return from the dead work so well – it’s warm and funny and touching to have her back, but it also breaks our hearts a bit to realise just how much we miss these two on screen. Harold and Madge being together again is like watching your beloved grandparents and it’s great to see that their dynamic is still as enjoyable as it ever was. Madge and Harold have always balanced each other perfectly and it’s been great to see her catch up on what she’s missed, to see her nag Harold a little (like old times) and pass the judgement on Daniel and Amber that we’ve all been thinking. The only problem is, now they’re back – we don’t want them to go!

Nostalgia Fest

er22_0003_Layer-2In the show’s UK anniversary week celebrations, it seemed fitting that we were treated to some nostalgic references to the past and boy, were we treated. Not only did we have the fantastic return of Madge as stated above, but this week saw the return of Lucas and Vanessa, last seen in 2013, with their ever-growing brood of baby Fitzgeralds. It was quite refreshing to see the return of two characters who got their happy ending and not have it be ruined by Erinsborough’s laws of unhappy relationships! Not only did we get these physical returns but we also got a multitude of past references via the Erinsborough festival. The pause button was made for the boards in the community centre and quiz brought mentions of iconic characters and disasters past, like Helen Daniels and the 2004 Lassiter’s fire. Our personal favourite was the reveal that Mrs Mangel was alive and well giving Naomi an earache down the phone. What a great start to the show’s anniversary celebrations.

Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite

er22_0001_Layer-4It wasn’t only the stars of Neighbours that reunited for the 30th Anniversary this week as viewers old and new, throughout the UK, came back to join Ramsay Street in a big, cosy documentary which saw Neighbours trending all over Twitter. Not only did the show interview some of the biggest names ever to appear in Neighbours (hi Kylie, hi Guy!) but it also took us through clips of some classic moments in the show’s history. We could have watched a four hour show celebrating Neighbours and while it left out a few of our favourites (no Timmins family clips?!) it was great to see some of our favourite moments like the plane crash and Dee’s death. UK viewers were given an even bigger treat as Channel 5 aired Scott and Charlene’s wedding episode in full, followed by the very trippy first ever episode of Neighbours. We loved it so much that we only wish we could watch all thirty years’ worth on TV again.

Misses

Relationship tensions

er22_0004_Layer-1It’s not secret that this blog are fans of ‘Chrate’ and have just recently praised them for the sweet, comedic plots we’ve had lately. This week looked set to change that dynamic as Lucy Robinson revealed her pregnancy. While we were excited (the Chris and Lucy baby story has been a favourite of ours) it was clear that Nate didn’t share Chris’s, Lucy’s or our enthusiasm for the news. This is great continuity as it was very clear when the idea was discussed that Nate was never into the idea as much as Chris was and only agreed to keep the peace. As the idea becomes reality, we fear it’ll be too much for Nate. While we hope the pair talk it out soon, we fear trouble on the horizon and it will be a shame to see a promising relationship potentially brought to an end.

Strange Sock Puppet Show

er22_0000_Layer-5“It might be a bit out there” Paige said about this week’s insane moment in Neighbours. Her grand idea to sort out Bailey’s problems (exhaustion from pushing himself too much, the weight of the family’s money problems, tempted by alcohol again) was by staging a sock puppet show. Baffling. By the time Bailey was home from the hospital, Lauren, Amber and Paige had knocked up a puppet theatre and stitched faces on some old socks and then staged a bizarre performance using characters from the family. Lauren and Amber’s left us cringing away from the screen and we’re surprised Bailey himself didn’t bolt. But even more bizarre – it seems like it worked. A new Neighbours record for curing someone’s problems! Maybe someone should tell Matt.

Scene of the Week – 16-20 March 2015

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There was only ever once choice for scene of the week and we’re sure you’ll all agree – it was the festival crash. As everyone took to the stage did the celebrations, Harold lost concentration in his campervan and calamity ensued. What was great about this scene was the fact it was played for laughs and not cheap drama. We knew no one would die – the show would never make Harold responsible for someone’s death – so instead of having a fake out, the show ran with its comic instinct. Everything about the scene worked, right down to the classical Grieg score, the slow mo dive, the eruption of water and of course, those final few moments as dazed Harold opened his eyes to find his late wife beside him. “Oh Harold, what have you done?” Iconic.

Hits and Misses – 9-13 March 2015

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Hits   

Sheila Scene Stealer

er21_0004_Layer-1Oh Sheila you are just incredible. We always love her contribution to Ramsay Street but she was even better this week. From her competitive cake baking against Susan where they battled it out by trying bribe the boys in their fantastic quickly formed cake club, to her blatant and hysterical flirting with Harold. It was wonderful. What made the Sheila scenes even funnier was that she bought out the best in Lou and Harold – especially with Harold sensing a spark between her and Lou – and reminded us what a cracking friendship they have.

Dr Slimeball

er21_0003_Layer-2It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve had a great “love to hate” villain in the show and Dr Nick (insert your Simpsons joke here) is ticking all the right boxes. He makes our skin crawl when he’s getting all lecherous over Georgia (please don’t fall for it!) but it’s such good fun to watch. We couldn’t help but be amused by him referring to Brad as Terese’s old handbag even if we think he’s ultimately going to cause her all sorts of misery. Nick is sleazy and slimey but it just makes his scenes so enjoyable. We can’t wait to see what awful things he’ll be getting up to!

Hilary Robinson

er21_0002_Layer-3We had a real blast from the past this week as Hilary Robinson, last seen in Annalise Hartman’s documentary in 2005, made a triumphant return to the show. For years following Paul’s return in 2004, fans have been clamouring for returns of the extended Robinson clan. While nearly all of his children have been and gone, as has Gail – it’s only in the last year, with Lucy being a much welcome presence that we’ve had a real sense of Robinson family history in the show and we hope Hilary is the the next step in cementing the Robinsons. Anne Scott-Pendlebury effortlessly slipped into the shoes of the character after her absence, providing Hilary with wit, fire and a cutting tongue that made every scene a joy to watch. Not only did we love her scenes with Paul but her brief scenes with the community at large were fantastic and showed real potential for longer stints. With the revelation that Hilary is an Erinsborough local, the show would be mad not to bring her back and make Hilary a Ramsay Street staple.

Misses

Matt’s Misery

er21_0001_Layer-4Don’t get us wrong, after two years in the show it is nice to see Matt Turner get a storyline to call his own at long last – but is it just us who are a little bored by the direction it has taken? On paper, the ‘good cop goes bad’ should be a bit more exciting and exhilarating but so far it’s all a little safe and perhaps a little too vague. Not only that but the plot so far hinges around Matt turning a blind eye when the more interesting development would be to see the resident family man get his hands dirty. It’s a story that could really show us a whole other side to Matt but for now it’s falling a little bit flat. That said, as Matt continues to explode at his family and made the decision to accept Dimato’s dodgy payment by the end of the week, we can only hope things will begin to pick up as we head towards the show’s anniversary week and beyond.

Friday Fun Factor

er21_0000_Layer-5We all know the recipe to Neighbours’ success is the ‘perfect blend’ of drama and comedy but the last couple of Friday episodes have been sorely lacking on the comedy front. We really missed having an injection of laughter with Sheila or The Kennedys to give us that Friday feeling. This Friday’s episode seemed even less fun that usual as the focus shifted to Matt, Bailey collapsing and Nick’s sleazy plans to seduce Georgia. We love all the drama, don’t get us wrong, but Neighbours excels so much at comedy that we like the balance.

Scene of the Week – 9-13 March 2015

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There are two kinds of scenes that normally make our ‘scene of the week’ – some are very dramatic or emotional, or some are just very, very comedic. This week it’s something much more simple and it was the small but perfectly conceived scene between Harold and Hilary. It was fantastic to see two show legends reunited and essentially, doing nothing more than having a brief chat. But in the space of those 30 seconds, the scene perfectly personified both characters and their most famous traits. Harold, sweet and understanding, respected by prickly Hilary. You will not find a finer backhanded compliment than Hilary’s final line and it had us laughing. As did Harold’s wonderful reaction to the lift doors shutting that seemed so natural you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a wonderful accident. The scene showed two actors who truly understand their characters and the show knowing exactly how to write them. In another life, a Harold and Hilary could’ve been comic gold but for now, we’ll take what we can get.