Hits and Misses – 1-5 June 2015

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Hits

Lady Loving

er33_0000_Layer-4The unexpected, yet unsuprising highlight, of the week goes to another classic comedy plot with the Rebecchis proving yet again what an asset Sonya and Toadie are to the show. We saw Sonya meet up with a pal who she’d met on Ziva but Toadie’s suspicions took him in a whole other direction when he suspected Sonya was meeting women for hook ups. The question on his mind was the Jerry Springer style question: Is my wife a lesbian? Thanks to some hilarious conversations with Kyle and then Sonya, where she claimed women fulfill her in ways Toadie can’t (!), he spilled the beans on his paranoia. Sonya, baffled but amused (even Nell chipped in saying “Silly Daddy” – aww) then decided to play up to his mistake and started calling women in magazines sexy, saying they were definitely her type. Such brilliant scenes show that Neighbours does comedy like no other. Classic.

Surprise Return

er33_0004_BackgroundThis week brought the much-awaited return of fan’favourite, classic character Hilary Robinson and we were delighted to see her again! Her return earlier this year was all too brief and we were left disappointed when she didn’t turn up to Daniel and Amber’s non-wedding with an acidic comment and quick-witted barb, as she promised. So it was great to see her turn up out of the blue this week to offer some progress in the search for Amy Williams, as well as continuing to be a thorn in the side of Paul. Just like last time, the character lifted every scene she appeared in and even better were the number of scenes shared with Naomi (and a bouncing B2) as they discussed business and Hilary cast her judgement on recent goings-on. Though we were very sad to see her take lovely B2 back to the retirement village with her, we really hope it won’t be a long wait before we see her again. In just one episode Anne Scott-Pendlebury proved what an asset she could be on a more permanent basis and we’d love to see it happen. With Tom Oliver departing the regular cast, now is the perfect time.

Darker Times

er33_0002_Layer-2Ezra’s reign of terror over the Lassiter’s complex was brought to an end this week as Terese finally got the justice she deserved. The plot with Terese and Ezra kicked the year off to a great start and the surprisingly dark implications led to some powerful scenes. However, Ezra quickly departed without Terese getting closure or managing to get Ezra locked up, so we’ve really enjoyed his recent return and the chance for justice to prevail. Though it was wrapped up reasonably quickly in the end, we loved the added later that Clem and Chloe brought to the plot, as well as the great scene where Terese urged Chloe to speak out against Ezra over webcam. While ‘rape’ was never mentioned as is the usual Neighbours rule, by frankly referring to the attempted assaults we were left in no doubt about what he tried to do to Terese and Chloe – a refreshing change from past stories of this ilk. We’ve championed the darker plots featured in Neighbours’ last 18 months and this was no exception and a welcome return to prominence for Terese.

Misses

Dippy Dating

er33_0001_Layer-3Perhaps with his good looks and his torso always on show Mark Brennan has never had to try hard to woo the ladies, but it’s hard to believe that he really is as clueless as he seemed this week. He certainly had his horizons broadened this week with dates to the polo and an art gallery but when it came to taking other’s advice he seems ridiculously naive. Did he really think Naomi would enjoy a garage course – run by his brother, no less – with his ex standing by and watching. That would be bad enough for any date let alone someone like Naomi who knows her own mind and is high maintenance – in a good way. And just how far is Brennan going to let Paul and Paige pitch in before he realises he and Naomi are better apart? Don’t let it go as far as bedroom suggestions – please! Grow a backbone Mark, you’re supposed to be this hunky cop who lived alone under witness protection. You’re looking pretty wet.

Baby Blues

er33_0003_Layer-1Oh dear, another week, another Amber related blackhole of awful scenes. Where to start? Despite Tyler singlehandedly trying to save the plot earlier in the week thanks to a couple of absolutely fantastic comic touches, it quickly descended into the same old nonsense. Daniel and Josh’s battle of the egos continues to damage both characters and frankly, we find their mutual treatment of Amber as a possession to be owned to be extremely detrimental to their likeability. However, it’s Amber who manages to be the worst of the lot thanks to her complete lack of a backbone. If she was any sort of character, she’d tell both to get lost but instead, she moans, she whines, and this week, ran away. Sadly not for good. The pregnancy could have been a story that changed Amber from the better but sadly only highlights the character’s dependence on the men in her life as her only defining characteristic.

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.