We approach our choice for Scene of the Week with a real bittersweet tinge. Naomi Canning, played wonderfully by Morgana O’Reilly, was an outstanding addition to Ramsay Street and we think we’re going to miss her forever. She was bright, funny, sparky and headstrong and brought life to every story she was involved with. In our eyes, Naomi could do no wrong. In true Neighbours and soap style, Naomi’s exit came out of nowhere and she was gone within a day but there were plenty of things we loved about her exit. We saw Naomi finally realise her own independence, self-worth and strength, without needing a man to do this for her. As a character, she grew, whilst keeping every thing we loved about her. She bagged herself an amazing dream job, with her in charge, in an industry she loved and left in a limo – what’s not to love? The loveliest things about Nomes’ time on the show has been her love and the rebuilding of her family relationships, as well as her surprisingly lovely friendship with Imogen. Her exit covered both of these and we were left feeling – as devastated as it was to lose her – just what a perfect exit it was.
Twenty Years of Toadie
If the Kennedys are our Neighbours mum and dad then Toadie is definitely our big brother. Over the past twenty years, since his mullety arrival, we’ve laughed with him and cried with him and most importantly watched him grow into a man and remain a firm favourite. He’s had a rough time of it of late and has taken it out on his loved ones but we still really loved the chance to look back at some of the Toadie history. We already enjoyed the Angie appearance but we got to see Stonie and Callum too which really helped to celebrate Toadie’s twenty years on the show. The fundraiser was a lovely touch, especially the heartfelt speech from his surrogate parents Karl and Susan. If we could have asked for one more thing perhaps flashbacks would have been fun, but here’s hoping for many more years of the Rebbechis!
Paul and Naomi have been quite a strange pairing – powerful and still devious, they have made an interesting watch but this past fortnight the cracks really began to show. Naomi isn’t one to settle down so the prospect of becoming the new Mrs Robinson (how many have their been now?!) made her panic. Paul, seemingly blind to this, kept making matters worse by not really noticing her reluctance and awkward behaviour and then putting his foot in it by suggesting she needed to change her ways if she was going to be accepted by the public as his wife. Not a great start to an engagement Paul! Naomi reacted as Naomi does and acted out by indulging in a one night stand with Josh. As ever Morgana was superb in showing us every vulnerable side to Naomi as she wrecked her relationship with Paul. And although she might think Paul is willing to forgive – we all know this won’t be the end of it!
The Odd Couple
We love Nate and Aaron has proven to be a really endearing new addition, so we’ve really enjoyed their slow burn romance in recent weeks. Neighbours isn’t always known for its realistic pacing so it’s been great to see Nate and Aaron awkwardly dance around their feelings. Their love/hate relationship slowly become softer, and friendly, has really amused is and last’s week date, complete with Nate making an adorable effort with a trendy shirt and some cocktails was adorable. Their first proper kiss was a long time coming and a world away from Neighbours’ first few chaste gay kisses as recently as a few years ago. We have high hopes for more of this sweet odd couple.
It’s fair to say that over the last six months or more, Paige has gone from one of our favourites to one that has irritated us more often than not, particularly due to her obsession with reuniting her parents. This week, however, she annoyed us for an altogether different reason as she used Tyler to concoct an excuse to leave lunch with Mark and the Rebecchis. While the conversation was hardly the most exciting, they are Mark’s best friends and Paige seemed unable or unwilling to even indulge him or put aside her own selfishness in order to try and enjoy the afternoon.More than anything, it showed Paige’s immaturity which is baffling for a character that once prided herself on being mature and independent. What was even worse was the way Kyle, and the show at large, seemed to write the aftermath scenes as though Mark had to try and understand Paige more, when the opposite was true! Let’s hope they finally get Paige back on track sooner than later.
Josh Josh Josh. Where to even begin? Let’s look at his most recent actions, sleeping with Naomi knowing full well that she was with Paul. Even though they have history and even though he didn’t know she was engaged (like that made a difference!), he slept with her and actually repeated the same mistake as he did a few months prior with Amber, having learned nothing at all it would seem. It’s sleazy and a horrible recurring character trait. Speaking of horrible character traits and treatment of women, we can’t ignore his appalling treatment of his mother in the aftermath of Brad’s night of passion with Lauren. Josh has, from day one, been firmly #TeamBrad but what’s been shocking is his complete disregard for his mother. He’s blamed Terese’s alcoholism and worklife for the ruination of his parents’ marriage, going as far as labelling his mum and sister “jerks” while Brad has got off scot-free from sleeping with the neighbour. I guess it’s hardly surprising given his own behaviour but Josh needs a bad reality check if he is ever to be likeable again.
Paul and Naomi
One of the highlights of Dr Nick’s reign of terror (and there are many) has been the focus on Paul’s friendship with new assistant, Naomi. Stefan and Morgana are terrific actors and share a great chemistry onscreen. Whether they be bickering or having a heart to heart, we love their scenes. Even better is the fact that after so much time spent verbally sparring over the Erinsborough festival, few of us could’ve predicted the emotional turn their relationship would take and we’re loving it. Whilst it seems that Naomi may have begun to fall for Paul in a way he didn’t expect (and to be honest, we’re unsure about the idea of a Paul and Naomi relationship) we can’t deny that their sweet friendship has been a highlight episode after episode. From the powerful moment where Naomi shaved Paul’s head to the playful one where she gave him a hat to keep warm, they effortlessly manage drama and comedy, and we’re looking forward to more of it.
Imogen and Tyler
It’s about bloody time Imogen got some attention from a cute guy considering lately she spends most of her time pining over drippy Daniel and this week Tyler stepped forward to give her some much needed fun. We’re all for uptight career girl Imogen and we love that she takes her ambitions seriously but it was nice to see her let her hair down this week with a spot of strip poker with Tyler. We loved their playful chemistry and after all her love life dramas it was great to see Imogen enjoying Tyler’s carefree company and his hot bod. She might be still hung up on Daniel but there’s no harm in the sparky fun Tyler has brought into her life.
While Mark Brennan has become a bigger pain in the neck – and narrowly missed our bottom slot this week by the skin of his teeth – is is therefore refreshing to see his little brother Tyler continue to impress us. We’ve mentioned in previous weeks how we’ve quickly warmed to his character and this week was no exception! We love a bit of the good old ‘Neighbours does comic nudity!’ plot and frankly it’s been too long. So when Imogen managed to best Tyler at cards this week and get him stripped down, the scene was made even better when Kyle interrupted and was horrified at the sight before him. Thinking on his feet, Tyler quickly had Kyle believing he was a nudist and led to some great interaction later in the episode as Kyle tried to subtly question Mark on his little brother’s naked leanings. It’s the simple comedy Neighbours does so well and we think that Tyler and Kyle could have the potential to be a great comic double act.
Oh Georgia. What else can we say? She sure knows how to put her foot in it. We all know she’s the victim of the piece and it’s her we should be cheering on but frankly she’s made so many daft decisions in trying to out smart Nick it’s a wonder he hasn’t ruined her life even more! While we can wait to see Nick’s lies unravel Georgia has even faced the rare disapproval from Dr Karl this week as her plan to expose Nick fell apart. Her crafty lie to sneak into Nick’s hotel room backfired as soon as she had no excuse handy when Nick walked in the door – d’oh. While we’ve grown fond of Georgia in recent times, her ‘wronged woman on a mission’ just comes across as whiney and entitled even though we know she’s in the right and we can’t help but feel she should just let this one lie. In her mission to stop him she’s actually made matters worse by not reporting his bet to bed her and by not handing in the USB stick, and besides – Nick is not someone you should mess with!
Nine Month Nightmare
When Amber revealed she might be pregnant our hearts sank. When she revealed Josh might be the father we could feel our worst nightmares coming true. If there’s something worse than an Amber plot, it’s a Jamber plot. The end of that relationship was one of the best decisions Neighbours has made and we saw Josh become a much better character because of it so to revisit it is a HUGE mistake. In a series of strangely creepy flashbacks we saw Amber and Josh seeking comfort in each other after she was left at the altar and neither character came out of those flashbacks looking great. Now we have nine months of this hellish story involving the love triangle we despise and neither outcome is one we like the thought of, not to mention the story has somehow made Paige come across as a sanctimonious hypocrite. Boy are we hoping these next nine months fly by…
Well, it’s the end of the year for Neighbours and our final number one position of the year could only go to… Neighbours, as a whole. Yes, it’s been a fantastic year for the show and we’re happy to see the show thrive. 2013 was nothing but the appetiser, the blank slate for 2014 to build on, and boy did it build upon it. Fantastic long running plots such as the Paige saga, Toadie and Sonya’s marriage problems, the Turner and Willis marriage crises have reaffirmed the show’s focus on family with the older characters, the parents, FINALLY getting the attention and material they deserve. Great new additions like Olympia Valance and Morgana O’Reilly brought fresh energy to the show. And the show’s return to character based humour has brought about a welcoming return to form as we’ve giggled at the Book of Secrets and Karl’s porcelain pig saga. With such a strong 2014, we can only imagine 2015 will continue to go onwards and upwards.
We love the the show now delivers finale episodes tailored to a UK audience. It’s much nicer than taking a hiatus on an average episode and the next best thing to airing the show on the same day as our fellow Australian viewers. This year we got a thrilling finale and our favourites had to be the nail biting Sonya and Terese cliffhangers. Eve Morey as usual delivered a real and powerful performance and we were shocked at how tense and scary the final scene was as she screamed at her tormentor to let her in to her crying child. Similarly Terese being trapped in the hotel room with her manipulative ex has us fearing what may happen next and was refreshingly dark for Neighbours. We can’t wait until January to find out what happens next.
Oh Naomi – what a sight for sore eyes! Although Neighbours is in a great patch right now we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss Naomi in her little break. We’re thrilled to have her back as she’s such a lively character. We don’t entirely believe she’s over Toadie but we hope she can find some happiness of her own. With the Cannings looking to take centre stage we can only hope to see even more of Naomi because she really brightens up our screens!
We loved the cliffhangers in the UK finale of Neighbours – there was just one thing that left us a bit perplexed and that’s Susan looking like she’s about to be buried alive! We don’t really know why Nate’s up and digging in the night but we can only imagine it’s PTSD related. We’re glad that his trauma hasn’t been forgotten but this plot twist – of Susan falling into the grave – is just a little bit bonkers. It should be dramatic and a little dark but instead it made us giggle a little! In the UK we’ve got to leave Susan there, lying in the shovelled dirt but as it’s Susan she’s used to these near-death experiences so we’re not too worried!
Brad, Brad, Brad. We fear this is becoming a regular fixture on the blog but he really did outdo himself this week. Not only were we annoyed at his latent resentment towards his wife for making him get a job – welcome to the real world, Brad! But we were annoyed at his unwillingness to realise that his jealousy over Ezra is exactly how Terese must have felt about Lauren. And his reaction to Terese being upfront about Ezra led to a shocking display of hypocrisy as he failed to remember that in the wake of his kiss with Lauren, he didn’t go a day without meeting Lauren for a private, personal chat despite being fully aware of the hurt he was causing his wife. We hope Terese’s current predicament will be the big wake-up call Brad needs!
Next week we countdown our favourite plots of 2014!