Hits and Misses – August/September 2016

hitsandmisses

Hits

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Sizzling Chemistry

Months on, and we’re still absolutely obsessed with Paulrese. There’s something special about the couple and we can’t quite put our finger on what. Ordinarily potential couples that have been drawn out this long have begun to lose their lustre due to the myriad of plotty reasons preventing them from giving it a go, or just as bad, a couple is rushed together and it’s clear to see that the pairing is nothing special. Unlike Paul and many of his past loves (including the lovely Rebecca), Paul and Terese are the very definition of slow-burn and whilst they currently claim to ‘hate’ each other, the absolutely incredible stand-offs between the pair absolutely ooze with sexual chemistry. Even when they’re at odds, it’s clear they’re besotted with each other. We know we may still be waiting a while for them to finally get together but we are truly excited about their potential to become a classic couple.

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The Cannings Can

While we can’t quite believe a pigeon race formed such a crowd-pleasing event (and was sponsored by a major hotel) in Erinsborough – are their lives that unexciting?! – we have really grown to love Gary Canning. There’s something very ‘Neighbours’ about Gary and the rest of the family that we can’t help but love him. Whether he’s being a downbeat dad or a reluctant and hopeless lacky for Paul, his uselessness is likeable and endearing. We really enjoyed him bonding with his pigeon and his boyish excitement reminds us so much of his much-missed son Kyle too. He’s the sort of ‘normal bloke’ character Neighbours needs and while he might be setting his sights a little high with his interest in Terese, it would be nice for him to settle in the street for a long time to come!

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Bright Young Thing

There’s probably not a Neighbours character we love more than Xanthe Canning right now. She’s fun, cute, hopelessly romantic and we loved her mournful tuba playing. This past month we thought she deserved far better than the badly (read: horrendously) told assault storyline and we’re bloody thankful that it’s over now. It was a really bad move of TPTB to tell the story in such a vague and misjudged way and we hope that Neighbours stay away from plots like that if they can’t be told properly in a G rating. On the bright side, Xanthe proves herself a true Canning, because like her gran, brother, father and sorely missed Auntie Nomes, Xanthe can handle comedy and drama brilliantly. And even though Ben doesn’t always deserve her, her crush is so damned endearing we can’t help but really root for them together and hope he treats her like the princess she deserves. They have sparks a plenty and it’s about time she had some happiness.

Misses

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Snakes and Stalkers

Snakes. Why have we spent the greater part of two months on a plot involving snakes? It’s not like we don’t enjoy the occasional villainous plot, or indeed the occasionally soapy, ‘Sunset Beach’ OTT craziness but a lot of the menace of Steph’s stalker ordeal was ultimately lost due to the rather strange decision to have it revolve around snakes on the loose with a tenuous link to the Bible in order to give it depth and meaning. Whilst we praise them for originality in terms of how a villain may choose to target their victim, it sadly got a little too silly for us and worse still, never seemed to reach a proper end – instead lasting at least a couple of weeks longer than it needed to. It did provide some good stuff and the return of the fabulous Ellen Crabb but we think there were better ways to eek drama out of a stalker plot and this probably wasn’t the way to go…

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Maddie-Sue

Another month, more Madison. Thankfully it seems the character is finally on her way out but why we’ve been forced to put up with her this long, we’ll never know. Setting aside the acting for a moment, even the writing for the character is bizarre. Why is everyone so obsessed with Madison?! In the truest of sense of the term ‘Mary-Sue’, Madison is seemingly perfection personified. She has great dress sense (apparently), she’s a great journalist, EA, businesswoman, and now a singer. Is there anything she can’t do? Apparently not, and everyone fawning over, singing her praises constantly, feels insincere and only highlights how unbelievable the character of Madison is at being able to do all these jobs with the efficiency and ability she apparently possesses. We hope she nabs this job on the Gold Coast and let’s face it, of course she will because she’s Madison and we can forget she ever happened.

Goodbye Josh Willis!

Have you stopped crying yet? Only just? We’ve barely recovered from the emotions of last night as we watched the tragic death of Josh Willis in the widely publicised Hotel Death Trap. We’ll talk more about the heartbreaking moment and the tearjerking performances later in the week but we wanted to write a little goodbye to Josh.

We’ve gone back and forth with Josh over the years – the full spectrum of emotions. From loathing to loving but after all that we’re very sad to see him die. Josh made some bad decisions in his time on Ramsay Street but he was a guy with a big heart. Sure there were times we might have wished death on him – when he was obsessed with swimming, when he was with Amber, when he sided with awful dad Brad, when he sleazily tried to win Amber back with catfishing etc etc… BUT he’s had his good moments and Harley Bonner brought a lot of warmth to the role. Here’s a look at a few best bits.

His sibling relationship with Imogen

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Everyone knows that off screen Harley Bonner and Ariel Kaplan are the world’s cutest couple, or certainly we can’t help but feel a little bit romantic every time we see their insta pics, but on screen Josh and Imogen’s relationship was just as enjoyable. Sure they fell out, got involved in a messy love square, but ultimately they made for a believable pair of siblings (although, twins – really?). We’ll miss their friendship and the love they had for each other and their scenes as Josh lay dying broke us. Heartbreaking. We’ll miss their relationship a lot.

Josh and Naomi’s saucy fling

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Let’s face it, everything Naomi touched was gold, but the Josh and Naomi fling was a surprising hit for us. Before then we’d been bored of Jamber and his swimming plots, but after the way Danber had treated him he deserved some fun. Step forward Naomi! Their casual affair started with a romp in a lift and then the fun continued as they began sneaking around for some secret fun. There was a natural chemistry between the pair and it was a welcome change to see a carefree and flirty Josh. One of the best bits of the plot was seeing Josh be forced to escape Sheila’s without a single item of clothing and only a gnome to hide his crown jewels. Classic.

The coward punch story

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Although at times the coward punch story bordered on an after-school special, it was a really strong plot for all the actors involved. After Josh had a bad reaction to being dumped by Naomi and learnt Danber had got engaged, he got drunk (a bad move for someone who is allergic to alcohol) and delivered a dangerous punch to Chris. Chris suffered badly and the case ended up going to court. With Josh’s life in tatters, Harley Bonner really shone in showing a sympathetic side to Josh’s plight. It was his strongest dramatic material on the show and during this storyline Josh actually showed remorse and maturity – he was actually one of our favourites for a long while!

His fatherhood struggles

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We won’t talk about Jamber. We won’t talk about Josh sleeping with Amber after she believed she was jilted. We won’t talk about Josh’s creepy attempts to reunite with Amber. We won’t even talk about the catfishing. But what we will say is that we admired Neighbours for taking a new route in a new parent plot by having Josh really struggle with fatherhood. He was tired, unfocused and he really struggled to bond with his daughter. Sadly Matilda will have to grow up without her father now, but who could fail to be moved by Josh’s final scenes as gave Amber a message for Matilda’s future. TEARS EVERYWHERE. No matter how bad Josh’s previous behaviour was, Josh still had a big heart so we’ll try and overlook the dodgy plots and remember him fondly. To be honest, we’d have left Daniel to die.

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 – 5-16 Oct 2015

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Hits

Familiar Faces

  er50_0001_Layer-3  One aspect of the show that has really improved under Jason Herbison is the show embracing its past and featuring the return of a whole host of familiar faces, popping in and out of the show as story dictates. It’s really refreshing and is Neighbours taking advantage of its fantastic 30 years of history. The latest of these was the return of Lucas in order to take over the garage and provide a sounding board for Sonya. Lucas and Sonya have one of the most believable, real and deep friendships that has been developed by the show in the last 10 years and their scenes are always a joy to watch as it truly brings out a raw, and emotional side of Sonya. No one quite gets her like Lucas, and we love that rare example of a male/female friendship free from sexual tension or implied feelings. Whilst we don’t see a permanent return for Lucas and Vanessa possible, or even necessary with the insane amount of babies Vanessa seems to be popping out, it will be nice to see the show continue to make use of Scott Major’s offscreen presence and pop in front of the camera from time to time.

The Dark Side

er50_0002_Layer-2Paul is a character who has gone through a lot of developments in the 11 years since his return to the show – some good, some bad. It’s fair to say the show’s  insistence at one point to push the pantomime villainy side to Paul’s character was a huge mistake, one that almost had Stefan Dennis written out – something that’s unthinkable now. Similarly, Paul will never be a ‘good’ or properly reformed character as it’s not in his nature. He is selfish, he is money-driven and he lashes out when hurt or threatened and when the show manages to take these elements and ground them within character development that they can be pulled off successfully. The character has been on a real upward curve since the death of Kate and his fake illness so it’s been very sad to see how Naomi’s betrayal has undone all Paul’s hard work to change

. His bitter goodbye to Naomi was sad to watch and deep down, we quite liked seeing Paul try to get Josh sent down. It’s not panto silliness, it’s the desperate plotting of a lonely man, getting a taste of his own medicine as one of his many love interests betrayed him as he so often betrayed them. That said, we do hope the character finds a way through his issues and the show doesn’t take his villainy too far.

New Man in Town

er50_0003_Layer-1Jimmy’s dad rocked up this fortnight just as Amy was starting to see romantic potential in Kyle (which was pretty cute we have to admit) – typical! Guest characters always have a hard job in Neighbours, they have to fit in quickly, whip up a storm and then leave but we think Liam’s done a pretty good job already. You can pretty much see the neon sign above his head spelling

out trouble but with his charm, good looks (forget the Brennan boys, seriously – Liam is fine) and ability to put on voices when reading, we can see why Amy is a bit taken with him (again). Of course it’s only Kyle who can see the dodginess coming off him in waves, but Liam’s played an enjoyable part in a predictable story. We’re guessing he won’t be around long, but he’s hot – can we keep him?

Misses

Pining and Whining

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Is that the whiff of a love triangle we can smell? Another one? Just after we’ve cleared up after the love square mess? Really? Really? Must we? Well – sigh – it looks like it might be the case. Tyler’s had the hots for Paige for quite a while now and for a short time it looked like she was going to reciprocate with the ponytailed one, that was until Mark “boring but moderately cute” Brennan decided he wanted her again. We really like Paige and Mark together and we don’t like when Neighbours mess around with things that are working – especially not if it’s going to involve Paige flitting between the two. Luckily she rejected Tyler’s kiss but with Amber suggesting Paige is fun and flirty with Tyler and Mark not too serious about her – we can see where this is headed. Tyler is a great character who really doesn’t need a love triangle dragging him down. Make it stop.

Enemy Number One

er50_0000_Layer-4It feels like he’s become a regular in our dislikes section but with good reason – Yes. shocker, Brad annoyed us once again. Why you may ask? Where do we begin? The fact that he continues to treat Terese badly and seems to have a bizarre notion that he has the moral highground, shamelessly continuing to criticise her and storm off the moment a conversation isn’t going his way. There’s also the fact that he refuses to parent Josh properly, allowing him to bad mouth his mother and take his side in the split. The fact that he was the one who broke up his marriage and faced with the scenario of having to stay in a hotel, whines endlessly about a perfectly standard room in a desperate bid from pity. And who pitied him?! Erinsborough’s own professional victim, Lauren Turner, who hovers around Brad like a bad smell, smirking too herself but turns on the waterworks whenever someone rightly criticises her behaviour. The breaking point for us? Lauren inviting Brad to move in “as friends” and Brad, clearly willing to hurt his wife and kids as much as possible, taking her up on the offer. Get lost, please.

Scene of the Week – 5-16 Oct 2015

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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.

Hits and Misses – 21 Sep-2 Oct 2015

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Hits

Twenty Years of Toadie

er49_0002_Layer-2  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!

Breakdown

er49_0003_Layer-1Paul 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

er49_0004_BackgroundWe 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.

Misses

Immaturity

er49_0000_Layer-4It’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.

Reality Check

er49_0001_Layer-3Josh 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.

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!