Hits and Misses – 13-24 June 2016

hitsandmisses

Hits

Prayers or Paige

er71_0004_Layer-1THANK GOD (literally) we discovered the true identity of John Doe this week in a scene which we won’t be forgetting in a hurry. He’s only a bloody priest! It’s not something we would have seen coming had it not been for the clever suggestions of it that we saw on Twitter but him turning up to tell Paige in full frock and dog collar was priceless. Even more so was the drama that he’d seriously been a suspect for the explosion and had shared a snog with Paige right before his oh-so convinent flashback memories! Watching Paige hang around John (it’s ridiculously hard to think of him as Jack!) like a bad smell certainly hasn’t been our favourite plot but we like Jack. Although we’re dreading Paige’s jealousy of Jack’s relationship with God and she’ll probably whine at him to choose between her and the church, the reveal scene alone is worth our top spot.

Family Tension

er71_0004_Layer-3Even though we’re never happy to see grief for Toadie and Sonya, we can’t deny we do love watching them handle the struggles in their marriage. We’ve often said how much we love the realism between the couple and the natural chemistry between Eve and Ryan, developed from years of working together always shines through – and of course, makes the moments of tension and anger between them that much harder to watch. Recent weeks have seen Walter continue to be a source of trouble between them and the reveal that he wanted bone marrow to save the life of Zoe, Sonya’s half sister, was a great twist. It’s really added another dimension to Walter and casts light on his motives for contacting Sonya. The ambiguity has been interesting to watch and despite some other recent poor signings (*cough*Madison*cough*) Zoe was a joy to watch onscreen and quickly developed chemistry with her onscreen sister. With Walter and Zoe both off so soon, we hope we haven’t seen the last of them.

Top Dog

er71_0004_Layer-2Gary Canning got freed from prison this fortnight after we had a brief spell of seeing him be top dog in Erinsborough’s version of Oz. He didn’t stick around long to help Paul, in fact he landed him in it, but we were pretty glad to see Gary’s return. There’s something interesting about the dodgy guy that we like and we’re interested to see how he fits in with the rest of the family, especially his daughter Xanthe. Only time will tell what kind of influence he’ll be on her and if he’ll manage to stay out of any bad behaviour while he’s on Ramsay Street. We only wish Kyle was still around so that they could repair their very damaged relationship.

Misses

Sad Goodbyes

er71_0004_Layer-5Over the past few weeks, we’ve waved goodbye to a few residents, some temporarily and some for good – but neither especially welcomed. We were sad to see the lovely Nate go, breaking our hearts as well as Aaron’s. For weeks prior to his exit, it was clear that Nate was unsettled with the current direction of his life but that didn’t make it any easier to watch him go. Though he returned for such a short time, we were glad to see him back to give his character a proper exit and have him leave under less of a cloud. Speaking of leaving under clouds, Ned also bid Ramsay Street farewell after failing to seduce Lauren and making things difficult with his family. We’re gutted to see Ned leave and by the looks of it, so is everyone else. Ben Hall has been a brilliant find and with news that he’s already on his way back, we hope the show begs, borrows or steals the money to make him a permanent cast member. The Led romance can’t die before its even begun!

Unwelcome Return

er71_0004_Layer-4In a fortnight when we lost a newbie favourite, Ned, we had the unwelcome return of Madison Robinson. Sure, she’s the daughter of famous Ramsay Street legends Scott and Charlene (aka Jason and Kylie) but she’s also as wooden and unexciting as they come. She’s a blonde, budding reporter – she’s almost Elle Robinson but with none of the edge or charm. Her dialogue is stilted and her purpose, apart from being there to cheer up Paul, seems to be a walking mannequin. We ask, what really is the point of her? We’re really hoping this isn’t a longterm return because frankly the show can do better and Paul deserves more than Madison as a cling on!

Hotel Death Trap Week – 4-8 April 2016

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


The Willis Family

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

Ned Willis Arrives

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

Goodbye Kyle (and Bossy)

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

Doug’s Demise

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

Sarah’s Return

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

Rebecchi Drama

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

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

Hits and Misses – 29 Feb-18 March 2016

hitsandmisses

Hits

Nasty Nene

er63_0003_Layer-2We do love a Neighbours villain when they’re done well (sit down, Dimato, no one’s talking about you) and even better, we love them when they’re genuinely a bit more grounded and manipulative as opposed to OTT gangster drama, so it’s no surprise we’ve enjoyed the arrival of Nina ‘Nene’ Williams. In a short space of time she’s already got her eye on Karl and has weaselled her way into a job, manipulating all around her. It’s so typical Karl would fall for Nene’s ‘charms’ but we love the growth in his relationship with Susan. There’s no threat of infidelity here, thank God, and it’s great to see Karl and Susan bluntly discuss Nene and her fixation on Karl. Susan really sparks onscreen when faced with characters like Nene and we loved that she caught onto her in record time. The highlight (or lowlight) has been the dreadful way Nene has been exploiting Doug in order to protect herself and get closer to Karl in the process. With Doug as sick as he is, seeing Nene lie to him as she did was really shocking and we hope Doug gets a chance to reveal her for what she truly is! That said, we’re in no rush to lose her…
Steph’s Struggle
er63_0000_Layer-5It’s been a busy few weeks for Steph as she’s struggled to deal with the stress of her custody battle for Charlie. As sad as it was to see Charlie turn on her and for Philippa to seem on the verge of ruining Steph’s chances, we loved the drama of Steph breaking down during the hearing. The mix of the heat and lack of meds took their toll on Steph and it was shocking to see how quickly she unravelled. The show has done a brilliant job making Philippa more than a 2D villain but someone who seems to genuinely care about Charlie, even if he intentions to removed Steph from his life is anything but noble. It was brilliant to see the two ladies come to an amicable agreement with the help from wise sage, Lucas. Thus finally brining closure between him and Steph and cling a chapter on Steph’s darkest moment – kidnapping baby Patrick. Other highlights in recent weeks have involved the show’s unlikeliest friendship between Steph and Paul. Even if Paul’s advice was misguided, we loved seeing him try to help Steph. Finally, the burgeoning romance(?) between Steph and Mark has taken us by surprise. Whilst we would prefer Belinda to return, we did enjoy Steph and Mark raking over the past (particularly the Marc and Flick mentions!) and it’s nice to see Mark interested in someone more on his wavelength.
A Sad Goodbye
er62_0001_Layer-3As the weeks progress on what his been a very welcome lengthy guest stint for Doug (and hopefully a sign that the show will continue to invest in longer guest runs!) it’s been tragic to see his condition gradually deteriorate. Terence Donovan, well aware that he’s in the latter days of Doug’s time on the show, is doing some very fine work and bringing out the heart in a man who is beginning to lose every sense of himself. His unwillingness to go into a home, to the point of genuine anger and hurt at the suggestion, is heartwrenchingly realistic. So too is Josh’s constant defence and care for his grandfather, and Brad’s gradual realisation that the family unit is struggling to care for him adequately. As Doug’s daily challenges become greater and moments of forgetfulness increase, it’s nice to see a character like Lou, a longstanding friend, around these past few weeks providing a much needed sounding board for Doug’s frustrations and sadness. Whether Doug is your favourite or not, you can’t deny that he has a wealth of show history behind him and a large part of the early 90s era of the show. It’ll be very sad to close a book on that and it’s made all the more powerful seeing an iconic character, played by the same actor, doing so all these years later.
Misses
Fools Rush In
er63_0004_BackgroundOh Aaron. A sniff of a leather shoe and a designer shopping bag and he’s apparently anyone’s. It didn’t take long for Tom Quill’s obvious flattery and flirting to get Aaron’s attention and that spells disaster for the future of Lassiter’s. Okay, so we can’t blame Aaron for feeling a little bit sore that Nate’s back in the country without so much as a phonecall to his so-called boyfriend, but did that mean he had to drop everything for Tom so fast? Tom comes across as a little bit of a slime ball and we know Aaron’s naive, but is he that stupid that he can’t tell he’s being played. Aaron’s struggled to find a place in the show with Nate gone and has flitted from one character group to the next without really finding where he fit. He works well as Sonya’s EA (how did he get that job from exotic dancing?!) but he’s generally pretty clueless. Now that Tom’s got him on side and smuggling information right under Sonya’s nose there’s only one way this can end, and that’s VERY badly for dopey Aaron. Let’s hope if and when Nate gets his butt back into Erinsborough he manages to ground Aaron again.
Swimming Stories
er63_0002_Layer-3One unsolved Neighbours mystery was answered these past few weeks with the arrival of Brodie aka Piper’s mystery texter Chas. We had kinda hoped for a slightly more exciting reveal that just some random vest-wearing swimmer, but it’s a testosterone dominated Willis plot so what can you expect. We could buy the idea of Piper having a secret lover that she had to hide away in Canada because of Shakespearian family strife and Pipes being Pipes, of course he was older for her to gaze starry-eyed at, but the backstory? Pur-lease. We’re meant to believe that Brodie caused such a disruption to Brad and Josh’s swimming/trainer careers and yet they’ve never talked about him? Not a moan from Brad as he carves another hideous sculpture? Not a mention in a man-paining wail from Josh post-shoulder injury? As if, we know those Willis men, they carry their grudges and their chips on their shoulder to the grave. Brodie’s arrival just meant every scene was weighed down with exposition and we had to revisit those awful memories of swimming championships and Brad as this training superstar. Yeah right. And if Brad being Brodie’s trainer is the highlight of his career then we seriously suggest he needs to get out more.

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 – 30 Nov-11 Dec 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Steph’s Struggle

er55_0003_Layer-1It’s no surprise to say that we’ve really enjoyed Steph’s return to the show. Although Steph herself has struggled to slot back into Erinsborough life, the character has fit back into the show with total ease. As great as it has been to see her put her life back together, we can’t deny we’ve loved the drama of Paul’s twisted scheme to drive her away. It’s the kind of story that is refreshingly dark for the show and we always enjoy when Neighbours pushes the boundaries of what it has done previously. Steph’s trials and tribulations of late – the self-doubt, false accusations toward Vanessa and upsetting breakdown – have been great TV and it’s impossible not to root for Steph. Now don’t get us wrong, as much as we like the story, Paul’s behaviour has been despicable and in our opinion, one of his worst acts. We’re glad Steph gained the upper hand and dealt with Paul with class rather than anger and revenge. Though we feel Paul deserves a comeuppance and it doesn’t look too far away…

Bittersweet

er55_0002_Layer-2It’a been one of our favourite plots of the year and this week we feel it may finally have come to a close: Terese and Brad’s marriage struggles. Arriving in 2013 as a happily married couple, the bit-by-bit disintegration of their relationship has been one of the most realistic and well-plotted we’ve seen on TV. We are, of course, firmly Team Terese but what we loved most this week was Terese and Brad’s self-reflections on everything that has happened. We do feel like Terese has let Brad off the hook to easily but it was really affirming to see her own her faults and the part they played in everything going sour. As ever, Brad went along with the flow and backed Terese’s decision to end things properly but that didn’t make their parting scenes any less bittersweet and sad. As an added bonus, we greatly enjoyed the interfering Lauren witnessing their ‘goodbye’ and it sending her into a tizz. We hope 2016 brings happiness for Terese, whilst Lauren and Brad continue their merry-go-round of umming and ahhing.

New Parents

er55_0004_BackgroundNormally when young parents are shown in soaps we always get the mother’s perspective but we think it’s been really refreshing to see it from Josh’s point of view as a new father. The idea of Josh and Amber being parents and having real responsibility fills us with dread but it’s still been an interesting story. We don’t often see how young dads struggle to cope – whether it’s tiredness, feeling a bit helpless and not knowing what to do, or just not having that same connection that a mother does. There have been things about the plot that we’ve enjoyed less – like Amber’s total lack of understanding and empathy – but then Josh is a bit clueless at the best of times and maybe we’d be screaming at him too if he was left to look after our hypothetical baby. With Amber thinking about moving away for a new job, and Josh wanting to do the best for his new little girl, it seems like this is only going to end badly.

Misses

Obvious and Oblivious

er55_0001_Layer-3Oh dear, it’s pretty easy to see why no crimes get solved quickly in Erinsborough when you have officer clueless on the case. Mark Brennan, sweet, hunky but all together idiot really out did himself this fortnight. His relationship with Paige is a really thorny issue on this blog. We’d loved Paige, we loved ‘Park’ and then something happened – she got irritating and childish, a love triangle was teased and then it all got a bit messy. We still quite like them together so watching them miscommunicate and grow apart is really disappointing. Paige geared up to end things with him after there was the whole Tyler thing, differences, baby scare and Amber whispering in her ear. But then Mark saw the ring Doug had given her and mistook her dumping speech as a proposal. Oh man – what kind of fool does that? Paige was clearly dumping him and it made him look more oblivious than ever. Cringe. If he keeps blundering on it’s only going to get worse and lead to a very unhappy split. No doubt Tyler will be involved because what is Neighbours without a love triangle we couldn’t care less about?

Bump to the Head

er55_0000_Layer-4Daniel’s had a taste of the dark side and now he’s living up to the Robinson ways by taking part in some very shady property dealings. Ever since Daniel got whacked over the head by the homeless man, we’ve seen a change in him and not one we like. Okay so we didn’t like earthman, hippie dippie Daniel either but just like Imogen, we don’t like this Daniel either. It just feels wrong! We understand that Daniel feels completely guilty for what’s happened to Paul – although, wake up Daniel, your Uncle P is not a good guy – but seeing Daniel so heartless, willing to screw over his friends just doesn’t seem right. More to the point Nate seemed like a very odd choice to be interested in property. He can’t be on an amazing pay rate at the waterhole and he has a pretty sweet living arrangement with the Kennedys. So this whole plot left us raising a Nate-like eyebrow. We’re sorry to see that Daniel and Imogen’s relationship is taking a bit of a knock considering how long it took them to get together. Maybe he needs another bump to the head?

Scene of the Week – 16-27 Nov 2015

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There was lots to love about our chosen Scene of the Week in Neighbours. First of all we love a return, whether it’s a regular return like Hilary or a one off appearance it adds a nice slice of history to the show. Even better is when it shows that Neighbours hasn’t forgotten a big event (a Pappas-Robinson baby, obviously) and when it feeds in nicely to current plots. It was so lovely to see Chris and Lucy (and their new baby) again, even if it was just via Bla Bla (aka Skype). It seemed only right that Amber had baby chats with them with what she’s going through with hers and it made Nate thoughtful about his relationship with Aaron. It did make us slightly nostalgic for the Chris and Nate romance though. Please visit soon Chrucy!