Hits and Misses – 10-14 Aug 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits

Three’s a Crowd

er43_0004_Layer-1Love Triangles. It’s fair to say that in the past 18 months we’ve all had more than our fair share of love triangles as viewers and sadly, few of them worth talking about. The slog that was Josh, Amber and Daniel finally crawled to its inevitable conclusion recently (and frankly we’re glad Daniel is free of that albatross around his neck) while the slow burn of Terese, Brad and Lauren is heating up and surely set to explode in coming weeks. Aside from these big two, we’ve had far too many smaller triangles, often involving guests, that have become more than a little monotonous in their frequency. However, it was shocking this week when the latest: Daniel, Imogen and Casper, kicked off that it managed to be not only watchable but funny. It’s helped by the fact that Ariel and Tim are strong actors and the fact that we all know where it’s going, and there’s a knowing sense that the characters do too, so it was all played for laughs and managed to be quite charming. Imogen’s high-strung pretence that she fancies Casper, Daniel playfully inviting himself to university to snoop and Casper developing a bromance crush on Daniel was genuinely funny and a welcome change from all the recent triangle angst.

Farewell Fugglesworth

er43_0002_Layer-3What Neighbours proves time and time again is that it’s not the big, OTT dramatic plots it needs to entertain us and give us that warm Neighboursy glow. No, sometimes it’s just the simple, fuzzy, character led silliness that works. The Rebecchis are still having the very real and believable issues surrounding the adorable Nell’s daycare, but this week things took a traumatic turn when Nell’s favourite teddy – Captain Fugglesworth – went missing. There was no last minute save, no back from the dead plots for Neighbours – oh no no. Instead we got a very fun and cute memorial service held by Susan to celebrate Captain Fugglesworth’s life. Okay it was a silly plot, but it was cute and believable – even Kyle, clinging to his cuddly penguin, shed a tear. Luckily for all involved Nell coped with the loss pretty well and Sonya and Toadie reached a conclusion over their babysitting dilemmas.

Awkward Encounters

er43_0003_Layer-2Kyle’s a pretty loveable dude. If we were to pick a Ramsay Street resident we’d like to go to the pub with, it’d probably be Kyle – with Bossy, of course. He’s had quite a big role lately which has been nice and this week we saw him grow ever closer to Amy and find himself with a bit of problem on his hands. The friendship and chemistry with Amy has been pretty nice, although we did grow to love his marriage to Georgia. With her gone it’s hard to see a future there, even if Kyle’s a loyal guy and Amy seems quite suited to him…it’s a tricky one. But he made matters more complicated after a lingering hug with Amy…oops. Speaking of Georgia, we enjoyed her brief video call this week to remind Kyle just what his situation is and cause him a bit more angst. At the heart of Kyle is just a happy-go-lucky, simple guy, so maybe he’d be better off sticking to being just friends with Amy.

Misses

Insensitivity

er43_0000_Layer-5As bad weeks go, Tyler had a pretty rubbish one. After doing what he thought was a good thing and being there for Ben as a bit of an older brother figure, he got a real telling off from the Kennedys – but then things got a whole lot worse. We love Tyler and we’re pretty fond of Mark and Paige together but even we were feeling a bit irritated by the loved up pair’s total lack of sensitivity and awareness of Tyler’s feelings. It’s obvious to anyone with half a braincell to see Tyler carries a torch for Paige so to have them get cosy in front of him and coo obliviously at each other just seems a tad unfair. Not to mention no one except Karl seemed at all bothered that Russell (Papa) Brennan made Tyler’s mood change dramatically. No wonder Mark takes forever to solve a crime, his powers of observation are appalling. Here’s hoping for some nicer times for Tyler soon.

Crone Ceremony

er43_0001_Layer-4Now don’t get us wrong, we do enjoy when Neighbours occasionally embraces its quirky side and throws us the occasional scene that is so odd, so funny, that it works. Just this week the toy funeral in the wrong hands could have been terrible but the show edged on just the right side of eccentric Neighbours humour. Therefore it was all the more jarring when the following episode contained a ‘crone ceremony’ which is an example of what not to do. Setting aside the fact that two unique garden ceremonies in the space of two episodes was too much and stuck out like a sore thumb, the crone scene lacked the tongue in cheek comedy that Captain Fugglesworth’s funeral had. The crones may have been made up of some of the show’s strongest actresses but even they couldn’t save what was a weird and ultimately very flat scene. We think there was probably a much funnier way to cheer Sheila up and it’s a shame we missed out on it!

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Hits and Misses – 20-24 July 2015

hitsandmisses

Hits
Danogen
er40_0000_Layer-5    Free from the clutches of insipid Amber, Daniel continues his resurgence – finally becoming a character he has had the potential to be all along. We’ve long since noted that the dreadful ‘Danber’ relationship took what promised to be a fresh, fun character and quickly relegated him to triangle monotony and annoying, unbelievable declarations of love. However, with that unpleasantness now behind us, Daniel has improved immeasurably. Funny, warm, pleasant, he’s really found his footing again and the scenes he’s shared with Imogen are natural and full of chemistry. They were the couple we wanted all along and the couple we still hope to receive. We hope they’ll sidestep a lot of the drama that plague other relationships on the show, and continue to flourish. As their scenes proved this week, the pair are a perfect counter to each other and the perfect antidote to Josh and Amber.

The Perfect Woman

er40_0003_Layer-2Honestly there’s not an episode that goes by where we don’t love Naomi but she was at her absolute best this week. Having been given the brush of by Paul and feeling increasingly shut out, she took a bold move and stood up to Paul telling him she wasn’t going to put up with being kept a secret. They made up in a rather cute way which made us warm to the idea of Nomes and Paul together but we loved that she stuck to her guns and decided to go into business alone again. What else we loved is that Naomi and Sonya forged a sort of friendship and it was wonderful to see both characters together in that way. Naomi manages to be fiercely independent and full of personality even when she’s hooked up with a powerful man. Never change Naomi – you’re fabulous.

Toddler Troubles

er40_0002_Layer-3You’d be hard pushed to find a cuter kiddie in soapland than our wonderful Nell Rebecchi but this week she proved to be a little bit challenging to her poor mum and dad. There’s been no stopping her lately from sweet tea parties with resident grump Mark, to just generally gabbling away in her adorable way. But this week saw her throw a few tantrums and start biting people – even the elusive babysitter Judith! Sonya and Toadie, being the concerned parents they are, tried everything they could to make the little miss behave but in the end there was only one solution – the Rebecchis headed to see the parenting masters – Karl and Susan. It seems only right that Toadie’s second parents help him with their own wise words and we’re always glad of these extended family scenes. They warm our hearts!

Misses

Brotherly Bother

er40_0004_Layer-1In the world’s most dull gangster plot which NEVER ENDS, you’d think a good character like Tyler could just about salvage it but we really struggled to find it anything less than tedious. Mark works best when he’s fussing about coasters or playing with Nell – the serious cop stuff is just so dry and uninteresting so making him central to the Dimato plot doesn’t help. Having him fight with Tyler and organise secret operations doesn’t make us long for the brothers to reunite it just makes us wish we could finally move on and see their fun sides again.

The Trouble with Josh

er40_0001_Layer-4We have a strange relationship with Josh Willis. We couldn’t stand him for his first year on the show but it seemed like after his swimming injury, coupled with the return visit from his grandparents, that the character really turned a corner. By the time Amber dumped and his relationship with Naomi was in full swing, he was one of our favourites and this continued to be the case even through his realistic and sympathetic role in the coward punch story. Then he got obsessed with Amber and his character regressed immeasurably. This week, spurred on by his desire to help Amber financially, Josh turned against his own sister. Yes, unappreciative of Imogen’s concern and mounting evidence that Forrest was supplying dodgy pills, Josh dropped his sister in it and led to a very difficult and dangerous situation between Imogen and Forrest. We really wish Josh would remind us of what we once loved about the character before it’s too late.

Hits and Misses – 1-5 June 2015

hitsandmisses

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 – 20-24 Oct 2014

hitsandmisses

Hits

Mr & Mrs Canning

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Who doesn’t love a good Neighbours wedding? It was lovely to see Georgia and Kyle finally tie the knot and defying soap tradition there weren’t any disasters! Yay! Georgia looked beautiful and so did the venue, Chris managed to fulfil his duties as Best Man and Bossy did the ring duty. As it should have been, the Canning wedding was full of love and humour and we very much enjoyed the next day’s capers where Georgia and Kyle tried to consumate their marriage and kept getting interupted, especially by Kyle’s gran Sheila. We hope they keep up these fun plots for them!

Nell: Star of the Show
er6__0004_BackgroundNell, Nell, Nell. Where do we begin? TV soap babies are that rare breed of character – most times they are little-seen burden around the neck of a character that no one truly pays any attention to until they’re of a speaking age, but sometimes, you strike gold. Nell is one such case: cute as a button, funny, a great chemistry onscreen with her “parents” and a pleasure to watch. This week’s highlights involved her comic mastering of Toadie’s iPad and then making poor Mal realise that kids can be hard work as she tested his patience. Even when driving an expecting first-time father to drink, you gotta love little Nell.

Sharon Canning
er6__0001_Layer-3One of the biggest highlights this week was the long-awaited Kyle and Georgia wedding and in particular, the first it gave us of their parents. While Georgia’s seem pleasant enough, the real highlight was Sharon Canning. Fiery, loud and brash, she reminded us of this kind of bogan charm once brought by Janelle Timmins. Her flirtation with Brennan was hilarious, as was her war of words with Sheila and interaction with her “Kylie.” As the episode ended, we couldn’t help but wish she had succeeded in seducing Matt and rally set the cat among the pigeons in the Turner marriage. We’re hoping that with such a strong introduction and reason to return, we’ll see her again sooner than later.

Misses

Missing Fun Factor
er6__0000_Layer-4Now, don’t get us wrong, we’ve been fans of Brennan lately. After the angst of Kate’s death, Paige brought out a whole new, watchable side of him that was charming and funny. So it’s a shame this week to see Brennan of old intrude in the plot between Paul and Dakota and drag it down. Stefan Dennis and Sheree Murphy really give it their all but Brennan’s monotonous investigation sucked the fun out of what could’ve been a very good plot. We’re saying no to po-faced Brennan and hope he isn’t here to stay.

Disliking Daniel
er6__0003_Layer-1Oh dear. It was not a good week for Daniel. First he was a perfect target for Dakota’s schemes as he might just be the drippiest, dopiest resident on Ramsay Street (he makes Kyle look like Einstein!). Then he really goes and makes himself seem even more unlikeable when he kicks sad-puppy-faced Josh when he’s down. Not content with stealing his girlfriend and rubbing his nose in it, Daniel revealed that he’d bought Josh’s medals. He didn’t want them, oh no, but he didn’t want Josh to sell them on either. Sure it might have been a nice gesture to give them back, but it just felt a bit smug – like another thing he has to hold over Josh. On the positive side, he’s a lot more bearable in scenes with Paige and Imogen so there might be hope for him yet…maybe.