Night To Remember
Whilst the build-up has divided viewers with some questionable behaviour from some of the characters, obsessed with dresses/Tyler respectively, the big much-hyped formal finally arrived. Now as any long-term viewer will know, even characters mentioning formals fills us all with a deep dread, so damaged are we from Kate Ramsay’s formal era from hell. This, however, was much more bearable and the event itself actually resulted in quite a great turn of events. Whilst all the cloying references to Instagram, likes, vlogs and general youth culture has been prevalent (and we’re not fans), the episode set all this aside for what Neighbours does best – old fashioned, character led storytelling. Xanthe and Ben finally got it together after months of build-up and provided some very sweet moments. Xanthe’s destroyed dress prevented things from being too saccharine, thankfully! The real fun came from the arrival of Elly Conway and the effect she had on Piper and Tyler’s already-faltering relationship. Piper drenching her love rival (and accidentally Xanthe too) in sangria before realising it was her new teacher was a brilliant episode end and capped off a very goo episode indeed.
Making a Mark
This month saw the surprise return of the slightly unhinged Belinda, Steph’s ex, with the incredible hair. We loved her in her first stint, even when she donned a surgeon’s mask and got a bit too involved in Toadie’s operation, so we were thrilled to see her return to screens. This being Neighbours, her return was all down to Paul Robinson’s meddling with a cunning plan to split up Steph and Mark. Luckily for Paul this has already worked out pretty well, what with Steph and Belinda’s chemistry and Mark’s paranoia over their history. Belinda’s presence seems to have already driven a wedge between them and this only increased when the fabulous-haired-one planted a smacker on Steph! Even though we know Belinda is a bit of a loose cannon, her scenes with Steph are consistently watchable and despite her dark side we wouldn’t be opposed to the two of them making a real go of it and ditching dull Mark!
We’ve already mentioned that the big formal night set piece was a great climax to the teen plots but the lead up to it seemed never-ending! Anyone would think Xanthe was planning her wedding not just the end of the year dance for school. It was disappointing to have Xanthe’s fun and complex character reduced to a sole focus on a designer dress and pouting over whether Ben would ask her out. It seemed crazy too that Ben, who is usually so morally upstanding would take the money Gary offered him to ask Xanthe out (let’s be honest, he’s smitten with her anyway). Piper’s character regression and giant fall in maturity was the worst offender of the lot. Since Josh and Doug’s death, we’ve seen Piper really grow up and the romance with Tyler seemed not only inevitable but actually pretty believable. And then things rapidly went downhill. Pipes began lying and stropping and screaming at her parents Kevin The Teenager style. Yes, Piper life is unfair. We know she’s a teenager whose always thought of herself as an adult, but what happened to the smart and mature young woman who has now regressed into a baby at the thought of not getting her own way? Just as we had begun liking ‘Typer’, alll that we enjoyed about the pairing seemed to be reversed. Can we have the teens we’re fond of back? Heads screwed on?
Eternal Paige Rage
Where to even start with Paige? She’s the one character in Neighbours that gets steadily more unlikeable as the weeks go on. Since she fell in love with John/Jack in his coma, we’ve been questioning whether she hit her head SO hard during the hotel explosion and her personality damage was caused by that, OR she really is just THE WORST. The latter probably. Paige’s main problem is that at every turn she’s enabled, told what a great girl she is, yet behaving in a completely selfish and loathsome way. Now that she knows Jack is a priest, you’d think it was about time she gave up on her defrocking fantasies and either got a hobby or sorted herself out with a trip to the Erinsborough equivalent of Ann Summers. But she hasn’t. She’s continued to whine and sulk and try and make Jack feel guilty for sticking to his vocation, even going as far as stripping in the pool to try and lure him away. We’ve even seen her move away from nipple-flashing and try other tactics – jealousy (didn’t work), being a charitable, Godly citizen maybe in an attempt to force a threeway between her Jack and God (also didn’t work). The sad thing about this whole mess is that now her entire personality is a selfish obsession with herself. Not only can she not cope without a man’s affection and attention, but she never thinks of anyone but herself. Hold onto your hats readers – Paige might have just crossed the “worse than Amber Turner” line.