Archive | August, 2011

Last week on Neighbours…

29 Aug

It’s been a fairly uneventful week in Ramsay Street this week.

Chris Pappas, former boyfriend of Summer until he suddenly turned gay after seeing Andrew, the oddly accented, ne’er-do-well son of peg leg ‘avast me hearties’ Paul Robinson, semi-naked in the changing room of the gym, is now a bona fide part-time employee of Lucas, mechanic, part-time mechanics teacher, recovering gambler and lately a bit of a miserable sod who has inherited $700,000 from his recently deceased father who never truly understood him. Chris has similar father/son woes as papa Pappas, ashamed of fathering the only gay in Erinsborough, had clung to the hope his son would continue captaining the basketball team and study at uni. Alas, Chris has turned his back on the bigoted bullies of the basketball team and has declared that he wants to become a fully-fledged mechanic when he leaves school.

Sonya, trainer of guide dogs for the blind and recovering something-or-other, has spent most of the week gazing enthusiastically at the rather sad and pathetic looking veggy beds of the Community Garden, and absolutely no time at all training guide dogs for the blind. She goes back and forth from slightly manic, hat wearing hope to tearful, mopy despair as she attempts to get financial backing to purchase the Community Garden and run a nursery, a lifelong dream she’s had for a week or two now. Lucas, desperate to be rid of his father’s money which seems to taunt him in a ‘naah naah na naah naah you can’t cope with so much money you huge disappointment of a son’ sort of way, offered most of it to Sonya. Her joy was short lived however as one thing led to another which led to Toadie feeling less of a man, Sonya handing the cheque back to the miserable mechanic and Toadie reconsidering the offer of the highly paid job that he had turned down a few weeks ago in order to be true to himself.

Dr Karl and Susan Kennedy appeared to be trying to pick up the pieces of their tattered marriage (cleverly mirrored by the picking up and pasting together of the tattered map of Peru). After some emotional jogging and a tearful and rather moving heart-to-heart, Susan admitted that she had got too involved with holding Jim’s hand in a supportive and absolutely non romantic way. Alas, Susan promptly got more involved as Jim asked her to sign a Medical Power of Attorney after he got lost walking through a housing estate he had built, which led to the smarmy Dr Rhys casting aspersions on Susan’s integrity, Karl asking Jim to distance himself from Susan to spare her the hurt, more emotional jogging, Jim distancing himself from Susan (or possibly just lost in a neighbouring housing estate), Susan wondering why Jim hasn’t been in touch, and lots of looking into the middle distance in a guilty kind of way from Dr K.

Jade, personal fitness instructor to anyone who may further the plot, confided to her once sensible yet increasingly annoying sister, Sonya, that she has feelings for her house mate, Kyle the handyman. After several minutes of new heights of annoyingness Sonya suggested she just tell him how she felt. If only to shut her sister up, Jade agreed, and was about to confess the aforementioned feelings to the aforementioned handyman during a cosy dinner for two when they were interrupted by their new house mate and plot furthering client of Jade, Michelle, a flaky florist with a dolphin statue named Mr Watson, who has moved in to help them pay the rent to the slightly deranged owner of Harold’s Store, Lyn Scully (who left Ramsay Street so that her grandson Charlie could spend time with his banged up mother Steph, accidental killer of the singing trainee paramedic Ringo, in a new mother and child friendly prison). Alas, Kyle is still besotted with the lovely Kate, former dancer/full-time assistant in Harold’s Store and occasional trainee teacher when the script writers remember, which led to lots of jealous scowling from Jade and crushed ‘oh woe is me’ type looks from Kyle after he learnt of Kate’s drunken naked shenanigans with the smarmy doctor Rhys.

Sophie, sister of Kate, and Callum, son of Sonya, decided to join music class so that they can one day form their own rock band. After their first percussion lesson, Callum, disillusioned with the tambourine, has decided to join the cooler kids in woodwork. But Sophie, she got rhythm, and has been inspired to stick with it by the mysterious new student, Noah, a semi-mute wearer of floppy woolly hats and caricaturist, who drums on lockers and sits under trees playing self penned tunes on his guitar. Cool.

Trashy Tash, in an attempt to see just how far she has to rebel before her dad, Michael, the surfing head teacher of Erinsborough High, will show her any kind of fatherly concern/love, played some dancing game on the Wii so loudly that everyone in Ramsay Street could hear it in their detached houses with the doors and windows closed (a feat previously matched by Harold’s tuba) and didn’t do her homework. To add to her self made woes, she’s being called a prawn (don’t ask) and as result believes she is ugly, not helped by a caricature of her drawn by the semi mute guitar strumming wearer of floppy woolly hats, Noah.

There were yet more woolly hats when the oddly accented Andrew met some oddly accented backpackers (allegedly French) who needed somewhere cheap to spend the night. Andrew, needing cash to pay towards a deposit for an apartment to stay in during the schoolies and hard up after his dad refused to give him extra pocket money, offered them The Shed (the place where the menfolk of Ramsay Street hang out to drink beer, escape their women, avoid their feelings and do general manly stuff). Alas the French backpackers would only pay him half of what he wanted as they found a “gret beeeg poisoness spiddair”. Sacre bleu!

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Last week’s events (and a few minor plot detours)

22 Aug

Kennedy marriage in crisis

The Kennedy’s marriage is in trouble yet again, though this time no young brunette/blonde females or former catholic priests are involved, but a dying builder named Jim whom Susan Kennedy (formerly Kinski formerly Kennedy) has decided to dedicate her life to caring for during his final few weeks, jeopardising a planned, romance-rekindling expedition to Peru with her golf playing, guitar strumming husband, Dr Karl Kennedy.

Jim the builder was employed by the now departed Lyn Scully, former hairdresser turned ever so slightly unhinged owner of Harold’s, to rebuild her house after it was accidentally burnt down by some dodgy fairy lights she’d planned to put on the Christmas tree to ‘accidentally’ burn down her house so that she could claim on the insurance and pay Tim Collins, the nasty lawyer and Toadie’s arch-nemesis, to fight for a reduction in Steph’s sentence for flattening the singing trainee paramedic Ringo, husband of Donna, inventor of the shrugalero. Having put the dodgy fairy lights on the tree and removed the battery from the smoke alarm Lyn then changed her mind, fled home, took the dodgy lights down, shoved them under the couch and returned to Harold’s, her conscience clear.

Alas cruel fate and a horny teenager intervened. Lyn’s step-granddaughter, Summer Hoyland (formerly an annoying, fair and curly-haired daughter of mad Max (ex-husband of Steph), and now an annoying, dark and straight-haired, zombie loving teenager who never seems to visit her poor father) came home, found the dodgy fairy lights under the couch, put them on the Christmas tree and then headed into her bedroom. One thing led to another (which had begun months ago and was getting rather boring by now) which finally led to Andrew Robinson, the no-good, oddly Aussie/Scottish accented son of the evil one legged hotelier and owner of the Erinsborough News, Paul Robinson, climbing through Summer’s bedroom window and being offered more than her last Rolo. Anyway, the tree caught alight, Summer hopefully caught nothing, there was a bit of hysterical wailing from Lyn and eventually Summer and Andrew were rescued along with Tash and Michael (don’t ask). More stuff led to other stuff which led to a calendar of semi-naked Ramsay Street menfolk which led to the hiring of Jim the builder and an escaped giant lizard (long story).

Anyhow, Susan, upon learning that Jim had cancer and no family or significant other to support him, began to accompany him to appointments and chemotherapy sessions at Erinsborough Hospital (discovering a whole new room in the process and a new and smarmy doctor named Rhys Lawson) as well as meeting him for frequent coffees and lunches in Harold’s and Charlie’s, holding his hand in a supportive but absolutely non-romantic manner which could never possibly lead Jim to become a little besotted with her.

In order to continue to hold Jim’s hand in a supportive and non-romantic manner during his illness, Susan lied to her beloved Dr Karl telling him that her boss, the evil, one legged Paul Robinson, would not grant her leave to go to Peru earlier than her thrifty husband had planned. Oh the deceit. Susan then showed Jim’s medical chart to Karl who reluctantly told her that a) Jim’s cancer looked terminal, b) there was little point in him continuing the course of chemotherapy that the smarmy Dr Rhys had recommended and c) Susan wasn’t to tell Jim any of this. Naturally Susan promptly told Jim all of this which led to the end of Jim’s chemotherapy treatments, an annoyed Dr Rhys, an annoyed Dr Karl, the return of their eldest son Mal from London, a leaving meal for Lou Carpenter before heading off to East Timor to supervise the building of schools (what?), the inevitable discovery of the aforementioned lie about leave and a very angry Dr Karl tearing down a map of Peru (which is very clever as it symbolised that both the vacation plans, the actual map/plan of Peru and the Kennedy marriage were in tatters…though I could be over analysing this a bit).

Veggy love

Sonya the trainer of guide dogs for the blind (when the script writers remember) has been spending most of her time over the past few weeks volunteering at the Community Garden helping school kids (who don’t actually seem to spend much time in school) plant veggies. Alas, the council have decided to sell the garden (no thanks to peg-leg Robinson) prompting Sonya, who has become slightly annoying of late, to declare that she wishes to turn her back on training guide dogs for the blind in order to buy and run the Community Garden as there is nothing in the world she loves more than gardening and growing veggies. Toadie, who has recently turned down a lucrative job with a big firm so that he could remain true to himself, has broken the news to her that they don’t have the financial resources to undertake such a crazy scheme. If only Sonya knew that Lucas, her gambling support buddy and best friend, had recently inherited $700,000 from his recently deceased father who had never truly understood him.

Tash and Michael

Trashy Tash, the blonde maths genius, continues to break the heart of her father, Michael, Williams, the surfing head teacher of Erinsborough High. Several months ago she’d embarked on a rather flawed plan: pretending to be pregnant with Andrew’s baby (she’d discovered that her no-good, oddly accented boyfriend had been having a secret affair with Summer and was about to dump her). A pregnancy testing kit and a felt tip pen fooled them all initially but thankfully Summer figured out that the photo of Tash’s ultrasound was a fake which was a relief as the next part of Tash’s plan would probably have involved shoving a cushion up her top. Poor old Michael, who always goes surfing when feeling hurt or betrayed, had finally started to trust her again when she started dating Ivan the terrible, a much older and rather slimy gardener at the nearby university who had a thing for younger girls and his own car. One thing led to another which led to the texting of some saucy pictures to her beloved, the appearance of these saucy pics online, ridicule from the rest of the school, lots more surfing, and a cunning plan by Tash to regain the sympathy of classmates and the love of her father by defacing the houses and cars of Ramsay Street with unflattering yet totally true statements about herself with a can of yellow spray paint. The cunning plan seemed to work, but alas, Tash left the can of paint in the wheelie bin where it was discovered by her despairing dad. Michael, fuming at yet more deceit and a little damp from all the surfing, is now pretending he no longer cares what his troublesome, mathletic, ‘look at me’, nightmare-of-a-daughter does.

And finally….

Jade Mitchell, personal fitness instructor to anyone who may further the plot and the vaguely annoying sister of the increasingly annoying and green fingered Sonya, is still oddly besotted with her house mate Kyle the handyman, who is still besotted with Kate the former dancer/full-time assistant in Harold’s Store and occasional trainee teacher, who has become less besotted with the recently departed Mark Brennan, the good looking-in-an-obvious-sort-of-way detective with OCD, having had a drunken one night stand with the smarmy Dr Rhys.

Neighbours: the big storylines of 2010 and 2011 (part 2)

16 Aug
Kate Ramsay

Kate Ramsay, former dancer/full-time assistant in Harold’s Store/occasional trainee teacher, has spent the past few weeks moping around after she failed to join her beloved Mark Brennan, the good looking-in-an-obvious-sort-of-way detective with OCD, in a witness protection programme. They were happy and in love until Mark discovered the shocking truth that Kate had lied to the police to protect Rebecca, mother of the fake Declan (long story) and wife of Paul Robinson, who had accidentally pushed her one-legged, two-timing, blackmailing excuse of a husband off the balcony of Lassiters (though to be fair it was a gentle shove and the builders who installed the flimsy glass safety barrier were really at fault).

Rebecca Robinson (Neighbours)

The pushing of Paul Robinson off the balcony of Lassiters led to amnesia, months of speculation, more blackmail, cunning deception and excruciating hours of Paul’s equally no good and oddly Scottish/Aussie accented son Andrew accusing pretty much everyone of “pooshing ma daaah”, until Rebecca, after a doomed fling with the surfing headteacher of Erinsborough High, Michael, was finally whisked away by the fake Declan, his brother Oliver and the former nightclubbing nun turned Mafia veggy seller Carmella, leaving poor Kate to confess her part in the whole sorry saga.

Mark Brennan (Neighbours)

Mark took it well and dumped her, had a one night stand with Jade, regretted it, regretted it even more when Kate found out (what were the odds of that happening?), and turned in a fellow police officer for dodgy dealings, putting his life in vaguely mortalish danger. No sooner had Mark been talked into entering a witness protection programme by a rather dodgy detective with yet another odd Scottish accent, he was passionately reunited with Kate and mere minutes later told her he was leaving and would Kate and her younger sister Sophie join him in his new life who knows where, living as who knows who and doing who knows what? Kate said yes and was sure her sister would agree to it. Alas, sensible Sophie was less keen. By the time Sophie had been badgered into agreeing to the crazy plan they had but minutes to join Mark somewhere on the other side of Erinsborough before he would be driven off by the dodgy detective with the odd Scottish accent to live a new life who knows where, living as who knows who and doing who knows what, never to be seen or contacted again, not even by his poor mother. Naturally fate conspired against them (Sophie fell over) and by the time they got to the rendezvous site, Mark had gone.

Thankfully Kate is blissfully oblivious to the fact that Toadie overheard a policeman telling the dodgy detective with the odd Scottish accent that Mark had been found dead. Did the dodgy detective with the odd Scottish accent play a part in his demise? Will Kate find out? Will Sophie ‘cop’ the blame for Mark’s death after trying to contact him in a desperate attempt to sort things out and make her sister happy? Is he really dead? Who knows.

Neighbours: the big storylines of 2010 and 2011 (part 1)

15 Aug

Today a recap of the Toadie, Sonya, Steph, Libby and Dan storyline that went on for what felt like several years.

Toadfish Rebecchi

Toadie, having just started going out with an initially reluctant Sonya, trainer of guide dogs for the blind and recovering something-or-other, dumped her to enter into a sham marriage with his ex-fiancé and best friend, Steph Scully, who had become knocked up after a one-night stand with Dan, husband of her best friend Libby. How could Steph do such a thing? Well…

Libby Kennedy

Dan wanted a baby. Yet the chances of Libby giving Dan a baby were slim having fallen off Steph’s motorbike years ago rendering such things dangerous though not altogether impossible as she’d had a son with her deceased husband Drew (he was alive at the time of conception and when Ben was born, but alas fell off a horse soon after and died – very sad). Libby fell pregnant with Dan’s child, the future looked rosy and then she miscarried. Libby’s mum, Susan Kennedy (formerly Kinski, formerly Kennedy) naturally became a surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law’s baby (shudder) despite having MS (which comes and goes when convenient for the plot). But alas she too miscarried after collapsing following a heated argument and brisk stroll in the country with Dan (he failed to notice the aforementioned collapsing Susan as he was listening to his I-Pod). What marriage could survive that and the manipulative goings-on of Dan’s ex-wife Sam, the bipolar lawyer/hobbit/person of short stature?

Lucas Fitzgerald

Anyway, immediately after Libby and Dan split up, Steph decided the time was right to confess her undying love for Lucas Fitzgerald (brother of Dan, a former motorbike racing champion, respected exhibiting photographer with a posh flat in the city, and now a mechanic, part-time teacher, and recovering gambler who rents a room from Kate Ramsay, the former dancer/full-time assistant in Harold’s Store/occasional trainee teacher). Now Libby had had a brief romance with Lucas before she and Dan had properly got it together (his estranged wife, the hobbit, arrived in Ramsay Street and one thing had led to another which had led, as it so often does, to reconciliation, jealousy and fake babies). Alas, Libby had no idea that Lucas was Dan’s brother and bitter rival in love, motorbike racing and just about everything else. Much brotherly rivalry and manly motorbike racing ensued before Libby finally got it together with Dan, and after more grief from a pregnant hobbit (real baby this time but not Dan’s) and a temporary body transplant (long story) married him. Steph, who had always had a thing for Libby’s men including Drew who once appeared to her in a dream to warn her that her cancer had returned, was just about to tell Lucas that she loved him when she spotted the mechanic comforting/snogging an upset and confused Libby. A pissed off Steph bumped into a moping Dan at Charlie’s, one drink led to another which led to some ropey dancing and, inevitably, drunken naked adult shenanigans in a hotel room that they both regretted the following morning and vowed never to speak of again.

Stephanie Scully

Steph, having discovered that Libby and Lucas’s kiss was a heat of the moment thing that both had regretted and had meant nothing, finally confessed her feelings for Lucas to Lucas (who had since fallen off his motorbike and was temporarily paralysed) and it turned out he shared such feelings for Steph. Hurrah! Alas cruel fate/unprotected drunken naked adult shenanigans intervened. Steph found out she was pregnant with Dan’s baby and fled to a motel where she called Toadie, her other best friend and one time lover whom she jilted at the altar. Toadie, who had just started dating Sonya, rushed to Steph, heard about the drunken, naked adult shenanigans in a hotel room and the results of the aforesaid drunken, naked adult shenanigans, and came up with the most straightforward solution – claim she’d had drunken, naked adult shenanigans in a hotel room with a complete stranger a few weeks ago and was now pregnant? Er, no. Claim that she and Toadie were in love again, move in together, then announce they were expecting a kid, get married, have the kid and eventually split up? Of course, far simpler. What could possibly go wrong? Libby could start dating Dr Doug, Steph’s doctor, and possibly reveal Steph was more advanced in her pregnancy than she and Toadie were claiming? They could lose the DVD containing the ultrasound footage which could reveal she was more pregnant than they were claiming? Toadie could annoy the evil Paul Robinson who would then start tapping his phone, eventually discover the terrible deception and play the conversation to a crowded Charlie’s where Libby and half of Ramsay Street would discover the terrible truth?

Donna Freedman

Once the terrible secret was revealed how could things possibly get any worse? Well, Steph eventually fled to have the baby, gave the baby up to Dan after learning that he’d been involved in an accident that had left him unable to father children, hooked up with her no-good-ex from years ago, Woody, fled to a motel again (she did a lot of fleeing), was found by Libby, got all hysterical, roared off on her bike in tears, over the legal alcohol limit, and hearing the cries of an imaginary baby, and then knocked over and killed Ringo, the singing trainee paramedic and purchaser of muffins who had recently married Donna, hopeful fashion designer and the inventor of the shrugalero. A trial ensued, Sam the hobbit returned to prosecute Steph, determined to have vengeance on the woman who had provided Dan, the only man she’d ever loved, with the baby she could never give him. Alas, Steph hired Toadie, the most inept lawyer in Erinsborough, and she was locked up leaving her poor kid Charlie in the care of her mother, Lyn.

Sonya Mitchell

Toadie got back together with Sonya and everything was fine until Callum, Toadie’s adopted son, bought a cuddly toy which triggered a recurring dream of his faceless no-good mother who had taken such a toy off him when he was a toddler, raided his piggy bank and fled into the night. One thing led to another which led to hypnosis, some rather nifty dream like camera effects, Callum falling from a great height, banging his head and suddenly remembering the face of his faceless mother – which bore a striking resemblance to Sonya’s (less of a shock to the viewer as we discovered this weeks earlier when Sonya’s vaguely annoying sister Jade turned up). Oh the betrayal. Oh the emotional turmoil. Oh the long drawn out weeks of Toadie at his most self-righteous, unforgiving worst. Callum’s biological and mildly psychotic father Troy then turned up, wooed a dejected and spurned Sonya, formed a father-son relationship with Callum and threatened an interfering Harold Bishop who had briefly returned to Ramsay Street in his camper van in an attempt to reunite Toadie and Sonya. It took Harold’s wedding to a tea growing Madge sound alike to finally bring Toadie and Sonya back together and the slightly psychotic Troy departed, though not before he’d done what we’d all wanted to do for a while and punched Toadie.

Tomorrow, a recap of the tragic love story of Kate, the former dancer/full-time assistant in Harold’s General Store/occasional trainee teacher, and Mark Brennan, the good looking-in-an-obvious-sort-of-way detective with OCD.

Ramsay Street Recaps

9 Aug

There’ll be updates of what has gone on over the past  few weeks/months (just in case you’ve fallen behind) and occasional recaps of plots from a couple of years ago when the show was on particularly wacky form.

It’s the only soap I’ve stuck with over the years. It can be genuinely funny, unintentionally hilarious, exciting, moving, daft, shout-at-the-tv-infuriating, but usually thoroughly entertaining.

So stay tuned for recaps of the big storylines of recent months and the occasional plot recap from 2006\2007  when we had a former nightclubbing nun,  good and evil twins, guns, porn, alcoholism, manslaughter, lies and deceit, some pretty awful stuff that shouldn’t have been shown before 9pm (the love lives of Lyn Scully and Paul Robinson and Lou and Janelle… not good) and the departure of a pregnant Izzy. Helen Daniels would have been turning in her grave.