Archive | September, 2011

Alas poor Jim, Susan knew him well… sort of

24 Sep

Susan Kennedy, determined that Jim the dying builder should see his childhood home in Anglesea before he snuffed it, attempted to break him out of Erinsborough Hospital. Poor Jim caught a fleeting glimpse of some kookaburras in the hospital car park before Dr Karl “jealous of a dying man” Kennedy spotted them (Jim and Susan – not the kookaburras) and had him returned to bed. While Dr K was having a calm and rational discussion with his wife outside the hospital, the smarmy Dr Rhys Lawson went to check on the dying builder. The next few minutes involved a lot of exasperated shouting (me), hand holding in an absolutely non-romantic way (Dr Rhys and an unconscious Jim), more exasperated shouting (me again I’m afraid), a deceased Jim, the return of Susan and Karl, withering “I’ll never forgive you” type looks, yet more exasperated shouting (Susan this time) and an ever so slightly less smarmy Dr Rhys who appears to have been deeply affected by holding Jim’s hand in an absolutely non-romantic way.

Mrs K, who wonders whether her over the top attachment to Jim was somehow connected to leftover guilt concerning her former and very much deceased husband Alex Kinski (father of Zeke, Rachel and the karate chopping, car stealing, former glamour model Katya), has gone off to Anglesea to arrange the funeral of her dearly departed builder leaving behind a miserable Dr K who is clinging to the hope that his son Mal can smooth things over. All this emotional turmoil and yet no sign of Susan’s MS. It’s a miracle.

Having given her distraught house mate, the flaky florist Michelle, a couple of hours to get over being dumped by Lucas (who has now decided to purchase the garage from Elle Robinson, daughter of Limpalot), the compassionate Jade asked her to pack her bags and move out as she and Kyle just didn’t like her, nothing personal. Michelle took it quite well, told them she wasn’t going anywhere and stormed off to her room taking her trifle with her (don’t ask). A cunning Kyle tried a more gentle approach: clear off we don’t like you but have a nice pot plant (purchased from the newly opened ‘Sonya’s Nursery’), a dolphin card (poor Mr Watson) and a month’s rent with a bit extra thrown in. It failed.

Noah, wearer of the floppy woolly hat (though it could be cotton or perhaps a woollen/acrylic blend) is giving a besotted, grinning and much younger Sophie electric grid challenging guitar lessons and inspiring her to write songs about him. Cool. Alas, poor Sophie doesn’t know that Ark Boy is grinning besottedly at her older sister, Kate the trainee teacher/assistant in Harold’s Store, who is oblivious to all of the besotted grinning and has foolishly offered to give him extra one-on-one history lessons, much to Noah’s delight.

Michael the surfing head teacher and his troublesome and recently drowned but now much better mathletic daughter Tash have finally made up. Father and daughter have been happily reunited. Harmony has been restored. Boarding school has been cancelled. That photograph of the young surfer dude type Michael, his wife and a young Tash on a beach (taken 1995) has been returned (minus the Badloves album but hey, you can’t have everything). All is right with the world once more. Nothing could possibly go wrong. All this sea business (Tash is still hearing the sea, Michael is still having flashbacks involving the sea) can’t possibly be some long forgotten, dark and tragic secret from the past that will cause yet more angst between the pair. We can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that nothing nasty is lurking round the corner ready to shatter their cosy little world. Phew.

Last week on Neighbours…

18 Sep

Jim the builder is clinging on, just. In an attempt to cheer his wife up Dr Karl Kennedy took over from the smarmy Dr Rhys as Jim’s attending physician. Susan, who has spent the week saying “Jim” rather a lot, bringing in baskets of goodies to cheer “Jim” up and reading the footy news to “Jim” as though she were reading bedside stories to a child named “Jim”, was proper made up for “Jim” as she didn’t like the way the smarmy and uncaring Dr Rhys had been looking after “Jim”. Alas, Dr K, who hasn’t been to the gym for a while, told her that “Jim” was far to sick to visit some childhood home in Anglesea, a lifelong dream Susan…I mean “Jim”… wants to fulfill before he dies. Susan, upon hearing the news about “Jim” rushed to comfort “Jim”. Hand holding in an absolutely non-romantic way progressed to rather shocking hugs and forehead kissing in an absolutely non-romantic way, all of which was secretly witnessed by a jealous and seething Karl who later refused to administer extra and potentially life threatening pain killers to a surprisingly robust and healthy looking “Jim”, despite Susan’s whining. Disappointed by her horrid husband’s uncaring attitude Susan turned to the handsome and lovely Dr Rhys who was sure to ease the suffering of her beloved “Jim”. Unmoved, Dr Rhys told her to sod off.

After discovering that his oddly accented son had turned his “hoose” into a “horstel” for backpackers, the evil hotelier with a limp, Paul Robinson, decided to teach him a lesson. He cunningly led Andrew to believe he was getting him an “ooodi” for his 18th birthday and then presented him with an old VW beetle formerly owned by Pickles the Clown.

Hell appeared to have frozen over briefly when Paul offered a drink and parenting advice to his nemesis, Michael the increasingly forlorn surfer dude head teacher who’d had a fling with his wife, Rebecca (though to be fair their marriage was going through a bit of a rough patch after the cheating, balcony pushing and blackmailing). Parenting advice from a man with a banged up son who once blew up a plane full of Ramsay Street residents and attempted to shoot his father dead, a spoiled daughter who once conned him out of his hotel and house and blew up a former nightclubbing nun’s veggy van out of petty jealousy, and a son with dubious morals and a dubious accent? Hmm.

After a night of partaying, Tash the prawn, determined to have some fun with her friends before being packed off to boarding school, suggested she, Andrew, Summer and Chris go for a dip in Toadie’s pool. One thing led to another, which led to some shoving, head bashing, extreme dampness, life saving, split screen craziness, an ambulance, Erinsborough Hospital (where most things tend to lead these days), strangely for Neighbours absolutely no amnesia, some odd drowning at sea dreams, some odd drowning at sea flashbacks and an even more forlorn and rather guilty looking Michael. Intriguing.

Jade decided that the only way of getting over Kyle the handyman was to get under Kyle the handyman. Naked adult shenanigans with absolutely no emotional messy relationship type strings attached ensued in the bedroom and later the kitchen floor. Alas, Jade is still hopelessly besotted while Kyle is just chuffed to be having naked adult shenanigans with absolutely no emotional messy relationship type strings attached.

And finally… Lucas, the wealthy mechanic and giver of electric guitars to increasingly sullen teenagers named Sophie, dumped Michelle the chatty flaky florist after she started planning a romantic getaway for the pair. Lucas thought Michelle had taken it all rather well. Alas, he didn’t witness the slightly manic fist clenching, a hint of bunny-boiling madness about the eyes, and the sad demise of Mr Watson the dolphin statue.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

11 Sep

There were split screens, musical interludes, text messaging effects and slightly weird linking scenes aplenty in Neighbours last week.

Dr Karl Kennedy tried to salvage his marriage by inviting Jim the dying builder to dinner, much to Susan’s surprise and delight. As is so often the case when you ask a relative stranger over for dinner and have a giant and rather beat up map of Peru on the wall, the relative stranger will inevitably ask about the aforementioned giant beat up map of Peru. Susan, feeling it wasn’t right to discuss holiday plans with a dying man, tried to ignore the question completely (rather difficult as Jim has a tendency to talk very loudly as if on a building site). Karl, unable to pretend he was standing a few hundred yards away on a building site and hadn’t heard the question, told Jim they were planning on going to Peru (to be fair he didn’t add ‘so long as you hurry up and snuff it’ though Jim twigged as much). One thing led to another which led to Jim going to the bathroom, hopefully some hand washing, a bickering Susan and Karl, a collapsing Jim (not Bafta winning collapsing acting I’m afraid) and a dash to the hospital. Susan, upon learning that the prognosis didn’t look good (well, less good than it already was), ordered her husband to join the smarmy Dr Rhys and do all that he could to prolong Jim’s pain and suffering.

The once sensible and rather sweet Sonya reached new levels of irritating scarf wearing hysteria when she went to bid at the auction for the Community Garden. She got it, threw up, handed in her notice with the guide dog training association (I’m surprised they knew who she was), realised her monthly lady-type event was late which led to lots of despairing, procrastination, peeing on sticks, positive and negative results, a happy Toadie, a not so happy Sonya, a visit to Erinsborough Hospital, anxious waiting, a negative test result (it was a stomach bug), a disappointed Toadie, a confused and tearful Sonya, a touching mother/sick son moment, a change of heart and a decision to have a baby in a few years time (given the usual success rate of relationships in Ramsay Street I’d say they’re being rather optimistic).

Jade and Kyle caught the aforementioned stomach bug and in a desperate attempt to escape the well meant ministrations of their house mate, the flaky florist Michelle, ended up snuggled up under a duvet together in Jade’s bed. Kyle reminisced about his childhood while Jade gazed adoringly at him. She then reminisced about hers while Kyle dozed off.

The oddly accented backpackers were hastily evicted from the Robinson household when the one legged evil hotelier phoned Andrew to say he was back from his trip to America earlier than planned and was just leaving the airport. It looked like the oddly accented son with the sex obsessed zombie loving girlfriend had got away with his cunning scheme to raise money for schoolies. Alas, Andrew doesn’t know that another van load of oddly accented backpackers turned up while his “daaah” was at home and, worse still, he’s discovered the whisky bottle’s filled with cold tea (don’t ask).

There was a lot of box carrying and more anguished surfing to long musical interludes when Tash traded in part of her dad’s beloved vinyl collection to the mysterious bric-a-brac shop owner next to Grease Monkeys in order to raise money for her nose job (her dad found found out about the credit card). To make matters worse, one of the records was the last thing her mum ever gave Michael, some album by the Badloves which had an old photo of a younger, long haired surfer dude type Michael, his wife and a young Tash tucked away inside it. One thing led to another which led to shouting, tears, an attempt to retrieve the album, sod’s law, boarding school, table-top football, more tears and a confused viewer who thought Tash’s mum had simply abandoned her and Michael years ago and was still alive somewhere. I must pay more attention.

Noah, the guitar strumming wearer of a floppy woollen hat, taught the much younger Sophie how to tune her rubbish school guitar. Oh how she longs for a proper guitar. Oh how she gazes at Noah with wide eyed adoration. Oh does she not remember that gazing with wide eyed adoration at older boys like Noah and Zeke will only lead to heartache and humiliation? Anyway, after a fair bit of moaning about her rubbish guitar an electric guitar and amp mysteriously appeared on Sophie’s doorstep. Were they from the wearer of the floppy woollen hat, as she believes, or were they a gift from the newly wealthy Lucas who shared a $200 bottle of wine at Charlie’s with Michael (in a manly fashion) and decided he preferred beer?

Puzzle of the week: When is Zeke Kinski coming back from his hastily arranged trip to England?

Déjà vu?

3 Sep

If you missed Neighbours last week then fear not. Everything that happened the week before pretty much happened all over again only with less musical interludes and a 24-type split screen special effect.

Susan found out that Dr ‘jealous of a dying man’ Kennedy had asked Jim the builder (pity they didn’t call him Bob) not to rely on Susan quite so much during the last few weeks of his life. Jim, who had not been wandering around lost in a nearby housing estate again but was taking Karl’s advice too far by avoiding Susan altogether, was persuaded by a guilty Karl to seek the support of his anxious wife again. Jim, not wanting to be a burden, was no longer keen for Susan to sign the Medical Power of Attorney which led to a suspicious Susan, a shifty looking Karl, a penny dropping, a blazing row, a flouncing Susan, a miserable Dr K and a hell of a lot more hand holding in an absolutely non-romantic way by the lake. Mal, long lost son of the Kennedys, though not as long lost as the youngest son Billy, though more long lost than the ever so slightly long lost daughter Libby who popped out to visit her genius son Ben somewhere in Australia and hasn’t been seen since, suggested his dad was being daft and pointed out that Jim would be dead in a few weeks anyway so what was the big deal? Nice.

Toadie is no longer being true to himself and has taken the job with the big shot solicitors in the city so that Sonya (who was actually seen training a guide dog for the blind, albeit reluctantly) can get a large loan in order to bid at the upcoming auction for the Community Garden and fulfil her lifelong dream of a few weeks – growing vegetables. Sonya’s happy but Toadie is less so now that he spends most of the day stuck in traffic jams (which is odd as everyone usually flits back and forth between Ramsay Street and the city in minutes, no problems) and works through piles of legal papers late into the night, rarely seeing his green fingered beloved or his adopted son Callum.

Michelle the flaky florist with a Dolphin Statue named Mr Watson, has spent the week cooking, yacking, accusing Kate of being a bit of a floozy, borrowing dresses and generally annoying Jade the personal trainer and Kyle the handyman. Oh how they miss their former and possibly deceased house mate, Mark Brennan, the good looking-in-an-obvious-sort-of-way detective with OCD. Oh how they long to be rid of Michelle. But alas, she’s started dating the recently wealthy Lucas, mechanic, former motorbike racing champion, exhibiting photographer, recovering gambler, part time teacher of mechanics and now stand-in woodwork teacher, which makes such longing to be rid of more difficult. I say ‘alas’ but I don’t quite understand how this prevents them telling her to pack her bags and clear off. I might have left the room for a minute or two and missed something vital.

The surfing headteacher Michael continues to pretend he doesn’t care what his daughter Tash, the mathletic prawn, does with her life, which is a worry as she’s convinced she has a big nose and has ‘borrowed’ her dad’s credit card to book a little plastic surgery. Kate actually went to school to discuss her teacher training (it was convenient for furthering the Michael/Tash plot). Chris, the only gay in Erinsborough, has yet to tell papa Pappas that he’s decided not to go to uni to study mechanical engineering but is going to do a car mechanics apprenticeship instead. Sophie, still inspired by Noah, the guitar strumming wearer of a floppy woolly hat who now occasionally utters the odd sentence, has moved on from percussion and is now learning to play the guitar (taught by a music teacher named Mollie who has never been seen before) leaving her best friend Callum all bereft. And finally, hop-a-long Paul Robinson has gone off to America to visit his daughter Nicole Kidman/Elle leaving his enterprising and oddly Aussie/Scottish accented son Andrew to turn his “daaah’s hoose” into a “horstel” for a van load of oddly accented backpackers so that he can pay for an apartment during schoolies, much to the dismay of his sensible though increasingly sex obsessed, zombie loving girlfriend, Summer, who was hoping to be have sexual shenanigans in every room while the evil hotelier was away.

Puzzle of the week: How does Jade transport her two giant inflatable gym balls back and forth between Ramsay Street and the grassy bit near Lassiters?