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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?


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.