It’s that time of year on Neighbours, when all the actors’ contracts end. Tyler got banged up, and we’ve seen Paige, Jack and their enormous, middle-aged baby embark on the traditional one-way trip to Queensland, from where nobody ever returns. Plain Jane Superbrain is back, but I suspect she won’t stick around for long, as these guest stars never do – like Izzy and Holly, who blew in, caused a ruckus and then blew back out again. Then we waved goodbye to Ben, so Ramsay Street is looking a tiny bit thin on the ground at the moment. If the rumours are true, there may be another regular character who’s about to be written out as well, so I think it’s time we got some new Neighbours to inject a bit of life back into the street.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’m going to miss Jack and Paige. Paige used to be quite fun, but her storylines got pretty dull after she got pregnant. I mean, it is difficult to top a storyline where she fell out of a crashing hot-air balloon and then got busy with a priest about five minutes after she landed in a lake. Recently, all her storylines seemed to revolve around the Mark/Jack/Paige love triangle, which I was completely over about six months ago. Poor old Jack was soul-crushingly boring as a character, and I think he’s one of the main reasons Paige became so dull as well – I think she absorbed it from him. I wish young Gabe well, presumably he’ll be starting university soon, judging from the size of him.
I always liked Ben, apart from when he sang. That’s my problem, not his – I hate it when anybody sings in Neighbours, it makes me want to climb into a dustbin and never come out. When he wasn’t playing his guitar, Ben was sweet, and I liked him and Xanthe together. He did wear some phenomenally bad shirts though, I always wondered whether Toadie had left a stash of his 90s horrors in a wardrobe at the Kennedys’, which Ben had discovered and claimed as his own.
Sonia is back, which means it looks like we’re about to resurrect the Dee/Andrea can of worms again, so perhaps we might see Willow, Sindi and Andrea soon, and finally discover once and for all what the deal is there. I can’t tell you how bored I am of this storyline though, it’s been going on for too long, and my attention span is very, very short. I think I’m in the minority here, but I just don’t care any more.
The only new regular character who has put in an appearance is the Brennan brothers’ often-mentioned but never before seen sister, Chloe. She’s a little bit annoying, but she seems to be quite good fun at the moment – she’s a party girl and a seemingly habitual liar with little regard for the rules. Her first proper scene had her yelling about tampons and Mooncups through a closed toilet door, so after that kind of entrance, I’m hoping for her to shake things up a bit. I kind of hope she doesn’t get toned down too much, which is what they tend to do with bad girl/bad boy characters when they’ve been on the show for a while. She does seem to suffer from a similar affliction to her brothers, in that she seems adverse to the idea of putting clothes on, having spent half her time so far in a bikini – it’s nice to see that she’s a true Brennan in that sense.
Dipi and Shane have another child that they’ve left somewhere, unsupervised, as Ramsay Street families are wont to do. Maybe it’s time for him to make an appearance, if they can remember where they’ve left him?
We’ve got some gaps at quite a few of the houses now, and I’d love to see a few new faces. The Kennedys have a spare room going, although I’m not sure who’d want to move in now that Karl is spending half his time on the sofa being professionally sad, and the other half talking incessantly about ‘data’. There’s loads of room at the Willis house, and there’s a lovely open plan area at the backpackers hostel for an exhibitionist who doesn’t need their privacy. It’s definitely time for a few new people to move in…