Photo courtesy of Channel 5.

I suffer quite badly from second-hand embarrassment. If someone is doing something that I feel they should be embarrassed about, I will feel the embarrassment on their behalf. Acutely. It’s a real affliction – I can’t stand to watch anyone playing an ‘air instrument’ because it makes me cringe to the point where I want to scream myself to death.

I love watching Neighbours. I love how cheesy it is and how it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I enjoy the nonsense story lines that act as comic relief from the more serious plots. However, and I’m sure I’ve ranted about this before, one of the things I absolutely cannot stand is when people sing on Neighbours. When Karl gets his guitar out, I feel the embarrassment on his behalf. I hate it when they have a musical ‘celebrity’ guest (who I usually haven’t heard of) who invariably plays to about twenty people in The Waterhole, while I fast forward it because I can’t bear to watch.

That is why the Flapper story line has been causing me some problems. Now it’s been cancelled, I feel like doing the Charleston around my living room.

Every time we got a look at one of the Flapper rehearsals, my toes ended up curling to the point where I wondered if I’d ever be able to wear flip flops again. It was all so embarrassing. All the blokes were wearing braces and doing the worst pizza commercial New York accents that I’d ever heard. All the women were flouncing around in beaded dresses and furs, sounding like a bunch of Chicago rejects. From the dialogue we heard, and the names of the characters (the name Shiny Pants Bobby makes me want to chew my own arms off), I can say quite confidently that if Flapper was real, it would have been a contender for the worst play ever written.

Neighbours Dipi and Shane

Dipi and Shane getting in a flap. Photo: Channel 5/Inside Soap

I don’t know how much clothes storage Dipi has, but it looks like she has a whole wardrobe devoted entirely to storing beaded flapper dresses, possibly because dressing in 1920s gear appears to make up a big part of Shane and Dipi’s foreplay. And I can’t be the only person wishing that that’s where Flapper stayed, within the confines of Shane and Dipi’s bedroom, in a place that we are more than happy never to see. Instead, Shane and Dipi’s foreplay was about to be acted out by the whole street in the local pub, which is one of the most unlikely places to put on a play, especially one that seems to be based partly on the director’s bedroom antics. If I walked into a bar and saw that some sort of amateur dramatic nightmare was playing out at all the tables, I would back out of there faster than Shane could twang his comedy braces.

I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I was that Flapper got caught up in the fallout from the Marisa situation, because there’s only so much time I wanted to spend cringing behind a cushion. I just wanted it to stop. Honestly, I think I’d rather see The Right Prescription get a residency at The Waterhole….