When Chloe Brennan came to Ramsay Street, I have to admit I found her a little bit annoying. I found her to be a little bit wacky and ‘in your face’ and I didn’t really understand how she would gel with the Brennan family dynamic – I felt like she didn’t immediately fit in with what I’d imagined the other Brennan sibling to be like. I’m having to eat my words in a big way now though, because she’s completely won me over.
April Rose Pengilly made her Ramsay Street debut in March this year, as the wild and carefree Chloe Brennan. Her dialogue seemed clunky to me – like a middle-aged person trying to write what they thought a millennial would say, which is quite possibly exactly what it was – and I wasn’t convinced that she was going to fit in with her brothers, Mark and Aaron. Truthfully, I found her really irritating, and I was wishing the writers had gone in a different direction with her.
I’m happy to admit that my first impressions were wrong, because I feel like her character has really settled into the street. I love the fun rapport she has with Aaron, and I love the exasperated way that Mark deals with her antics, it all feels very natural and in-keeping with both of their characters. Chloe is genuinely funny – one of my favourite recent scenes was Chloe yelling to the neighbours on the street after stealing the Ramsay Street sign, while an embarrassed Mark tried to manhandle her into the house. She’s had some great moments already – from being busted getting down to it with a random in someone else’s swimming pool, to making out with one of Amy’s female friends on a drunken night out – Chloe is here to have fun and shake things up a bit, and I’m loving it.
Chloe might not have been on the street for very long, but she’s had some great storylines so far, from her ill-advised dalliance with her boss, Leo, to the current Huntington’s storyline, which she is playing heartbreakingly well. It might be a little bit of a soap opera cliché for a character diagnosed with a life-limiting disease to go a little bit wild and start acting recklessly, but with Chloe it feels exactly right for her character. She already had a bit of a devil-may-care attitude, so faced with the prospect of a debilitating illness which will definitely shorten her life, how else would someone like Chloe realistically react? She’s shown real vulnerability in her scenes with Karl, and when she was trying to get in touch with Fay when she first had her diagnosis, but she’s also shown huge resilience and spirit. April Rose Pengilly is playing it beautifully, and I can’t wait for this storyline to unfold a little bit more.
Her friendship with Ned is very enjoyable – I’d love to see the two of them breaking a few rules together at Lassiter’s. We all know Ned has a bit of a bad-boy streak, even if he seems largely reformed these days. Chloe seems like the ideal person to lead him astray and get into a few scrapes with him. I also enjoy her scenes with Terese, even if Terese is less enthusiastic about Chloe than I am. She seems to disapprove of most of what Chloe does, and I love the friction between the two of them, even though I feel like if they managed to stop butting heads and team up instead, they’d be absolutely unstoppable. Terese’s business brain and Chloe’s cahonas? Please, they could take over the world.
In short, I’m glad I was wrong about Chloe. I should know better by now, because I jumped to the same judgement when Xanthe joined the show, and now she’s one of my firm favourites. Chloe has been like a breath of fresh air on Ramsay Street, and I really hope she sticks around for a while, because I feel sure she’s got the possibility of some really intriguing stories ahead of her. We had to wait a long time to meet the final Brennan sibling, but it really was worth the wait.