Neighbours Television

Eccentric Erinsborough

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Photo courtesy of Channel 5.

The latest addition to the Neighbours cast, Karl’s long lost half-sister Jemima, is pretty eccentric. She dresses like she’s been covered in glue and rolled through a fabric shop, and she enjoys Karl’s music, which is a sure sign that she’s not normal. Her favourite pastime seems to be rubbing Susan up the wrong way, and honestly, I’m totally with Susan on this one.. If Jemima says the word “hygge” again I’m going to put my foot through my TV. But Jemima got me thinking about Neighbours characters and their eccentricities, and I realised it’s one of the reasons I find the characters on Neighbours so entertaining

I have a confession to make – I also watch the other Australian soap, Home and Away. Over in Summer Bay, apart from being ridiculously attractive, most of the characters are disappointingly normal. Nobody has any wacky hobbies or eccentric characteristics.

Over on Ramsay Street, it’s a completely different story. In one household alone we have Sheila with her extensive garden gnome collection; Gary, who went through a phase of keeping pigeons (does he still have them? I’m not sure); and Xanthe who’s smashing expectations by being a fashion-conscious blonde teen who plays the euphonium. I always think of Xanthe’s euphonium playing as a little tribute to the ultimate Ramsay Street eccentric, Harold Bishop, and his tuba.

The Rebecchis have always been quite an odd bunch, and currently on the street there’s Toadie who had a wrestling alter-ego, The Lawman, and his brother Shane, who is a madcap inventor. Shane’s inventions include Roly the solar-powered lawnmower, who rolled into Lassiter’s lake, and the infamous urine-powered generator, which blew up at the Diwali celebration and showered everyone with human waste.

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Roly the Moronic Mower. Photo: © Channel 5/ Courtesy of Digital Spy.

Even Mark, one of the most boring men on the planet, has a couple of quirks to his ‘personality’, if you can call it that. He’s a massive Doctor Who nerd and a total neat freak, and we also discovered recently that he will only sleep on one type of bedsheet.

Karl Kennedy has a number of eccentricities, among them an enthusiasm for durian fruit, which he attempted to smuggle into Australia and, when rumbled by customs, blamed the fruit’s distinctive smell on Susan, who he told them had soiled herself. He’s also so tight that there are cobwebs on his wallet.

I suspect that other shows, particularly soaps with their fast-moving dramas, see adding these odd little personality traits to their characters as unnecessary, but I think they’re what makes me so fond of all the residents of Ramsay Street. Nobody loves a comedy Neighbours storyline more than me, and these little characteristics come in really handy for the mid-week comedy cul-de-sac, otherwise known as the Ceramic Pig (© Neighbuzz Podcast). They even get to star in the big plot every once in a while, as Sheila’s garden gnomes did when one of them turned out to be the weapon that killed Hamish in the long-running murder saga.

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Steph discovering Hamish face down in Sheila’s hot tub. Photo courtesy of Channel 5/Fremantle Media

That all being said, even with my fondness for Erinsborough eccentricity, and having been informed that Karl’s sister Jemima is being played by a member of Aussie TV royalty, I’ve still yet to be won over by her and I kind of wish she’d dial it down a bit. Maybe if she stops saying “hygge” quite so often I might be less likely to throw my TV out of my front window…

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