It’s a slightly short one this week, because despite there being a chemical attack on the community centre, it feels like there’s not all that much to talk about in Ramsay Street at the moment.
The only thing that has really held my attention this last week is my problem with Ned and where the writers have taken him. I have entirely shallow reasons for having always championed Ned on Neighbours, because he is extremely easy on the eye, but at the moment his storylines are leaving me so, so cold.
He came to Ramsay Street as a bit of a bad boy with a great beard and a dark past but, as is always the way when rebellious people move to Erinsborough, he soon straightened himself out and turned into a pretty good guy. That’s after he tried to have an affair with his dad’s partner, of course. Remember that? That was interesting. When was the last time Ned did something interesting?
He has an undefined job at the hotel which involves wearing a waistcoat and, up until recently, a steady relationship with Bea. But he doesn’t really have many friends. Outside of work and Bea he has largely spent most of his time with people who are related to him, like Brad, Lauren, Terese and Piper. Sometimes he goes to Gary for a bit of terrible advice, but he doesn’t really interact with many of the other characters on a regular basis, and I think this is the cause of what the writers are unfortunately doing with Ned.
Because Ned barely has anything to do with anyone other than Bea, all his storylines have to revolve around her, and so the writers have pushed him down the road of being a controlling, insecure boyfriend who is always questioning her choices and undermining her independence. I understand that conflict is the thing that drives a soap along, but it’s boring. Ned is a one-trick pony, all he cares about is getting revenge on Finn, which is why he went along with the frankly bonkers scheme to frame him by helping with the chemical attack on the community centre (how am I even having to type that sentence?!).
I’m just disappointed with where they’ve taken Ned, and I feel like they’re wasting the potential of one of their regular characters. When he first came into the show he was way more interesting and, later on, I used to enjoy his less than harmonious relationship with Mark, when they’d always be making snippy remarks at each other, but that seems to have dried up these days too.
If the writers made it so Ned was actually friends with some of the other characters, there’d be more scope for some slightly more interesting storylines, but instead they’ve chosen to isolate him and make him into a boring Finn-obsessive. It’d just be nice to have some variation. Personally, I think I might start a petition for Ned and Kyle to become best friends, because for some reason I think that would be incredibly fun, and fun is exactly what Ned needs at the moment.