Photo: © Channel 5/Source: Digital Spy

This is a bit of a weird and disjointed one this week, as I have only just got home from holiday, so not only do I have two weeks of Neighbours to catch up on, but I’m tired and discombobulated and I’ve completely forgotten how normal life works, and possibly how to string a sentence together.

First of all, let me tell you that it is most confusing to follow various Neighbours Facebook groups and social media feeds when you’re not actually watching it. Things on Ramsay Street move fast, and I kept seeing posts about characters I hadn’t even heard of while I was away. Who the heck is Ian? I’m sure I will find out soon, as I work my way through my backlog…

While I’ve been away from my TV, I have had some Neighbours-related fun to keep me going. I have a friend, Jamie, who does not watch Neighbours any more, but has a huge nostalgic fondness for 1980s-1990s era Neighbours. So, he devised a game called Harold’s Familiar Faces to test me on how well I remember Erinsborough residents from yesteryear. Every morning he sends me a recent photo of a past Neighbours alumni, and I have to figure out who they used to play on the show. It is surprisingly difficult. I think he said I have a hit rate of about 85%, which I am inexplicably proud of.

The aim of the game is to build up a comprehensive and incredibly high-tech graphic which shows how memorable the characters are, which we judge by way of the Sharon Davies Line. Played by Jessica Muschamp, Sharon Davies appeared in the show from 1988 to 1990, and we believe her to be the character who most precariously treads the line between being remembered and being lost in the mists of time. Anyone less memorable than her goes below the line, and the ones I remember go above it. Thus:

Neighbours game

Our high-tech graphic. © My friend Jamie

 I’m interested to see if any of you would recognise a recent photo of the people who are languishing below theSDL. It’s trickier than it sounds!

Leaving behind Harold’s Familiar Faces to zoom back almost to the present day, here are a few of my observations on the episodes from my backlog that I have been able to catch up on so far. Obviously I am way behind, so I am ignorant of anything that has happened since about the 29th May. Ian has yet to appear, whoever the heck he is.

Roxy and Vance

Go away.

I was trying to think of something more articulate and expansive to say about them but I cannot. I just want them both to go away.

Can the Neighbours Art Department Afford to Send Someone on a Photoshop Course?

I use Photoshop as part of my job, and I feel like I could have a better stab at faking old photographs than whoever does it on Neighbours. That one of Vance and Terese is blisteringly awful and it makes me feel quite unwell every time I see it.

Finn’s Incredibly Dull Brother

He really is incredibly dull, isn’t he? Mark is kind of boring, but Shaun is genuinely one of the most spectacularly bland characters I’ve ever laid eyes upon. Even a beefy baby daddy storyline hasn’t made him any more exciting. He is the human equivalent of one of those plain ham sandwiches from Tesco with no condiments on it.

neighbours shaun

Zzzzzzzzzzz. Photo: © Channel 5/Source: Digital Spy

Real Actual Music

I swear I heard a Blossoms track on an episode I was catching up on. Did I imagine that? I don’t really see the point of using up the budget paying for real music, and I kind of miss I’ve Never Been to Cuba….

The Canning Triangle

Who in their right mind, given the choice between Gary and Kyle, would go for Gary? Kyle isn’t perfect, granted. He’s a little bit dim, and he still likes to throw irritating German phrases into everyday conversation in an attempt to sound worldly (I mean, nobody is actually buying that Kyle managed to master German, are they?), but he’s more fun than Gary, and considerably more of a catch, if you ask me. Gary is just… well… Gary. I hope Amy comes to her senses.

The Tram

When is the tram going to go away please? And can it take Roxy and Vance with it when it does?