Welcome to this week’s Ramsay Street Round-Up! I’m back into the routine of watching Neighbours to such an extent that I sat down with my lunch to watch it on Friday and then deflated slightly when I realised I’d have to find something else to watch. I’m enjoying the “reboot”, but that being said, there was a recurring theme throughout this week’s episodes that drove me to distraction. More on that later.
Reece’s Mystery is Unveiled
Reece has been very mysterious about what her real reason for being in Erinsborough is, but events this week force her to come clean to Byron. A very stern lady from her dad’s corporation turns up to tell her to get a move on with her “secret mission,” and so instead of being all over Byron, Reece has been all over the Lassiter’s guest records instead. With scant regard for any sort of confidentiality (I’ll come back to this), Reece gets someone in a maid’s uniform, rather than any of the reception staff, to go through all the guest records and present her with everyone’s contact details. She also goes through all the room service orders and eventually spots an order which she recognises.
After fobbing Byron off a couple of times, he thinks she’s going off him, so she finally relents and lets him in on her big secret: she’s been busy looking for her party animal sister, who’s gone missing. I’m going to be honest; this was a huge anticlimax for me. There’s been a mystery for weeks about what she’s really doing, and this is quite possibly the most boring thing I could think of. Rifling through the Lassiter’s lost property for a beloved jumper would have been more exciting than a search for a character we don’t know anything about.
I never watched The OC, but I understand that Alan Dale played Mischa Barton’s stepdad in it, which makes it very enjoyable that Reece stumbled across a photo of Jim Robinson on Paul’s desk. Good stuff. If only it had been the Jim Bauble™.
On a final note on this storyline, why does Reece insist on wearing her trench coat in her hotel room? If my mum had been there, she’d have gone in with the absolute zinger, “Aren’t you staying?” or the classic, “You won’t feel the benefit when you go outside.”
Nobody in Erinsborough Understands Privacy Laws
Right. I never thought the incredibly boring lecture I had on GDPR laws at work would come in handy for dissecting a soap, but here we are. I’m very aware that GDPR is a UK thing, but Australia must also have privacy laws of some sort, and so many people have gone out of their way to flout them this week.
I know that people in Erinsborough have a very casual approach to privacy – nobody has a password on their phone or laptop, Karl has literally never heard of patient confidentiality, and Toadie may as well hire a billboard for all of his clients’ deepest darkest secrets – but this week’s behaviour has absolutely taken the cake.
Reece has been using the Lassiter’s guest lists, room service orders, and spa consent forms to try to figure out what fake name her sister is using. Unless there is a small tick box on all Lassiters forms that says, “I consent to my data being used by any amateur detectives,” this is such a gross misuse of their customers’ information that Lassiters could get sued to pieces. In the UK, you could actually go to prison for this sort of breach of privacy legislation.
Next is Wendy, who promises to “rustle up some phone numbers” from the Waterhole regulars to help Jane with her campaign to keep the school open. I’m pretty sure this is also not OK. Either she’s looking at a list of data they have of their guests, which I’m guessing is probably illegal, or she’s just hassling her patrons for their contact details, which is incredibly annoying. “I’m just in here for a J20, Wendy. I’m not going to give you my phone number.”
And then the other Rodwell stands in the garden with Cara, discussing their police case. Up until now, he’s refused to talk to Wendy about the case, but he’s really not trying very hard to keep it confidential as he stands on the lawn blaring all the details out like a foghorn. Even if Wendy wasn’t eavesdropping, which of course she is, their garden is only separated from the neighbours’ gardens by fences, which are not famous for being soundproof.
Of course, now Wendy suspects that she’s put the Varga-Murphys in danger by tipping off the scary builder boys as to where they are. Good one, Wendy.
Please, for the love of all that’s holy, can someone take everyone on a neighbourhood privacy seminar?
I need a lie-down.
Not Jane’s Finest Hour
I know I’m not only the only fan of Drunk Jane™ in here, so I’m sure there were plenty of people who were excited to see her getting absolutely trolleyed at the vineyard. “I’ve had maybe two,” Jane says, when she’s clearly had so many cocktails that she’s probably seeing triple.
The reason Jane is drowning her sorrows is because it’s looking increasingly likely that the school is going to close. Her last ditch attempt at reversing it is to invite a bunch of disgruntled parents from another school and try to dazzle them with how great Erinsborough High is. They did educate the inventor of the Shrugalero, after all. The only problem is Terese is in the school with her planner to do a survey, and Jane loses her mind when she comes face to face with her and has the most Enid Blytonesque tantrum witnessed in the 21st century. She later says she used language that would have made Mrs Mangel spin in her grave, but the worst word I picked up was “bully.” It would have been so much funnier if she’d have called her a “spiggin’ hufter” or something.
Incidentally, with the set-up to this showdown, did anyone else think that Jane was going to spring Terese and Toadie having some alone time in the school corridor? I definitely thought the posho parents were going to be treated to the glorious sight of Toadie’s bum.
Trouble For Toad
I have nothing against the actress who plays Nell these days, but I really don’t like her character since the reboot, so I don’t give a tinker’s fig about the therapy plotline. The only thing I do care about is how much money Toadie spends on those snacks and exactly how much food he thinks three people can genuinely chomp their way through during one movie. I’ll admit to taking one (1) tote bag full of food (and my slippers) when I went to an Avengers triple bill, but he had the equivalent of my weekly shop, just in snacks. I’m kind of in awe.
The week ends on a cliffhanger, as Remy opens a letter and out spills a load of white powder. The obvious conclusion anyone is going to jump to is that this is anthrax or some other harmful substance. I suspect it’s going to turn out to be sugar, but the threat to the Varga-Murphys is still being made loud and clear, and the obvious candidate is these builder brothers that Cara has got on the wrong side of.
I’m just throwing it out there, but how good would it be if the person trying to scare them is actually Philippa, intent on trying to frighten them away from the street before the secret about how generous she was with Andrew’s deposit gets out? Come on, let it be Philippa!