Neighbours Recap 5th-9th September

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With Michelle out of the house, Kyle is free to chat to Jade about their relationship, and how he intends to ramp up his phony romance with Dannii to divert public attention away from the two of them. Of course, there is no good reason why they can’t announce their relationship to the street- well, other than the fact that Jade’s character is supposed to be, what, about 27 or 28, while Kyle is 18, but i’m not sure this fact has yet occurred to the scriptwriters.

Anxious to find out more about her mum, tash searches for ‘Helene Williams’ on the internet but is frustrated when ‘The Search Engine’ returns 45 million results. Summer suggests she narrow the search. “What was her maiden name? Where was she born?” asks Summer. “Summer, I told you, I don’t know anything about her!” Tash replies, testily.

Her name was Helena. Now we, the viewers, know as much about Tash's mum as she does

So we’re being asked to believe that in Tash’s 18 years she never once asked Michael about her mum? The writers attempt to legitimise this incredible proposition with a scene at the coffee shop, where Michael tells Lucas that ‘Tash’s mum died when she was two- how do you talk to a two year old about that stuff?’

"And that's why i've never told her anything about her mum. Jeez, why doesn't anyone get it!?"

It seems as though Michael’s reluctance to tell Tash about her mum may be based on a sense of guilt over her death at the beach, yet he still finds it within himself to meet tash at Harold’s, where he tells her that her mum died of septicemia.

tash: "No way, really? With all of your agitation and evasion whenever I asked about her I'd always just assumed you'd murdered her"

Sonya confronts Jade in the gym and demands to know why she’s been working so hard. “Because I’m good at my job!” replies Jade, angrily. She then proves this assertion in the following scene, as she zones out during a personal training session with a client in order to daydream about boys she likes.

Jade then ditches work altogether after receiving a text from Kyle, promising a ‘big surprise’ back home. She’s dismayed to find, however, that the big surprise is not Kyle’s man-meat, as she’d hoped, but rather the fact that the new Doctor, Rhys, is moving in. Hooray! And why, exactly, would a rich, successful doctor in his 30s have to live in a crappy sharehouse with strangers, one of whom is openly antagonistic toward him? Because fuck you, that’s why.

TUE

The announcement of a planned mega-mall type complex sends shockwaves through the local community. ” Oh no!” laments Kyle in the coffee shop, “they have a DIY store!”.

“That’s not a store,” comments Kate, channelling Crocodile Dundee, “that’s a Mega-store!”

It's called 'DIY Megastore', a name almost as creative as the 'cool music festival' where Bridget went into labour.

At any rate, Kyle is nervous about the store opening, presumably because handymen cannot operate in locations where DIY stores exist, with Kyle evidently ignorant to the fact that handymen are hired solely to perform tasks that people lack the skill or inclination to do themselves.

Kyle then goes to toadie for legal counsel. When toadie speaks of the new customers that will come into the area and of the opportunities that will exist for Kyle to help customers with things they cannot do themselves (i.e., the fundamental premise of his profession), Kyle baulks at the notion, rolling his eyes in exasperated fashion as he does so. “So what- I lose my mark-up on materials?”

What Kyle appears to be advocating is an anti-competitive market monopoly wherein he has sole access to materials and labour, thus allowing him to charge whatever the shit he likes.

"yeah, but it's the megastore, with their consumer-friendly prices, who are the bad guys!"

Realising that Sonya’s business is also threatened by the proposed development, including, as it does, a mega-nursery, Kyle approaches her and they craft a scheme to collect petitions of local residents to protest the centre’s development. “Yeah, sweet, I reckon everyone in town will sign it!” Kyle remarks, stupidly.

"oh, you want competitive prices, larger product ranges and more employment opportunities for the local community? Sorry, wrong queue- this is to sign up to continue to be screwed by crafty local businesses"

With working out frustrations on the punching bag previously the sole preserve of the male ramsay st residents, the writers break new ground in female empowerment by having Jade go at it

I’m not lying when I say that I have literally lost count of the number of times the indolent scriptwriters have wheeled out this tired prop as a lazy method of conveying a character’s frustration. It’s at the point where I’m convinced it’s almost an in-joke among the writers. Unfortunately, it’s a joke at our expense.

WED

During a music lesson with Noah, Sophie expresses her surprise that he has no forthcoming gigs. She comments that ‘there’s heaps of cool venues around here!’

"like, umm, Charlies? Tuba Electrica played there once!"

Proving the paucity of ‘cool music venues’ around Erinsborough, Sophie tries to get Noah booked to play at the coffee shop, before Kate says ‘No, that’s retarded’. She then manages to get him to play at the men’s shed.

Noah shows his affection toward young, underaged Sophie with yet another gift

a process i believe is referred to in some circles as 'grooming'

After finding out that some people pay money for cars in good condition, Andrew proposes a new business idea- Pappas fixes up old cars while Andrew sells them on for a profit, as though fixing cars independently was something Chris was actually capable of doing

"Sure! I have no knowledge, ability, workshop or tools, but i'm in!"

At the end of the episode, Kate finally deduces that Sophie has a crush on Noah after Jade points out the way she looks at him. Kate sighs sadly at the desperate futility of Sophie’s crush.

Don't despair Sophie, you're only a masectomy away from being an irresistible man-magnet, like your big sis!

THU

Having reached the point where comparisons of Sophie’s crush on Noah to her crush on Zeke became unavoidable for even the writers to ignore, they have Kate gamely address it

"No, this is like her crush on Zeke times a thousand!"

And there it is; the writers believe it’s ok to repeat the same storylines, involving the same characters, within a year or so, as long as some absurd hyperbole is liberally applied

"No, Paul, this instance of my marriage to Susan being on the rocks is worse than all the other times. A zillion times worse!"

Looking to kick start their business, Andrew and Chris sit at the coffee shop, perusing the used car classifieds. “How about this one?” suggests Andrew. “Nah, it’s a lemon,” proffers Chris. “See how it says ‘engine needs work’? That means it needs a lot of work”

At the hospital, Rhys approaches Karl with a draft of a piece Susan intends to publish in the local rag. Rhys directs Karl’s attention to an assertion within the piece that “doctors are often disinterested in a patient’s wellbeing beyond their physical welfare’, as though attending directly to a patient’s actual physical ailments made that doctor guilty of some form of malfeasance.

So this feeling in your chest- is it a sharp, stabbing pain, or is it more like when doves cry?

In further evidence that no one proofreads the script-gorilla’s musings to determine coherence, and not just the insane nonsense of a banana-starved primate, a scene in Charlie’s plays out as follows:

<Noah on phone> "Hey listen, I can't make it to your place today.."

Andrew: "hey mate, do you need a car? I heard you say you couldn't get somewhere"

"uh, no."

Extra, <interested face and tone> "Oh, are you selling your car!?"

Andrew: "I wish.. why, do you need one?"

"yeah, but i'm looking for something a bit different"

 

"Like my car?"

<scoffs> "Ha! no."

The absurdist logic of this scripting is indicative of the sort of demented mind for whom the below might constitute a prosaic weekend trip to the bookstore

Neighbours writer: "Hi, do you have a copy of 'Sea Serpents of the Pacific Northwest?'". Salesperson: "No, I'm afraid not. Would you like me to order it in?" Writer: "Ha! no, why would you? What i'm looking for is David Hasselhoff's autobiography"

FRI

Lucas offers Chris a proper apprenticeship at the garage, but he’s forced to reconsider his career as a grease monkey after a run-in with a homophobic customer. “Take a look at this thing- it’s my son’s” he begins. “Do I look like the sort of person who would drive a thing like that?”

Actually, yes. Look at that wrist, at perfect 90-degree limpness. Textbook.

“It looks like a mardi gras float!” he continues. I love this guy- he’s delivering some of the best comedy this show has seen in years.

Chris then whines to Lucas about the awkward situation, but Lucas tells him to ‘suck it up’.

"You'd know all about that, hey Chrissy boy?"

Paul taunts Karl over the manner in which he’s losing a battle for Susan’s affections to Dolan’s corpse.

"Can't blame her for wanting something stiff, hey Karl?"

Spurred to action by Paul’s criticism, Karl heads off to find Susan and reconcile.

At the garage, Chris, lurking in the shadows, overhears the homophobic customer continue his anti-gay diatribe while Lucas remains silent. Outraged by Lucas’ policy of non-involvement, Chris quits in protest.

"At least at any other blue-collar garage in the country my colleagues will make fun of gay people to my face!"



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