I Blogged Myself

Why do you always come here? I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture, To read this blog, y'know.

Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My Neighbours Are Back From Holidays

So the new season of the Aussie soapie Neighbours started this evening. After the cliffhanger four weeks ago of all-round good guy Harold Bishop being pushed by his overwhelming grief from losing his son David in a plane crash to strangling resident bad guy Paul Robinson (whom Harold blamed for David's death because the plane they were both travelling on was blown up by a bomb apparently intended for Paul - or so we are led to believe - and Paul was fortunate enough to survive), we saw the aftermath of the near-fatal incident this evening.

What a complicated and convoluted sentence! But I'm not going back to fix it up now. It took too long to write it.

For MelbourneGirl's benefit (and for anyone else who missed it and cares), I will give a brief synopsis of the show below.

To start with, this is how TV Week (that fantastic televisual manuscript) 'sold' the episode:

"A new girl comes to Springfield and much to Bart's dismay, Milhouse falls for her."

No, wait, ... that was Headland. (Great friggin' show!)*

The Neighbours write-up went thusly:

"Harold struggles to return to a normal life, while Steph and Max brace themselves for an uncertain future."

Basically, the run-down of the episode goes like this:

It started with a recap of Sky Mangel getting blasted by her grandfather Harold for interfering in his private grief, then Steph Hoyland telling her husband Max that she'd found a lump on her breast and that her cancer had returned, then Gino encouraging Ned Parker and Elle Robinson to kiss (for a play he's directing them in) while Elle makes it clear that Ned's not interested in her, which sparks Ned to finally kiss her (much to Gino's quiet amazement at Ned's 'enthusiasm'), then Harold squeezing Paul Robinson's neck until the latter fell to the floor.

The opening credit sequence is new (more on this later, as you all know I love credit sequences), but the main points to pull out here are that Paul is included (showing us for sure before the payoff has been made clear that he will survive Harold's strangulation attempt), and new faces to be added to the opening credit sequence are the three Kinski kids (Katya, Rachel and Zeke), toddler Oscar Scully (in his mother Lyn's arms, but still not facing the camera - why should the credits be any different to how he normally behaves on set?!), Ned Parker, and Elle Robinson. Gay hairdresser-cum-amateur-theatre-director Gino is still not a regular (despite being a recurring character for a few years now), Lou Carpenter is still there (despite being massively under-used in the past year especially), and from memory (although I reserve the right to correct myself when I see the credits again) Summer Hoyland is finally missing altogether. Also of note is the total absence of Kim Timmins (the father), which presumably means he will not be staying around for long, despite them all looking like happy families again. Boyd Hoyland is also seen hugging Sky Mangel (*I think*), which is not who he is currently dating, so we'll see what that means. Are these two lovebirds getting back together? And what will that mean for their two jilted partners, siblings Dylan and Janae Timmins?

Anyway, like I said, I'll look into the credits in more depth (if you can believe it) in a future post. For now, let's get back to the episode.

Harold, in a daze, is slowly wandering home from the Robinsons' house next door while Izzy comes downstairs, finds Paul lying motionless, freaks out a little, screams for help, then calls an ambulance. Sky, sitting by the pool in the backyard next door and adding some finishing touches to the same pencil drawing of her uncle David we saw late last year, is wearing headphones, but hears Izzy's scream through the music. She pulls the headphones off, slightly puzzled, but hears nothing more. Like any good, caring neighbour, she ignores the possibility that something might be wrong and returns to her drawing.

Harold, whose hands we see have massive scratches across the 'heel' of his thumbs (at the wrist, if you know what I mean) from where Paul was struggling for his life and clearly scratched him for all he was worth before collapsing, puts on a pair of gardening gloves and asks Sky where the secateers are. She tells him to look where he always keeps them, in the laundry, then he says he's okay (she naturally looks concerned for him - again), and he apologises for berating her 'this morning'. (Note: this is all still meant to be happening on Boxing Day; in fact, it must still be fairly early, based on the events that follow.) Sky also asks Harold in the beginning of the scene if he heard anything from next door just before, to which he snaps 'no' (this is before his apology), and she says it was probably 'just one of their domestics again'.

Then we cut to The House of Trouser where Stuart Parker is ironing a shirt and talking to Elle Robinson about how he saved Dylan and Stingray Timmins from their gaol term (for a crime they didn't commit) by going undercover in the gaol and helping Dylan get a taped confession from the real culprit Reuben (or "Roo"), who was serving time in the same prison and making the Timmins boys' life a living hell. This is the first we've seen of Stu since the confession was obtained, so as far as we're aware, he hasn't been thanked by anyone in the Timmins household yet. (Let's hope they don't forget!)

Also, as Stu is ironing and others in the street are using their electrical appliances as well, it seems that the Paul Robinson-induced power failure from the previous day (Christmas morning) has already been fixed. That's pretty good service by an electrical company over two public holidays - and a weekend, no less - in a row! And at Christmas!).

Anyway, as they're talking, Ned enters and Elle jumps up into his arms and kisses him, which initially surprises Stu a bit. It is revealed that Ned came back early to get away from the family at Oakey and see Elle again. When he told the family over Christmas that he plans to become a singer, they all told him to become a cop like his hero brother instead, which clearly irked him. (Despite not having made his travel plans in advance, and only leaving Erinsborough in Victoria for his country hometown in Queensland a couple of days before Christmas, here he is returning on Boxing Day. The dude moves quickly!)

Now we're back with Max and Steph and he tries to tell her that maybe it's just her hormones because she's pregnant, but she says she knows her own body. Max calls Dr Karl Kennedy and asks to see him urgently. Later, when they're seeing him in his office, he assures them that he can get the test results back within the day if he pulls some strings. (This is still Boxing Day we're talking about, folks - and Karl seemingly has strings he can pull everywhere! How well-connected is this guy?)

Meanwhile, Harold is seen at the coffee shop thing he runs with Lou, wearing kitchen washing-up gloves and serving Stu and Ned their drinks (which he spills when he hears that Paul Robinson is improving or something). Ned gets a call on his mobile from Elle to tell him that Paul has recovered and will be okay, which startles Harold into dropping a tray of crockery on the table.

Later, Stu and some other non-speaking cops are asking Harold and Sky some questions about the attack, seeing if they heard anything. Harold is relieved to hear that Paul didn't see his attacker, and Sky says that he heard Izzy scream just after 2pm. Stu says Izzy's emergency call was made at 2:07pm. This places the entire episode's events as being set between 2pm and the evening; including Karl's complete cancer test (more of which is still to come before nightfall) and Harold nearly killing a man and then fitting in some light gardening. :)

When Stu and the non-speaking cops leave, Harold removes an oven mit and Sky spots the scratches on one of his hands. She asks what happened, and he says he cut himself when he was pruning the roses. She goes to get ointment for the scratches. (It is unsure whether she sees that his other hand has the same scratch marks, as we never see her putting the ointment on his hand/s.)

Paul comes home with a red neck and husky voice, but is determined to make his home safe again like it was when he thought Tony Corbett (the gangster) was trying to kill him. He asks Izzy to get the closed-circuit TV system going again and to call the security company to get guards back at the house. Strangely, for Boxing Day night, the companies can't get the TV system up straight away and can only send around one guard in an hour's time, which Paul accepts (thankfully - if he'd been unreasonable about it I would have been rather annoyed!). Ned also moves in (temporarily, is the apparent plan) to help Paul look after the place (and the girls) until Paul's feeling better. When Ned tells Stu that he's moving in with the Robinsons, Stu initially poked fun at him, to which Ned kinda snapped about there being only room for one hero in the family, right? Stu said it was more of a Parker family trait, to 'protect their women'. How very caveman of you, Stuart. Anyway, it didn't resolve the issue of Ned and Stu's supposed brotherhood jealousy (which is news to me), so I expect we'll see this simmer for a while longer before it boils over. Meanwhile, Izzy confesses to Paul how rattled she was to see him lying on the floor like that, and says she can't imagine her life without him.

Stu arrives and asks Paul some questions about the strangler, and Paul admits that he didn't see 'the mongrel' but he can assure Stu that the guy was strong. Stu takes some hair and other follicles away to be studied. After he leaves, Harold comes by with some freshly-baked muffins (again covering his hands with oven mits), and finds out from Paul that Paul doesn't know who the attacker was but that he now feels like he's trapped in a nightmare. Harold says something spooky about it being the worst thing, when life loses its meaning, etc, and Paul looks at him a bit funny. Harold leaves, and Paul thanks him, saying he's a good mate.

Max is getting antsy because Boxing Day is nearly over and Karl "assured them" he'd have the results for them before the end of the day and won't answer his mobile (this isn't what Karl said at all, but I can understand Max's impatience). As if on some miraculous cue, Karl arrives at the Hoyland house and confirms that Steph has cancer again. He says he'll book them in for treatment the next morning, and her chances are good because they caught it so early. He also says that the chances of Steph's treatment harming the baby are slim because she's so far through her pregnancy already. Lyn and Max are very relieved to hear this, but Steph doesn't look convinced.

The next day, Max and Lyn are preparing to leave for the appointment for Steph to start her treatment, when Steph announces that she has just rung and cancelled it. She tells them that she's not undergoing any treatment while there's ANY chance of it harming her baby. And on that note, we cut to the credits.

It was actually a fairly full episode. And the closing credits are atrocious. Gone are the clever coloured shapes with rotating screenshots from the episode; in its place is an ad for a couple of Channel 10 shows on the top two-thirds of the screen, while the bottom third shows the very basic and forgetful closing credits (simple names against a light blue background). Yawn! However, the final ad break no longer means the end of the show. This year they've changed it so that you come back from the final ad break, see a few minutes more of the show, then the teaser for the next episode, followed by the credits. I'm sure it's a deliberate change to stop people from switching over once we get to that final ad break (which I'm sure people used to do all the time). They even had a tiny ad there telling us to "wait around to see more drama when Neighbours continues after the break".

So there were a couple of new things with the credits sequences in particular, but otherwise the show was quite full. Tomorrow's TV Week posting is the following:

"Gibbs and his team get into a turf war with the FBI as they try protect a Naval officer from Al-Qaeda."

Sorry about that; that was Everybody Loves Raymond. It's actually:

"Harold wrestles with his conscience, but renews his determination to make Paul suffer."

Looking forward to it.

* Oh, puh-lease believe that I'm being sarcastic there!


At Monday, January 09, 2006 11:06:00 pm, Blogger scarlett said...

i'm so annoyed i only got to read the first 3 paragraphs before my housemate interrupted me. i now have to look up on what date the star sign changes from capricorn to aquarius. wow, harold getting a bit violent... i guess he was wandering round with amnesia for a while, probably had a bad affect on him.

At Monday, January 09, 2006 11:46:00 pm, Anonymous Tyson said...

I was out and missed the episode. This is just gold - it's like you recorded me watching the show in case I missed it. I feel like I've been out of the country for years with all these changes to the credits.

And yes, we all checked the clock for the last commercial break to gain an extra 4 minutes of our lives back.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:11:00 am, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

I was so excited when I saw the ad for Neighbours last night - and loved the new Intro. but was kinda disappointed - was hoping for a little 'more' in the first ep back!

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:37:00 am, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Some things never change.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:40:00 am, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

thanks for this bevis. i am now up to speed and look forward to watching it tonight.

a couple of things that made me laugh:

* that so much happened in 7 minutes
* yes, the brother thing between stuart and ned. they've just slipped that in there i guess.
* the non-speaking cops. ha.

i'm glad they've changed the last ad break thing. it used to annoy me and feel like such a big let down to suffer through the ads just to see that frozen screen. so that's a nice improvement.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:56:00 am, Blogger Kevin said...

Tysons link led my curiousity here.... you are scary.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 9:28:00 am, Blogger elaine said...

scarlett, 21st of Jan. Though the days around that are considered to be the 'cusp', sharing traits of both signs.

As my mum always taught me: when the cusp is on Uranus, you can't go wrong.

Sorry bevis.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 9:40:00 am, Blogger Gianluca Di Milano said...

what are you fuck talk about? I was believe that in australia you are not have the neighbours because evryone is live 200 miles from each others. I think is the most long history in the all world. i was try for read evrything but was lose the concentrate after the line 4 and take some ritalin pills, now I'm not see nothing, where is fuck computerrrrrrrr snbqdjasb fiweofb iufdbc ve vfjk frfuijc hfnbcw dv fvbay bay

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 2:21:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Hehe ... thanks everybody.

I just want to make a correction: I've watched the credits back again (yes, I taped them yesterday because it was a fair bet that they'd be new - I told you I liked watching credit sequences!), and it turns out I was remembering it wrong. Boyd wasn't hugging Sky - he was definitely hugging Janae and Sky was being hugged by Dylan, so there's nothing in the theory that Boyd and Sky may be getting back together, which I said last night. At least not yet. (I think I had TV Week's spoiler of the two of them maybe getting back together at some point this year, in my head - so I thought I'd seen the wrong couple hugging already, but no.) My apologies. It was a lot to take in as it all went by so quickly. I couldn't check the tape before posting last night because Wifey was using the TV and I didn't want to disturb her.

Now, to respond to your comments, in reverse order (for something different) ...

Gianluca Di Milano, you make me laugh. Sorry that I wrote so much; I have a disease and I know it. But I'm happy and I'm not hurting anyone (unless you count sore eyes from trying to read all my ramblings), but I'm glad to see you gave up if it didn't interest you. As for having neighbours so far away, the show is a very slow-moving one, as one family has to travel 45 minutes to reach their closest neighbours and have a quick chat - that's where the nearest cattle station is located. It makes for a pretty boring story sometimes!

Elaine, no worries. :)

Kevin, yes - yes I am. (And proud of it!) :)

MG, sorry - I may have misrepresented it a bit. Not too much happened in those seven minutes, but a lot happened in the rest of the day that followed Harold strangling Paul at around 2:05pm. Especially where Karl getting Steph's cancer test results back so quickly is concerned. I'm not really sure that any suburban GP-cum-hospital doctor could pull enough strings to have such a turn-around of results on Boxing Day, but anyway ...

Clokeeeey, hey there. I'm not sure if you're talking about the show here or me. I think me. (But then, I usually do! Yuk yuk) Either way, it's all good. :)

Sheriff of Nothing, I know what you mean. Harold didn't even really seem to regret (or be self-righteous about) what he did ... although that's apparently what's in store for us tonight. Still, I would have thought that after a four week break, that's the kind of thing we wanted to see. (However, to be fair, if he was showing regret within hours of committing the crime, this may have been something else I'd have pulled out as happening too soon, so the writers probably can't win on this particular point ... and they've left it until tonight so we can look at it more fully, I expect, so it's all good.)

Tyson, thanks for those words (and for the link). I guess now we have to spend those extra four minutes watching. (For more bitchy-but-loving write-ups on the show and my fascination with TV and credit sequences - if you're at all interested - feel free to scroll back through my archives and read anything that mentions Neighbours or 'My Addiction' in the title. I've also left massive synopses on MelbourneGirl's blog in the past - in comments - but I don't know how to direct you to those. Also, feel free not to do this if you're not all that interested; no pressure from me and I don't mind either way.) :)

Scarlett, I think you should hurt your housemate. Hurt him or her quite badly.* I hope Elaine was able to answer your question for you (above, in case you skipped it). As for Harold, the amnesia thing is a long time ago ... but I guess you never know, eh? Losing his son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter when whoever blew up the plane was after Paul Robinson probably had a lot to do with it as well, though.

* I'm just kidding. Only hurt him or her a little bit.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 5:35:00 pm, Blogger sublime-ation said...

Do you reckon Gianluca's a real Italian person or some Aussie in a backpackers in London whose spent too much time around Italian backpackers, also, of course, in London?

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 6:21:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Subby, shh! Don't spoil the magic.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 7:56:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

You got it in one.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:18:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Hi Bevis, I'm back and now with new improved ADSL in our new house I can once again blog.
I just need the inspiration.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:14:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

You need some inspiration? Dude, how about your new digs? Give us a running tour! (What, too Cotton? Fair enough.) How about just a description of the new living arrangements, then? I'm keen to see what you've been up to while you've been settling in to your new place and being so scarce around the blogosphere.

At Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:52:00 am, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

hrmms seems that last night was not much better..although I did miss the last 10 minutes...Harry might just crack.

At Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:38:00 pm, Anonymous Her Radicalness said...

holy crapballs, batman. i cannot read that long a play-by-play of neighbours. i just can't. i *did* try, though.


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