Why Neighbours turning 30 is really important

Why Neighbours turning 30 is really important

Neighbours turns 30! Photo by Channel5.com

Neighbours is a soap like no other. It is dreamy and full of sunshine – literally a world away from the gloomy backdrops of Walford and Weatherfield. Neighbours offers us Ramsey Street, a suburb of Melbourne that could make literally anyone feel at home. It’s a neighbourhood constantly cooking up barbeques and has hosted a variety of residents, from the local police officer to Kylie.

The goings-on of Ramsey Street have always been unapologetically unrealistic: bomb explosions on aeroplanes somehow survived by the majority of passengers, mad mothers locking up their son’s girlfriends, Dee Bliss and Toadie miraculously disappearing in shallow waters after driving off the top of what looked like a steep sand dune, and ghosts from the past (Madge Bishop most recently, but Drew Kirk also made a comeback in the noughties to warn Stephanie Scully of her returned cancer diagnosis).

It is a world where couples can bump into Emma Bunton, Julian Clary and Michael Parkinson on a trip to London. As well as this, it is a place people leave for good and never come back – even for their closest relatives’ weddings and funerals. I mean, Charlene Robinson was clearly very cheapskate not to come back to Erinsborough for her mother’s dying days, and Scott Robinson just couldn’t be bothered to support his brother after he had his leg amputated. In the days of Skype and FaceTime, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a storyline develop in which Susan and Karl attempt making contact over the computer with their many biological and adopted children. Why have Rachel and Zeke Kinski been so slack in getting in touch with the couple kind enough to take them in after their father passed away? Surely Harold Bishop wants to have some form of contact with his granddaughter and great grandson – an investment in an iPhone could help him out?

Watching Neighbours is like being in the womb: warm and safe. Even when you think a character has made their departure, an identical replacement will fill their shoes. For every young, attractive teenage heartthrob to depart to launch a music career, another comes in and takes up residency at the Kennedy household or is hosted by Harold. (If not, they enter into a seedy deal with one of the local villains such as Paul Robinson before finding out they are related to someone else on the street through a mishap that happened years before).

The show is ideal to watch if you’re a Humanities student like me. For all those times you are stressed about a three thousand word essay or the seminar preparation you haven’t really done, it is the perfect escape. Suddenly, you’re no longer pulling your hair out over the fact you still haven’t got to grips with how to correctly reference. No, instead, you’re in Erinsborough which is a place where your problems will never exceed a week’s worth of twenty minute episodes.

I will forever cherish Neighbours. Whilst I binge on House Of Cards, I have to admit that Claire Underwood is no Susan Kennedy; Frank Underwood will never be as much of a tyrant as Paul Robinson; Zoe Barnes could have never been as great an activist as Kerry Bishop and Jackie Sharp could be as cold a femme fatale as Isabelle Hoyland.

So here’s to thirty years of Erinsborough! For all those times I spent eating my dinner after school whilst tuning in to BBC1 at 5:30 each afternoon. Hopefully it’ll last another thirty, as that’s how long it’s going to take me to be able to afford to travel out and go on the ‘Neighbours’ tour of the real Ramsey Street!

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