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  1. 13 likes
    To be fair, on reading the UK thread, you said you chose to watch an episode in full for the first time in however long it's been. Whether deliberate or not, you happened to choose an ep in a week where the Morgan storyline is coming to a climax. To then conclude that the whole show revolves around the same thing is a bit of a leap. Anyway, Dan Bennett has been reading the thread (yes, TPTB do read the comments on here) and would like to offer up the following response: What's wonderful is everyone's entitled to an opinion. No one would have it any other way. But comments such as: "The whole show is lazy and written as if it's targeting people who are stupid. It doesn't try" is as insulting as it is incorrect. The people who work on Home and Away (and sweat their butts off - 14 hours a day - week in, week out) do so to deliver the highest ratings possible. Because that's the job. Their careers literally depend on it. So there's never a minute they're lazy or not trying. This is the reality: the television landscape has changed. As I've said before: if the show was made exclusively for the die-hard fans, it would be different. But the die-hard fans alone don't make up the audience base. In fact, the die-hards are an incredibly small portion of the nightly audience. The demographics are changing as viewing habits change, and the show must (as it is) evolve accordingly. It's utterly necessary. AND proving to be the right course of action. In the show's 30th year, it's still a dominant force in its time slot. That's unprecedented in Australia, in any genre. So, yes, please disagree and offer opinions - but don't moan about the show not trying, or any of the people who work on it. Lucy Addario is one of the best producers I have ever worked with. The comments are verging on bullying. Per above: opinions on storylines are wonderful. Please continue to deliver them. But character assassinations of the people who make the show are unacceptable.
  2. 12 likes
    Apologies for the very long post ahead but I digress. I just wanted to convey my feelings and emotions about modern Home and Away and how I feel the producers are ruining it. I’m sorry if I go over points I’ve already made but I want to vent my frustrations all in one go and let go of the harrowing disappointment I feel about losing a show I love. A show which continues to be ruined week after week, month after month, by the people in charge. For me the thing that ruins modern Home and Away is the fact it has lost its heart and soul. Why does defined characterization have no place in the modern show? Why is casting beautiful people the most important thing to the show and realism is sacrificed to suit this? By this I’m talking about VJ. I’m sorry to bring it up again. The producers obviously loved Matt Little and wanted him in the show. But it just wasn’t realistic at all. They had set their heart on having Matt in the show but there are other characters he could have played. Ruining a legacy character wasn’t necessary. I’m sure there are plenty of beautiful actors between the ages of 16 and 18 who would have grabbed the opportunity to play VJ. As a result I feel robbed of a character I’ve watched growing up on screen. It’s like he left and an impostor is pretending to be him. Matt Little is so obviously 22 or however old he is now. To rub salt in the wounds they had him embroiled in this awful ‘not the daddy’ storyline at the mere age of 17. Not that 17 year old characters shouldn’t have storylines like that, but it just once again highlighted how the writers had thrown away VJ’s coming-of-age years in order to have him in adult storylines. Where does Leah’s character go when Matt inevitably tries to crack Hollywood? Years of story material rushed through in order for short term gain and to have Matt Little play this legacy character. I understand VJ and Billie have a fair few fans, but I’d hazard a guess there are just as many people, who, like me, can’t take them seriously. Characters are treated as instantly replaceable by the writers. I know actors can’t be chained down and a lot of them want to try and crack the USA but this wouldn’t matter if the show runners tried to make the show consistent and run smoothly. Do they try and keep any actors for long? Neighbours seems to have some young characters stick around for 5 years or more, why doesn’t this happen on Home and Away? Have the producers just been unlucky? And if they have, why don’t they try and lure back some former characters to bridge the gap? They think plonking a new beautiful person in a random house in the Bay is enough to distract the audience. I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but when there is not even 1 household in the whole show which is believable, it starts to become grating. Granted bringing back Heath and Bianca was a good move in some respects. Good for the 2011-2014 audience. The problem is that the show didn’t bring them back because it respects its history, but because it’s under some kind of weird illusion that the viewers are obsessed with the criminal aspect of the show. What about before 2011? How are we supposed to believe in characters who act as if they didn’t exist before 2011? The past is only mentioned if the writers want to force some of the long-term characters into a story about being in danger. Penn’s vendetta against Alf Stewart in 2010, because of ‘something he did in the past’, Irene’s son and his vendetta against her because she gave him up at birth. In theory Irene’s sexual abuse story could have worked. But they messed it up again. This was a story which could have produced story material for years. Instead any potential gain was thrown away in favour of short-term hysteria. There could have been a 2 or 3-month storyline about Irene having an alcohol relapse because she’s been forced to confront past demons, leading to a recovery and subsequent search for her long-lost child. Mick and Irene could have re-connected over the space of a few years. Instead they decided to have Irene relapse for a week and for Mick to be a crazed lunatic for a week, ruining any long-term potential. The backstory makes sense. It shows why Irene turned to drink and why she had such a volatile relationship with men. But over-the-top drama was the main priority here, just like it always is with the modern Home and Away. They don’t want to tell a good story. They don’t believe the show’s viewers are intelligent enough to watch decent storytelling. A lot of the characters are there in name only. Alf, Irene, Marilyn, John, Leah, Roo. As many older characters are forced to work in the Diner as possible because the writers don’t understand how to do anything else with them. Hell I even saw Alf Stewart searching for potential bushfire victims in the season opener this year! I know this is something he’s done since day dot but he’s getting on a bit now and it’s horrible to see him forced into the OTT dramas of Summer Bay. To counteract my negativity I do want to mention that I think Duncan’s return was beautifully written. His American wife was cast with an actress who could believably portray an American accent. There were a few months of Alf re-connecting with his son, the introduction to Alf’s grandchild, Roo being involved in things she should actually be involved in, like her brother and fathers’ lives, rather than worrying about people she’s not even related to. For me Duncan’s return represents what Home and Away should be – characters and their families, their pasts, the present and their futures, their mistakes, their fears. How they’ve grown as people. Georgie Parker should be the star of the show. Summer Bay House is known to have a central matriarchal figure and Roo suits this role perfectly. Leah is shoe-horned in to the house due to the actor’s longevity with the show but Roo is a more developed, interesting and well-rounded character – or at least – she could be, and she carries a lot of history. Georgie has been loyal to the show for 7 years but Roo only seems to be there to deliver lines or have a dud relationship from time to time with someone who has ‘an exciting secret’. What happened to the fiery and manipulative character who made huge mistakes and left in the 80s? On the one hand I’m glad to see Roo has developed since her troubled days in the 80s. On the other hand - don’t get me wrong I don’t want her to go and stamp on Ailsa’s grave - they have an opportunity here to really explore her very flawed character. What happened to her between 1989 to 2010? Does she miss Frank? Does she regret giving up Martha? Why can’t Martha be re-cast? Jodi Anasta is obviously not going to return and the character returning would give Roo something to do. I know H&A has never been a show to focus too heavily on the older characters but there’s no reason why they couldn’t cast an attractive, young actor to play Martha (if that’s really what’s so important) while in turn giving Roo something to do at the same time. Following on from this point, I’m just saying that Home And Away can do both things at the same time – it can use the current model of focusing heavily on attractive young cast members and focus on characterization at the same time. Back in the day you had Jack, Shannon and Selina, the young beautiful characters, but Irene and Pippa didn’t suffer for it or get sidelined. Their connection to those characters enhanced and developed them as characters as well, particularly Irene. John, Marilyn, Irene, Alf, Roo etc all have rich histories and connections to an abundance of past characters; Nathan, Damian and Finlay Roberts, Irene’s sister Wendy and nephew Nelson, possibly his children if he has any and her own grandchildren. Alf has Ric, Quinn, Martha, Duncan, Shauna, and many others. What happened to John’s daughter Shandi? Leah doesn’t mention her former stepson Ryan anymore. Did her marriage to Dan ever actually happen? Does she ever visit Vinnie’s grave? The show seems to have a false perception that respecting and exploring its history cannot happen at the same time as focusing on the here and now. These are not separate things. They really can exist together and they really can help the current show flourish. Believing in the characters and the writers characterizing them as real people will surely make the audience feel a lot more connected to them and make them want to tune in regularly. Home and Away has become an Australian version of Hollyoaks. A conveyer-belt of attractive people with no personality, no quirks, no charisma. People reading lines and getting stalked, attacked, or trapped in a bushfire every other week.
  3. 11 likes
    You asked for it, and we hope we've delivered! We're very happy to reveal our exclusive interview with Home and Away Script Executive Dan Bennett. As many of you will know, Dan has a long history with the show - having worked under the likes of Ray Harding, Coral Drouyn and Bevan Lee before taking to the Script Producer chair himself in 2005. After departing in 2007, Dan worked in an executive position on Neighbours and as co-producer on Out of the Blue before returning to the Seven umbrella to oversee Winners & Losers. In 2015 he returned to Home and Away as the show's Script Executive (later Network Script Executive). With Dan's final storylines coming to air over the next 3 months, we're very grateful for him to taking time out to talk to us about his time on the show - both back in 2005-2007 and his current stint. Thanks to our team member Matt also for taking on the job of corresponding with Dan as we worked through rather a lot of questions! We didn't open it up to member questions on this occasion, but we do hope we've covered a lot of the main ones that have been brought up in recent times. So a big thanks to Dan once again, for what we believe is quite an insightful interview http://www.backtothebay.net/features/interviews/dan-bennett-interview/
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  6. 9 likes
    Not really worth a thread, so thought I'd post this in here: There's also two new locations on the site this week which are being discussed in the Location thread: Summer Bay High School (1988-96, 2000, 2008-09) Northern Districts Hospital (1994-2010)
  7. 9 likes
    Despite what was reported at the time, Channel 5 have never had any creative input into the show. That comes direct from past Script Producers who would have been the first to know if they had. And whilst there's three different threads this could go into, I'm going to post it here and hope it's taken into account everywhere.... On the topic of who is (or in this case isn't) working against diversity being introduced into the show: For those not aware, that is of course Lucy Addario he's talking about.
  8. 7 likes
    It doesn't have to care about it's roots, it just has to be good. And it isn't. I could write probably 40 episodes of current Home and Away in a week. It's not hard to write an explosion, a stabbing, a shooting, a car being stolden, and random members of the public living with other random members of the public. The whole show is lazy and written as if it's targeting people who are stupid. It doesn't try.
  9. 7 likes
    Merged the Sydney thread into this one as they're pretty much covering the same topics I did find that one a couple of years back - whilst I'm informed that photographs have been taken, I don't yet have them in order to put it up on the site. In that case, today's update will hopefully be of some significant interest! These have been a long time coming, what with wanting to ensure accuracy with the info and provide decent screencaps for comparison, but two major locations have now been added to the site: Summer Bay High School (1988-96, 2000, 2008-09) Northern Districts Hospital (1994-2010) Whilst I don't usually upload two in one go, you'll soon see why I decided to add both at the same time... The photographs of the various buildings around the complex are placed alongside the relevant screencaps, so be sure to go through the gallery in its entirety if you want to see all the familiar spots. Thanks to QA as ever, who I think has taken no less than three trips to the filming location over the years as more of its buildings came to light We do have some of the other school and hospital locations, which will come in future updates.
  10. 7 likes
    "Monday 30th January 2017" Hmm interesting. Have the staff at BTTB conducted an interview with Dan Bennett? Or maybe Lucy Addario?
  11. 6 likes
  12. 6 likes
    How amazing would it be if Dan or someone from BTTB could line up an interview with the producers/storyliners from this golden period? Questions like the loose ends involving Dodge and are something I've always wanted to know. Surely it wasn't intended to end that way. What especially never made sense was the dramatic cliffhanger of Stevo saying "I'll never rest until I see them zip up his body bag"... and then promptly never mention Dodge again
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  14. 5 likes
    Herald Sun article today: Home And Away’s latest tug of love storyline sparks a ratings boom HOME and Away can already lay claim to nurturing some of the biggest names in Hollywood today. But a creche of tiny tots, currently sharing the role of baby Luc on the Channel 7 series, have sparked a new ratings boom, sending fans and some of the show’s leading men gaga. Social media went into meltdown recently when the bub’s mother, Billie Ashford (played by Tessa DeJosselin) died of an aggressive form of cancer — leaving the infant in the care of her new husband. Matt Little, who plays surrogate dad VJ Patterson, admits the last six months of the heavy storyline, which ended with his character promising a dying Billie he would care for her child, have been brightened by his little, cooing co-stars. “It’s been beautiful just to come to work and put your attention on these babies, who have no agenda,” Little told News Corp Australia. “You can’t trick a baby into thinking we’re doing the most important job in the world ... and you can’t let your own ego get carried away with you in a scene. You’ve just got to pay attention to this living human being and that’s been kind of nice.” The baby girl, played by up to six real tots since her TV birth, including eight-month-old Sterling (pictured) will be at the centre of an upcoming custody struggle between Little’s character, VJ, the bub’s biological uncle Ash (played by George Mason) and Summer Bay veteran, Irene (Lynn Grainger). But the show’s executive producer Lucy Addario revealed there’s already a battle on set between mostly the male actors as to who gets to cuddle and comfort the babies between takes. “Often you’ll see them crying and Matt and George are in there, rocking them. Just to see these guys with those little babies ... oh my god, every woman on set just melts.” In a storytelling sense, “births, deaths and marriages” are always hugely popular, Addario said, with Billie’s death peaking at 1.67 million viewers nationally. “Billie’s story was a great one because of who the father is (Irene’s son) and the circumstances of its conception (in a shock rape), which provided so much drama even before the baby was born.” It’s been a happy counter to Billie’s death, which was mourned by the cast and crew, as well as fans who flooded social media with grieving messages. “We grieve three times,” Addario explained. “You deal with it first in the script, then eight or nine weeks later you see them film it and watch it in edit; then you watch on air like everyone else a third time ... I get sad thinking about it now.” It makes the sweet smile from ‘baby Luc’ or a gurgle mid-scene just “so divine,” Addario said. “Often the directors put in little cutaways of the babies because they’re giving us the reactions we need. I’ll dread the day when they get too old ... they’re just gorgeous.” Child welfare rules mean productions like Home And Away, as well as Ten’s drama series, Offspring must limit the time each infant can work per day; while “laid back babies who are happy to be held by people” are scouted by talent agencies, generally specialising in child actors. “The main thing to remember is babies and toddlers change every day,” Offspring’s casting agent Emma Dockery said, “and you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. That’s what makes it so much fun.”
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  16. 5 likes
    Okay so I haven't posted on this fourm much, but I've been lurking and a fan of this site since I became a Home and Away fan in 2008, and it has helped me out more than you guys can ever know. I was a die-hard Home and Away fan from 2008-2013, and just over the years I just simply fell out of love with it. The show felt like it lost it's heart and soul. It was no longer Character driven, it was instead plot driven. The characters were not driving the story, their actions were all revolving around what the next plot point was, and that's what kinda killed the show for me. Do I see my self coming back? YES, I still binge the occasional months worth of episodes from time to time and love every minute of it because lets be real I love this franchise. But I do feel like the show has lost its way and despite having a cast and crew that is hard working, I feel like they are trying to capture an audience that isn't there. I don't want the show canceled, but I really wish the producers and the crew would sit down and examine the most popular era's of the show, and figure out a way to modernize that, similar to how Neighbours has within the last few years, and attempt that, vs. whatever mob/plot driven show that it has become. I just find it hard in a day and age where character driven dramas are so popular, both critically and ratings wise, we are focusing on some plot driven foolishness... Anyways just kinda my two cents at the moment. Thank you ALL for doing what you do from the cast and crew who work on the show, to the staff that run this site, to all of the posters that give me as a casual lurker something to enjoy reading and keeping up with, you guys help cheer me up when I'm down and I thank you all for that!
  17. 5 likes
    I don't think a little more aftermath of stories, more characterisation, more humour and diversity, an opening title with a proper theme and some originality is old fashioned and would make the ratings go down. I would never suggest anyone on the show is lazy. Working on a soap must be one of the hardest genres in the industry. However I'm sure there's room for a little bit more imagination surely. If the show is rating well perhaps a bit more care in the storytelling could increase the ratings even further.
  18. 5 likes
    Thanks Dan. And thanks to Dan Bennett who sent that reply. I'm sorry if my feelings were hurtful or insulting, I didn't mean anything personal by them - in fact I have a huge amount of respect for Dan Bennett who I think gave an absolutely wonderful interview to BTTB which obviously took a lot of time and showed what a magnanimous and giving character he is, to allow us to really connect with the behind the scenes goings-on. It doesn't change my opinion on current Home and Away but I do have a lot of respect for him and I hope he knows that. Obviously he is not solely responsible for the show's downfalls; as a collaborative process it just doesn't seem to be meshing together. We can assume from Dan's interview that he was very keen on re-introducing diversity including gay characters I presume, and that would have been a massive step in the right direction. It also seems like the Irene story was his idea which was good in theory. I understand the ratings for the show are the most important thing and I know that is the case - Home and Away is a financial product after all which is being sold to its audience. But what is essentially being said here is that the television industry has changed to the extent that soap operas as a genre are no longer viable in Australia. Home and Away is no longer a soap opera. Rather, a medical and/or crime drama which airs 5 days a week. However, in contrast to Holby City or Casualty, which are set on hospital wards and introduce us to new characters every episode who are admitted to the wards, Home and Away has the same characters go to hospital or get arrested. This is not what I feel the soap genre was intended to be like. Perhaps Home and Away as a modern product is just not for me anymore and I have to let go of it. Perhaps Australia is just happier to accept mediocre television? Neighbours has mostly always been superior but was ditched by Australians. Maybe this is why Neighbours has essentially become a British soap opera set in Australia - because the UK likes realistic tv, and don't get me wrong, that show has its faults too, but at least they feature non-medical and non-crime related stories as well. However, there seems to be a view among those in charge that medical stories and crime = ratings, and nothing else will attract a high amount of viewers. I don't believe that. The less OTT approach hasn't been tried so how would they know? One of the best Australian shows in recent times, Winners & Losers, heavily focused on character above everything else and rarely crime or medical stories. Perhaps I'm mistaken and W&L wasn't as popular as I thought. As it stands I wouldn't particularly class myself as a die-hard fan. I got back into modern Home and Away in 2006 after the memories it brought me as a child, and watched it non-stop until about 2013, when I began to only watch the occasional episode (I think Evie was involved in a cult at the time that we lost the Walkers). I did come across this forum but by no means am I a die-hard fan. I just have a good knowledge of the show and its characters from reading about them on this forum. I do love this forum though. I do think it's a UK/Australia debate. I would say the general view of H&A is quite different between the countries, with the Australian fanbase obviously loving the OTT nature of the show, which is reflecting in the ratings. I don't hear anyone in the UK talk about the show anymore other than to point out how ridiculous it is now, when they caught a clip of the 2016 plane crash. The UK does have more to compare it to though, as a soap nation - EastEnders, Coronation St, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors also thrown into the mix. EastEnders is the only British soap I watch and it can be over the top at times, in fact a lot of the time, but I find, unlike Home and Away, there is a much better mix of storylines. Currently EE has a 47 year old woman in love with a 17 year old, a man who has just had a liver transplant following a year long alcoholism relapse (what Irene's story could have been), a bus crash, 2 sisters drowning, old-age pregnancy and a baby being put up for adoption, 2 young gay characters, a lesbian, a disabled person and people of varying ethnicities, a grown man suffering from severe depression and abandoning his wife for her own sake etc etc. In contrast Home and Away has the Morgans who moved to the most dangerous place in Australia as part of a witness protection programme, and months and months and months of them being targeted and hunted down. It's exhausting. A plane crash. I ask this question; are storylines like an old-age pregnant mum deciding to give up her baby for adoption not as gripping as stabbings and families in witness protection? Is Irene realistically having a 3 month alcoholism relapse and needing a liver transplant not as gripping as her son being a psychotic kidnapper? Is it really thought that exploring a variety of issues rather than just crime and lives in danger is not as successful at bringing in audiences? Are ratings really likely to dwindle if the show is at all lighthearted? This essentially suggests that romantic comedy movies are not relevant anymore - I know soaps are a totally different ballgame, but people the world over go to watch romance movies which generally make people laugh and don't involve a string of people in hospital or committing crimes...that's what action and thriller movies are for. How do these movies manage to achieve such success if there is no room for positivity in the entertainment industry? I know soaps are not the same but the point kind of still stands - that ratings can be achieved by blending lots of styles together. Somehow the current show is attracting decent ratings, but the bigger picture needs to be looked at - will the show still be achieving high ratings in 10 years if it keeps burning itself out? In the short term the show is succeeding, financially, but in order to get people stay it needs to have a human side. It has been taking this OTT approach for 10 years but it has been ramped up to new levels in the last 5 years. That is not a long time. I suppose time will tell. I know nothing will change while the ratings are good so I suppose I'm wasting my breath. But I just want to get it all out and move on from it. On the plus side I like the actors who play the Morgans, they work very very well together as a unit, and I like the fact that their household features a realistic living arrangement (probably the only one in the bay). Though I would have preferred them to move to the bay just because they wanted to rather than some sinister reason behind it. One thing you can't fault H&A on is its production values and acting; it has some brilliant actors. Lastly, I will say I do think the scripts day-to-day are well written. They tend to have an excellent amount of humour in them and lovely one-liners - it's more the over-arching storylines that I have an issue with. If the storylines became more diverse and more engaging rather than the same old medical/crime stuff, the show could be great. I'd love to know what Dan Bennett thinks about past characters disappearing forever, when they could return and enhance the show. Once again I apologise if I caused any distress or upset. I am sure that the people who work on the show work very hard, I'm merely pointing out how the show comes across. Ultimately, my words shouldn't cause any ill feeling if the people in charge were confident and happy with the way the show is progressing. But I get the impression the conditions placed upon them (not allowing gay characters - speculation I add) causes a certain amount of disillusion with the craft.
  19. 5 likes
    Maybe it doesn't have to be. But it's totally unrealistic and a joke how it is now. I actually find it shocking that some people think it's really good.
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  26. 5 likes
    Moving Leah into SBH made sense when she had Oscar, VJ, Matt & Evie as well as her and Zac, but really what they should have done is had Alf, Roo & Maddy do a house swap. They should have had a small fire at Leah's, her move in with Alf and then as her house was ready to move back in have Alf say "Hang on, you need the extra room, we don't, why don't we swap?"
  27. 5 likes
    The thing is, I believe Matt Little as an older version of Felix Dean's VJ, they don't look too dissimilar, and Matt has got better at playing down, but I agree we seem to have skipped too much of his life. There's a point where SORAS helps give a parent more story, but there's also a point where it reduces the years of story they have. Leah needed VJ to be older when they brought in Felix Dean, but now rather than Leah having a good 5/6 years of being a mother to a high school student, it's been cut down to about 3 or 4. Where does VJ go after high school? Ok, really I think he should follow in Vinnie's footsteps and become a lifeguard, but how many years will Matt Little stick around? I'm surprised he's stayed this long though.
  28. 5 likes
    A very, very good interview. Thank you BTTB and Dan Bennett for such great in-depth answers and not the usual sitting-on-the-fence stuff. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed the 2005-6 era. Looking back, it was quite a self-contained era. Cartoony in places (if you know what I mean), but great fun, full of heightened drama but always lots of attention to character and a good feeling of community. Lots and lots of very strong, stand-out emotional moments (e.g. Beth telling Amanda to get out, or she'll throw her out, at Graham's wake. Or Sally crying on the rocks after learning of Flynn's terminal illness). It always reminded me (and still does) of the show Desperate Housewives in the way stories were told from emotional viewpoints of (often female) characters. 100% agree with the moving of Sally to central place on the show. As a fan I'd been crying out for years that she was criminally underused and it seems like Dan agreed, which makes sense as he was also a fan. By far the most interesting answer was about the plans for Fisher's character that never happened. Such a shame Dan couldn't tell us more but obviously wants to protect the story just in case. Got a very strong suspicion it would have been Fisher's swan song (i.e. death) and an emotional way for he and Marilyn to finally tie-up loose ends and draw a line under everything. An alternate (and much more wacky) idea would be the notion that Byron is alive (we never actually saw what happened in America...). Ok, that's more far fetched! Back to the Fisher-dying idea... perhaps with Marilyn's amnesia Fisher would live out his last few weeks believing that Marilyn had come back to him and really loved him. In essence they would both get to re-visit their marriage and have some happy times one last time. It's obvious from watching any 2005 episode that Dan loved Morag - just as many writers say they do - yet inexplicably none of them want her around too much. I have to-ed and fro-ed on this one. I do understand that she works better as an impact character and there are periods during her 1989 stint as a main character that didn't work. On the other hand, there are long periods when she's around so little, it beggars belief. She should be in the show at least 4-5 months every season. I LOVE that he fondly remembers the Summer Bay Nutter story - I always thought that the Stalker story was kind of reminiscent of it, so that was probably a deliberate not to the past. Speaking of which, I like that he so fondly acknowledges the past. Episode 4000 was fantastic (even including Bobby's theme... I wonder if that was his suggestion?). Very interesting that Justine Clarke offered to record a voice message but they decided not to. I've never had a problem with Chloe's death in episode 4000, it was a genius soap move. Interesting that he recalls the Corey story as camp - I remember it being quite dark and sinister. Maybe my 11-years-older self will have to find a way to re-watch it. The whole mystery of Kim trying to find his mother and finding out secrets about Barry (and Jonathan) is one of my all time favourite stories post-2000. It's also another one that strongly reminds me of Desperate Housewives. I just found this story so compelling and thought it did wonders for Kim and Barry as characters. His answer about Brody Morgan (whoever that is, I don't watch anymore) pretty much says everything you need to know, without actually saying. Clever answer. Must be so frustrating for writers being held back by whatever silly bureaucracy blocks such stories/characters. There are several things I wish we could have read his thoughts on (but I guess the interview couldn't go on forever) like his opinion on his season finales - I personally felt the 2005 season finale was dreadful (although I appreciated what it was trying to do, I felt the execution sucked), while the 2006 finale was up there with Chloe's ordeal with Brad and Ailsa appearing in the Diner. And also a big part of 2005 was Josie (whose 1989 secret was another Desperate Housewives moment) - who doesn't get a single mention in the whole interview even though Josie and Jesse's wedding has to be one of the best episodes of 2005. Another one is Beth who I felt got neglected after moving out of Summer Bay House - I'd love to have known Dan's feelings on that because she was such a strong character when given the material. Reading that interview has actually made me feel so nostalgic for the 2005/6 era (5 in particular). I wish it was available on DVD so I could binge-watch it now. Even characters like Tasha and Robbie who I didn't care for so much at the time, I'm feeling nostalgic for. As for losing Leah's house... I understand wanting to "elevate" Leah/Ada's status on the show by moving her into Summer Bay House. I guess she'd never have left the other house voluntarily - it was her and Vinnie's home not to mention all the other years of memories (Dan etc). Just a shame we had to lose such a good set that fans liked in the process. I'm sure there are other ways they could have done it, like have a smaller fire and Leah live in SBH while her home was being refurbished, and then upon completion, realizing all the memories she had in the house were gone, and that it was just "a house" now, and not wanting to live in it anymore. That way the fans would still have the house but Leah would no longer want to live there. I don't know... something like that. Could have given Leah/Ada some emotional material wandering around the "new" old house, realising it doesn't feel like her house anymore and that Vinnie, Dan etc were always "there" with her before the fire... and now it feels like they are not there at all. Does this make sense? It also would have been reeeeeeeeally interesting, since Dan is a fan of the show, to have heard his opinions on certain storylines and characters from outside his era. I'd love to know what he thought of Ailsa's death for example, and Pippa's original exit (did they do the right thing by not giving her a "proper" goodbye even though they knew the actress was going for good?). And also The Sutherlands... a family that many loved and many hated.
  29. 5 likes
    Great interview! A very interesting read for sure. I laughed when you mentioned Irene's "dead shelf", I haven't heard that one before Amanda got some love in this interview, that was nice. I was never the biggest fan of Belle, but she and Amanda was a great duo and I'm glad they made Belle Amanda's daughter if that meant saving Amanda's character from being axed. I'm sure a lot of people on here are tearing their hair out just reading that! And I don't blame that, I would have loved to see him return too. Hopefully they're just saving it for another time (not that I can see see a more natural opportunity than Marilyn thinking she's still married to him presenting itself anytime soon ). I'm gonna take that "no comment" as a yes. First of all, I knew it! And second of all, that means they basically introduced Jeannie for the sole reason of proving Brody's heterosexuality. I always knew she was useless. But seriously, that's awful. (Not trying to turn this into another "complaining about no diversity" thread, sorry.) Petition for your next interview to be with Nic Westaway so you can ask him what exactly he was thinking. Teasing us like that is actually just mean
  30. 4 likes
    Sorry but things like this annoy me a little.HAA is not progressive.There would be more diversity if it was.Can we at least be honest about the heart of the matter and say that the reason so many people don't care is because it doesn't concern them.There is no shame in educating yourself but so many people choose ignorance instead.This is not directed specifically at you however I think the issue is real.
  31. 4 likes
    I don't understand where this view comes from that only die-hard fans criticise the current show? Actually quite a lot of lapsed viewers laugh at the show and it's current state in the UK, not just the die-hard ones. Good thing if the UK's opinion doesn't matter because Home and Away is virtually non-existent in the UK now. But once the Aus ratings do start to decline again, I bet the UK will matter again then. It might be too late at that point.
  32. 4 likes
    So haters can't have an opinion? that too is a broken record someone criticises the show and others in this thread moan and whinge about it
  33. 4 likes
    Maybe they couldn't get the timing to line up, but if they wanted to change the beach house set, they should have had it damaged in the bush fire as well as Fisher's house (instead of random extras we only see for 2 episodes complaining they lost their house).
  34. 4 likes
    Apart from Alf, the beach and Summer Bay House it is a completely different show. I am pleased we have 20 years of good episodes to enjoy 1988-2008. May not all be Lucy's fault, maybe there was a new boss at Channel 7 who come in and is demanding crime, vice, sex and hot totty to boost ratings.
  35. 4 likes
    My own highly subjective list (from made-up DVD box sets): 1994 1.Episode 1395-Nathan’s arrest 2.Episode 1405-Angel tries to tell Dylan she’s his mother 3.Episode 1411-Adam rescues Sam from fire 4.Episode 1454-Haydn leaves 5.Episode 1488-School formal 6.Episode 1506-Shane and Angel’s weekend away 7.Episode 1556-Shannon and Curtis’ first full episode 8.Episode 1605-Season finale 1995 1.Episode 1632-Shannon remembers abuse 2.Episode 1662-Shane and Angel’s wedding 3.Episode 1665-Death of Laura Bonetti 4.Episode 1706-Marilyn’s return 5.Episode 1717-Angel is rescued from seaplane crash 6.Episode 1755-Paul tries to kidnap Dylan 7.Episode 1766-Bushfire 8.Episode 1806-Dodge and Steven fall off the cliff
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  39. 4 likes
    Hey I just want to let you know, my computer has died so I have no access to any way of updating my story. It died in December. I'm currently working on getting one within the next few weeks or in March sometime and then I promise to update. I am really sorry for the inconvenience. I am really looking forward to continuing this story and the plans I have for it.
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  41. 4 likes
    Thank you so much to Matt and Dan for this incredibly insightful interview. Whilst H&A is one of the most popular shows in Australia, its rare that we get something with this much detail and with some level of candor. I really appreciated where DB came from, and his knowledge of H&A past, and how this (to some extent) impacted on the story lines he chose to pursue. You can tell he's a fan and appreciates what H&A is as an icon/legacy but also is quite realistic about what is expected of him as a writer of a popular show - that is, to get the ratings. I really respected the fact that he stated that if he was writing the show for the 'super-fan' that it would be different than the one he has to produce for the mass audience. We obviously come at this show from a particular point of view of hard-core fans who know the history and have ties to past story lines with which to compare, and so to some extent are probably the most critical of the writing because we know how amazing it can/could be. I first got into H&A during the 2000's and so reading this interview was really nostalgic for me, getting to reminisce on the Kim/Barry story, Summer Bay Stalker, and my precious angel baby Robbie Hunter. My interest has always been in the decisions behind why some story lines always seemed to be pushed over others, and my rational side knew that this was dictated by finance and ratings, but to hear it said so bluntly is strange and off-putting but also kind of reassuring? I suppose it also links in to my curiosity about how much fan input and response shapes the show (*cough*diversity*cough*). Similarly, I always want to know how far in advance arcs are planned and penciled in, and whether things change along the way, so I really liked this insight, particularly relating to the Billie plot and also the Kyle-exit. I kind of want to re-read it because it weaves like a parallel narrative to the actual show, and pick out my fave bits because there was so many great insights and moments - so thanks again!
  42. 4 likes
    I'm starting to notice if Irene is convinced they're a good 'un that's not the case and vice versa! She's got it in for Steven and she was convinced Mud and now Dodge are the good guys.
  43. 4 likes
    Right, so Kyle would have gone to prison for his own actions, rather than someone elses (although with the BTS intention that he was paying for Brax, Heath & Casey). I assume they didn't know that Andy & Josh would be leaving when that was plotted as surely it would make more sense to send the two murderers to prison.
  44. 4 likes
    Not too long to wait - it'll be going up at around 8am Sydney time on the 30th, so that'll actually be 9pm tonight for UK
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  46. 3 likes
    I've been watching the show since 2003 when I moved to Australia. There was the time when I loved show more and there was the time when I loved it less. At the beginning I liked that topics covered in the show were relatable, at least most of them. I loved strong community, foster kids, school, family issues, etc. During the course there were a lot of accidents, stalkers, criminals, etc., however in moderation. I understand that television landscape has changed and that show must be competitive as well as that ratings are important, but in my opinion that is not the reason to have as unrealistic show as H&A is these days. I don't know any show (and I watch a lot) that killed as many characters as H&A in last 5 years. I lost count. Killing character to boost ratings on the days of character's death and than not to have follow up storyline is just ridicules. Casey's death is good example - he died, Brax went crazy for 2 episodes and as soon as he found out about Ricky's pregnancy it was all over, and when Ash came to the Bay it was as if Casey never existed. Although I bet that producers are beating themselves for killing Casey, because now he is the only Braxton they could not drag back to boost the ratings. Hannah and Oscar are other example, so is Danny. IMO only good follow up was after Charlie's death, seeing both Brax and Ruby grieving. The other thing is inconsistency with illnesses/ disorders. I know that in 'soap' years they can't have recovery time same as in real life, but Casey started walking after 2 weeks, Nate was ok in a week after falling off the cliff, Leah needed liver transplant one day and the next day she was baking muffins, Irene had cancer for whole 6 days, not to mention Brax's injuries which heal as soon as he gets exposed to the yellow Sun (same as Superman), etc. And not to mention April's OCD, Spencers bipolar disorder and Oscar's eating disorder being completely overlooked. Also, no matter how strong you are, being kidnapped, stabbed or shot would put strain on anyone - no character (that I remember) suffered from PTSD, and all characters were kidnapped at some stage on the show. Kyle going to jail for something that he did not do, for someone that he doesn't even know, with explanation that that was because he was introduced as criminal, is just absurd, considering that lately at least 50% of characters were introduced as crooks. Same goes for Josh and Andy. I know that producers and writers work hard to make the show/ and compete, but at this stage it looks like poorly written version of Sons of Anarchy and Criminal Minds. Pack to the Rafters and Winners and Losers were very popular as well.
  47. 3 likes
    I am so glad that Neighbours has never got as far as H&A as to lose all of its originality. H&A has totally lost all of its originality now, whereas Neighbours is very much the same show at the core. I did watch last nights episode and it is just more shootings, people critically ill in hospital, cruelty and lives in danger. So yes I feel the show has been totally ruined. They don't understand what Home And Away is supposed to be about.
  48. 3 likes
    I think it's testament to the show that they haven't gone down the third marriage route. It certainly would have been the obvious thing to do. And the easiest. I like that the have made Alf strong enough by himself. There no Garentee the next one also wouldn't have come and gone since Ailsa Leah has been made so much weaker as a result on relying on a husband to keep her interesting.
  49. 3 likes
    He mentioned that one as being in Yabbie Creek. I remember being gripped by the whole amateur sleuthing to catch Dodge, they could give some pointers to some of the bay's more recent coppers (they'd probably find Dodge and then sleep with him) And for some reason, Sally & Jack's kiss was cut by ITV... foster brother/sister too controversial?
  50. 3 likes
    Gutted about no possibility of Diana ever returning. And I'm not sure killing Chloe was quite the success as it was made out to be here. Many people thought it was a bad move. But there is a chance we could see Fisher again!!!! That would be so amazing.