Character Spotlight - Melody Jones (Nov - Dec)

MelodyBanner.jpgMelody was first seen in Home and Away as Annie's religious friend Melody in the typical 'ugly girl who never gets the guys role' last seen with Kit and Noah. She developed a crush on Geoff Campbell only to be cruelly turned down by him for not being good looking enough. It soon became clear that there was a lot more to Melody as her aggressive, controlling mother Christine appeared on screen determined to "protect" her daughter from anything "evil". Her extreme religious beliefs saw evil in any contact with the opposite sex, any "suggestive" literature, clothing or activity and a wide range of other normal teenage behaviours.

Like Annie and Geoff before her, as Melody came in contact with the outside world she increasingly questioned her mother's views on what was right for her. When her mother attemptd to stir up other parents and have Miles dismissed over a book which surfaced in class, Melody became increasingly embarrassed by her mother's behaviour.

Having pointed out to Geoff how superficial he was being, Melody was surprised to find him taking an interest in her and she fell for him in a really big way. Her mother though was furious and attempted to ban the relationship even resorting to taking out a restraining order against Geoff. When Nicole tried to "help" by inviting her to a party Melody began to realise how different the real world is to the one in which she has grown up. At the party Melody,having been dumped by Geoff sought a place to recover in one of the bedrooms. Axel, who was drunk, found the same bedroom and sought to force himself on Melody leaving her devastated.

Christine reacted by refusing to believe her daughter and blaming the whole thing on the school and her class mates. She removed Melody from the school and her friends eventually having her committed to an institution when Melody blamed herself for causing Axel's death. In episodes just aired in the UK Melody has returned to our screens and rebelled against her mother but increasingly discoverd how "different" she was and how ill equipped to deal with the normal lives and activities of her friends.

Her attempts to find some refuge in a relationship with Geoff have become increasingly desperate and irrational. Annie and Jai try to protect her but Miles, distracted by his relationship with Kirsty, seemed unable to provide the parental support and guidance which Melody needed to adapt to her new found freedom. As a result she has begun to go off the rails and looks to definitely be a character to watch over the next few months.

There has been a lot of controversy and debate over Melody. Is she selish and attention seeking or confused and misunderstood?

Whatever she is, she's certainly an extremely interesting [character] and Celeste is doing an amazing job playing her. Melody is a sad an confused girl quite unlike anyone we have seen before. I believe we have a lot more chaos and confusion to see from Melody before she works out who she is, and that is what is going to make her interesting to watch.' (Bareenfan)

'Melody has always been a selfish attention-seeker. Geoff didn't want to be with Melody, but she stalked him until he told her to back off, at which point she played the victim... She's being the same with him again now he is with Nicole. [After Axel's death]she was paranoid that something bad would happen to her because she somehow reordered the universe in order for him to die... Now she is wantonly abusing Miles trust in her, as well as Jai's relationship with Miles, in order to get her own way.' (emmasi)

Our forum member Chatterbox, who works as a psyciatrist has provided a lot of insight into Melody's character explaining that 'Melody has, since the day she was born, had every single aspect of her life controlled by her mother. Christine has left her daughter totally without the skills to deal with even the everyday things in life, let alone a teenage boy over stepping the mark at a party. It is not what happens to you in life so much as how you deal it, and your childhood and the parenting you receive equips you to deal with life. Melody is actually not a spoiled selfish cow but a young woman in acute crisis. She deserves compassion and understanding and to not be dismissed. There are Melody's in every school, all of them misunderstood.'