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Neighbours Rocks.

Guest alexx

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Neighbours is currently my favourite show on television, its written so well. Perfect drama imo, and heres a few reasons why:

No more 3 episode per week contracts:

This means we get fantastic drama and storylines one episode after another, uninterrupted. Currently we have gripping storylines involving The Parkers, Susan and Robinson’s, we’ve had three perfect episodes, previously this would all be interrupted by the 3 episode per week contract clause, with storylines that have little or nothing to do with the major one dominating the week, Thursday and Friday, but as it is currently we have the top storylines continue seamlessly, and its fantastic!

Acting and writing, direction and cast superb, moving and ‘real’

The amount of effort going into the writing of each cast member is 100%, we have a relatively new family in the Parkers and Napier’s and in a matter of 2 months we totally ‘get them’, and they have strong back stories that are both engaging and moving. They are not your typical soap clichés, with each new character having his or her own unique personality!

The direction is fresh and balanced, its fast paced at appropriate times such as the dramatic events, and nice and steady for the character driven stuff, and they thankfully haven’t gone down the road of most Aussie dramas at the moment, which is the hand held shaky camera look for near on every scene, which I hate.

The cast are nice and strong, we have a great balance in both age range and personalty and they ALL get their good fair share of screen time. We have humour, which actually makes me laugh out loud at times, and they have stuck to their ‘Neighbours’ routes in that we do get the daft stuff and light-hearted moments run alongside the more moving stories flawlessly.

Music: The music is beautifully scored to the visuals, by Chris Petifer and the audio post are choosing some awesome tracks from the Mushroom catalogue that are recurring, which I am really getting into. They are also using tracks from some of my favourite bands so that’s a definite plus.

Relationships are very well developed: Whether it be father/daughter, mother/son, siblings or best buddies, these relationships are all being explored and written carefully, sensitively and definitely without presumptions. We have great bonds forming between characters and unlikely situations occur which lead to refreshing concepts which thankfully haven’t been repeated hundreds of times before.

Its the first time in a long time I've been actually looking forward to what's going to happen next as I haven’t got a clue, but so far its all been very impressive.

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I'm not going to be as glowing in my assessment because still quite often Neighbours comes across to me as dated - but the subtle reshuffle they did in July seems to be paying off because I no longer have to look away sometimes out of embarrassment.

But I will say that all the new characters, especially the new Parkers, are excellent. I was pleasantly surprised when Father Parker (forgot his name - Steve?) wasn't a horrifying loud country-boy stereotype (spitting in your direction, Joe Scully). He's actually an intelligent person, which I find thrilling since this show has often reduced its male characters to total idiots used for comic relief. Jane Hall is actually a decent actress (she used to be outrageously bad) and I appreciate the attempt at an interest teen character in Declan.

And the relationships and interactions between the generations and characters in general are just great. I love that Harold is great friends with Carmella, Pepper and Rosie. That's just so nice... and there's nothing like which compares on a certain other Australian soap.

The most improved character goes to Toadie. I used to have to look away when he came on TV. I couldn't stand that he was a smart man (a lawyer no less) and they had him doing such stupid things. Drove me nuts.

I think they have a bit of a problem with their "big" stories. Karl's pharmacueticals story is an example - they really dropped the ball on that. But the small, nice things among families is lovely. Makes me think that they should really just go with the small stuff -Neighbours isn't the explosive show and nor should it be. The fact that there's little blackmailing and outrageous crime at the moment is actually what seems "fresh" to me (makes me wish those kidnappers would get lost - it sticks out too much in comparison to the rest of the show).

I was skeptical about the "change"... but it seems to be working a treat. This is a show I'm not embarrassed about watching anymore and I actually enjoy it as more than a time filler. And I think it has a lot to do with the characters. I really appreciate the effort and care that's going into Neighbours and I actually wish them some success - I hope it pays off because they deserve it.

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