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adam436

What do you consider to be the show's heyday?

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When you break down the show into eras, which era do you consider to be Home and Away at the top of its game? For me, eras tend to be broken down largely by cast changes or a shift in tone etc.

1988 - 1990: For me, this was Home and Away at its best. It had a balance of comedy and drama, the Fletcher family were the central focus of the show and things seemed less complicated too, even when we had meaty storylines. Every original character is memorable in my opinion as well as the majority of those who arrived later such as Stacey, Phillip and Morage (though we had a few forgettable ones later on like Viv and Matt) and I remember it very fondly. I can't find much to criticise about this era, as considering the period, it really did push alot of boundaries but still kept it a family show.

1990/91 - 1994: I haven't seen much of this era, so I can't really comment. Looking at what cast were around the time, it looks a bit like a transitional period between the first classic era and the second.

1994 - 1998: This was probably the Home and Away Renaissance after a few quiet years. It probably had the most iconic teen gang ever (Jack/Selina/Curtis/Shannon/Sally/Chloe) and was probably a bit more "grown up" than the 1988 era (which was probably due to it being 6-7 years later). While most of the characters associated with this era left in 1997, I'd say the era probably came to end when Pippa left.

1998 - 2000: I really liked this era, but I do feel it lost direction a little after Pippa left. What let this era down was the alarmingly high turnover of cast and that storylines seemed a little, dull, for lack of a better word. Those storylies that weren't dull were a little OTT (like the Nash family stalker and Ailsa going crazy after the accident). I feel this era probably ended with Ailsa's death and the loss of two long-term sets (the Stewart house and the Diner). It introduced us to some great characters like Gypsy, Joel, Edward, Peta and towards the end, Colleen and Leah, but at the same we had equally uninteresting characters (Harry, Mitch, Hayley, Will, James). I'm also not sure if the Shauna storyline was good for Ailsa's character - if Judy Nunn had stuck around for a few more years then maybe it would have been, but it seemed pointless in retrospect. For me, 2000 was the end of Home and Away as we know it.

 

I loved all of Home and Away up until the end of 2000, but for me, it was at the top of its game in 1988-1990. The loss of Lance, Martin, Celia and Tom in the space of a few weeks, followed by a new Pippa shortly after, really brought an end to the era. I gave up watching 1990 onwards of the Early Years mainly due to my busy schedule (plus, I'd lost interest a little) and I started watching as a regular viewer myself in early 1996, which is why I probably remember that era which such fondness. The death of Ailsa, coupled with the arrival of the insipid Sutherlands and the loss of the original diner was the true end of "classic" Home and Away. While I admit I kept watching up until around the time of Noah's death in 2004, I wasn't enjoying it as much as I previously had and didn't go out of my way to catch up on episodes I'd missed (like I would have pre 2001). 

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The Heyday would have to be around the mid 2000's where it got it's highest ever ratings, had a great cast and a got the balance right in terms of plot and character driven stories.

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I agree with much of Adam's analysis. I did really enjoy the early years of the 80's and early 90's as there was plenty of drama, mixed with a lot of great comedy too, and believable relationship storylines. The show had a warmth about it and you felt like every character was well defined and you could actually care about them. I think my favourite era is probably that defined by Pippa and Michael. We had great family storylines and a lot of drama going on too. We had some really good teen characters too, like Sophie, Finlay, Blake, Shannon and of course Shane and Angel. But then again many of the young characters that came before then were really great too, like Bobby, Carly, Steven etc.

I think Pippa's departure was a turning point, when the series lost direction and has never really recovered. But having said that, I think around the mid 2000's when we had Sally, Flynn, Ric and Cassie in Summer Bay House was the closest we got to the feel of classic H&A.

I was never much of a fan of the Sutherlands, and the high turnover in 2000 really turned it into a different show. And the less said about H&A over the past 5 years or so, the better...

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The Early years into the 90s and then after 2000 things changed and even worse after 2010 that goes for all Aussie products as well.

 

Should be a reminder to Keep the fond memories of the Beginning.

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For me the early years 88-90 the show was great and had an amazing mix of characters and took a massive gamble killing off Tom Fletcher so early on especially losing characters like Celia, Lance and Martin.

I also thought the years 91-93 were pretty good especially the introduction of Irene and her family really picked the show back up at a time when it sempt imo a bit poor but also the Blake and Meg story from I believe 91 or 92 was also good and again around that time we saw some good introductions of characters.

 

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My favourite times of the show are a little bitty but here goes: 

1988- mid 1989 the best mix of comedy and tragedy. 

1989- early 1991 good but the loss of several originals ruined the balance

mid 1991 - the show picks up it game with interesting stories

1992- dull. Apart from Meg and Blake I felt the year was massively ruined by the Nick and Lucinda saga

1993 was strange one episode could be fantastic, the very next poor

1994- mid 1996 "the golden era" 

mid 1996 - mid 1997 although "the dip" is often referred to in describing the show slightly later for me it was here. Losing Shane and Angel and Michael. We were introduced to a teenage group not as dynamic. Silly storylines followed even more silly stories. Endless Shannon drama including discovering mines, dead bodies, war units. reincarnations, dons mother arriving breaking loads of continuity, Barbara returning to kill Donald. Black magic stories, I felt the show was no where near the quality of 1995. 

Mid 1997- mid 2000- love the time. I felt the show pulled its socked up and really focuses it time on character rather than big stories. We had some wonderful dialogue between Selina and Saul in the kidnap story and this is where I felt something had changed. Some of the teen group had left and the ones that replaced them were far better. This era brought us all of Vinnies escapades and Diana Frasers mischief. I felt more comedy was injected not seen since 1994. The loss of Pippa brought us some great drama with the foster children and as she was not the original actress it didn't bother me much. By this time Irene was in the show so much and adored her strength she had to support others while still having a life of her own, and we still had Alf Ailsa and Donald and Marilyn from days gone by. The new Nashes had a big connection with the bay and Rebecca was married into family do I felt everything was tidy. Sally and Chloe came into their own away from a teenage group and loved the Sally/Jesse/Rachel/Vinnie set up. Then what followed was epic. So many returnee. We finally tied up Greg/Sam. Fab newies like Judith and Edward. And them...

mid 2000- mid 2002 balance completely gone. Vinnie destroyed. Way to much Sutherlandness. Pushing Sally into a corner. Incredibly dull romances and no respect for losing Ailsa. 

Mid 2002- mid 2003 what happened here! Suddenly the shoe became alive again. The Sutherland were interesting, the balance with the othe characters was restored. The show was moving again after being stuck. The ship sinking, Charlottes death was one of the best handled in ages, angie Russell and Alfs near death episode. Not a bad episode for about a year. 

Mid 2003- mid 2004. What went wrong here? After the Annie Russell story was over it felt there was nothing much left. The adult had dull stories again and the new bunch of teenagers were absurd. And contrived. 

Mid 2004- mid 2005.tasha and Robbie personality transplant makes them slightly more believable. Show picks up with massively dramatic stories very entertaining. But was it good for the show in the long run? 

Mid 2005- mid 2007 home and away meets dynasty. Endless over the top drama with no substance or fall out. Boring romances. Cringe worthy cop drama with Jack. Only watchable story was flynns skin cancer. 

Mid 2007 mid 2008 characters began to feel more really. By early 2008 it was the closet we got to original home and away. A wonderful warm feeling from the show, with plenty of high drama to boot. 

Mid 2008 onwards although the show has change between now and then there are no bits in it for that stands out as being particularly great. I genuinely cannot remember a storyline I have enjoyed in the past 7 years. Maybe Kirsty making amends with Shelley or Alf and the puppet. 

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1988-1996, 2000-2005 was the shows heyday for me.

Some say the Bayside Diner going was a massive chunk out of old school H&A but I beg to differ. The diner was not seen for almost a year into the shows run. It is like the old saying "There was life before Coronation Street but it did not add up to much". Some may say " There was life before Home And Away's Bayside Diner but it did not add up to much" lol. 

Technically there is no precise date as to when the show started to change, different people have several dates which they see as the sea of change. 2000 was just a much needed revamp of the show. I suppose after 12 years they needed the drop in centre.

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Very very similar take on it as you Blaxland so I won't bother writing up my rundown. I would add that I thought early 2010 was quite promising and I loved Marilyn's return, in fact she's probably been the highlight of the past five years for me, even if they have watered her down. Roo returning was also a highlight and I enjoyed her first few months. There were moments/storylines/episodes during that period (2010-2014) that I enjoyed here and there.

The end of 2015 into this year has been far far better than anything that was produced 2012-2014 Imo But I still haven't been able to fully get back into the show and enjoy it the way I used to.

It's funny how a certain demographic (probably the same age group) all share pretty similar views on the history of the show.

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We've had this before but I stand by 1988-97 firmly. The Classic period which encompasses The Early Years, The Bobby Era, The Shangel Era and the Shannon era (a subsection of the last one).

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I like 90s H&A better then 80s H&A as I felt characters like Martin/Lance/Celia and Morag bit too cartoonish!.

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