Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Neighbours - Review:- Monday 03.07.2017O

Oh, dear ... it's not very good, is it?

There's too much going on and too much too slowly. Storylines are introduced - just enough to tempt us (Max's mysterious return, Linda's mysterious return and departure) and then just dropped and, seemingly, forgotten for weeks on end. The only two things that are consistent with this programme are the Beale sitcom, endless Denise and the unbroken cycle of teenaged girl bullying. I hear soon that they'll tire of Louise and land on Rebecca again. Is there no end to this?

In Monday's episode, we had The Adventures of Karen Taylor played out in exaggerated cockney-sparrow-cum-chav form, and it turned out to be the cross between a bad sitcom and social commentary, which is par for the course for Sean O'Connor.

Karen Taylor Does Yosser Hughes. Years ago, back in the early 80s, there was a series on television about life amongst the unemployed in Liverpool. One of the most unforgettable characters was Yosser Hughes, and in this episode, Karen took a leaf out of his book:-

This was social commentary tarted up as a sitcom, as we watched Karen literally bounced from pillar to post, suddenly cognizant that her benefits had been eaten up by Keegan subscribing to some normally forbidden television channel, actually, eventually, looking for work, presenting herself as a walking talking, blagging curriculam vitae.

This was after trying to strike a deal with Derek at the Minute Mart where he would effectively allow her to shoplift anything she needed, whilst listing the discrepancy as stock shortage. Uh ... yeah. Saint Denise tried that one too.

There was an ironic scene in the pub where the woman, formerly known as Thelma took centre stage from Linda on the night she hosted an event for lady publicans, auditioned for a job as barmaid, then gave Ian Beale in the working class version of social benefits' system, and Ian riposted with the classic conservative attitude of disdain, scorning the fact that hard-working people such as he would have to subsidise someone of Karen's ilk.

Finally, the bleeding obvious happened, didn't it? She ran into the other patron saint resident in Walford - Jane. After some impromptu help with Walford in Bloom and inviting herself to the Beales' for a cuppa and a typically contrived sitcom moment where it's suddenly revealed to Karen that that "toady old man" with whom she had a run-in was actually Ian Beale. Out of all this blagging, she bagged a job as a cleaner at Beales and managed to get an advance on her wages which enabledher to buy a packet of ciggies and a Chinese meal for the whole family, with the twist in the tale at the end - something else that was easily anticipated - was the discovery that her lazy, lackadaisical and continuously eating younger daughter was pregnant.

The Rest of Nothing

1. Mick Inadvertantly Flirts with Fi. Lost amongst Fi fanagling some designer brew for him to push was the admission he made to her that he was actually relieved that Linda had left so precipitously. Although he loved her, he suddenly realised that he had learned to live without her. Maybe that was the guilt talking, after his dalliance with Whitney, or maybe, considering his shyly positive reaction to Fi's flirting, he realises that, after a virtual lifetime with one woman, whom he's known from childhood, there are other potential fish in the sea.

More than the pathetic, needy Whitney garbage, I actually like the chemistry between Danny Dyer and Lisa Faulkner. I don't know if TPTB are preparing us for something they know and we don't (like potentially Kellie Bright leaving) or maybe we're supposed to be snowed by Fi's positivity and her obvious chemistry with Mick, because she's supposed to be one of the bad guys. Or maybe, in an obvious twist, she starts out as one of the bad guys, but falls in love with Mick.

Who knows.

2. The Murrays and Their Creepy Friend. Everything about the Murrays is mildewed and creepy. Joyce with her whiney, whispery voice, cheery codger whatever-his-name-is and Joyce's constant moaning to her creepy cheapskate friend, Jeannie. They all look as though they've been preserved in moth balls.

3. Robbie's Afraid of Cats. So was Hitler. And now Robbie's homeless. He and micro-manager, passive-aggressive bully Sonia have lost their deposit on their flat, and I imagine that was their last bit of dosh as well. Robbie has a job; Sonia doesn't. I'm glad TPTB remembered that Dot couldn't have more than one lodger in her house owing to Council rules DTC forgot that I see Sonia's still hell-bent on Rebecca living with her  Rebecca knows better, and Dot should. Dot will be subjected to the offhand care by Sonia, who will abandon her as soon as she gets bored.

4. Psycho Steven. So now they get around to addressing Steven's impromptu knee-trembler with Abi, who - wierdly - genuinely likes him. Abi is so lonely and starved for attention and affection that she will latch onto any male who shows an interest in her Had Josh not been deflected, for good reason, she would have carried on pursuing him. Now she's trying to convince Steven that Lauren doesn't love him, something that's actually gnawing in the recesses of Steven's darkest mind.

Abi takes him into further darkness, reminding him that his phone-tracking of Lauren only shows him where she is; it doesn't show him what she's up to. So he gets a camera gadget which will take his stalking even further. 

What was unusual was this was the first time since their fight at Abi's party that Lauren and Abi had even seen each other. Lauren didn't react to her sister at all.


Another mediocre episode.

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