Welcome back Neighbours (Monday) as it kicks off next week with a hectic first episode. As a comeback, it is recap-heavy while also trying to be an introduction for new viewers. Then it ends with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that will have long-term fans screaming in disbelief.
Neighbours now has its first screening in HD on Ten from 4.30pm, which pushes back The Bold and The Beautiful to 4pm. It is then replayed in its old 6.30pm timeslot on 10Peach. The only people who won’t be happy are fans of Bold but it will be good for them to compare an Aussie soap to the American one.
Neighbours’ production values are still outstanding, and it looks very different to Bold which is still being made on an indoor Hollywood studio. Bold’s stories are often repetitive and slow-moving, whereas Neighbours chews through plot lines as quickly as it was axed and then renewed.
When Neighbours ended last August last year, it was clear that fans didn’t want it to end. Their outpouring of emotion suggested it was always going to come back in some form, but the speed at which it’s happened is dizzying. Well done to Amazon who are going to make Neighbours the centrepiece of FreeVee in US and UK markets.
British fans will jump straight back on board, but it will be interesting to see if any Americans and Canadians do. North America is the one international market that has always eluded Neighbours, but is there more interest now? Especially given the TikTok kids are now discovering the back catalogue of Kylie Minogue, and Margot Robbie’s Barbie was the biggest movie of the year.
Let’s not forget the drawcard that is Guy Pearce. Mike is still with soulmate Jane (Annie Jones) but happy endings are rare in soaps. And given he is another Neighbours graduate turned international star, he won’t be sticking around for too long. It was great while it lasted (again) though so bye Guy and thank you.
Neighbours will continue to be as diverse as possible and that means Georgie Stone is back as a regular. The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (Netflix) shows why this actress is such an asset, and now there’s a new documentary about trans life and acceptance.
Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes (Tuesday on Stan) looks back at how the former AFL footballer and coach was outed by Victorian Police when she was arrested in 2020. Outing her as a trans woman was both devastating and life-changing, but it’s incredible to see former teammates and players rallying to her support.
Read more Mercado on TV here.
Welcome to TV Gold: Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast
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Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning.
This week: The Gold, The Changeling, Wilderness, and Neighbours
Three significant international dramas this week plus the return of Neighbours (10, 10Peach and Prime Video). Hugh Bonneville stars in The Gold (Paramount+), Jenna Coleman is outstanding in suspense thriller Wilderness (Prime Video) and a mix of horror and fantasy takes you on a wild ride in The Changeling (AppleTV+).
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