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Pop CultureSeptember 28, 2015

Television: Shortland Street Power Rankings – Drew Licks a Muffin and Murray Burns the Cheese Rolls


Tara Ward ranks her favourite moments from the past week of Ferndale hijinks. This week: the soap industry sucks, storms roll in and Murray messes up again.

1) Characters we hardly know walk in the shadow of the valley of death

They were dropping like flies at Shortland Street this week. First to be wheeled off to the morgue was plastic surgery victim Linley, who didn’t survive last week’s climatic ending. Let this be a lesson for you, Linley: vanity never pays.

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Then there was Ali the Ambo, perilously injured during Ferndale’s storm from hell. The fact that we had no idea who Ali was until Tuesday (and haven’t seen him since) shouldn’t stop us from caring.

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Thankfully Ali pulled through to continue his breakthrough role as Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

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Then there was Dreadful Driver. He drove Jack off the road and crashed into a tree. If that wasn’t bad enough, Boyd turns up to save his life. It didn’t work, and we mourn another nameless extra as he’s wheeled off to the great acting school in the sky.

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2) Boyd battles a mysterious condition that only Drew understands

Not willing to share the limelight, Boyd had his own near death experience. On Monday he was fighting fit, but by Friday he was having open-heart surgery.

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What was wrong with him was anyone’s guess. He possibly inhaled chemicals in a car accident, or perhaps got Legionnaire’s disease weeks ago, which was complicated by the discovery of a benign kidney tumour. But considering Chris operated on Boyd’s heart valve, it seems even the writers aren’t worried about the finer details.

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What will be your last words on your deathbed? I’m going for “more scorched almonds, please”. Boyd’s was ‘kidney’. A good choice, as this alerted Drew to the possibility something else was wrong with Boyd.

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Nice work, Nancy Drew: your detective work means Boyd will live to use his 3D printer again.

3) Life in Ferndale hits a new low

Its not often torrential rain acts an important plot device; frankly our televisions are much the poorer for it. This week a Category Two storm hit Ferndale. It covered the city in a dark cloud of terror and grey mist, similar to what Mike Hosking must have felt as he choked perilously on that piece of pineapple.

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The weather was so fierce people wore their jackets inside for extra protection. It shouldn’t be raining inside, you sodden fools.

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The storm caused crisis after crisis at Shortland Street. The lights went out. The phones were down. And Lucy arrived looking like a drowned rat.

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4) Lucy’s soap still stinks

For the love of triglycerides, we get it. Small business is hard. Making soap is hard. The plight of today’s youth is not easy. But please: the soap must die.

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It’s hard to believe Lucy struggles to find a market for her $12 bars of soap. Let’s hope the storm does everyone a favour and washes them all away.

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Was the entire soap storyline formulated just so we could enjoy this vision of Lucy pouring wine while wearing a boiler suit? After all, who hasn’t lived that scene at least twice in their lives?

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5) Drew mouths his way through grief and pain

Some surgeons mourn the loss of a patient. Others agonize over their choices and endlessly relive the surgery in their tortured brains. Drew McAskill? He licks the muffins in the café. Pray for him.

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6) Fate keeps crapping on the Hannah family

Surely this family has suffered enough death and destruction for one year? Apparently not, as Jack is involved in a dramatic car accident caused by Dreadful Driver.

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As Margaret’s stress levels go up, so does her spending. She redirects her bank statements to the hospital and orders new credit cars without Big Mo’s approval.

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Finally Curtis stops by with a nasty stab wound. It’s so painful he can’t even lift his arm to point his finger at anyone.

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Curtis and Mags plan to fake Curtis’ symptoms to avoid being sent back to remand. Great plan, team. Just don’t let Dr Drew and his astonishing powers of deduction anywhere near your cubicle.

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7) Murray murders the cheese rolls

Finally, my prayers are answered: cheese rolls are finally given the credit they deserve in a prime time, top-rating, award winning drama series.

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Tragically, Jimmy leaves these delicious morsels in the hands of that muppet Murray, who cooks them to a crisp. The lower South Island mourns with you, Jimmy.

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Overwhelmed with cheese roll grief, Jimmy thoughtlessly leaves the tap on and falls asleep. And here’s me saying it doesn’t rain inside in Auckland.

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Cheer up, Murray. Wendy will be home from Fiji any minute!

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No wonder Chris Warner is so knackered; he spent all last week in the operating theatre, surrounded by death and disaster. But what of the week ahead? Will Wendy’s return bring a calm to Murray’s waters? Will the judge take Curtis’ cankles into account when he sentences him? And most importantly: what will Drew lick this week?

Click here to watch Shortland Street on TVNZ Ondemand

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