TelevisionDecember 15, 2015

Soap Day: A Year of Home and Away – Blood, Sand and Too Many Comas


TV3 may have missed its chance at a 5.30pm answer to TV2’s Home and Away, but the original surf-and-sand teen soap is still going strong. Ellen Moorhead looks back at the year’s maddest storylines. 

It’s been a hard year in The Bay. 2015 has seen an endless stream of classic soap-tropes plague the good citizens of Australia’s beloved cove, leaving any sane TV watcher convinced that Summer Bay is in fact the Bermuda Triangle of the South Pacific. There have been murders, fake-accidental deaths, fake pregnancies, real pregnancies, teacher-student/teacher-teacher/student-student relationships, amnesia, cancer scares, PTSD, study-drugs, drugs sneaked into drinks, a stupid amount of blackmail and a hell of a lot of injuries. Here’s my round up of this year’s best events…

Home and Away? More like COMA and Away.

This year we were treated to a grand total of FOUR coma stories, as this is clearly the only way these actors can sneak a lil vacation.

Coma #1: Leah

Mmm yummy tubes!
Mmm yummy tubes!

Leah was left in a coma in the hangover from the dramatic bus-crash (caused by Nate the British Doctor’s stalker ex-wife) in last season’s finale. ‘Straya’s finest doctors were imported from the big city and managed to fix her. Mostly. There was a bit of an aneurysm situation afterwards but she’ll be right.

Coma Count: A whopping 56 episodes

Coma #2: Marilyn

Your finest plastic tube, Garcon!
Your finest plastic tube, Garcon!

If there’s one thing we all learnt from Pokémon, it’s that water and electricity don’t mix. Marilyn has obviously never played Pokémon (she’s prefers Tarot cards) and instead learned this after mopping up a spill around some pesky live wires.

Extra coma points: For secondary post-coma amnesia. Marilyn wakes up ready to party like it’s 1996 and for several episodes forgets about poor John “Used to Date My Flatmate’s Mum” Palmer and instead thinks she’s still married to old Summer Bay High principal Donald “Mr. Fisher” Fisher.

Coma Count: 5 episodes

Coma #3: Kyle AKA Half-Brax

Waiter! There’s a fly in my tube!
Waiter! There’s a fly in my tube!

After playing some sneaky late-night poker in a building covered with very colourful graffiti (AKA “Melbourne”), Kyle owes a bunch of coin to some dodgy cronies and gets taken to the “Bank of Getting the Piss Walloped Out Of You” for a withdrawal. Kyle awakes realising he is not so good at cards or birth control because he also might be the father of Phoebe’s baby. Crikey!

Coma Count: A weak 2 episodes

Coma #4: Josh

Eat them for breakfast, lunch and tea, plastic tubes are for me!
Eat them for breakfast, lunch and tea, plastic tubes are for me!

Summer Bay bad-boy Wayne ‘Tank’ Snelgrove bops Josh on the head. Josh is left unresponsive, and the population of the Bay starts throwing the term “king hit” around like a footy ball. He wakes up several weeks later; blind, paralysed and unable to speak.

Highlight: Andy trying to teach his vegetative brother to talk again by trying to get him to say naughty words like “sex”, lol. Lowlight: Despite signs of brain function, i.e. Josh wiggling a finger, Nurse Hannah ENCOURAGES ANDY TO TURN OFF JOSH’S LIFE SUPPORT BECAUSE IT WAS PROBABLY JUST A REFLEX OR SOMETHING. What a drongo.

Coma Count: 15 episodes

Summer Bay Medical Professionals: 0 points

Phoebe’s stalker

This is Ryan. He ate hot chips throughout his entire Bond villain monologue because poutine hasn’t made it to the Bay yet.
This is Ryan. He ate hot chips throughout his entire Bond villain monologue because poutine hasn’t made it to the Bay yet.

Enamoured by Phoebe’s burgeoning pop music career and brief dabble with hair extensions, some guy called Ryan (one of 10 Government-sanctioned names for Australian males) started sending her plastic tiaras and roses (a rookie stalker move – seriously, no locks of hair?). After spurning his advances, RyRy resorts to the classic chloroform kidnapping, hiding her in a motel room and forcing her to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ (interesting choice). Wiley Phoebe distracts her captor with a wobbly rendition, kicks him in the ballery-boos and escapes.

Ed Sheeran, the whitest man in Summer Bay

Marilyn teaches Teddy about Vegemite, Teddy teaches Marilyn that not everyone can tan.
Marilyn teaches Teddy about Vegemite, Teddy teaches Marilyn that not everyone can tan.

2015 saw an appearance by soap-loving celeb Ed Sheeran playing himself, but the version of himself that is also one of Marilyn’s foster kids from when she lived in the U.K. She didn’t realise he was famous. Cue lots of jokes about poor musicians not being able to eat/live. Everyone in Summer Bay is very excited despite never having mentioned his music ever in the history of the show.

Ed didn’t get the beachwear memo and enters Summer Bay squinting into the blinding sun, denim-clad and wearing a long sleeved business shirt. His armful of tattoos are reminiscent of a Cobb & Co paper tablecloth that some children have taken to with a bunch of crayons. Little does he know the Bay has a strict ‘Braxton Only’ tattoo policy. Eventually he plays a song in Angelo’s, the Bay’s one bar (try being on Summer Bay Tinder AKA ‘Smoulder’), while Leah and Zac have a full-on pash in front of their closest friends and family. FYI Leah is out of the coma at this point.

Alf’s spontaneous bout of PTSD

Alf: Decorated veteran and member of the beige brigade.
Alf: Decorated veteran and member of the beige brigade.

Ever the culturally relevant soap, Home and Away featured a special ANZAC story in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. In true after-school special fashion the children of the Bay just don’t understand the importance of Aussie history and are forced to go on an ANZAC “excursion” to Canberra. Classic unforeseen circumstances force them all to sleep in some barracks; Alf has some gnarly war flashbacks and a heart attack. This is probably the most vulnerable we’ve seen old steadfast Alf in the history of the show beyond his emphatic utterances of “stone the flamin’ crows!” and I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t pretty. He’s okay now and is back to scrutinising teen relationships, catching out Roo’s lying bf, and telling people to pull themselves together. Champion.

Charlotte’s entire existence on the show

Closer each day (to losing your job for inappropriate relations with a student).
Closer each day (to losing your job for inappropriate relations with a student).

Charlotte King is honestly the loosest Home and Away character ever. In the five months she’s been in the Bay she has…

  • Showed up, revealing she is the mother of Zac’s illegitimate child
  • Engaged in a student/teacher relationship with an underage Matt
  • Dated Andy for like three days
  • Tried to seduce Zac even though he’s engaged to Leah
  • Stolen a bunch of money
  • Secretly M-U-R-D-E-R-E-D Denny and buried her in a forest
  • Seduced Kyle
  • Hacked into Denny’s social media to make it seem like she’s actually gallivanting around Europe and not, y’know, dead and buried in a forest
  • Ran over and killed some guy called Trystan who was blackmailing her
  • Drugged a cop and stole her gun and handcuffs
  • Hired a some goons to murder Kat the Cop (they failed, by the way, because Aussie goons are slackers and have weak upper bodies, softened by sausage roll over-consumption)

Exhausting. Her basic excuse whenever anyone questions her is everything I’ve done, I’ve done for my son. Seriously, she’s a manipulating tornado and I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS VILLAIN TO GET HER COMEUPPANCE. Ten thumbs up emojis.

The “death” of Darryl “Brax” Braxton

Here Brax models the Summer Bay P.E uniform. I mean prison uniform.
Here Brax models the Summer Bay P.E uniform. I mean prison uniform.

Brax’s disappearance has been the elephant on the beach since his paddy-wagon prison escape ended with the vehicle submerged in a river. Sneaky Brax managed to paddle away unnoticed, as it turns out the Summer Bay prison uniform (forest green Warehouse tracksuits) are perfect for a camouflaged getaway. I presume he is hiding out in some barren outback wasteland ready to return at the most inopportune time for everyone he cares about, i.e. the year-ending cliffhanger.

In reality Steve Peacocke (Brax) “quit” the show and popped over to Hollywood to star in a bunch of films including Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson’s Hercules. But now he’s back in Aussie for a Home and Away SPECIAL EVENT, “An Eye For An Eye”, starring all the other Braxtons who have left the show but are somehow still alive, despite the deaths of everyone they’ve ever loved, known, talked to or looked at on a bus. With the show haemorrhaging thousands of viewers per episode earlier in the year, this is obviously a ploy to keep people hooked over summer. And I am so into it.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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