Neighbours spoiler free review – From Hollywood stars to a big wedding
Neighbours teaser trailer
After bowing out with a star-studded finale last summer, which even saw Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan return to their roles as Scott and Charlene, the newly rebooted Neighbours will return on its new home on the streamer Amazon Freevee on Monday September 18.
While Kylie and Jason won’t be back this time around, returning characters include Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne), Dr Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher), Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney). Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) and Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou).
Express.co.uk has been given exclusive access to the first eight episodes to get a feel for what viewers can expect.
The first thing that becomes clear is this is the same but different. While faces and locations are familiar, they all seem glossier, no doubt as a result of a cash injection from the streaming giant.
The new series is streaming in the US as well as the UK so this may also be an attempt to appeal to American viewers.
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We already know from the trailer that the action fast forwards two years which is quite a clever plot device as it allows them to explain away the absence of some characters and to kickstart the story for a new streaming audience who aren’t au fait with the show’s history.
However, for those that have a passing interest in the background of Ramsay Street, cast stalwart Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) is back and updating his history book of the area, regaling anyone who will listen with tales of the good old days.
There is also quite a bit of exposition to fill in the gaps since the finale for fans, and it made me wish they’d do a spin off movie, because it sounds like it was quite an exciting couple of years in Erinsborough.
This reboot boasts not one but two Hollywood stars. The O.C. star Misha Barton appears as a mysterious American character called Reece, which will further up the international appeal.
Meanwhile LA Confidential and Memento star Guy Pearce is also back. Having returned for what everyone believed was the finale last year fans were thrilled to see his character Mike Young, who first appeared in the show in 1986, reunite with his first love Jane Harris (Annie Jones) and move back to Ramsay Street.
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In a move that must surely earn him a “former employee of the year” award he has returned again to continue their story.
Speaking on the Good Weekend Talks podcast earlier this year he explained that since his character was now living on the soap’s famous street, he would appear in the new season out of respect for the show.
This is Neighbours on steroids. So much happens in episode one, including the shock wedding which is teased in the trailer, that it merits a couple of viewings to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
It’s bolder and brasher and all the better for it. The break from screens has proved a breath of fresh air and they are sure to earn a new legion of fans as well as retaining their previous loyal viewers.
Neighbours starts streaming from Monday-Thursday on Amazon Freevee from Monday September 18.
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