Neighbours Has Issues

Published: 24 July 2017

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

Neighbours doesn’t have to reach for the most outlandish storylines to keep us hooked. Tackling the everyday issues that affect all of us, keeps us coming back for more. Here’s what we’ve learned from the show in 2017 so far

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

Piper – The Feminist Warrior

Currently in a bit of strife after being doxed by trolls for vlogging her opinion about the sexist representation and treatment of women in video games, Piper Willis is a pretty good role model for young women. She’s smart, creative, motivated, and courageous. Yes, she’s dating an older guy, but that probably means they’re on equal-ish ground intellectually, right?

Takeaway: Female empowerment. Also, insights into the pros and cons of the modern, digital age. Even if some of us need a dictionary for the lingo.

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

David – The Recently Liberated Gay Man

David really struggled with going against the wishes of his dead grandmother and coming out as a gay person. Now he is out and proud, and while there have been many bumps in the road, sadly, one of the largest was his first homophobic experience.

Abused at a party by an ignorant, narrow-minded, boring, and frightened individual, David came away feeling pretty awful. While he has the love and support of many, from incidents like these, that doesn't always takeaway the hurt. 

Takeaway: Bigotry and prejudice are so ugly and just so cave man-y. Enter the modern age, be a tolerant, loving, and supportive person who’s courageous enough to stand up and fight in the face of wrongdoing.

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

Jack – The Priest Who Was Promised

Jack’s face was refreshingly young for a Catholic Church representative. He seemed to actually understand what Jesus preached – love, tolerance, and not throwing stones at sinners. He wasn’t on board with the Church’s anti-gay stance. And when he loved his Neighbour way too much, he faced the consequences head-on.

Takeaway:  WWJD? And not, 2000 years ago, but if he lived today? If he preached love, tolerance and forgiveness in the 21st century, what would he really do?

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

Sonya – The Recovering Alcoholic

It’s no secret that Sonya is a recovering alcoholic who recently fell down a rabbit hole in the wake of her marriage breakdown. Stuff got really ugly. There were some very public downfalls, culminating in the near-deaths of Piper and David when she drunk-drove into a building. Sonya and Terese often attend AA meetings, and that’s great to see.

Takeaway: Substance abuse is destructive for the abuser, their loved ones, and society. There is no shame in seeking help. The sooner a person reaches out, the better.

Neighbours, 2017, channel eleven

Terese – Death, Dying, and the Big C

When Terese told Gary and Piper that she might have cancer, they fell to pieces. Understandable. Also understandable that when she discovered she really does have it, she didn’t want to tell them. (Instead, confiding in Paul because Cannings are only made of tougher stuff when cancer’s not on the cards).

This all later led to Gary having a chat to his dead dad’s ashes and allowing himself to cry over the prospect of losing the love of his life. 

Takeaway: Be strong for loved ones who’ve been diagnosed with diseases that might kill them, they need you more than ever. Also, just because someone you love has died, doesn’t mean you can’t speak to them anymore, with or without their ashes. 

Neighbours airs 6.30 weekdays on ELEVEN