Play­ing away from home is the se­cret to soap’s pulling power

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

IUSU­ALLY only watch Home & Away when there’s a mon­u­men­tal event, such as Roo com­ing back as a com­pletely dif­fer­ent woman af­ter 20 years, or . . . I can’t think of an­other ex­am­ple,

I’m sorry. But these mar­vel­lous Hawaii episodes, I had to watch. What ge­nius, tak­ing Home & Away from the gor­geous white sandy beaches of Sum­mer Bay to the gor­geous white sandy beaches of Hawaii.

It re­ally added an in­tan­gi­ble some­thing to the show.

So in­tan­gi­ble I couldn’t ac­tu­ally tell when they were home and when they were away. Maybe they didn’t ac­tu­ally go any­where.

You hear of that hap­pen­ing, worka­holics on an­nual leave who pre­tend they’ve gone to Hawks Nest but who are ac­tu­ally just sitting in the Lodge watch­ing the cricket.

Al­though that big ho­tel looked un­fa­mil­iar. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there last time I watched Home & Away.

I thought it was a pretty flimsy premise, this trip — some­thing neb­u­lous in­volv­ing Roo and Romeo and their busi­ness, to which Romeo’s girl­friend, Indi, got tacked on, af­ter a fight with her fa­ther, Sid.

But of course it was only the hook. The real rea­son for the trip was Indi and Romeo’s wed­ding, which took place on Tues­day night. I can’t re­mem­ber who it was who got mar­ried on the cliff that time: I think they might be dead now (car crash?) but it wasn’t in this one’s league.

I love that Indi and Romeo only had their par­ents there— Irene and Colleen weren’t there ask­ing per­sonal ques­tions and tak­ing their shoes off. Mar­i­lyn wasn’t there to Home& Away Chan­nel 7, Wed­nes­day, 7pm hog the at­ten­tion with her mas­sive hair. There were no hot-yet-delin­quent Bra Boys to sex­u­ally ha­rass the bride and per­haps her still-at­trac­tive mother, and best of all — and surely this is a sign of a soap’s ma­tu­rity — there was no id­i­otic con­trived stum­ble on the way to hap­pi­ness to al­most queer it all at the last minute.

I was — and I can’t be­lieve I’m say­ing this — im­pressed.

And then I watched the fi­nal night in Hawaii, Wed­nes­day, the day af­ter. Not quite the hon­ey­moon, be­cause Romeo, as he re­minds the mis­sus, is meant to be work­ing.

The di­a­logue as they lolled on their lovely bed was shaky, and flaky: the first time she saw him, she tells Romeo, it was like look­ing at an im­age from the fu­ture.

Were they at a club? Some­one was on some­thing, I’m think­ing, un­less they’re just high on love.

I sup­pose it’s pos­si­ble. But I was more in­ter­ested in the dy­nam­ics of the other re­la­tion­ships on Home & Away.

All the other couples I’d seen so far this week — and I be­lieve this might be the se­cret to the show’s pulling power— are en­ter­tain­ing a third party.

Sid and Mar­i­lyn and Roo/ April and Xavier and Dex/ Bianca and Liam and Heath. Each tri­an­gle prob­a­bly res­onates with a dif­fer­ent age group, its dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances, its dif­fer­ent ram­i­fi­ca­tions. But the theme is the same across the board: hor­mones gone wild. As for­mu­las go, I think it’s work­ing. Glam­our: Indi (Sa­mara Weav­ing) and Romeo (Luke Mitchell) on the beach in Hawaii

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