Manic Mondays – 9th October 2017

‘Every day a new face/what if I unscrew/your own identity/wouldn’t you guess there’s nothing left of you’

Eleanor

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Neighbours – Bonus Post 5

*Note – this post was originally written at the start of August/end of July – if you’re up to date in you’re viewing then obviously there has been a certain character’s tantalizing reappearance, messing up my original intro below!

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Just when you thought it was safe – Willow’s back! Will fake Dee return too? I know it will never happen, but I’d still love it if real Dee returned. Quit living in the past, you say! Never, I say! Here are some more of my favourite classic characters.

Katya Kinski – Dichen Lachman – 2005 – 2007

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Significant Others: The Kinskis, The Kennedys, The Robinsons, Max Hoyland, Ned Parker, Guy Sykes

Katya was the annoying older Kinski sibling, joining the cast later than the rest of her family. For such an apparently wholesome bunch Katya was the antithesis, not willing to play happy families and trying to take custody of her brother and sister from Susan. Her short time on the street was marked by a lot of dramatic storylines and she was never a character allowed to be friendly or happy. Her various relationships never felt like they were going anywhere and they only ended in tragedy or anger. Still, she was an interesting, conflicted character who made an impression.

Special Powers: Her stare can turn a person to polystyrene.

Where Are They Now:

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Katya left after around a year on the show, going off to Adelaide to be a medic of some sort. It would be nice to see her come back, but I don’t see where she would fit unless the other Kinskis come back too. Dichen has had a distinguished cult career since moving on from Neighbours – appearing in the likes of Dollhouse, The 100, and Agents Of Shield to name a few.

Rachel Kinski – Caitlin Stasey – 2005 – 2009

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Significant Others: The Kinskis, The Kennedys, The Timmins, Ringo Clarke, Angus Henderson, Bridget Parker, Donna Freedman, Ty Harper.

Rachel was one of those characters I would have fallen in love with had she joined a few years earlier – interesting, a little introverted, clever, and beautiful. Her and Zeke never came across as the most interesting characters, but her need to be accepted and slight naivety ensured she still got into scrapes, particularly becoming the latest in a long line of students having a secret relationship with a teacher, and a pregnancy scare.

Special Powers: Can manipulate her body so that its natural tan drips off and can collected and sold.

Where Are They Now:

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I’d stopped watching by the time Rachel left, but apparently she faffed off to London with some guy I don’t remember or never saw. As for Stasey, I suspected she would hit the big time – as yet it hasn’t really happened. Sure she has starred in the very enjoyable Tomorrow When The War began movie, All Cheerleaders Must Die, I Frankenstein, and the TV shows Reign and Please Like Me

Zeke Kinski – Matthew Werkmeister – 2005 – 2011, 2014

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Significant Others: The Kinskis, The Kennedys, The Timmins, Justin Hunter, Kyle Canning. Phil Andrews. Sonny Lee. Summer Hoyland. Victoria Elmahadi.

The longest lasting Kinski character was the least interesting in the start, just another nerdy kid that Susan took on. He certainly grew as time went on, but it looks like I missed his most significant storylines after I stopped watching. Like his sister he had a sheltered childhood, but came out of his shell on Ramsey Street. He had to deal with the death of his father, various girlfriends, a near death experience followed by memory loss, and becoming a Radio DJ.

Special Powers: When he gets angry, everyone laughs.

Where Are They Now: 

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Zeke left in 2011 to study in London, but returned briefly in 2014 to announce he was getting married. I’m sure he’s been mentioned since but I don’t know – he seems like a good bet to return in the future with a young family. Mr Werkmeister doesn’t appear to have ‘werked meist’ (worked much) on TV or movies since leaving Neghbours – appearing on stage or in music videos or arsing about instead.

Drew Kirk – Dan Paris – 1998 – 2002, 2005

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Significant Others: Libby Kennedy, Ben Kirk, The Kennedys, Lou Carpenter, Steph Scully

Libby’s one true love, Drew Kirk had the looks of anyone’s Prince Charming and the attitude to boot. most of his storylines were not overly dramatic and his time was spent wooing and winning Libby. Outside of that he kept away the attention of other ladies in the area while working as a mechanic and sometimes race car driver, leading to one of the soap’s more memorable and ridiculous stunts. After only a year of marriage he fell off a horse and died (before coming back a few years later as a ghost, and then once again later as a zombie).

Special Powers: Can disguise himself as a tree.

Where Are They Now: 

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Presumably in training to become a vampire or a mummy. As for Dan Paris, aside from his undead appearances, he is currently a presenter for some show I’ve never heard of and has had many other presenting jobs while also running a Photography business.

Sam Kratz – Richard Grieve – 1994 – 1996, 2005

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Significant Others: Marlene Kratz. Annalise Hartman. The Starks. Stonefish Rebecci. Cody Willis. Lou Carpenter.

Another friendly everyman character, Sam had the looks and the personality, but never got too many huge storylines, Yeah he had an on and off relationship with Annalise, eventually leaving to marry her, and yeah he had just started a relationship with Cody when she was killed, but nothing too juicy. Still, he was one of the more memorable and likable blokes of the time.

Special Powers: Can turn petrol into diesel, but never diesel into petrol.

Where Are They Now: 

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After leaving with Annalise, they eventually married and he popped up in the 20th Anniversary episode. Since then I don’t think there has been any further mention of them. Given that there isn’t much of a Stark or Kratz connection on the street anymore it seems unlikely we’ll eve see him again. However, old families or kids of old characters do often make comebacks, so we may hear about him again. After leaving the showGrieve jumped ship to Home And Away before setting his sights on UK theatre work. He is also known for a stint on Emmerdale and still does a lot of stage and musical acting.

Have a look through my other Neighbours posts and as always leave your feedback on the show and any characters!

Neighbours – Bonus Post 4

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Well. That’s all over with. The ‘Dee’ storyline has come and gone, wrecking numerous relationships and apparently pissing off a lot of viewers. I found it all desperately sad and was holding out for some miracle that fake Dee was real Dee in the end. Alas. Presumably Dee/Andrea or the kid will come back in the future, but for now they are gone and Toadie is a hundred grand poorer and has been thrown out for slipping one in.

Elsewhere, we’ve had the revelation of who Leo and David’s father is and the associated fallout, Brad and Lauren left, and Toadie’s brother Shane and his family have moved in to the street. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here so I can drone on for a while about some of my favourite residents, past and/or present, and today we’ve reached the letter KAY. And that can only mean one thing – MISTER….. KENNEDYYYYYY!……………. KENNEDYYY (Anderson). Wha?

Billy Kennedy – Jesse Spencer (1994 – 2000, 2005)

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Significant Others: The Kennedy Family. Anne Wilkinson. Melissa Drenth. Caitlin Atkins. Toadie. Lance. Amy.

Billy was arguably the central figure of The Kennedy family when he first arrived, his friendships and romances a focal point for many years. He was good looking, a little naive, was always getting into trouble even though his heart was in the right place, and his friendship with Toadie and Lance became a major draw, along with the other core members. It was however his on again off again romance with Anne Wilkinson that kept viewers intrigued – the closest thing to a Scott and Charlene that the show had in the 90s.

Special Power: Grows cabbages under his fingernails.

Where Are They Now:

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Billy left with Anne in 2000 and subsequently got married and had three kids – a new generation of Kennedys to appear in the future no doubt, hopefully not after Anne and Billy divorce. Billy appeared in the 2005 20th Anniversary show, strolling along a beach in LA. That’s because Jessie Spencer landed a hot job in the US – main role in House, followed up by a starring role in Chicago Fire, which sounds like an American London’s Burning. 

Libby Kennedy – Kym Valentine (1994 – 2014)

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Significant Others: The Kennedys, Drew Kirk, Ben Kirk, The Kinskis, Darren Stark, Daniel Fitzgerald. Steph Scully. Taj Coppin.

It’s fair to say that Libby is one of, if not my favourite Neighbours character. Bad ass all around. Her introduction greatly pleased my adolescent self, thanks to her assets. She was smart, feisty, yet always got involved with the wrong man. All until Drew came along and she finally felt settled. Till he was killed by a horse. Of course. Libby became a teacher, following her mum’s footsteps, and drama continued to follow her until she began a series of departures from the show – first in 2005, returning in 2007, and popping back and forth until 2014 where it appears she has left for good. I missed many of those last years after I stopped watching around 2007 or 2008.

Special Power: Breasts

Where Are They Now:

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Kym Valentine has sadly had several health issues in the last few years which contributed to her leaving the show. Of all the characters I’d want to see ending up happy, whether that means in a stable relationship or whatever, I’d love to see her coming back to reach that dream as Kym does such a great job in the role. There’s always a chance she’ll be back of course, given that Libby’s teenage son Ben is in the show now while she is teaching in China. Fingers crossed!

Mal Kennedy – Benjamin McNair (1994 – 2014)

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Significant Others: The Kennedys, Danni Stark, Stonefish, Catherine O’Brien.

There are many rumours and suggestions for the origins of my nickname – Mal – it’s part of my name, it’s Latin (etc) for evil, and because people knew I was a Neighbours fan back in the day and thought it was funny to call me this after one of its characters. Anyway, Mal was never a major figure, at least to me, in the show – he was the one Kennedy with the less interesting plots and the least screen time, so it seemed. Still, he’s a familiar face and has popped back every so often, typically with some new personality traits, and he’s alive and well so can return again at any point.

Special Power: Can swivel his pelvis 360 degrees.

Where Are They Now:

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He left after three years and it looked like he wouldn’t be back. Then he came back in 2002, his mischievous ways replaced by a ruthless, money-driven ego. Since then he was been away and been back several times, never staying longer than a few months. He and Catherine are still together in London now, both successful business types or something.

Karl Kennedy – Alan (1994 – Present)

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Significant Others: The Kennedys, The Kinskis, Sarah Beaumont, Darcy, Izzy, Ben Kirk, Holly Hoyland, pretty much everyone on the show for the last 20 odd years.

The legend. The daddy of the show’s longest running stable (sort of) family, Dr Kennedy, a some time singer, womanizer, and tight-wad, Karl has had several spicy affairs, fights with his kids and their partners, brushes with death, law suits, and everything else. But he’s still standing, and now acts, along with Susan, as the show’s emotional, nostalgic, and humourous core, like Harold and Lou before. That’s not to say he doesn’t still get his fair share of interesting stories, but more often now Karl is there to put a smile on your face or a laugh on your… feet? We’ve known him for so long now, he is Neighbours. 

Special Power: Obscene limericks.

Where Are They Now:

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Still on the show! 23 years now, and still going strong.

Susan Kennedy – Jackie Woodburn (1994 – Present)

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Significant Others: See Karl’s entry (matron)

The other legend. I’ll be honest, I had a crush on Susan too. Maybe it was some adolescent fantasy that, while I was more interested in Libby I didn’t think she would ever like me so I’d have a crack at her ma instead (never mind the fact that we were thousands of miles apart and they were fictional characters). Fun fact – I did eventually have a Maths teacher who looked an awful lot like her, though I did not have a crack at her. Fun fact 2 – I did have a crack at her daughter though – more than a crack in fact. MUCH MORE. Susan has seen and done it all in her years on the show – she has been teacher and Headmistress at Erinsborough High for decades now and has had her fair share of sexual escapades. She did a Twin Peaks, losing her memory and thinking she was 16, she has had to put up with Karl’s cheating and singing since the 70s, and has been through surrogacy and health scare storylines often being the character who most honestly depicts difficult real life plots.

Special Power: Her long black hair isn’t gone – it’s hiding in her tear ducts and it can be spooled out at a moment’s notice and used to garrote unsuspecting visitors.

Where Are They Now:

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Also still on the show, and still with Karl, and still in the School, and still taking on strays and family members such as Ben, Elly, and Angus. This pair and Toadie and Steph are my main ties to my peak viewing period so long may they continue!

How many more of these things will I write? To find out, keep coming back for more – it’s torture! Feel free to add your thoughts about The Kennedy family or any of the other Neighbours characters in the comments below.