A SOAP TO DIE FOR
Author: Dominic Buchanan
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
THE pastel hues are still there. The mandatory couple of scenes down
on the beach are still in evidence, replete with Spunk 1 and Hunk 2 wearing the
latest fashions and bum-hugging briefs. But in this, the first episode of the
new series this year, there is the smell of death at Summer Bay.
Successful soaps and their successful soap writers bait their hooks wisely.
Conflict. Betrayal. The essentials of universal drama. Characters are
introduced regularly and although they may be required to exhibit only one
emotion or characteristic for the duration of their contract, audiences will
invest their time and emotional faculties following the cabal of scheme and
But, at this coastal resort, intrigue is low on the totem pole. In
tonight's episode, Alf finds himself in trouble with the police when he tries to
save Sarah's honour. Gasp. Angel is devasted when Shane judges her over her
past. A-hah. They'll be drawing raffles next. Oops. You guessed it.
Thrills are also a little hard to come by in this craven little haven. For
once this is a problem that cannot be placed at the feet of the actors. Though
some look as if they suffer from sleep apnoea. You can almost hear them drop to
the floor as the scene changes.
No. Someone has to go. Maybe a writer or four.
Doesn't actually matter who. The once-detestable, but now sage and wizened
oracle Mr Fletcher would be a start. Any one of the annoying little grommets
with the ridiculous names.
Just as long as it isn't Alf. This guy is great. He is so ocker. He could
make Ian Chappell sound like a tourist. I half expect him to let out a belch and
go the Larry Dooley with his shorts.