‘Neighbours’ is set in a fictional suburb of Melbourne. We now live in a real suburb of Melbourne. Here are my observations as to how the makers of this fine and long-standing programme are misleading the world as to life in this little corner of the globe.
1. No-one swears in Neighbours.
Now, I am not saying that people are effing and blinding all the time here but language is certainly a lot more casual than we are used to. It is not unusual for someone you don’t even know to say shit, damn, bloody and bugger in their very first conversation with you. Kids use these words too (not mine!) without anyone (except me!) batting an eyelid.
2. They don’t say ‘beautiful’ nearly enough in Neighbours.
I really like this quirk actually! Whenever you reach someone’s expectation, chances are they will drawl “beautiful”, back at you. Signed a form at the bank? Beautiful. Put your pin number in at the supermarket checkout? Beautiful. Made an appointment to get your hair cut? Beautiful! There are plenty opportunites for them to say this in Erinsborough and they don’t so I don’t think it is a fair representation of Melbourne life!
3. No-one mentions what team they support in Neighbours.
I can’t imagine that there is a WHOLE street in Melbourne or it’s surrounding suburbs where NO-ONE follows a team! Just entirely unrealistic! The folks here are so vocal about it!
4. It never rains in Erinsborough.
It has LASHED it down on a regular basis here. I don’t mind this at all (despite any momentary whinging!) because it means that it is nice and green here and also because they have been in drought for so long – it’s nice for people to be able to water their gardens and such!
So there you have it. For all the people who have asked ‘Is it just like ‘Neighbours’?’ – in some ways it is – teenage girls wear wee tartan dresses, ankle socks and start-rite style buckle shoes to school, the kids’ school bags look as though they are taking a week’s shopping to school with them, there are lots of streets just like Ramsay Street – cul de sacs (or ‘courts’) with all different style and size houses in one street – but in other ways, it is totally different. I suppose in the same way that Eastenders is not a true representation of London or River Shitty, sorry, City, is of Glasgow.