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I confess to being a Home and Away addict, there I’ve admitted it! I’ve watched it on and off since it first hit our screens in the UK. I can remember when Danni Minogue was in it. It’s the sort of programme you can not watch for ages and it will only take a couple of episodes or until the commercial break for those who are really clever, to catch up with it. I’ve started watching it again in the last year, it’s a good thing to watch when I come home from work because it relaxes me.
It’s on Channel 5 on weekdays at 6 and repeated at 12.30 there is an omnibus on Saturday afternoons at 2.55. An episodes usually lasts for about 25 minutes. It is set in Summer Bay a fictional town on Australia’s east coast. It’s quite a small town with a gorgeous permanently sunny beach. Most of the action takes places in the following places, which are also the major areas of employment in Summer Bay
BAY SIDE DINER: Most of the characters visit the diner at least once a week, more if they’re teenagers who seem to divide their time between here and the surf club. School kids are often seen here before school. It’s run by Leah Patterson who jointly owns it with Alf.
SURF CLUB: This is enough place where the youth of summer bay spend a lot of their time. Alf is often to be found here as well as he’s something to do with the lifeguards, haven’t figured out what
HIGH SCHOOL: As the storylines involve lots of teenagers we see a lot of the High School and at present there is a campaign to save the high school from shutting down.
HOSPITAL: With the introduction of Charlotte the doctor lots of Summer Bay residents are finding themselves in the hospital for a while, well I suppose the producers can’t build a new set and not use it.
CARAVAN PARK: This is where the Sutherland family live and we tend to see a lot of them. Also its like the local hotel housing drop outs passing through town and character’s undesirable secret relatives.
DROP IN CENTRE: Yes this quiet Australian small town has a centre for teenager runaways/ kids in trouble that seems to be permanently full and needs lots of staff.
You won’t find oscar worthy acting in Home and Away, but if I wanted that I’d watch an oscar worthy film. Anyway, the characters can be cliched there’s always a teenage rebel who drops out of school and then sees the error of their ways, an alcoholic who reforms and now everyone loves them and a teenager who moves to Summer Bay and hates it because its a small town but grows to realise just how wonderful it all is. So without further ado here’s a list of characters
DON FISHER; One of the original characters of Home and Away. He’s a bit ‘straight’ and principal of the high school, nicknamed ‘flathead’ by his students his passionate about teaching. He’s had lots of tragedy in his life his son Alan died of a brain haemorrhage, long lost daughter Bobby died in a boating accident his baby son Byron died and his wife Marilyn left him.
SEBASTIN MILLER: He came to Summer Bay with his very ill mum who died. It turned out that he’s the son of Don\s son Alan who died from a brain haemorrhage. At first he is cynical and untrustworthy of everyone, but forms a relationship with Don. Also he goes out with Kirsty Sutherland before her wild child phase.
SALLY FLETCHER: Sally is another stalwart of Home and Away. Her parents died when she was three, she was adopted by Pippa and Tom who moved to Summer bay when she was eight then ran a huge foster family with lots of kids who came and went and then they left. Sally stayed on to be a teacher at the high school. She’s had a few serious relationships and is currently seeing Flynn Saunders. Recently she had cancer surgery that left her infertile.
FLYNN SAUNDERS: Came to Summer Bay to work in the drop in centre. Recently he’s found his junkie sister Ashley in the city and managed to rehabilitate her.
LEAH PATTERSON; Bubbly girl with a big heart, she’s a chef at the diner. She comes from a big greek family and is very family orientated. She’s married to Vinnie and they have a baby son VJ, however Vinny has recently been sent to prisoner because he’s crooked dad conned him into committing unknowing fraud. Leah is distraught and doesn’t know how she’ll cope.
VINNIE PATTERSON: Vinnie used to be a bit of a jack the lad who always had a scheme on the go. Leah and their baby VJ have changed him into a devoted family man, however he’s been sent to prison. They’re both all of 21, but thats Home and Away a lot happens to people in a short space of time!
ALEX POULOS: He’s Leah’s brother and has a bit of an eye for the girls of Summer Bay. He’s had a thing with Danni and Brodie and is now after single mum Keli and accidentally pretended VJ was his son. He’s very caring and is helping Leah out a lot.
REESE SUTHERLAND: He owns the caravan park with his wife Shelly and also runs the kiosk at the surf club. He’s a loving father but can be a bit stern and gruff. He’s not to be crossed if someone messes with his family.
SHELLY SUTHERLAND: She’s a social worker at the drop in centre and is a little bit more laid back than Reese. She’s caring and emphatic with her daughters and the kids at the drop in centre
DANI SUTHERLAND: Eldest daughter about 17. The Sutherland girls have the distinction of being the only teenagers in the soap to live with both natural parents. At first she hated Summer Bay and was a bit rebellious, but has calmed down. She had a big agony ridden relationship with Will Smith and was distraught when he married Gypsy. She’s currently seeing Josh who I think is living in the caravan park.
JADE SUTHERLAND: About 15 and Kirsty’s twin sister. She’s a bit of a ‘goody two shoes’, although she was bulimic for about two episodes a while back.She’s Nick Smith’s girlfriend and is currently helping him after he’s been paralysed after a bus crash.
KIRSTY SUTHERLAND: Kirsty has gone from being athletics mad to being a wild child. Angry with her parents, especially Reese she can’t wait to grow up. She left school to work at a hairdressers and has got in with an older crowd of people who don’t go to the diner, so she’ in big trouble and this week takes an ecstasy tablet. Oh how Home and Away has changed at one point the kids were naughty if they had a too strong latte at the diner.
BRODIE I’m not quite sure where the Sutherlands acquired Brodie from, she’s their foster daughter and her mum used to hit her. I wasn’t watching it when she arrived in Home and Away and the channel 5 site haven’t updated it enough to include Brodie. Brodie is a bit of an annoying character really, she’s always doing the right thing and fighting for some cause or other she organise the school sit in to save the high school.
JOSH WEST He’s a recent arrival who lives in one of the Sutherland’s caravan. His parents are extremely wealthy, but he wants to make it on his own and train to be a life guard. He’s currently seeing danni.
ETHAN: He’s a very new character who is son of the Y’abbey Creek’s High school’s principal. In Home and Away the Y’abby Creek is the next town on and is usually where characters go for university, underage drinking and shops. He’s very keen on Brodie but she’s still grieving for her boyfriend Miles who was killed in a car accidnet.
IRENE ROBERTS: Irene used to be an alcoholic and was an awful mum to ex home and awayees Finlay and Damien. Now she’s a reformed character. She’s still a bit rough around the edges, but is a devoted mum figure to Nick, hayley and will smith and school secretary.She was engaged to the Smith kid’s ex alcoholic dad who died before they could marry. deShe’s down to earth, wise and will speak her mind.
NATHAN ROBERTS: He’s living with his mum after getting out of prison. He started of being nasty and jealous of how good Irene is with the Smith children. He’s recently started to be happier and to get along with people more after being a hero at the scene of the school bus crash.
WILL SMITH: Eldest Smith child. He witnessed his alcoholic dad beating their mum and was moved between lots of care homes he’s passionate about keeping his family together after they were reunited. He had a big thing with Dani Sutherland. He was devastated to find out his ex girlfriend Gypsy was pregnant after a brief fling, he decided he still loved her, dumped Danni married Gypsy and they’ve recently moved to Queensland.
HAYLEY SMITH: She’s about 18, bubbly and pretty but can be feisty. She’s going out with Noah Lawson after they got over his alcoholism.
NICK SMITH: He’s a bit brattish, but like most of Summer Bay’s teenagers hasn’t had the easiest of lifes. Recently Nick was paralysed in a school bus crash and now may never walk again. He's going out with Jade Sutherland.
JUDE LAWSON: He had to leave school early to support his younger brother Noah. He has a cleaning contract business and cleans the school and hospital. His mad ultra religious mum made a brief appearance and then disappeared. He’s studying to be a lawyer. His girlfriend Charlotte is pregnant and he doesn’t know how to tell her that he doesn’t love her.
NAOH LAWSON: He’s a former rebel and alcoholic. It took ages for him to overcome his alcoholism and anger towards his mad mum, it nearly cost him his relationship with Hayley, but they seem to be fine now.
CHARLOTTE: Charlotte is a super smart hard working doctor at the local hospital. I’m not sure what sort of doctor because every time a character is in hospital she’s there whatever part of their body is troubling them, she is also on call for every home visit and disaster! She’s accidetly pregnant and is scared of the effect on her career.
COLEEN SMART: Collen’s heart is in the right place, but she’s a busybody. She’s always gossiping and always has an opinion which is usually quite high handed. She’s a bit mad and can be quite overbearing. She works at the diner and leaves at the caravan park.
ALF STUART: Alf is a stalwart of Home and Away. He’s bombastic and often goes off on one when he looses his temper. He’s a softie at heart whose bark is worse than his bite. He’s a busy man who has a fishing boat business, a stake in the diner and some kind of life guarding business at the surf club. Whenever there’s a flood, disaster , someone trapped up !
Home and Away has got a bit racier, with the showing of people who are having a sexual realtionship although only kissing is shown. Also this week Kirsty Sutherland takes ecstasy. There’s been junkie prostitutes being rehabilitated, single mothers and an incest storyline regarding a girl at the drop in centre. Recently the school bus crashed, leading to lots of scenes in the hospital and Nick in a wheelchair.
There’s still a moralistic element to Home and Away people go astray and then learn their lesson, which almost never happens in Eastenders. Gypsy was going to be a single mother but then married the baby’s father, there are reformed alcoholics, I suspect when Kirsty comes round from her drug induced coma she will see the light and return to school.
Although Home and Away has got a bit grittier it’s still quite a sunny, escapist programme because of the sunny pretty places it’s set and it’s attractive cast who don’t smoke, swear and only drink as part of a going of the rails storyline. But I still love it and will be sitting down in a couple of hours to see what Kirsty has to say for herself now thats she’s out of her coma