Home and Away

Presented by: Beau Brady
Fabulous Films / Fremantle Home Entertainment
RRP: 14.99
FHED 2016
Certificate: PG
Available 05 February 2007

Home and Away began its life in 1988 on the Seven Network in Australia. Set in the fictional town of Summer Bay the show originally revolved around the lives of Pippa and Tom who took in a succession of foster children. Over time the focus of the show widened to include the stories of many more of the inhabitants of Summer Bay and continues to be made and shown...

Ah, Home and Away, Neighbours poorer cousin. Although I don't currently watch the show, I have, like many other people spent many an hour in Summer Bay thanks to a series of obsessive partners. It would be easy to sneer at such a show, but you have to give it its due, it has lasted since 1988, when a lot of other shows have disappeared. The show is an unadulterated soap opera, with all the elements which that entails, love, fights and the odd murder when the ratings occasionally drop.

So, what does this one hundred and seventy minute extravaganza have to offer the Home and Away fan? Well, the DVD does what it says on the box. Hosted by Beau Brady, who played Noah Lawson on the show, it examines the lives and loves of various characters.

The nice thing about the disc is that is doesn't take itself too seriously, meaning that it should be of interest to the casual viewer or long suffering partner. Brady is an engaging host, who introduces the clips and puts them into some sort of perspective. The numerous snippets from the show are interspersed with talking head moments from members of the cast sharing some of their thoughts and feelings about being in the show.

The disc covers the various romances of the folk of Summer Bay, including most of the best known characters. Alf, played by Ray Meagher, shows up but then he would as he is, as far as I know, the only surviving character from the pilot show, though that particular crown might have to go to Kate Ritchie who has played Sally for so long that she is in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest serving actor in an Australian drama, at a record stomping nineteen years she really has grown up on television and should be given a Truman Show award.

The disc has a really nice bonus feature in the form of the pilot episode, which like many of you I either missed or can't remember. It was great to see the original opening sequence with Pippa, Sally and Alf and a bunch of characters I really don't remember. The pilot show has appalling lighting and some of the cheapest sets I've ever seen, but its going to be like manna from heaven for a die hard Home and Away fan.

To be honest I enjoyed the disc more than I though I would and, god help me, realised that I still knew all the words to the title track. So, for fans of the show it's pig heaven and for their less enthusiastic partners, there are worse ways of showing an interest or spending a little time together.

Charles Packer

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