Friday, May 23, 2014


I've become a huge fan of Home and Away. Because it's a soap opera, I'd maybe classify it as a guilty pleasure. Although I'm not sure if that term is really appropriate in most situations. If we really felt guilty about partaking in something, would we talk about it?  Or maybe we in a depressing,confessional type of way.

I think a better term would probably be I-know-this-aint-a-prestigious-piece-of-art, but I like it anyway.

I think most soap operas fall into that category. Though I think my Home and Away watching is a few notches above that because....

A) It comes from a country that's not my own.
B) I'm watching episodes from the 1980's, so it's sort of retro. And retro is usually cool.

Note: Item A probably makes no sense to Australians since much of what they watch is international. But Americans seem to usually watch American programing, mostly because that's what's readily available.

I guess what I'm saying is I'd more excited to tell my friends that I watch a 1980's Aussie soap opera than I would be telling them I'm addicted to Days of our Lives.

I'm rambling here. I meant to have this be a short introduction to the episode I watched today which I personally feel IS a prestigious piece of art.

It's amazing.  It was very artistic—well written, well directed, and well acted.  It felt like a play...not a musical, but one of those serious things.

It reminded me a bit of that serious episode of Family Ties—the one where Alex's friend is killed.

I'm trying to decide if I should try to describe what happened on the episode. I feel I should, but I worry I'll be awful about it.

I'll try. Though I think I'm writing this less to promote the episode to people who don't watch the show; and more to put it out there in case someone else loves the episode too.  Maybe they'll google, find my post, comment on how they loved the episode too, and we can blab on and on about it together.  I guess I'm hoping to find a Home and Away friend.

Anyway. The episode was about Steven Fletcher finding out that his new best friend and newest foster brother (Dodge) is the one who burned down a shop which killed Steven's uncle.

Dodge became the new Fletcher foster child soon after Steven began the mourning process.  Steven had always been very studious and responsible.  Dodge got him to turn away from all that, using his uncle's death to illustrate the fact that life's too short for being good.  Have wild...don't feel obligated to do the right thing.

The episode alternated between scenes of Steven talking to a therapist and Dodge being interrogated by the police.

Then there was all this Hamlet stuff which was beautiful and well done.

Steven had the chance to hit Dodge, and since he's a karate champion, it might have caused some massive injuries.  But he didn't do it, and then he feels guilty.  He thinks taking action to avenge his uncle's death was the correct and courageous thing to do. But in the end, he changes his mind. That's where all the Hamlet stuff comes in.  To be or not to be. To hit your foster brother or not to hit your foster brother.

What also helped with the one episode is the episodes before it.

Dodge is a bully. He lies. He steals.  He's incredibly selfish. He's not at all likable.  However, in the last few episodes he started acting somewhat decent. He started getting along better with his young foster sister. He planned a surprise anniversary party for his foster parents. It seemed he wanted to change, that he wanted to be a good person.

Now he didn't fool me, because I read spoilers and knew he started the fire.  But knowing this and watching the Nice-Dodge episodes, I felt sad. I wished the spoilers were wrong and Dodge would end up as a decent bloke.

I'm really not doing justice to the episode. The magic was not in the plot...though that was lovely.  It was in the other stuff.

It's so hard to explain.

Maybe what's so beautiful about it is the basic theme—finding out that someone you adore is a person who has secretly caused a horrible disaster in your life.

I was trying to think of other examples, and only came up with an opposite situation.  Sirius Black. But what if it was the the other way around? What if Harry Potter thought Sirius Black was his beloved godfather and it turned out he was the one who betrayed his parents?  Then that would be like Dodge and Steven.