Earlier today I posted news that Home and Away is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a TV tribute – Endless Summer – 30 Years of Home and Away. The one-off episode will air on Tuesday 17th July at 7pm on 5Star.

30 years, ay? What an achievement.

Hmm… this has got me thinking, which is the better Aussie soap – Home and Away or that other TV stalwart, Neighbours?

There’s only one way to find out, let’s break each down into their highlights!

alf-stewart

Image: Seven Productions

Home and Away

  • The theme tune – Let’s start with something pretty obvious, Home and Away has a FANTASTIC theme tune. The theme (You and I belong together…) was written & composed by Mike Perjanik and is as good today as it was back during Home and Away’s peak (aka the ‘90s).
  • Location – Summer Bay has surf, sea, sand and enough drama to ensure there is never a dull moment. You want murder, gang violence, car crashes and a good ol’ fashioned Aussie BBQ? You can have it all in Summer Bay!
  • Bobby’s ghost – One of the most iconic moments of Home and Away’s entire history is the moment when Bobby’s ghost appeared to be coming out of a fridge! A ghost… in a fridge! AMAZING!
  • Ailsa’s ghost – Want something better than Bobby’s ghost? How about the ghost of Ailsa Stewart, haunting husband Alf?! OK, so technically Ailsa wasn’t a ghost, there was something a little more complicated going on. Ailsa’s resurrection was actually due to an undiagnosed brain tumour. The tumour had caused Alf to see and hear Ailsa on a daily basis and the more time he spent reunited with his deceased wife, the more he wanted to continue living that illusion. It even reached a point where Ailsa tried to convince Alf to ignore medical help! Strewth!
  • Legendary characters – Don ‘Flathead’ Fisher, Marilyn, Pippa, Sally, Irene, Leah, Dag Dog… oh, I could go on. Of course, no mention of legendary characters would be complete without a nod to Alf Stewart. Actor Ray Meagher has played Alf Stewart since pretty much the dawn of time, making Alf the longest running cast member in Home and Away. Stone the flamin’ crows!
  • Star power – Over the years Home and Away has provided the platform for some top acting talent including: Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger, Dannii Minogue, Julian McMahon, Isla Fisher, Melissa George, Luke Mitchell, Ryan Kwanten, Craig McLachlan and Guy Pearce!
Paul Robinson

Image: FreemantleMedia

Neighbours

  • The theme tune – The Neighbours tune (Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…) might not be as good as the Home and Away tune, but it’s still pretty iconic. Composed by Tony Hatch, with lyrics by Jackie Trent, the Neighbours theme captures the essence of the show and for many it still reminds them of bunking off school and getting to watch Neighbours at lunchtime.
  • Location – I’ll make this very, very simple: Erinsborough is an anagram of Neighbours. That is PURE GENIUS!
  • Scott and Charlene’s wedding – Not only was Scott and Charlene’s wedding an iconic moment in Neighbours’ history, but also in pop culture history period. The hair, the cheesy romance, the dulcet tones of Angry Anderson’s Suddenly playing over scenes of Madge getting all emotional, what more could anyone ask for?
  • Bouncer’s dream – Possibly the greatest TV moment ever – Bouncer the dog has a dream and we got to see the whole mind bending thing! As scenes go, this one was even more bizarre than the time the Pet Shop Boys randomly turned up on Ramsay Street. Or the time that Toadie had it off with a woman who claimed to be his dead ex-wife… all while being watched on webcam by his current wife! This was an actual storyline. I’m not making it up!
  • Legendary characters – As with Home and Away, Neighbours has some proper legends, from Helen Daniels and Harold Bishop to Lou Carpenter, Karl and Susan Kennedy, Sheila, Toadie, Mrs. Mangle, Scott and Charlene and of course Paul Robinson. Actor (and one-time singer) Stefan Dennis is the show’s longest running cast member having been with Neighbours from the start (albeit with a break between 1992 and 2004).
  • Star power – Neighbours has launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie, Holly Valance, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Imbruglia, Alan Dale, Jessie Spencer, Russell Crowe (sort of), Craig McLachlan and Guy Pearce! What a cast!

Hmm… so which one is better?

That’s up to you to decide!