Yesterday, long-running Aussie soap, Neighbours made TV history by airing the first same-sex wedding on Australian television, since the country legalised same-sex marriage. The wedding – between Aaron Brennan and David Tanaka – was attended by many of Ramsay Street’s residents and was, in my opinion, a great half-an-hour of TV.
In the UK, Neighbours airs on Channel 5 on the same day the show airs in Australia. So, not only did we get to see the episode alongside our Aussie cousins, we also got to share in the social media buzz surrounding the event – which was mostly positive.
If you missed Aaron and David’s wedding, the episode will be repeated on Saturday morning via 5 Select. Alternatively, the episode (Ep: 7921) is available for the next 30 days on Channel 5’s catch-up service, My5.
So, why did I like the wedding so much?
Well, nowadays whenever there is an event episode (Christmas, wedding, birth and so on), something always has to go wrong – one partner has cheated on the other, one gets killed off in a car crash, a key member of the family has a heart attack etc – but that was not the case with Aaron and David’s wedding. Bar a little bit of back pain (an ongoing story thread for Aaron) and some confusion over the celebrant (to incorporate actress, Magda Szubanski into the episode), the wedding went off without a hitch.
More importantly, this was a lovely celebration of love between two characters who are portrayed as nice guys and have become key figures within the cast. The wedding was another big step forward for a show that’s become very progressive when it comes to developing gay characters.
The highlight of the episode?
The moment when Aaron and David walked down the aisle, to a rather familiar tune.
In the UK, when Aaron and David took their final steps before saying “I do”, the scene was accompanied by the sounds of the Kylie Minogue/Jason Donovan duet, Especially For You. The song was included as an in-joke and a nod to Kylie & Jason, who famously played characters (and even got married) on the show.
Neighbours has a special place in the hearts of UK viewers who grew-up with the show during the 1980s and who made household names of Kylie & Jason. Including the song on this milestone episode was a great touch and the perfect way of ensuring the wedding would really connect with British viewers. Australian viewers were given an alternate song for the sequence.
Overall, yesterday’s episode of Neighbours was a gift to viewers – firstly by becoming an important step for the LGBTQ+ community and secondly, by proving that not all soap events have to be filled with doom and gloom. Sometimes it’s just nice to have things fall into place neatly and demonstrate that happiness is as much a part of life as drama is.
*wipes tear from eye*
Now, where did I put my glass of champagne?