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Neighbours reboot: Is it still the same show we know and love?

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Neighbours will finally return to television next week on Amazon’s Freevee, after being off the air for just over a year. It’s great to see the Australian soap opera back in action.

While there are many surprises that we won’t reveal to you, devoted viewers are already aware that the programme is bringing back a number of old favourites and that there will be a two-year time leap that we need to adjust to.

Happily, executive producer Jason Herbison wrote the first episode of Neighbours’ new chapter. During the premiere, there is a wedding, and you will be left guessing until the very end as to who the bride and groom are.

Check out this helpful guide to see what’s changed, what hasn’t, and whether the new Neighbours lives up to the hype.

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ageing faces

Longtime cast members Karl (Alan Fletcher) and his wife Susan (Jackie Woodburne) are confirmed characters. It’s nice to hear their reassuring voices once more. The popular character Chloe, who loves to have fun, is also expected to return, with April Rose Pengilly playing her again.

Along with Jane (Annie Jones) and Mike (Guy Pearce), two couples who had separate romantic reunions last year, Paul (Stefan Dennis) and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) are also returning. Henrietta Graham plays Mike’s industrious daughter Sam, while Melissa Bell plays Paul’s sister Lucy.

The last time we saw them, Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) had just gotten married. They are also returning. George Stone’s character Mackenzie, a young widow, and Tim Kano’s character Leo, a single parent, both continue to live there.

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Harold (Ian Smith), a beloved local who is now a tourist, is still in charge of keeping up Ramsay Street’s history book. In addition, returning performer Lucinda Armstrong-Hall will portray Karl’s daughter Holly. Additionally, Ayisha Salem-Towner, who plays Toadie’s rambunctious daughter Nell, is expected to make a big appearance.

Elsewhere, since their entrance a few months before to the finale, Wendy (Candice Leask) and Andrew (Lloyd Will) have made themselves at home with daughter Sadie (Emerald Chan). Anticipate additional shouts of cheerful Wendy’s signature phrase, “Yoo hoo!”

We are unable to identify them just yet, but there might be a couple more well-known faces in the mix.

new personas

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The Varga-Murphys are a new family in town, and they are hiding something. mums Teen boys JJ (Riley Bryant) and Dex (Marley Williams) join Remi (Naomi Rukavina) and Cara (Sara West). JJ is someone to watch since she is becoming more and more interesting.

It’s not just the clan that has secrets. As Reece, Mischa Barton joins the cast; but, she must be drawn to Ramsay Street for a cause other than to take in the landscape or even just to have a passionate meeting with Jane’s son Byron (Xavier Molyneux).

Haz (Shiv Palekar), another recent arrival, is there as Harold’s café’s new owner. We envision viewers becoming enamoured with Haz and his dog, Trevor, as he becomes less of a mystery and more of a charming charmer.

And is Haz Mackenzie’s second opportunity at love?

Are we still watching the same, beloved Neighbours?

Though Erinsborough’s population may have changed over the years, the people we remember still possess the same characteristics that make us laugh, cringe, or despise them (Paul and Karl, in particular).

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That being said, their lives have undoubtedly changed. There are allusions to significant occasions that we were not present for. Concerningly, Harold appears to be preoccupied, and Karl and Susan are at odds. I want to know why.

Has Neighbours changed, then? Indeed and no. It remains, in essence, the ideal combination. It takes some getting used to the updated version of the iconic theme song, but it truly fits in with this new period.

Like it should, the return of Herbison to script producer Shane Isheev depends on the same tried-and-true recipe and the devoted, much-missed crew.

However, the show has raised the stakes, which has slightly taken us off guard. Although more flashback scenes to clarify the how, why, and when would be helpful, we’ll let you decide which is the first unexpected turn of events.

Neighbours is back on Monday, September 18 at 7 a.m. on Amazon Freevee. After the episode streams, you can read our whole review.

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