Neighbours Review for the Week of 12-25-23: A Drama-Filled Christmas Week


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Christmas is generally a time of goodwill toward others, but if you’re Holly Hoyland, not so much.

Holly followed her rage-induced destruction of Haz’s scarf with another scheme to get Mackenzie out of her life. If anyone deserved coal in their Christmas stocking, it was her.

Incredibly, Holly’s stunt — and her subsequent near drowning — on Neighbours during the week of 12-25-23 drew Haz closer instead of scaring him away. How far will Holly go before Haz realizes she’s not worth it?

Holly’s becoming more and more a mini-version of her mother. What a shame!

Her character’s been all over the place since she moved back to Ramsey Street. She was flighty and annoying, then a good friend who warned Mackenzie about Eden. Now she’s so far gone on jealousy over Mackenzie’s feelings for Haz that it’s becoming an obsessive love story.

Holly has long feared turning into her mother. She fell into Eden’s trap partially because she was ashamed of Izzy’s behavior when Krista came to Erinsborough to bother Melanie.

Yet that’s the path she’s on. The only difference between her accident in the pool and Izzy’s on the Erinsborough High stairs is that Holly didn’t accuse Mackenzie of pushing her into the pool.

Thank goodness for small favors, but still. Holly needs to take a long look in the mirror and think about who she’s becoming.

Mackenzie shouldn’t have left without ensuring that Holly got safely to the surface, but she doesn’t deserve 99% of the anger and vitriol. The accident happened because Holly’s sash got caught on the Christmas tree — a freak occurrence that no one could have predicted.

The entire thing could have been prevented had Byron either been more careful around the tree or taken it out of the pool after dropping it in, but no one is getting on him about that.

Thankfully, Holly didn’t break any bones or have serious injuries, and Haz got her out of the pool before anything happened. But her ultimatum can’t be chalked up to her trauma.

She’s been scheming every which way to get Mackenzie away from Haz. No one seems to wonder what she and Mackenzie were fighting about, which is a shame.

If Haz learned that Holly had invited Richie in a desperate bid to neutralize the ‘threat’ by pushing Mackenzie and Richie back together, he might feel differently. Holly is displaying a pattern of disturbing, controlling behavior that Haz should not find acceptable.

Instead, with Mackenzie leaving town, Holly seems to have won. Hopefully, Mackenzie won’t be gone long — several actors have to be shuffled off-screen because they were doing fan events in the UK, which is also why Karl was gone for a while.

When she returns, this had better be straightened out. It’s not right for Holly to get away with this type of behavior.

Holly caused a miserable Christmas for everyone around her, but Paul also had an unhappy holiday.

Like Holly, he did it to himself. It’s hard to decide how to feel about him — it feels wrong that he doesn’t get to openly give his granddaughter a gift or spend any time with anyone during the holiday. Yet, he always erases any sympathy he would otherwise muster by how he behaves.

Toadie’s confrontation with him was more sympathetic than angry (If this were Days of Our Lives, there would have been a fistfight over Paul’s continued interest in someone else’s wife!), but will Paul get the message?

Perhaps about Terese, though that’s doubtful. But as soon as Christmas ended, he worked hard to make Krista miserable.

I’m not sure why he thought his plan would work. Even if Krista failed to impress picky Belinda, it didn’t follow that she’d return to America with her tail between her legs.

Besides, she’s getting advice from the Sinclairs, isn’t she? So they’d help her do damage control if she upset the client. But it didn’t come to that because Krista dusted off the social skills she’d been trained in as an ultra-wealthy family member… and Belinda loved her.

Sinclairs: 2. Paul: 0. Give it up, Paul.

Most of the rest of the week was taken up with Chloe and Elly’s wedding and send-off. These two will probably return home to Sydney after their honeymoon and remain off-screen.

The send-off was gorgeous. I especially loved the vows.

Elly: Chloe, I promise to hide you when you want to be hidden and show you off when you don’t. I promise to love you and celebrate you every single day. I will never forget how lucky I am that I am your one.
Chloe: I promise to love you courageously and ferociously for however long our forever lasts. I want to make it count.

Elly and Chloe are made for one another; Elly is more than ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a partner who has Huntington ”’s-related disabilities.

Taking off her shoes because Chloe couldn’t balance in heels anymore was a loving gesture symbolizing Elly’s willingness to adapt to Chloe’s circumstances.

The ceremony itself was short, but the reception made up for it. Karl even managed to write a song that wasn’t over the top.

However, someone needs to do something about Nell’s magnetic attraction to her former stepmother.

As soon as Melanie arrived, Nell zoomed over to her and, within minutes, decided to take it upon herself to get Toadie to write a letter of recommendation for Melanie’s upcoming legal hearing.

Nell left out the story that Melanie told her not to ask Toadie, leaving him angry that Melanie ‘used’ his daughter instead of talking to him directly.

Toadie should know his daughter’s unhealthy attachment to his ex by now and not jump to conclusions.

Was he writing an angry, spiteful letter to the court? Let’s hope not!

Elsewhere, David will need to learn to back off. As Krista’s sober companion, his job is to confront her with hard truths, but that doesn’t mean he can demand she or anyone else behave a certain way.

This is the same problem as his hatred of Paul — just as he can’t make Aaron or Leo reject Paul too; he can’t make Krista do what he wants, nor force Leo to take things slow.

Leo and Krista are far from a done deal. They like each other, but no one said they’re jumping into a relationship or bed. But David is acting increasingly like his problem with Paul is that they’re too alike; this controlling behavior won’t work any better for him than it does for Paul.

Your turn, Neighbours fanatics! Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to sound off about Christmas, the wedding, and everything else that happened this week.

Don’t forget to check back over the weekend for the latest Neighbours spoilers.

Neighbours streams on Amazon Freevee in the US and UK. New episodes drop on Monday through Thursday mornings at 2/1c.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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