Let it go If we need a nudge on when to let something go, the residents of Ramsay Street are a life lesson bathed in sunscreen
The predicted end of Neighbours was met with shock among TV viewers. Mostly from people who didn’t know it was still on TV.
Its termination will be as tragic as the demise of F1’s Murray Walker, Rolling Stone Charlie Watts and, recently, Bamber Gascoigne. The news of their passing came as a surprise because I thought they were already dead.
But if we needed a nudge on when to let something go, the residents of Ramsay Street are a life lesson bathed in sunscreen. When Channel 5 announced good neighbours will stop being good friends this summer, the fans flocked from their sofas to petition for its salvation and remembered fondly the Kylie and Jason moments, the mean Mrs Mangel, the saintly Helen.
In other words, the glory days of decades ago. In 36 years, with a peak of nearly 29 million UK viewers for Scott and Charlene’s big wedding, it’s given us Margot Robbie, Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth and queen Kylie strewthing for all they’re worth, but sometimes the humane thing is to remember the good times and embrace a different future.
It may have provided sunshine and mullets amid the dourness of the 1980s, and an antidote to the rainy cobbles of Corrie – upbeat EastEnders arrived the same year as Neighbours – but I’ve known when to put pets down quicker.
In TV, as in life, we tend to stick with what’s worked long beyond the point when it no longer does. Scrubs, Lost and Dexter should have had their life support discreetly disconnected years before their final seasons, and Two and a Half Men should never have had a first season.
The Big Bang Theory, born in 2007, limped on for several millennia after it stopped being funny, while The Simpsons started decomposing about 20 years after its 1989 birth. And who has ever greeted the sixth sequel of any film franchise with the thought ‘this time it will be better’.
We’re all guilty of clinging on to the comfort blanket of our past. I had to be beaten out of bouffants long after they were acceptable because it was familiar, a hair habit that hadn’t been broken.
When children point and laugh, and you’re hiding hairspray next to the gin in the cistern, it’s a clue that something has to change. I’ve had to have a personal word about phone time because there’s nothing worse than a grown person who’s terrified they’ll miss a meme from a stranger.
Teenagers are allowed to, but if you have more than three direct debits, put the phone down. Banishing negative thoughts was another labour of self-love, which still takes work.
Usually the worst opinions about yourself come from within, because everyone else is too busy with their own destructive navel-gazing.
And if you can’t learn to like yourself after several decades, it’s time to be kinder. I got myself off the overdraft rollercoaster like a proper adult and managed to swap it for a credit card debt habit, which is now on an expensive ‘to-do’ list.
On the plus side, I’ve stopped plucking my eyebrows to the edge of extinction, ditched snacking late at night, started eating a proper breakfast, keep junk food for hangover special occasions, and cut red meat to a minimum.
Food is a good distraction from the credit card bills. In the words of Frozen’s Elsa, sometimes we’ve got to let it go, which also applies to her sequels.
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