Monday, November 21, 2005

Why Holly Brisley Isn't Natalie Bassingthwaite

Julia Roberts once wisely told Cameron Diaz that "creme brulee can never be jello". It was probably the most - only? - profound insight of My Best Friend's Wedding, other than Cameron pointing out to Julia that her hair was big, or Dermot Mulroney's exposed bicep.

Likewise, Holly Brisley can never be Natalie Bassingthwaite (or, as she's known in pop circles and to people like myself who are morally opposed to the syllable "thw", NatBass).

nbass.jpg

Some might argue the reverse - that Holly should be the template for comparison as her TV career (as the token blonde Agro sidekick on Cartoon Connection) began several years before NatBass'.

But to me, NatBass is the original. She gave Neighbours a desperately-needed shot of adrenalin as the home-wrecking vixen Izzy. Neighbours has not had such a good resident villain since Mrs Mangel, and Izzy's occasional loopiness is often reminiscent of Julie Robinson Martin, moments before she "accidentally" fell off a high building during a murder mystery weekend. (I use quotation marks as their timeslots forbid both Neighbours and Home and Away from ever allowing a character to commit or even explicitly contemplate suicide. But apparently it's fine for them to go on a crystal-meth induced killing spree.)

Perhaps the comparison is unfair to Holly. I do so because it seems to be a case of lazy writing on the part of H&A, where they've lifted the Izzy character, re-tuned her and slipped her into Summer Bay as Amanda. Cross-over happens a lot in the plotting of these two shows, that's a given, but this one isn't subtle.

a/ Izzy/Amanda are both young, blonde and suffer from the "big-city girl rebelling against the small-town mentality" syndrome;

b/ Izzy/Amanda are both lying, manipulative home-wreckers but audience sympathy is supposedly created and maintained through familial ties. In Izzy's case, she's Max's brother and a fiercely loyal and protective sister/aunt to Summer and Boyd "But I'm not gay" Hoyland. In Amanda's case, it's the precocious little shit son she has;

c/ Izzy/Amanda are both natural enemies of the Erinsborough/Summer Bay Earth Mums, Susan and Beth;

d/ Izzy/Amanda are both gold-diggers;

e/ Izzy/Amanda are both involved with the resident evil businessmen (Paul/Josh) hell-bent on destroying the communities for property advancement and personal gain;

and so on.

Now, talking Holly/NatBass comparisons: How long do we think it will be before Holly launches her singing career? Her hot-shoe shuffling "talent" was uncovered in DWTS, but is there a funky rock/dance ensemble in need of a spunky songstress to vamp up their filmclips - I mean a band other than Rogue Traders? If so, Holly believes she's your girl, no doubt.

The other fairly obvious differences between Holly and NatBass:

a/ NatBass can act. Really. Holly can pout. That's about it.

b/ NatBass can sing. I didn't catch her live at Sleaze this year as I was too busy not being there, but possible live shortcomings notwithstanding, she sounds fantastic in Voodoo Child and Way To Go. Holly probably assumes with that husky voice that she'll inevitably become a sultry pop diva too. Moi, je crois pas.

c/ NatBass has maintained credibility fronting Rogue Traders while still being an actor on Neighbours. That at least deserves a round of applause. Holly, well...She's not NatBass.

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In other Neighbours news:

Remember my Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dan campaign?

Forget about it. The guy has got to go. No amount of prettiness can forgive how appalling he is, even by Neighbours standards. When an "actor" can make Blair McDonaugh seem like Sir John Gielgud by comparison, something is horribly wrong.

And now, of course, the writers have an Erinsborough Players production piece happening as a gratuituous excuse to sample Dan's singing voice. The guy can sing, sure, but note to writers: Dan is not your next Kylie, Natalie, Delta or even, god forbid, Holly (V, not B). Release him from his contract ASAP so he can keep with the Singing for Jesus, until his inevitable coming out and rejection of christian fundamentalism. Now that will be an impressive opening floodgate.

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And just quickly: how delicious is this Shane Connor lawsuit? Seriously, Aussie soap writers need to get away from their gritty realism (ie Surgeon, which is so not going to make it to a second season) and look closer to home for the Next Big Thing.

I can just see Janet Andrewartha (who I met at a Prisoner reunion and is as much an ice-queen in real life as Lyn Scully is camp) rocking up to the trial, in her oversized Alexis Colby hat, sliding into the witness box showing just a hint of leg, and delivering the damning evidence that will see Connor put away for 20 years lose his case. Then Alan Fletcher testifying in Connor's defence as the actors' union rep. Then a scene of Janet and Alan having to act as friends on the set. Hell, there's a whole season's worth of plot there alone.

Neighbours: Behind the Wheelie Bins.

11 Comments:

At 21/11/05 12:42 pm, Blogger Mikeymoo said...

Maybe you could do a Jay Bunyan/Kyal Marsh vs Chris Hemsworth post too. With pictures.

 
At 21/11/05 9:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree with you more re: the NatBass V Holly B thing Sam. An inflatable sex-doll with a tape recorder in its mouth playing the lines would provide a more realistic performance than Holly Brisley.

As for poor Dan O'Connor I agree he is pretty ordinary. Him coming out wouldnt surprise me one bit. Looking like that and still being a virgin at 27 either makes him the most devout Christian on Earth or a serious closet case! CW

 
At 21/11/05 11:36 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Oh my God, Izzy and Amanda ARE the same character! How did I not notice that? I'd mock you for your detailed analysis of a soap opera, but, yeah, that wouldn't work.

Natalie Alphabet!

 
At 22/11/05 6:56 am, Blogger JahTeh said...

There's a lot of serious airbrushing in that photo of Holly or it was taken a zillion years ago.

Who does your word verificaton? Ozzie Osborne. fqqahr, well neither of us would touch Holly.

 
At 22/11/05 12:55 pm, Blogger skander said...

Hmm. It is interesting that Bogans By The Sea has noted the success of Our Izzy and tried to ape the formula. However, without one essential ingredient—Natalie Bassingthwaite—they are doomed to failure. So much of Izzy is how natural Nat is, her good looks aren't faked in any way, she can sing, she can dance, she can act, and so she brings a really good sense of misguidedness to Izzy. Rarely has she been calculating, as opposed to scrambling to keep things together against the natural order, like covering up the that the baby was Gus'. Her 'evilness' is reaction, as opposed to action.

Whatevs. I couldn't give a toss about Home and Away these days: miss a month or two and the only people you recognise are Colleen and Sally.

As for Chris Hemsworth, the guy just looks like one giant dildo to me. And that's not a good thing. On the other hand, there is great deal that could be said about Jay that has hasn't been.

 
At 22/11/05 1:00 pm, Blogger skander said...

NB Sam, to put the title of your post in Desci terminology:

Holly Brisley is a poor man's Natalie Bassingthwaite.

So very true.

 
At 11/4/06 1:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

natalie is infintely hotter, i would get natalie to wrap her beautiful lips around my cock and suck it hard until i took it out and exploded my load onto her face, as i would still be hard, i would start fucking her as hard as i possibly could until we both moaned and screamed as we orgasmed

 
At 18/5/06 11:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Natalie is a sexy ride. id luv 2 fuck her all nite and all day. i wanna pump her from behind and make her scream. i wanna suck her amazing tits and make myself cum all over her sexy body

 
At 18/5/06 11:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Natalie is incredibly sexy with an unbelieavable body. I wanna fuck her in her cute ass while fingering her in her amazing pussy. I would just love to pump her analy and pound the living fuck out of her. I want her to suck my huge cock and make me cum by the bucket load on her. SEXY SEXY FUCK.

 
At 3/6/06 12:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Natalie is a completely hot babe with a great set of tits and arse, i have seen her in the real world. SHe has come to my home town of goulburn a couple of times and gone to the clubs, she is down to earth but hot as and i too would love to fulfill all my sexual dreams with her mouth, tits, arse and pussy.

 
At 5/1/07 7:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nat is nuff sexy, so is holly baisley ther the 2 fittest gyall in soap history lol

 

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