And so she goes. A four-hour marriage to Paul Robinson and she's off. To the Maldives. Without so much as a yellow cab out of Pinoak Court.
Lyn Scully burst into my life in a leopard print bodysuit sometime in 1999, replacing the tired, old Fat Phil Martin with her bogan husband and troupe of daughters. And an improbable A-grade footballing son in the UK. For while there my heart yearned for the down-to-earth realism of Ailsa Piper's Ruth Wilkinson, but, as these things are, Lynnie was. And her leopard print became nothing more than the wallpaper of my life.
But then, alongside a powerhouse of Australian acting talent which included Val Jellay, Bud Tingwell and Joan Sidney, Lynnie got HER storyline, probably the best-executed storyline Erinsborough has seen in my long history of Neighbours watching. For so long Lynnie had been a doormat to her dull, gruff, bogan husband, but finally she had her chance to shine. Slowly, it was revealed that the woman she had considered her aunt for all her 40-odd years as indeed her mother, and the appropriate crisis of personality followed, the tears, the shouting, the desperation.
All soap characters, regardless of stripe, become endeared to viewers by by the traumas they survive. It is only in these moments of extreme duress and emotional firewalking that we really get an actor's or actress' range, they have to plumb the depths of their character with all the raw nerves exposed. And Janet Andrewartha showed 'em how it is done, accompanied by the stirling performances of Bud as her adopted father Henry, and Joan as the tearaway biological mother Valda.
And so we got an insight into Lynnie, and she emerged from her ordeal a stronger, more independent woman. But, as the Neighbours writers are wont to do, the transformation didn't last long. A few knock-down, drag-outs Ramsay Street stylee with Nat Bass' Izzy, and it was all over, red rover. Back to boring old doormat Lyn. The gumption, the self-righteousness, the indignation—the possibility of a Mrs Mangel for the 21st century—all out the window in favour her trademark nervous titter. And what a waste it was.
Neither did I get the Load Ship that I was after, either.
Which all goes to prove two things:
- that the current crop of Neighbours writers can't write a strong matriarch—Anne Charleston left for that reason: Madge, too, had lost the fire in her belly.
- and that I am a very, very tragic individual.