6:30 smooch for two teen soaps

Neighbours & Dance Academy will see a same-sex kiss on the same day in the same timeslot. Spoilers.

Spoilers: Two same-sex kisses, two shows, one timeslot.

Monday’s episodes of Neighbours and Dance Academy will both include a same-sex kiss between young male characters, in two multichannel shows in the same 6:30 timeslot.

Both have seen romance and tension bubbling away in their storylines, but coincidentally both will result in a kiss on air on the same day.

Both are sensitively handled for their youthful audiences, without attracting any of the furore that accompanied Home and Away‘s same sex kiss in a 7pm timeslot in 2009.

In the case of one show the moment is cleverly planted as a background smooch, and not even the crux of its scene.

In Neighbours, James Mason’s character ‘Chris’ has been dating Bob Morley’s character.

“While I’m playing a gay character, I don’t presume to know exactly what it must be like to be young and struggling with your sexuality and coming out,” said James Mason. “However, the positive feedback we’ve received from viewers is very reassuring that we’re on the right track with storyline.”

Mason, 22, is now an ambassador for youth support organisation, Headspace.

Morley (Home And Away, The Strip) has been enjoying a guest role as nurse ‘Aiden Foster’ who grows closer to ‘Chris.’

“It has been a low key introduction which has been great for the character, viewers have had time to get to know him and he isn’t defined by his sexuality,” said Morley.

“As an actor, my responsibility is to play the role truthfully and not necessarily impart a particular social message.”

In the coming months ‘Chris’ will embark on a full relationship with ‘Aidan,’ but being a soap it won’t be without its dramas.

Meanwhile on Dance Academy Tom Green’s character ‘Sammy’, who last year had a crush on Christian (Jordan Rodrigues) now moves closer to ‘Ollie’ (Keiynan Lonsdale).

The acting role is the first for dancer Lonsdale.

Dance Academy last season handled ‘Sammy’s crush on his best friend with sensitivity.

Both Neighbours and Dance Academy storylines will be further developed in episodes on Tuesday.

14 Responses

  1. Yes, Neighbours has had gay characters before. And the stories and characters have been equally insipid.

    By the way, the restrictions on the depiction of the gay characters in Number 96 were imposed by the Broadcasting Control Board (i.e. the public censor), not by the network or the production company. Both Network Ten and Cash-Harmon were willing to pioneer the inclusion of gay characters, and risked sanctions by the censors – that’s a far cry from the attitude of Ten and Grundy/Fremantle in the past twenty years. And Don Finlayson remained central to 96 for the entire seven-year run, without ever miraculously turning straight. That did more to change Australian attitudes to gay people than anything before or since.

  2. I think Dance Academy is doing a fantastic job with the way they tackle issues like this one.
    I believe it’s one of the better shows around aimed at the younger generation, and the fact that it’s Australian make me even more impressed.

    @tiger_tim I do agree that it does feel a bit rushed. But the show does move at quite a quick pace as it is. Unfortunately they don’t have the luxury of more than 26 episodes, and they intend to cover a full year of time in the show with them. Not too long ago in between episodes they made a 6 week jump to move along the injury storyline. So I’m more forgiving for the pace they’ve moved things along.

  3. Enjoyed both storylines, although I think the DA one has been a bit rushed…Sammy only really started having feelings for Ollie in Fridays ep when he found out Ollie was gay

  4. @Kev: Correct… but even in Number 96 forty years ago the guys never kissed, and that was an Adults Only show, but the network insisted that Mr Finlayson have no physical contact with another male. So it was ok for him to “be” gay but not actually “do” anything gay.

    Strangely enough the same network had no issue with Judy Nunn’s character having a smooch with a female co-star in The Box although that show had a slightly later timeslot. Seems it was alright for the girls to do it, but not the guys.

  5. My reaction to Neighbours acquiring some gay characters after 21 years…

    Too little. Too late. Too obviously desperate in grasping for something to make them look vaguely relevant. You don’t get points for being the last show on earth to acknowledge gay people. In fact, this just draws attention to how backward and non-inclusive Neighbours has been for two decades.

    1. The Home and Away furore was (unfairly) led by media before it had aired, not complaints to ACMA. I doubt ACMA could find a breach. These timeslots do have rules on sex but a kiss for gay characters is viewed the same as it is for straight, no more, no less. If things got hot and steamy it may stray into Adult Themes but neither do.

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