It’s been thirty years since the most famous wedding in the history of Aussie soaps – the nuptials of Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue). And a lot has changed since then, with Neighbours about to feature its first-ever same sex wedding, as characters David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) and Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) tie the knot before friends and family.
Watching the episodes for WHO's TV podcast Binge List, I was struck by how it’s a wedding straight from the Neighbours tradition – plagued by lots of petty dramas and heavy-handed comedy, before everything ends perfectly, with the groom and groom getting their happily ever after… for now.
It’s a sign of the times that this storyline has been greeted by so little fuss, both off screen and on. At no point during the wedding episodes is the word gay even uttered – it’s just the wedding of David and Aaron - and the fact the loving couple are both men is now seemingly a total non-issue in Erinsborough.
The boys even share a passionate kiss at their wedding reception that might have put Mrs Mangle in an early grave, had it happened back in the day.
It is in this current climate of acceptance and progress that we may be tempted to think that David and Aaron’s wedding is nothing special. And while it may be for many of us, that isn’t the case for some beleaguered gay teens struggling with self esteem, or those who are fighting to get by in communities that haven’t yet embraced the wave of change that has swept Australia in recent years.
While Home and Away made recent strides with teen character Ty (Darius Williams) coming out of the closet, his story line required him to be loveless and lacking in the joys of teen romance that are so regularly experienced by all of his contemporaries in Summer Bay. His infamous failed attempt at a kiss with Ryder has now been left behind by the snog shared by loving couple David and Aaron at their reception.
While I love the fact that Neighbours is treating the couple's wedding exactly the same as any other, for some viewers out there it will be life-changing. It’s just a shame it’s taken Aussie TV so very long to catch up with society and get to this point.
And now that it has happened, I’m so glad it’s not a big deal.
We discuss David and Aaron's wedding at length on the latest episode of WHO's TV podcast, Binge List - featuring special guest co-stars Angie and Yvie from Goggle box. Details below!