No stranger to conflagration, fire has annihilated Neighbours’ Lassiters complex, burned down the high school and blazed bushland in between, leaving locals shocked, traumatised, dead, and given they rarely eat at home, very hungry.
The fashion moguls of Bold’s Beverly Hills district, meanwhile, have managed to contain most of the flames to personal relationships. Designers are fired, insults are fired, and there’s plenty of heat between the sheets.
Winner: Neighbours. They also had a tornado once, come on.
Incident: Explosions, Electrocutions and Temporary Blindness
Setting aside B&B’s explosive moments of passion, a gas leak at Forrester Creations caused a mammoth blast that left Ridge temporarily blinded. Eric Forrester also joined the ranks of the visually-impaired after a bookshelf fell on him. While Ivy hit the power lines only recently, charging up the drama (and Bold’s energy bill) in an electrifying stand-off with Steffy.
Neighbours has had three notable cases of ocular distress, most memorably Lucy Robinson’s after she fell into a drain – hey, it happens. No, not to anyone we know. Representing the show’s pyrotechnic interests, there were Toadie’s combustible nuptials, as well as the electrocutions of Declan Napier (via kitty rescue) and Rachel Kinski (via sandwich toaster).
Who could forget the time sweet, sweet Harold Bishop snuck into Paul Robinson’s home and strangled him? Never one to relinquish her grip, Stephanie Forrester has put the squeeze on Brooke Forrester’s neck at least three times.
Winner: Bold and the Beautiful throttles Neighbours on this one.
38 characters have kicked the bucket on The Bold and the Beautiful, while 40 of Erinsborough’s finest have retired to that great suburb in the sky.
Winner: Neighbours is thriving; it’s characters, not so much.
Incident: Baby Swaps, Misplaced Eggs and Surrogates
Steph Scully had a baby with Libby Kennedy’s husband, while Susan Kennedy was a surrogate for her daughter, Libby, but miscarried. Karl, Susan’s hubby, had a baby with his mistress. Sky agonised over which Timmons brother was the father of her child, and rewriting the Carpenter family tree, Lou wasn’t Lolly’s dad after all.
Over in Beverly Hills, parentage is also a biological hot potato…
Taylor was accidentally impregnated with Brooke’s egg. Eric thought Bridget was Ridge’s baby with Brooke, but really, she was Eric’s. Ridge found out that Taylor’s son, Thomas, was really his after Taylor had lied to him and told him the baby was his brother Thorne’s. Brooke had a baby with Deacon, her daughter’s husband. And Ridge isn’t really a Forrester after all, because Eric’s not his real dad.
Winner: On the radioactive scale, both their families are positively nuclear. A tough call but if only on paragraph size, Bold wins.
Incident: Resurrections and Amnesia
B&B has brought Taylor back from the dead, what, twice? Thrice? And Ridge at least once.
Yet Neighbours brought Harold back from the dead sans memory in its iconic ‘The Bishop Identity’ storyline, and has also produced a five-part zombie apocalypse web series, featuring the return of several deceased characters in undead form.
Winner: Neighbours, you’ve outdone yourselves.
Incident: Marriages, Divorces and Affairs
They’ve been whispering about Karl Kennedy’s philandering ways from the Lassiters Hotel to the Lassiters Lake for years. And while there have been several affairs and betrayals among the Ramsay Street residents over the years, Bold’s family trees are very, well, bushy.
The Forresters, the Logans, and any family that has crossed their wily paths, have married each other, each other’s parents, and each other’s children. There’s scarcely a B&B character that’s maintained a monogamous relationship past their wedding reception, or a wedding that’s lasted much longer than a ceremony.
Winner: The Bold and the Beautiful. Its tangled web of relationship lies knows no equal.
Result: It's A Soapy Stalemate
Drama of this kind hasn't been seen since the Greeks invented theatre. For every fracas that erupts on Neighbours, there’s a commotion to meet it on B&B. Will Katherine Kelly Lang’s appearance on Ramsay Street tip the balance? We’ll see. When it comes to two of the world’s most popular soaps, there are certainly enough histrionics to satisfy even the most impassioned drama queen.