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.