- Long-running Australian TV Drama Series Finally Bows Out!
They show American and British programs in Australia, so the drama and variety series made in Australia have quite a lot less episodes than the ones in Japan.
Among them are some long-running drama series that have been broadcast over many years in Australia. Like “Neighbours,” which every Australian knows. Long beloved by Australians, this very long running program finally aired for the last time on July 22 after 37 years (8,903 episodes would you believe?!).
Neighbours’ storylines revolve around the residents of Erinsborough, a fictitious suburb of Melbourne. The locations are centered around Ramsay Street as well as the local hotel, café, police station, park, and so on, with various cast members appearing. The stories include family troubles, problems at school, intergenerational conflict, romance and other events encountered in everyday life. It also addresses serious issues faced by many Australians in real life, like marriage breakdown, pregnancy, abortion, serious terminal illness, alcohol dependency, and drug use. And the storylines incorporate various hot-topic issues of the times, such as drug dealing, stalkers, surrogate birth, same-sex love, and environmental destruction.
Neighbours also screened in the UK, not just in Australia, gaining immense popularity there, and in fact the series is famous for being more popular in the UK than Australia.
Having aired for 37 years, there is a long list of cast members, among them that famous Aussie pop singer Kylie Minogue, who used to make regular appearances on Neighbours for 2 years. Margot Robbie, now pursuing a successful career in Hollywood, also appeared regularly for 3 years. And I just discovered that Russell Crowe appeared several times, and Chris Hemsworth once.
Neighbours’ episodes are short, 22 minutes, and aired from 6 to 7 (differing slightly depending on the state) in the evening Monday to Friday. In Japan, 6 in the evening is when people are coming home from work, so it would be a slightly early time slot, but the fact that 6-7 is a time slot when even Aussie adults can watch without missing out is so characteristic of early rising Aussies (LOL).
When I had just arrived in Australia and didn’t have any English at all, Neighbours was a program that was always showing when I turned the TV on, so although I didn’t clearly understand what was going on, I can still recall images in my mind of the regular cast members and the café set. I think the fans who have continued watching Neighbours over the 37 years must be very disappointed that it has come to an end.
Fewer people are watching TV these days. While the same goes for Japan, we are now in an age when they might not make programs like this anymore, popular drama series that the family can watch together. I will miss it.