As a nation, for nearly four decades, we collectively lived alongside the Ramsays, the Robinsons and the Clarks, and later the Mitchells, Kennedys, Rebecchis, Starks and Cannings. This is how good neighbors, according to the theme, become good friends.

But after nearly 9,000 episodes, the long-running TV show Neighbors – and our friendship with him – will end in August. Its final plots, filmed at Melbourne’s Nunawading studios, are still under wraps. With the show’s end, the book closes with a relatively unique cultural document: a soap opera airing five nights a week that captures, moment by moment, the nation’s social mores, everyday conversations, and even fashion trends. . It’s got it all, from cable knits to caftans.

Ian Smith (Harold Bishop) and Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy) at the Neighbors farewell event on Wednesday.Credit:Darrian Traynor

Caught, in the end, in a perfect storm of declining Australian viewership and changing business models, it could not survive. “Television comes in waves and styles, but we’ve survived because, like nature, adapt or die, and we’ve adapted,” actress Jackie Woodburne said at the latest media event. broadcast on Wednesday. “We were aware of what was happening in the wider culture, what people were going through, and we told stories to reflect that.”

The show’s final scenes were filmed earlier this month and included a slew of guest appearances from old favorites including Paul Keane (who played Des Clarke), Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay) , Ian Smith (Harold Bishop), Daniel MacPherson (Joel Samuels), Mark Little (Joe Mangel) and Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland).

Three of the show’s most successful alumni – Guy Pearce (Mike Young), Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson), and Kylie Minogue (Charlene Mitchell-Robinson) – also filmed scenes for the show’s later episodes.

But before the curtain fell for the last time, a mix of current and past actors were treated to one last press parade, at Nunawading Studios. Australian TV isn’t usually nostalgic, but when it comes to sacred sites, it’s up there. Prisoner was filmed there, with Matlock Fontthe convicted holiday island and the 1960s pop show Kommotion.

Neighbors cast members including longtime stars Stefan Dennis, Ryan Moloney, Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne (front row) pose for a photo.

Neighbors cast members including longtime stars Stefan Dennis, Ryan Moloney, Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne (front row) pose for a photo.Credit:Darrian Traynor

Since its premiere on March 18, 1985, like most soap operas, Neighbors′ Intrigue dominated the national conversation. And from every point of view, these 37 years have been busy: 8,903 episodes, more than 180,000 scenes, 100 hostage takings, 35 natural disasters, 115 car accidents, 64 deaths, 40 marriages, 17 births and 15 people who have, in true soap opera tradition, come back from the dead.

Among her most memorable moments: the pre-Will Smith slap heard around the world, when Susan (Jackie Woodburne) slapped her cheating husband Karl (Alan Fletcher). As with many of these cultural moments, it resonated because it spoke to the shared experience of the show’s female audience.