In Review

The end of an era: Neighbours comes to an emotional close

Millions watched as big names were wheeled on for cameos in final episode

“How do you end a show that’s been on for 37 years?” It’s a “Herculean task of resolution”, said Nick Hilton on The Independent. The Neighbours writing team decided to end the soap in true Shakespearean style, with a wedding. Last week’s finale – watched by three million people in the UK – saw old-timers Mel and Toadie (Lucinda Cowden and Ryan Moloney) tie the knot as the residents of Ramsay Street decided, “en masse, to sell up and move”.

Meanwhile, various big name actors who have escaped Erinsborough (Guy Pearce, Margot Robbie, Kylie Minogue) were wheeled on for cameos, which should have been fun, but rather spoiled the plot – while casting an unflattering light on all the Aussie actors who did not manage to break away. 

Well, I thought it was a triumph, said Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph. I never expected to cry during Neighbours in 2022, but cry I did when Pearce returned as Mike, and was reunited with Plain Jane Superbrain after all these years. I have no idea if the episode was a fair reflection of the soap’s quality in recent years – I stopped watching decades ago – but it delivered nostalgia in spades. 

“Let’s be honest,” said Ben Dowell in The Times, on one level this was “terrible” television – “narratively all over the place”, appallingly edited and sometimes poorly acted. But I adored it all the same. Thank you for loving us/We love you too! was the final message that flashed on screen. In my book, “anyone who sneers at something as good-hearted as that can rack right off”.

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