5 Best Australian Soap Operas

Wednesday, February 2 by Samantha Assad

The 5 best Australian soap opera shows are must-sees for drama fans. Soap operas, or serial dramas, are a staple in Australia, with the popular weekday soap "Neighbours" currently celebrating its twenty-fifth year on the air. Most Australian soap operas air in the weekday mornings and average 25 to 30 minutes in length.

  1. "Neighbours". "Neighbours" focuses on the everyday work and home lives of the residents of Ramsay Street in Erinsborough, a fictional suburb.  First broadcast on Seven Network in 1985, the show was canceled due to low ratings and immediately bought by a rival station, Network Ten. "Neighbours" soared on Ten, with millions watching the weekday episodes and continuing to do so today.
  2. "Sons and Daughters". "Sons and Daughters" ran from 1982 to 1987, but the popularity of the soap endures: the original episodes are still being shown on Australian television. The storyline revolves around the families of the John Palmer (Peter Phelps) and Angela Hamilton (Ally Fowler). The pair fell in love at the onset of the series only to discover they were fraternal twins who were separated at birth. Tension and drama colored the series entire run as the two learned about the love affair that resulted in their births.
  3. "Home and Away".  Premiering in 1988, "Home and Away" originally focused on the managers of the Summer Bay Caravan Park,  Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Tom Fletcher (Roger Oakley), and their foster children. The series has since evolved, with the lives of the residents of Summer Bay taking center stage.
  4. "The Sullivans". "The Sullivans", originally aired in Australia from 1976 to 1983, centered on the lives of the Sullivan family and relatives, friends and associates during World War II. Although the show contained soap-staple storylines, the war backdrop allowed for more serious moments than normally seen in traditional Aussie soaps.
  5. "Number 96". Unlike more traditional faire, like "Neighbours" and "Sons and Daughters", "Number 96" was risque for its time and often funny. The series, which ran from 1972 to 1977, featured both nudity and sex scenes. The action was centered on the residents of an apartment block in Paddington.
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