It could only happen in Broadmeadows. Or, you know, anywhere else that’s part of a serious welfare belt. In the middle of the Eighties, a portion of Broadmeadows became sufficiently notorious for its lack of ambition, laziness and general slovenliness that even the rest of Broadmeadows wanted nothing to do with it. The suburb split in three: the greater portion remained Broadmeadows, but the more ambitious section became Coolaroo (a name with a tale all its own). Which left the remaining section, the area to the south and west of Upfield railway station.

An area notorious for living on a diet comprised entirely of take away food, for driving so dangerous that it was the only place in Melbourne where unsightly, poorly-maintained vehicles dripping oil and other fluids into never-mown lawns was a reassuring sight, and for watching the very most that television, in those pre-Foxtel days, had to offer.

When it came to time to rename the area, the inhabitants were allowed to choose their own name, and in the ensuing vote, the top five names selected were all from tv shows. In fact, they were those of tv shows. In a rare show of benevolence, Premier Jeff Kennett intervened to prevent the actual highest vote getter, “It’s A Knockout”, from becoming the name of the suburb, and thus, victory went to those who knew who the hell J.R. Ewing was and why anyone would want to shoot him.

Suburbs near Dallas:

1978 – “Dallas” premieres

One of the most popular shows of the Eighties, “Dallas” chronicled the lives of the wealthy Ewing family and their associates, and was set in and around the eponymous city of the title. The Ewings were a powerful family who made their fortune in oil, and the show was a soap opera that largely concerned itself with the business and romantic lives of its characters.

It lasted for a total of 13 seasons, not counting the original mini-series that kicked it off, or its assorted spin-offs and re-unions. Today, it is probably best remembered for three things: the “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger that ended the second season, the “dream season”, where in early season nine it was revealed that all of season eight had been a dream; and the intense ratings rivalry between Dallas and Dynasty, the reigning soaps of their era.

Referenced in:

TV Party — Black Flag