Outrageous Fortune (2005– )

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,342 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

When career criminal Wolfgang West gets put away for four years, his wife Cheryl decides it's time for her family to go straight. But can the Wests change the habits of a lifetime?

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2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Cheryl West (107 episodes, 2005-2010)
 Jethro West / ... (107 episodes, 2005-2010)
 Pascalle West (107 episodes, 2005-2010)
 Loretta West (107 episodes, 2005-2010)
Frank Whitten ...
 'Grandpa' Ted West / ... (107 episodes, 2005-2010)
Kirk Torrance ...
 Judd / ... (100 episodes, 2005-2010)
Tammy Davis ...
 Munter (100 episodes, 2005-2010)
Nicole Whippy ...
 Kasey Mason / ... (85 episodes, 2005-2010)
David Fane ...
 Falani (58 episodes, 2005-2010)
Shane Cortese ...
 Hayden Peters (55 episodes, 2006-2010)
 Wolfgang West (54 episodes, 2005-2009)
Roz Turnbull ...
 Rochelle / ... (52 episodes, 2005-2010)
Stella King ...
 Jane West (51 episodes, 2008-2010)


When career criminal Wolfgang West gets put away for four years, his wife Cheryl decides it's time for her family to go straight. But can the Wests change the habits of a lifetime?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

June 2005 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Do diabla z kryminalem  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Police vehicles used within the show are outdated versions of current NZ Police vehicles. The EL Ford Falcon was used by the NZ Police from 1998-2001 and phased out by early 2002. See more »


In series 1, 2 and 3 - there are many vehicles used by the actors for many story lines. In all of the first 3 seasons, several vehicles have been used with the same plate number BKW906. Series one - the blue Mazda that Loretta steals from the teachers car park at her speech evening. Series two - Again the plates were used on a blue Mazda, although this car belonged the Wests family friend Filane in series 2. In this series the plates were also used on Jethros lime green Holden - and in one episode the plates on this vehicle change from BKW906 in one scene to different plates several scenes later. Series three - In the episode where Van is befriended by Aaron Spiller and is out on the prowl to steal and 'chop' cars, the grey Mitsubishi Galant that them and Filane battle with to steal when it is hooked up to the tow truck, later having its rear axle ripped off with the tug of war also displays the plates BKW906. Again to series one - Cheryls Marroon Holden displays the plates ACTXXX....and in the subsequent series always displays the plates BSE177. Note - from series one and two the number plates on Vans Nissan Skyline change also. The only vehicles that remain with the same plates through out all series are Munters Mazda Bongo Van, Pascalles Nissan TRX and Wayne Judds four wheel drive. See more »


Munter: You just mimed rooting your own sister. You have to think about these things before you do them.
See more »


Remade as Honest (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the very best things to happen to television, ever
29 April 2010 | by (Bulgaria) – See all my reviews

There are about... 6 TV shows I value very, very highly. Of those, Outrageous Fortune is the only one I started watching again, from scratch, as soon as the last episode of season 5 was over. I've done that about 3 times now, and I'm not planning to stop at 4. It amazes me I don't get tired or bored of it. Nor do I ever start feeling like my initial "wow" reaction was misplaced. It really is as brilliantly written as I thought the moment I first laid eyes on it, which was 2 years ago.

I translate TV series and movies for a living, and as such, a lot of crap has gone through my hands. Outragous Fortune is solid gold. It comes once in a few decades, if that. It follows the lives, tribulations and evolving personalities of a family of career criminals, a handful of their friends, and a cop who falls in love with the strong, stubborn, ever caring matriarch, Sheryl West. I'd say the show falls into the comedy-drama (dramedy?) genre, and even though it's deliberately over the top at times, it feels amazingly true to life.

The writing is very brave, not only in its bluntness and razor-sharp wit, but in its treatment of social norms we've been struggling to alter for years. For example, I've yet to see another show where people in their late 40s and 60s are represented not just as somebody's parents /grandparents, but as human beings with sex lives of their own (which are going splendidly well, too).

The male characters are beautifully multifaceted, each and every one of them (which men in television and real life are rarely allowed to be). The female characters also break taboos about how women "are supposed and expected to be" by being independent and tough as nails, each in her very own way. (Check out the magnificent Ngaire Munroe who's plain fierce.)

The acting is superb, and it's a pity that because of US's hegemony in every cultural sphere, audiences worldwide (minus Nz and Oz) aren't already familiar with these actors. We should have all known who some of them are long before the show aired. Many are no spring chickens, and are certainly brilliant enough to deserve the international recognition American stars get so easily, including those that are objectively mediocre.

With that said, it's the writers' work and specifically the character development that's the spark of genius making the show one of a kind. There's no flatness, no predictability, personalities grow and change, revealing sides the viewer was previously unaware of - some good, some terrible. Same as in real life, which is exactly where many writes fail (in books, too). To date, all story lines have been worth following and every single episode has been memorable, some to the point they shook me and stayed with me for days. I pray that Outrageous Fortune won't stop at 6 seasons. If it does, I'll try to move to New Zealand in hopes of living to see the day Kiwi television produces another gem like that.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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