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"Outrageous Fortune"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Outrageous Fortune" More at IMDbPro »

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57 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Best Kiwi Drama Ever Created

Author: originalreplica05 from Auckland, NZ
3 September 2005

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest Kiwi drama's ever created.

The acting is brilliant with a "who's who" of Kiwi actors (Robyn Malcolm, Frank Whitten) and also some great newcomers (Siobhan Marshall, Antony Starr) This show lets Kiwi's laugh at themselves, it's something that we can all relate to. An old 70's style house. A funeral party with a BBQ and heavy drinking.

Although it's hard to determine whether some parts of the show are comedy or drama, it's fairly easy and enjoyable to watch.

Thankfully it's been commissioned for a second season, a rare thing that happens with New Zealand TV. TV3 has finally seen that people enjoy homegrown shows, lets hope TVNZ does the same and would STOP CANCELLING ALL HOMEGROWN SHOWS! Overall - 9.5/10

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44 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

New and Refreshing Kiwi Programme

Author: Born_In_a_TransAm from Christchurch, New Zealand
21 July 2005

The Actors are recycled, but don't let that put you off! Robyn Malcom plays a great Cheryl West, she has certainly moved on and upwards from her days as nurse Ellen Crozier on Shortland Street. Malcom certainly does justice to the character the creator wanted to portray. Rachel Lang first came up with the idea after discovering the daunting income statistics in New Zealand. Malcom's character Cheryl is a fine example of many women in New Zealand - she is the glue that holds the family together, however her family often under-estimate her abilities and importance in the everyday family unit. Grant Bowler who appeared in 'Always Greener' adds to the shows hilarity providing a Male typecast-the New Zealand Bloke. Wolfgang 'Wolf' West only wants the best for his family, even if following the West way of life may not be the best way of life. The biggest surprise in the show has to be Antonia Prebble who plays Loretta West, a rebellious 15 year old. Although 21, Prebble manages to pull off the baby West. Clever, witty and motivated - so long as there is something in it for her.

The story lines may not be completely original (ahem *clears throat* think Desperate Housewives), but rest assured, it all has a nice little Kiwi twist, not to mention the endless one liners that will leave you thinking "Is this really a New Zealand show?"

Outrages fortune has a 'trailer trash' feel to it which guarantees some non-PC humour, however don't be blanketed by this cover, there is a moral in there somewhere, after all it is a comedy/drama.

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38 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

One of the best !

Author: mamathomas from Solomon Islands
25 July 2007

We are lucky in the Solomon Islands to have Outrageous Fortune broadcast here on Australia Network on Monday evenings. This has become one of my favourite shows. This is the type of show that one either loves or loathes. It reminds me of what the late American/International film reviewer Pauline Kael would have fallen in love with. It is fresh and ultimately realistic comedy/drama. Realistic not in the moronic sense of a "reality show", not even in the not-lifelike continual effing. It is realistic in that the characters are deeply flawed human beings. Each one of the them bears deep scars from society, from family, from themselves. Everyone from Granpa to Loretta. This is so unlike most programes where the Good practically wear white hats and the Bad black. The director lets this paradox of the good in the bad show forth by centreing the show around the criminal Wolf and his wife Cheryl, their twin sons, one smart and one stupid--viewer has to decide who is the smart son and who the stupid (played by a look-a-like of a young David Cassidy), and two very lovely daughters, one acutely intelligent and one acutely sexually earthy. Again, the view has to decide who is who. In Outrageous Fortune, hasty character judgements are bound to leave the judge with egg on the face.

The Wests are a family of criminals, adulterers, whoremongers, safe-crackers, deceivers--just like you and me. They are the least judgmental TV family I have seen portrayed, and in my time I have seen many. They indeed are a model for every family. Again, first judgements can be deceiving.

This show borders on the theatre of the absurd, borders on isn't. I don't think they've come up with a name for this genre. It is bound to radically disappoint viewers who think TV should stay at the level of All Saints or Friends.

And not the least best parts of the show is that they producers and actors are outstanding in that they make middle aged people absolutely sexy! The characters of Cheryl, Wolf, Judd are brimming with sexuality, a rarity on television for motherly and fatherly characters. Most directors assume interest in sex stops around around age 30. Outrageous Fortune shows it doesn't. Happy viewing!

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28 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

One of the very best things to happen to television, ever

Author: Jiji-3 from Bulgaria
29 April 2010

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.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Show

Author: puddy_15 from Australia
5 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Australia doesn't get to see much New Zealand television, but when we do we are treated to brilliant drama and Outrageous Fortune is the best of the lot.Outrageous Fortune is huge in New Zealand, and for good reason, it is a brilliant show with fantastic actors and a story that reels you in and doesn't ever let you go.

Featuring prominent New Zealand actors Robyn Malcolm, Antony Starr(who plays identical twins who are polar opposite), Antonia Prebble, Siobhan Marshall and a few Aussies (the brilliant Grant Bowler)and fantastic writing crew that keep the show going. The only downside is Australian channels stuffing up the rights to the show (currently on Channel 10 on Friday nights)

The show starts of with the head of the West family, Wolfgang, going to jail and mother Cheryl deciding to go 'straight' to the dismay of her family.

From the beginning of the first episode till the end of the 5th season you will laugh and cry while watching this show, i know i did.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Heck of a ride...

Author: gohmifune from United States
10 November 2010

So, just watched the series finale. As an American it was experience. Not much in the ways of culture shock, there was a bit, but the ride itself, with the characters and their lives and loves, was amazing.

There are highs and lows, both emotionally and regards to quality, but all said and done, it was worth it. You love these characters. You love these actors. You feel what they go through. It was something I have looked forward to every week for all these years, and looking beyond what it can do to you personally, it really is a good show.

It is a worthy show.

Best hours of television for me in such a long time. I'm glad I saw it, it gave back to its audience. The show was choice, and let me leave it at that.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Surprised how good it was

Author: patrick-782-678023 from Canada
23 May 2012

I'll keep the review short. This is my first review but this show deserved it.

Every kiwi i've watched I eventually lost interest, possibly due to culture differences? I'm not sure. I work from home and usually turn some sort of show on from netflix while i work for background noise. So Outrageous Fortune was a show i was to leave on in the background, peak at here and there while i work.

The first episode caught my attention a little bit but i was distracted with work, second, then third came on and i was hooked. Paying more attention to the TV then my own work.

I in my entire life have never found a show that has such an amazing cast. You eventually begin to like the cast, then love them. Feel apart of their lives. The show just takes hold of you and doesn't let go until the very end. Not once did i find a single episode boring.

The highs, the lows, the emotional twists really take hold. Van and Loretta were my favourites. Loretta would smile and you knew something cheeky was going to happen. I won't give any spoilers but this show is a must for everyone.

I was truly sad when it was done. For the first time i really truly loved a show, and couldn't wait to watch the next one. What an amazing job the whole team involved did with it. Kudos to Antony Starr for his dual role. Bravo with an amazingly well done job, especially as Van.

In short: Give it a chance, this is one show that will grow on you and you won't regret watching. I wish it would come back for some more seasons, i'm already missing my daily dose of it.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Amazing and Surprilsing

Author: nicolehollander from United States
20 March 2013

I am binging on this show. Of course I am ashamed of constant watching of TV when I could be reading all of the great books I have ignored these many years. The inventiveness and the freshness of the show mixing comedy and drama is amazing. I'm on episode 80 or 81 and it has turned dark and Shakespearian. I have never seen a comedy/drama show that didn't pale after 10 episodes. The acting is excellent and the enormous cast, each of whom are pitch perfect gives a base of characters to wrap ever new story lines around. The female characters are such a great blend of evil and wit, smart and amazingly thick. I welcome the variety and nuance in the women of the cast. Thanks New Zealand.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

How can you NOT love this show?

Author: Robin Rowlands from Australia
1 March 2012

It's hard to believe there are people out there who don't appreciate this avant garde show. I doubt they got past a few episodes - if they had they would know that it is just about the best series I have seen in a LONG time. Maybe it's the accent, the copious amount of sex and profanity that puts people off - I don't know. I do know I avoided it for a while myself as the previews and clips absolutely do not do it any justice, but I recently borrowed the series from a friend after much nagging, and have been watching it almost 24/7 since.

Highlights for me are: The character development is sensational. Anthony Starr's acting is beyond reproach, and Robyn Malcolm, Antonia Prebble and Frank Whitten are almost as excellent. The other thing that amazes me is how you can be crying real tears one moment then laughing to the point of crying moments later.

The whole show is just a roller-coaster of entertainment. Plot lines are on the whole plausible and engaging. Sometimes you have to suspend belief, of course, with some of the characters like Falani and Sparky being even more over the top than the others, but they absolutely add to the show.

There's no real way to describe this show because it IS unique. About the only similar show we have in Australia is Packed to the Rafters, which I enjoy, but it's really not a patch on OF. I can't think of a single US show that comes remotely close - but then anyone who has read any of my reviews would know that I am no fan of US television on the whole. Trying to think of a UK series that compares, but can't off the top of my head - I have a feeling some of the ones on my "to watch" list will be great, though.

Just do yourself a favour and get this series even if you have to beg for borrow or steal it!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

.. hands-down.. just one all time best

Author: bjarias from United States
29 October 2014

Totally 'choice'... this is an absolutely awesome TV series... ... One hundred and seven episodes that are near great as you can possibly get. There are so many staggeringly marvelous performances you could run down the list, close your eyes and pick any and all to bestow the highest praise. But it is in fact the characterization of the three West women.. .. for the entire six season series that will captivate and take your breath away.. (Siobhan is just flat-out incredible.. ..) You'll smile, laugh, and be emotionally moved again and again with 'OF.' There are no flaws... just TV comedy/ drama perfection.

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