Outrageous Fortune (TV series)

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For other meanings, see Outrageous Fortune (disambiguation).
Outrageous Fortune
Outrageousfortuneseason6.jpg
The Season 6 title card
Created by James Griffin
Rachel Lang
Developed by South Pacific Pictures
Starring Robyn Malcolm
Antony Starr
Siobhan Marshall
Antonia Prebble
Frank Whitten
Kirk Torrance
Grant Bowler
Opening theme Gutter Black, Hello Sailor
Country of origin New Zealand
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 107 (including 2-hour movie) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) James Griffin
Rachel Lang
Simon Bennett
Running time 42 mins. (approx)
Broadcast
Original channel TV3
Picture format 576i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run 12 July 2005 – 9 November 2010
External links
Website

Outrageous Fortune is a New Zealand comedy-drama television series, which ran from 12 July 2005 to 9 November 2010 on TV3. The series followed the lives of the career criminal West family after the matriarch, Cheryl (Robyn Malcolm), decided the family should go straight and abide by the law. The show was created by James Griffin and Rachel Lang and produced by South Pacific Pictures.

Like the show itself, episodes took their names from Shakespeare quotations. The show concluded after 6 seasons and 107 episodes making it the longest running drama series made in New Zealand.[1] The primary cast for the show's run consisted of Robyn Malcolm, Antony Starr, Siobhan Marshall, Antonia Prebble, Frank Whitten and Kirk Torrance; Grant Bowler appeared in a sporadic role throughout the show's first five seasons.

The show premiered on 12 July 2005 and was welcomed by high acclaim. It won many of the major categories in the New Zealand television awards for its first 4 years, with Malcolm's performance warmly recognised by most New Zealand reviewers. Following the show's success, both the United States and England adapted Outrageous Fortune into their own respective series, neither of which were renewed after their debut seasons.

Overview[edit]

The series followed the lives of the West family, headed by Cheryl (Robyn Malcolm) and Wolf West (Grant Bowler) in their middle class West Auckland home. The family relied on crime for an income, with Cheryl working at a stolen goods shop. When Wolf is incarcerated, Cheryl informs her family, Van (Antony Starr), Jethro (Antony Starr), Pascalle (Siobhan Marshall), Loretta (Antonia Prebble) and Ted (Frank Whitten) that they will obey the law and play it straight. Show creator Rachel Lang described the series as an "upside down morality tale and a family story about a woman who tries to make her family go straight."[2]

Cast and characters[edit]

The show's initial seasons focused primarily on the West family. However, as the seasons developed, the focus branched out onto the family's affiliates and enemies.

  • Robyn Malcolm as Cheryl West (seasons 1–6), The family matriarch who, after husband Wolf gets imprisoned, decides to make her family go straight. Throughout the series she goes through numerous jobs before starting a lingerie business.
  • Antony Starr as Jethro West and Van West (seasons 1–6), Identical twins with contrasting personalities. Jethro is a lawyer and entrepreneur while Van is a mentally restricted slacker.
  • Siobhan Marshall as Pascalle West (seasons 1–6), A dimwitted blonde with a heart of gold. The embodiment of a 'westie chick'.
  • Antonia Prebble as Loretta West (seasons 1–6), The youngest of the West family and also the smartest. Loretta is manipulative and rarely remorseful. By the series end, she is a mother and a wife.
  • Frank Whitten as Ted West (seasons 1–6), Wolf's retired safe cracker father who is eccentric to the point of foul.
  • Kirk Torrance as Detective Sergeant Wayne Judd (seasons 1–6), Initially the West family's nemesis, later one of the family.
  • Stella King as Jane West (seasons 3–6), Loretta's daughter with Hayden Peters.
  • Grant Bowler as Wolfgang West (seasons 1–2, 4; guest; 3, 5), The criminal patriarch of the family. He does not approve of Cheryl's new way of life.
  • Tammy Davis as Munter (recurring seasons 1–2, regular 3–6), Van's best friend and co owner of business, 'The Tool Guys'.
  • Nicole Whippy as Kasey (recurring seasons 1–2, regular 3–6), Cheryl's best friend and eventual wife of Munter.
  • Claire Chitham as Aurora Bay (seasons 2–3), Van West's girlfriend who dies after being hit by a bus.
  • Shane Cortese as Hayden Peters (recurring seasons 2-3, regular seasons 4-6), Jane's father. Later business partner and husband of Loretta.
  • Tyler-Jane Mitchel as Sheree Greegan (guest seasons 3, 6, regular seasons 4–5), Wolfgang West's girlfriend.

Production[edit]

Following the dwindling numbers on Rachel Lang's series Mercy Peak, she decided one way to attract an audience was to feature abrasive and in-your-face characters, something she promised herself would feature in her next show.[2] When Lang heard a radio report on the low median number of women's income, she pondered why they did not turn to crime and realised the potential for a television show.[2]

Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Year Cost of Production Viewers
1 13 2005 $5.3 Million [3] 263,000 [4]
2 17 (Including Christmas Telemovie) 2006 $7.6 Million[3] 311,000 [4]
3 22 2007 $9.9 Million [3] 381,000 [4]
4 18 2008 $8.1 Million [3] 453,000 [4]
5 19 2009 $9.1 Million[3] 407,000[4]
6 18 2010 $8.6 Million[3] 520,000[4]

Season synopsis[edit]

Season one (2005)[edit]

When career criminal Wolf West is jailed for four years for assorted criminal acts, his wife Cheryl makes the decision that the family will get honest employment, instead of continuing their life of crime. Wolf is not pleased about this, but there's not much he can do from jail. Cheryl is initially disillusioned by her attempts at earning a legal living, but she and a couple of her friends start a business called "Hoochie Mama" making and selling sexy underwear, all the while resisting the newly found attraction of policeman Wayne Judd. The West children Jethro, Van, Pascalle and Loretta all struggle to cope with the new-found rules in their own ways, while Ted struggles to come to terms with his late wife.

Season two (2006)[edit]

In season two, Wolf has been released on home detention. He has no intention of keeping to Cheryl's new rules on life. Judd is determined to tear him away from Cheryl, and attempts to entice Wolf to break his parole so that he is returned to prison. Wolf escapes home detention and Judd moves in, much to the horror of the children. Pascalle starts to date Pakistani doctor Bruce, Van finds the love of his life Aurora and Loretta starts to date much older man Hayden. Jethro shocks his mother when he reveals he is still a criminal and only doing law to learn how to break the law more successfully. The season ends on Wolf framing Judd for a robbery he committed.

Outrageous Fortune: The Movie (2006 telemovie)[edit]

This one off two hour TV movie followed on from season 2.

The West family, as well as Aurora, Eric and Munter go camping at Tutaekuri Bay, a magical place where they have gone camping every year at Christmas. Tutaekuri means "dog shit" in Māori and is a fictional place for the purpose of the movie.[5]

Season three (2007)[edit]

The third Season sees Cheryl still battling to keep her family on the straight and narrow. Both the men in her life are inside – Wolf after turning himself in to the cops as part of his master plan to frame Judd; Judd because he fell in love with the wrong woman - Wolf’s woman. She borrows money from Gary Savage to pay for a lawyer for Judd, which results in his release but the debt causes a strain in their relationship. Pascalle breaks up with Bruce after he sees her porn movie and Aurora dies in a road accident, spiraling Van into depression. Loretta is devastated when Hayden edits their film for commercial gain, breaks up with him and burns down his house, only to discover she is pregnant. Jethro finds love in Danielle, a solo mum and ex-wife of Gary. Ted becomes suspicious of Gary and tracks down Wolf, only to find Gary is Wolf's half brother. Over the season Munter develops a relationship with Kasey and marries her in the final.

Season four (2008)[edit]

A fourth season of the show was confirmed on the show's official site, with 18 episodes commissioned. TV3 began screening an advertisement in May 2008. The season premiered on Tuesday 17 June 2008 at 9:30pm on TV3.

The family is brought together when Cheryl talks Loretta out of adopting out her baby, whom she names Jane. Cheryl having broken up with Judd, starts to have feelings for Wolf again, who is in a rocky relationship with the much younger ex-stripper named Sheree. Sheree's dodgy brother Nicky arrives and falls for Pascalle, who has married a millionaire named Milt. Milt dies, leaving Pascalle a fortune, that Nicky attempts to steal by dating Pascalle. Jethro is forced to run away when he is blamed for Nicky's drugs being destroyed and Van starts an affair with Sheree. Loretta and Jethro set Wolf up for burglary and Cheryl returns to Judd, becoming pregnant. Sheree also becomes pregnant, either to Van, Wolf or Jethro. Hayden returns to care for his child and Ted marries the scheming Ngaire. Pascalle becomes engaged to the dodgy Nicky much to her family's disbelief.

Season five (2009)[edit]

New Zealand on Air allocated NZ$9,107,650 to produce Season Five of Outrageous Fortune, which ran for 19 episodes. Season Five premiered at 9.30pm on Tuesday 2 June 2009.

Zane Gerard (Charles Mesure) fires three shots at Cheryl and Pascalle in a dramatic cliffhanger finale. Cheryl saving Pascalle. Pascalle got shot in the left shoulder.

New policemen Zane Gerard becomes a fixture in the West's lives, due to his past involvement with Sheree and Nicky Greegan. Van is pressured into becoming a police informant (behind the backs of all), infuriating Sheree when she finds out. Jethro starts up a business selling legal party pills. Nicky truly falls for Pascalle, enraging Sheree who makes off with Pascalle's millions and attempts to murder Van (to claim life insurance). After a rogue job robbing a Chinese money lender, Pascalle breaks up with Nicky. Loretta gets back together with Hayden and the two decide to marry as so they get custody of Jane. Ted ends up in prison for robbery and is helped out by Nicky, causing he and Pascalle to get back together. Near the end of the season, Cheryl has a stillbirth, causing her and Judd to eventually break up. The season ends with Gerard trying to arrest Pascalle for offensive language, resulting in a brawl (in the midst of Loretta and Hayden's wedding), only to be stabbed in the neck by Cheryl and turning round to fire three bullets in her direction.

Season six (2010)[edit]

Season 6 returned on 13 July 2010 at a new time slot of 8.30pm. John Campbell appeared as a news reporter in a small cameo.[6] The season is the last for the series,[7] and will reach its hallmark 100th episode. Ten-second promos started airing for the show on 14 June. The West family house set will be on show in Auckland Museum for six months after the series ends.

In the aftermath of Loretta and Hayden's wedding, it is revealed that; Pascalle takes a bullet, but survives, Cheryl is arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, Munter, Kasey, Van and Ted are arrested for various crimes, and Eric, who returned in the last series, has taken residence in the Wests home. Over the course of the first episode, Officer Zane Gerard dies, leaving Cheryl to be charged with murder. Van starts to see his lawyer Bailey, only to learn she is dating Jethro. Loretta opens up a brothel while Nicky escapes prison and tries to take Pascalle with him. The two break up and Sheree reveals where her children are, with Van becoming a part-time father to them. Judd and Pascalle develop feelings for each other and start an affair, disgusting Ted. Cheryl's charges are dropped and she is devastated to learn about Judd, finally forgiving him in the season finale. Pascalle and Judd leave, while Van marries the Russian Elena. Loretta, Hayden and Jane continue to be a happy family and Jethro fulfills his mother fixation. The series ends on Cheryl realizing how her rules have changed the family and how much better they have become.

International broadcasts[edit]

Australia
  • Outrageous Fortune is shown weekly on the Pay-TV channel W.
  • It was shown on the Nine Network during the summer non-ratings period.
  • Season 5 did screen on Network Ten at 21:30 on Friday nights over the summer period in early 2010 but was cancelled halfway through. In an interview with Andrew Mercado in April, Robyn Malcolm confirmed that this was because New Zealand-produced shows count against the quota of Australian-made shows that networks can show and series 5 was used as a filler during the non-rating season. Series 5 will again show on ARENA in November 2010. Network 10 has continued series 5 from 21 June 22:00 Monday nights.[8]
  • Australia Network broadcasts Outrageous Fortune to a wide Pay-TV audience in the Asia/Pacific Region.
USA
  • Outrageous Fortune is currently available for viewing on Hulu and Netflix
Ireland
  • TV3 Ireland showed the first series during 2006 and started showing the second series in March 2007 (22:00 Thursdays).
Canada
Italy
  • Outrageous Fortune was aired on SKY TV in Italy in March 2008.
UK
Finland
  • The show began airing on TV Viisi in February 2009.
Estonia
  • Season 5 began airing on ETV2 in September 2010.
Serbia
  • The show will begin airing on 22 February 2012 on Studio B. All six seasons will be shown.
Montenegro
  • The TV audience in Montenegro also can watch Outrageous Fortune (Strijele sudbine) on state television TV CG 1. The last season will air at the end of April 2012.

DVD releases[edit]

Series One[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series One
Set details Special features
  • 13 Episodes
  • 3-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Cast and Crew Photo Slide Show
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
8 December 2005 1 March 2008

Series Two[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series Two
Set details Special features
  • 17 Episodes
  • 3-Disc Set (NZ) / 4-Disc Set (AU)
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Xmas Telemovie
  • Blooper Outtakes
  • Photo Gallery
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
15 March 2007 3 May 2008

Series Three[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series Three
Set details Special features
  • 22 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Loretta's Blog
  • Photo Gallery
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
25 March 2008 4 August 2008

Series Four[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series Four
Set details Special features
  • 18 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Outtakes
  • Photo Gallery
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
13 November 2008 30 June 2009

Series Five[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series Five
Set details Special features
  • 19 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Photo Gallery
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
15 October 2009 12 May 2010

Series Six[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – Series Six
Set details Special features
  • 18 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Audio Commentaries
Release dates
 New Zealand  Australia
17 November 2010 11 May 2011[10]

Other[edit]

Outrageous Fortune – The Choice Series 1-3: Limited Edition
Set details Special features
  • 52 Episodes
  • 11-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Xmas Telemovie
  • Blooper Outtakes
  • Photo Galleries
  • Loretta's Blog
Release dates
 Australia
3 November 2008
Outrageous Fortune – The Complete Series 1-5
Set details Special features
  • 89 Episodes
  • 19-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Series 1
    • Behind the Scenes
    • Cast and Crew Photo Slide Show
  • Series 2
    • Xmas Telemovie
    • Blooper Outtakes
    • Photo Gallery
  • Series 3
    • Loretta's Blog
    • Photo Gallery
  • Series 4
    • Audio Commentaries
    • Outtakes
    • Photo Gallery
  • Series 5
    • 3 Audio Commentaries
    • Photo Gallery
Release dates
 Australia
13 October 2010
Outrageous Fortune – Serial Offenders - The Complete Collection
Set details Special features
  • 107 Episodes
  • 25-Disc Set
  • 16×9 (1.77:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital Surround 2.0)
  • Bonus disc titled "Cock-ups and other stuff raided from the West family vault."
    • Interviews with Creators/Executive Producers Rachel Lang and James Griffin; Executive Producer/Director Simon Bennett; Director Mark Beesley; and Actor Robyn Malcolm.
    • Bloopers entitled "Down-trou moments"
    • Pascalle’s "Best Bag Ever" advertorial
    • Rita & Ted Home Videos
    • Crane timelapse
    • Tamcam – behind the scenes with Tammy Davis
Release dates
 New Zealand
17 November 2010

Music[edit]

Two compilation soundtracks have been released for the show, and both draw on New Zealand music. The title track for the series is Hello Sailor's "Gutter Black".

Awards[edit]

  • The show cleaned up at the New Zealand TV Awards for 2005 winning;
  • Best Actor: Antony Starr
  • Best Actress : Robyn Malcolm
  • Best Director: Mark Beesley
  • Best Drama
  • Best Editing: Nicola Smith
  • Best Script: Rachel Lang
  • TV GUIDE Best on the Box:
  • Best Actress: Robyn Malcolm
  • Best Drama
  • Woman's Day Reader's Choice:
  • Favourite Female Personality: Robyn Malcolm
  • Air NZ Screen Award 2006:
  • Best Drama Programme for episode 4
  • Best Drama Series
  • At the Air New Zealand Screen Awards for 2007, the series won six awards, including;
  • Best Actor: Antony Starr
  • Best Actress: Robyn Malcolm
  • Best Drama Programme
  • Best Supporting Actor: Frank Whitten.[11]
  • The show also cleaned up at the 2008 Qantas Film and Television Awards winning 8 awards including;
  • Achievement in Editing - Drama/Comedy Programme: Bryan Shaw
  • Best Script - Drama/Comedy Programme: Rachel Lang
  • Performance by an Actor in General Television: Antony Starr
  • Performance by an Actress in General Television: Robyn Malcolm
  • Performance by a Supporting Actor in General Television: Tammy Davis
  • Performance by a Supporting Actress in General Television: Antonia Prebble
  • Sony Achievement in Directing - Drama/Comedy Programme: Mark Beesley.

[1]

Adaptations[edit]

Versions of the series have been produced in the United Kingdom and United States. The UK remake, Honest was produced for ITV by the independent production company Greenlit. The first episode aired on 9 January 2008, and the show ran for a single season.

The US remake, titled Scoundrels, premiered in June 2010 to mixed reviews. A previous adaptation developed by Rob Thomas, entitled Good Behavior, failed to be picked up for broadcast by any networks.[12] After its initial 8 episode run, Scoundrels was not picked up for another season.

References[edit]

External links[edit]