By James W, Monday 4th June 2012
This raw, gritty and acclaimed drama was devised by Oscar nominated South Pacific Pictures and follows the activities of a family named West who regularly blur the line between right and wrong.
Over six seasons the show captivated audiences in its native New Zealand and became the longest running drama to be made there.
James Griffin and Rachel Lang were the brains behind this series which kicks off with the imprisonment of Wolf West (Grant Bowler) who has been found guilty of many criminal acts. It's up to his wife Cheryl (Robyn Malcolm) to lead the family for at least the next four years. She decides that a life of crime is no longer the way for her and the West family. Then her troubles really start as family and friends decide that this may not be the best course for them to travel.
Played straight with gripping storylines and heartfelt wit, the show was first broadcast in 2005. Like the show title each episode takes its name from Shakespeare quotations though its original title was to be White Trash. It was never afraid to tackle emotional, incredibly powerful evocative plots and never feared to tread into controversial areas of drama.
Chosen to play the central character of Cheryl West was Robyn Malcolm, one of New Zealand's most popular actresses. Winner of countless awards she tackled the role of Cheryl with solid honesty giving her depth and heart. Cheryl isn't the nicest and easiest person in the world to get on with but Robyn had the talent to make her one of the most memorable.
She is supported by a talented cast who take to their roles with efficiency and tact, keeping the ever addictive storylines believable and real. Characters such as Ted "Granpa" West (Frank Whitten), Van and Jethro West (Antony Starr), Pascalle West (Siobhan Marshall) and of course the aforementioned Wolf West all give it an unpredictable and compulsive viewing edge.
The soundtrack plays an important role to the series plus the theme, Gutter Black from New Zealand band Hello Sailor is a classic. By the way the band were recently inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.
So grab a rum 'n'coke and prepare to meet the West family in Outrageous Fortune weeknights at 10pm exclusively on CBS Drama.
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