TV3's new NZ comedy/drama, Outrageous Fortune, follows the lives and mishaps of a family of Westie criminals trying to go straight. In the blurb, TV3 honcho Caterina De Nave is quoted as stating "This is a bold story. We’ve not seen anything like it on our televisions before".
Well, actually, we have. Quite a lot of it - from Minder to Lock, Stock... And about ten years ago Tarantino set a standard for blackly humorous drama with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. In more recent years, we've seen comedy/dramas like Footballers' Wives set a standard for outrageousness (ex-wife arranges to have a baby at the same moment as current floozie, switches babies, one is eaten by dog, replacement nanny is disguised former "hostess" seeking revenge for her rape by entire team... You get the picture - that's *bold*).
None of the characters in Outrageous Fortune are in any way scary enough - they look more like property spivs (the older ones) or bFM presenters (the younger ones) than desperate crims from the ghettos of Henderson.
For instance, in the first episode wayward son Van burgles some Chinese people who are, it is suggested, Triad members. Now in the tradition of cop drama, crossing the Triads tends to wind a character up having his fingers cut off and served up as sweet and sour. On a good day. These guys intimidate the mother by sitting next to her in a car. After the son fails to return the priceless heirloom, smashing it to find that it *doesn't* contain a kilo of smack, they make him clean their swimming pool. What *is* this - Heartbeat?