Outrageous Fortune’s as good as ever, says Jane Clifton in
today’s Dominion Post, as the sixth and last season of this
great Kiwi comedy-drama begins. Much as I respect
Jane’s writing, I must sadly disagree with her on this one.
Essentially, Outrageous Fortune—sublimely brilliant for
the first four series—passed its use-by date a couple of
years ago and should have been laid to rest with honour.
Now all we get is the same old characters doing their same
old shtick over and over again, and boy, is it tiresome.
What once was fresh and sharp is now stale and outworn.
The dialogue between, say, Van and Munter positively
creaks: they might just as well get robots to say these
lines now. The core problem, I think, is that not one of the
main characters has grown or changed for the better or the
worse. Maybe that’s OK for a half-hour sitcom, no matter
how many seasons it runs, but with a more wide-ranging
drama like this you need some serious character
development after a while. The problem is compounded
by the fact that everyone looks older, as indeed they are;
yet they’re still carrying on like 14-year-olds. Outrageous,
yes. Fortunate, no. It’s a classic example of not knowing
when to quit while you’re ahead.