Mixed Reviews for Outrageous Fortune Wannabe

On the eve of Outrageous Fortune screening in HD for the first time, an American version, also in HD, premieres this weekend in the US.

It casts Virginia Madsen (Sideways, The Haunting in Connecticut) and JAG’s David James Elliott as Cheryl and Wolf West, and already has been cheered and jeered in equal measure.

The Boston Herald thought it “wicked fun when the Wests are being wild” while the New York Post and Slant magazine reckon it has potential. But TV Guide said Scoundrels is “never as funny as it thinks it is” and USA Today summed up the show’s creative desperation with a dig at its origins: “We’re now importing TV ideas from New Zealand?”

In-between was the New York Times’ appraisal, which said the plot of the pilot “fairly closely tracks” Outrageous Fortune’s: “It starts out looking like one show, a sexy, light-hearted comedy about larceny, and ends up looking like another: a slightly more serious, and potentially irritatingly sentimental, dramedy about trying to go straight.”

NZ Outrageous Fortune fans reportedly also haven’t been impressed.

If Scoundrels survives its eight-episode run, which could be a long shot given few summer replacement series in the US get picked up for the fall season, then it may enjoy a primetime run on TV One or TV2, as it will be among the shows TVNZ automatically acquires through its exclusive deal with Disney/ABC.

Meanwhile, expect TV3’s Outrageous Fortune to resume on July 13. The network has yet to confirm this but it seems inevitable given The Good Wife’s season finale is on July 6.

Patrick Flueger (Calvin West) and Virginia Madsen (Cheryl West)

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