Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Westside

TV Preview: Westside | TV3, 8.30 Sunday


By Doug Coutts

I’m clearly disadvantaged when it comes to watching Westside – I’ve never sat through an entire episode of Outrageous Fortune. I gave it a go once, but it was two commercial breaks before I’d realised there were twins not slack continuity, and by then it was too late.

I suspect you needed to have watched the entire how many series of OF to get the in jokes of Westside. There’s a story as well but let’s face it, it’s a prequel, and you should have been there. I wasn’t.

So as a stand-alone first episode of a fresh new series, it’s sort of an Underbelly with laughs and no heavy drug use, not yet anyway – the fiscal upside of whacky baccy has yet to make an impact on the Wests of 1974. The Wests however are starting to make a fiscal impact on the safes around the district.

As with most petty larceny it’s a blokes-only world, although the wives have taken out a secret long-term retirement plan of their own (not bothering to ask for advice from the Youi guy playing the partner of one of them). In Westworld, there’s also a cop in a safari suit, a nark with a conscience and Philips K9 colour tellies are a hot item, in more ways than one.

Of course, the quaint fashions and customs of the 1970s come in for a bit of ribbing with the piss-taking continuing right until the very last shot. Some of the dialogue doesn’t seem to be quite as era-specific though, or perhaps I was mixing in different circles back then.

They used to say that if you remember the 70s you probably weren’t there – so if you remember Outrageous Fortune, you’ll probably enjoy Westside.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at: Weakly Whirled News.
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