Kiwi fans outraged by the American Wests

By Rebecca Lewis

Robyn Malcolm as Cheryl in Outrageous Fortune. Photo / Supplied
Robyn Malcolm as Cheryl in Outrageous Fortune. Photo / Supplied

The home of the American West family is "too classy" and there's no room for a Munter in the US version of Outrageous Fortune.

Fans of the Kiwi show have expressed their disappointment over the American adaptation of the popular TV3 series.

The ABC network has released an extended trailer for Scoundrels and the first of eight episodes is due to air next Sunday. Kiwi fans on internet forums are already calling the show "stupid" and "pathetic".

But John Barnett, chief executive of South Pacific Pictures, which produced Outrageous Fortune, said those bagging the US show based on the trailer were being a bit precious.

"A lot of Kiwis aren't even going to see the American version, but we're very pleased with it," Barnett said.

"I'm not surprised that people have an opinion about it. Some people will be thinking 'we saw it first, we're special', but the US see things through different eyes. It has been adapted well for the American TV landscape."

The series adaptation still focuses on the West family trying to turn their crime-riddled lives around, after Wolf West is handed a five-year prison sentence - but that is where fans believe the similarities begin to diminish.

Fame-hungry daughter Pascalle has become Heather, played by Grey's Anatomy's Leven Rambin, and the tough-talking Loretta has become Hope, played by Vanessa Marano.

The loveable but slow Van has become Calvin, and his twin, Jethro, has become Logan. The dual role is played by Patrick Flueger of TV series The 4400.

Sergeant Wayne Judd has become Sergeant Mack, and is played by Carlos Bernard.

Cheryl and Wolf appear to be the only two to retain their original names, and are played by Virginia Madsen and JAG actor David James Elliot.

The American Cheryl still has the black eyeliner, blond hair and low-cut tops of the matriarch who Kiwi fans know and love. Wolf appears to be a relatively similar character, but without as much stubble.

Comments on the official Outrageous Fortune website are somewhat negative about the US series, but others are willing to give it a chance.

User Mclovin wrote: "Not warming to Wolf or Judd or Cheryl. Lorettas [sic] pretty good. Pascalle is average."

Omoto1 said: "All they're doing is handing the script over for some stupid b-rated actors to re-read it and put it in a pathetic so-called 'Funny comedic' version ... in other words, taking good work and destroying it."

People commenting on Facebook call the show a "bull**** comedy" and a "travesty". One fan said the prison and West home looked "too classy".

Barnett said certain names and looks had to be changed for the US version for it to work.

"You can't have [someone called] Jethro because it reminds people of Beverly Hillbillies and you can't have a friend called Munter because there's no such word as munter over there," he said.

The American series is produced by Richard Levine and Lyn Greene, who were behind the Nip/Tuck scripts.

The much-anticipated show is beginning to gain momentum in the United States, with a huge billboard erected in New York's Times Square.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 30 Aug 2014 15:33:28 Processing Time: 1330ms