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Outrageous Fortune (no spoilers)

NZ’s longest-running drama Outrageous Fortune ended last night, at the close of season 6, still owning the ratings and once again becoming a global trending topic on Twitter. Phenomenon.

I wonder if the West family are now iconic fictional Kiwis who will last the ages? They must come close. They’re getting their own museum exhibit, even. They definitely have a distinctively Kiwi style, and they’ve been hugely successful here. But to last, they need to do more. They need to own a chunk of this nation’s symbolic real estate. Kiwis need to see a bit of ourselves in them, something that hasn’t been well-expressed anywhere else.

Hmm, who else is there? Definitely this guy:

Even though he existed mostly in very brief sketch comedy, this guy:

Probably this guy:

Maybe these guys? Too soon to tell?

(I know, let’s consult Wikipedia’s index of fictional New Zealanders… Hmmm. A few anime characters, a couple of misbegotten superheroes, and Madge Allsop. Er… go Kiwi?)

My instinct is that the Wests will last. What d’you reckon?

{ 8 } Comments

  1. Scott A | November 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    no. where are the catch phrases and originality?

  2. sonal | November 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Will be interesting to catch up on – I was only in country for the first two seasons and wasn’t into it enough to find ways to download it, maybe I’ll warm to the later seasons.

    As for iconic fictional NZers I’m putting in a vote for Bro’Town – those characters I completely recognised … different neighbourhoods I guess.

  3. housemonkey | November 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    That wikipedia list also includes Ted West, but not the others, if that means anything. One of these days I’ll get around to watching Outrageous Fortune, promise.
    And how come Paul Henry isn’t on the list, surely people don’t think he’s real?

  4. Pearce | November 11, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    “NZ’s longest-running drama”

    ACK! “Drama” is not a genre. Anything where people act as characters is drama.

  5. morgue | November 11, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Scott: as mentioned on Twitter, you might be on to something with the catchphrases; to be iconic, you need to be sort of “reducible”. (The Dog doesn’t have a catchphrase really, but because he’s a drawing I like to think he is his own visual catchphrase… it makes sense to me.)

    Disagree on the originality thing though. Who cares about originality?

    Sonal: Bro Town definitely represented, but I dunno if they will last either. I’d give the Wests a better shot than them. Hmm.

    housemonkey: speak not of the demon.

    Pearce: yes yes okay

  6. Jenni | November 11, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I’m glad that Mazer Rackham is on that list, even though New Zealanders really had nothing to do with the book 🙂

    I haven’t watched Outrageous Fortune and I’m not particularly tempted by it.

  7. Pearce | November 11, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I admit that I have only watched one episode of Outrageous Fortune, but to me it seemed to veer between low comedy and melodrama. Just like a soap opera!

  8. china shop | November 12, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    It’s ooover. :-/ The finale was better than I expected, and Loretta pwns everything.

    I think Van and Munter have the best shots at becoming iconic kiwi characters. I could easily imagine them appearing in a sketch show in fifteen years (not that I think the actors have any interest in prolonging the characters, but if they did).