LightboxNovember 25, 2016

Outrageous Fortune finished six years ago but Cheryl West still rocks


To celebrate Outrageous Fortune finishing six years ago this month, plus a nomination in the Lightbox People’s Choice Awards, we’ve assembled some of the best Cheryl West moments of all time. 

In November 2010, the final episode of the dark family comedy Outrageous Fortune aired on New Zealand screens. After six tumultuous, leopard-clad seasons, one fact remains as true now as it did then: Cheryl West is one of the most iconic New Zealand television characters this country has ever seen. To celebrate her reign, we’ve assembled the top five Cheryl moments from the show.


1) Cheryl the toastmaster (S1)

In the rousing speech that launched the premise of the show, Cheryl assembles her family – sans their imprisoned father – to set the record straight.

“Your dad went to prison today for four years. He’s going to miss out on the next four years of your lives – and we’re treating it like… like it’s an occupational hazard. Well not anymore. It all stops. Right here. Right now. From now on, we play it straight.”

Cheryl demands that every family member steps off the wrong side of tracks, and gets a real job or a real education. Her speech ends with this, possibly the closest articulation of the nail polish emoji ever committed to the small screen.


2) Cheryl the tampon liberator (S1)

‘Going straight’ at a supermarket checkout lasts only two episodes under the tyranny of nasty man Noel. Fed up with a shitty job and being treated poorly, Cheryl decides to announce over the speaker system that all feminine hygiene products will be free for the entire day.


This leads to a stampede of excitement women attacking the tills (because who would pass up on such a luxury). In one fell swoop she makes a bunch of local women very happy, and one awful man very angry. The perfect prank.

3) Cheryl gives Lonely a run for their money (S2)


What better way to cleanse the criminal soul than to start your own lingerie brand? Cheryl invests in a business called Hoochie Mama, dabbling in dangerously sexy underwear. Emphasis on the dangerous. A pair of crotchless panties take their first victim in the form of an innocent pair of testicles. When the victim threatens to sue, Cheryl rips into him with perhaps even more gusto than the killer knicks.

4) Cheryl says goodbye (S5)


In one of the most emotional episodes of the series, Cheryl loses her baby to Judd. Retreating to Tutaekuri Bay, where the ashes of her and Wolf’s first baby are scattered, Cheryl continues to blame herself for the catastrophic loss. Pulling herself together in the name of the family, she overcomes crippling grief and returns to West Auckland to farewell the lost little one.

5) Leopard is the new black (S6)

Outrageous Fortune was paving the way for Orange is the New Black well before Crazy Eyes muttered “dandelion” across the cafeteria. After a series of unfortunate events land Cheryl in prison, she quickly rises to the job of prison manager. After a bundle of Hoochie Mama gear “mysteriously” find its way behind bars, the inmates let loose in lace.  


Sure, it turns into a riot eventually, but for a moment Cheryl provides fanciful fun to a group of women who need it the most.

Watch the complete series of Outrageous Fortune on Lightbox, and click here to vote in the Lightbox People’s Choice Awards to go in the draw to win a trip for two to New York.


This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. 

You can also check out Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original, made by The Spinoff, that follows Hayden Donnell on an ambitious quest to collect underappreciated Kiwi cultural artefacts (The Waitangi Dildo, the DEKA sign, Suzanne Paul herself) and get them into New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Do yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service and all six episodes of this wonderful show.
Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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