“Westside – Season 1 – 6” (2015-2020)
Created by: James Griffin & Rachel Lang
Featuring: Antonia Prebble, David de Lautour, Dan Musgrove, Esther Stephens, Todd Emerson, Pana Hema-Taylor, Xavier Horan, Sophie Hambleton, Reef Ireland, Ashleigh Cummings
Ted: “No rhinos around here mate: just a pig dressed as a ponce.”
Released on DVD this month is the long running television series “Westside” (2015-2020), this is the full series now that the show ended its run just recently.
“Westside” (2015-2020) is a New Zealand comedy-drama television series created by Rachel Lang and James Griffin for South Pacific Pictures. It is a prequel to “Outrageous Fortune ” (2005 – 2010), and chronicles the lives of Ted and Rita West.
Believe it or not there was a time when any kind of drama that was about New Zealanders that would or could air on New Zealand television was unthinkable unless it was a soap in the vein of Shortland Street (1992 – present) or going back further “Close to Home” (1975 – 1983). So it is amazing that after many television embarrassments as well as failures a show like “Outrageous Fortune” (2005 – 2010) not only found a home but also was successful and well reviewed by almost anyone that seen it.
Like the best period televise from any country, not just New Zealand, the success lies in the ability to place the timing of the plots without being too wink wink nudge nudge or by making too big a part of the fact that it is set in the past. In a way this is the key to the success of “Westside” it easily slips into the 1970s period with some great on location filming, sets that are straight out of old photo albums and of course the acting ability of all those involved, which are all top notch even for a series that must always have been budget conscious.
Of course there are always going to be comparisons to what was a huge hit and a touchstone for New Zealand drama in the original series “Outrageous Fortune”, but this prequel holds its own both with its new bold cast as well as the characterisations of the previously known characters who are younger and being portrayed in a vert different light, which again is surprising and refreshing.
This new box set is not only excellent value but contains a run that is historically accurate reflecting the times that have gone before in a somewhat realistic way which is a change from some of the New Zealand made dreck currently airing on New Zealand television.
All That Impedes Thee from the Golden Round: Ted West is released from a 3 year stretch in prison to find out one of his former gang could be a snitch and Lefty has taken over the leadership role. Unhappy with how Rita and Wolf have been treated Ted sets about putting things right.
1975 – Is’t Far You Ride?: As Ted’s away on a job, a bored Rita pursues other interests. And Wolf’s act of vandalism starts a war with the Doslic neighbours. Ted’s jewellery tribute to Rita inspires Wolf to make amends to his mother, as Rita embarks on a bold plan to get her own career. But peace making Ted finds the Dallies have more to recommend them than wine . . . One of them has skills Ted can use to best his personal great white whale, the safe at a mine. But the job comes with unexpected complications and Rita will have to work the angles to save her husband, and achieve her dream.
Instruments of Darkness Tell Us Truths: Ted and Rita both champion good causes: a disco dancing overstayer and a mouse who needs to roar.
Our Poison’d Chalice: Another poisoned lamington leads everything in the family and the gang falling apart. Exploring a new line of business with notorious Marty Johnstone ‘Mr Asia’ unites them all back to what they know best.
Dire Combustion: The biggest job yet has explosive consequences for the Wests. Oh, and Wolf has a girlfriend.
But for a Wayward Son: Ted and Rita find Wolf has been doing the dirty, in more ways than one. But how to deal with their problem child?
Episode 1: Rita West is reunited with love of her life Ted, but has lost a son. The gloves are off in the war with the Horsemen and there’s a storm in a teacup.
Episode 2: Rita helps out a friend from prison and Wolf get an upwardly mobile job. The Springbok tour creates employment opportunities for Ted and there’s a swingers’ party.
Episode 3: Ted goes after a wad of South African cash. A crime close to home has the Wests joining forces with the police and neighbourhood watch.
Episode 4: Wolf gets fired, which angers Rita and pleases his boss. Bert and Falani take a road trip to Hamilton to watch the infamous Waikato/Springbok game and switch sides twice, in the game that never was. Wolf enlists Sparky and Eric to go on a frozen fishing expedition for Evan. The long-suffering Ngaire seeks affection and romance, but could Mike McCarthy be a fatal attraction? Ted twiddles his thumbs and Rita surprises him with a job offer. And Phineas’ world comes crashing down when his mother dies.
Episode 5: It’s hectic times for Rita and Ted: a royal wedding – a funeral – forbidden love – a family feud – plus a Nazi.
Episode 6: Times are changing for Ted. Rita wants to expand her business and keep the peace between father and son. Wolf mixes business with pleasure.
Episode 7: Ted and the boys go hunting South Africans while Rita has a mess to sort out with her growing business and an explosive affair.
Episode 8: The wives financially support their men – which doesn’t go down well and the Springbok tour divides the gang and the country.
Episode 9: Rita’s in charge of her first big job and the stakes have never been higher but can she rely on those closest to her?
Episode 10: Ted gets one final crack at the South African money. Wolf’s at war with his parents and the rest of the country are at war with themselves.
Episode 1: Rita and Ted return from their holiday to a rude surprise and Wolf gone. Rita distracts herself by waging war on the new neighbours, And Ted is dealt a blow he probably saw coming.
Episode 2: Lefty is a desperate man and Ted is dragged along for the ride. The gang has to look to the past if they have hopes of a future.
Episode 3: Wolf grows dissatisfied with his career, but it turns out that’s the least of his problems. A sexy blast from Rita’s prison past arrives with dangerous intentions.
Episode 4: Guilt over Evan is tearing Rita and Wolf apart. McCarthy feels compromised by his lady’s past. A fateful meeting at the forbidden dairy leads to fireworks.
Episode 5: Rita may have finally found her match. Fear forces Bilkey in too deep. A means to an end changes everything.
Episode 6: Bert is deceived and destroyed. Rita proves there’s no fury like a woman scorned. Wolf ups his game.
Episode 7: Wolf plays with the big boys. Rita gets under Cheryl’s skin. A last minute change of plans may cost everything.
Episode 8: Rita makes a deal with some devils. Mike buckles when his personal and private lives collide.
Episode 1: Time on the inside puts Cheryl and Wolf on trial. Phineas’ manhood gets in the way of manning up. McCarthy strays far from the thin blue line.
Episode 2: The gang gets roped into the silly season. Ngaire comes home and she’s brought gifts. Cheryl’s Christmas cheer turns deadly.
Episode 3: Wolf holds Cheryl back from the edge. Rita suffocates in a full house and seeks help from a potential threat. Ted’s future looks crime-free and hopeless.
Episode 4: Rita rebels against Cheryl’s plan to go straight, Wolf struggles to leave his life of crime behind and Ted’s winning streak comes to an end.
Episode 5: Ngaire and Lefty explode. Eric’s love-life may not be in dire straits. Bilkey finds out all’s fair in love and war. And Ted’s bad attitude puts him and Rita in real danger.
Episode 6: Rita has her mind blown. Bert and Carol’s arrangement is threatened by a blast from the past. Ted makes a comeback, but it might all be for nothing.
Episode 7: Sparky’s love combusts. Memory lane leads Ted to old promises. Phineas comes clean over his dirty little secret. Round two for Rita leaves her wanting.
Episode 8: A grisly murder pits the gang against each other, Cheryl and Wolf are at each other’s throats over wedding venues, and Rita gives Ted an ultimatum.
Episode 9: Ngaire encounters a familiar face at Cheryl’s hen’s party while Wolf is lead astray by an old flame at his stag do. Phineas and Bert fight for Carol.
Episode 10: The Wests come together for Cheryl and Wolf’s wedding but the groom has cold feet, and the cops threaten to derail the nuptials.
Episode 1: It’s 1987, and the parade down Queen Street for the NZ America’s Cup yachting team is in full swing. Ted and his guys are hiding out on a job, and Wolf and his boys have their own plans. Of course, nothing goes to plan.
Episode 2: Rita is dealing with trouble and strife both at home and abroad, as the repercussions from the two bungled robberies spread. It seems that the Wests have awakened an enemy considerably more powerful than even Rita’s iron will.
Episode 3: When an immovable object meets an unstoppable force all-out war is the inevitable result. As Ted lies in his hospital bed, Rita calls the troops to arms, to see off those responsible. Many innocent letter-boxes will perish as a result.
Episode 4: In which the ground literally moves, as Ted’s gang head down to Edgecumbe for their first job without their leader. Meanwhile, Cheryl brings a hippy into the West house, leading to a very uncomfortable visitation from the past for Rita.
Episode 5: A West family children’s birthday party for the 4-year old twins. What could possibly go wrong? Apart from the appearance of a gang of angry clowns, of course.
Episode 6: Ted does not believe in such a thing as a truce; or in playing a long game. Ted has suffered and Ted wants some payback for that suffering. Luckily for him, where there is a Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park, there is a way.
Episode 7: A plague has descended upon the West house. But even as she hovers near death there are still some things only a woman like Rita can sort out – like doing a deal with the devil, before they all drown in the deep blue sea.
Episode 8: The Wests are a family with a lot of secrets. Having these secrets is not the problem; keeping the secrets is the problem. Thus it is that Rita and Wolf go head-to-head in a game of mutually assured destruction.
Episode 9: The war that has been simmering under the surface, between Rita and Wolf, bursts into fruition as Wolf takes matters into his own hands.
Episode 10: October 1987. As the stock-market crashes around the West family and their associates an old dynasty crumbles and decays, while the next generation finds a home in which to forge the next one.
Episode 1: Her Grave, While I’m Dancing on It
Episode 2: Making the Most of Every Moment
Episode 3: Behold – The Miracle Water!
Episode 4: Well That’s Not Creepy
Episode 5: Otherwise Evil Wins.