It is fair to say that if the UK or America handled The Out-Laws (aka Clan) it would be just another Suburban Housewives. Thankfully though the Dutch have a darker sense of humour and we are treated to a tale of potential homicide where things never go to plan.
The Out-Laws is the tale of the Goethals sisters who are inseparable due to the early death of their parents. When one of the sisters marries a domineering man in the form of Jean-Claude Delcorps (Dirk Roofthooft) the bond is weakened. As Jean-Claude manipulates and ruins the lives of each of the sisters, a plan is concocted to murder the evil brother-in-law. When his death finally takes place, the question is, who actually managed to do it?
When The Out-Laws starts we see the funeral of Jean-Claude and are introduced not only to the sisters, but also a whole host of characters who seemingly have a reason to hate the man laid out in the coffin. Throughout the season we are given the reasons why they all hate him, and what he did. Not only do the actions get dark, but so does the comedy, which at times may be a little too much for some.
What is impressive about the show is the fact that we are being driven along a path that has one aim, and that is for us to hate Jean-Claude. The sisters may be potential killers (and they do accidentally kill many) but they are relatable and likable and you end up wanting to succeed. Jean-Claude is a bully, an impotent fool, and a man who has done despicable acts that you could never forgive. When he finally meets his end you’ll find yourself cheering.
In typical “Nordic Noir” style, The Out-Laws is a dark tale but the comedy is also there. The problem that it is jet black comedy may be a little too much for some. There are elements of animal cruelty and abuse of women that will hit a nerve, but this is to create a hatred of the character, but I do think it is fair to give people warning, especially around Jean-Claude’s actions around animals. To me this was a level of evil that makes his character one that needs to meet his doom quicker than he actually does.
Thankfully these scenes are sparse and they do have their purpose, and what you’ll actually find is that you’ll be having much more fun than you probably think you should have. The Goethals sisters and their battles against being investigated by a bumbling insurance company are amusing, and their actions may have a dark side, but they are fun. In the end Jean-Claude deserves everything he gets and Dirk Roofthooft plays the part very well.
Even though I have made a point of saying just how dark the comedy in The Out-Laws: The Complete First Season is, there is also a light-hearted side to it. It is a fun show to binge watch, never overstays its welcome and in the end gives you the resolution you will find yourself cheering for.
The Out-Laws: The Complete First Season is available on DVD in the UK now.