TV series review: The Out-Laws / Clan (2012)
This Belgian comedy crime drama begins at the end, at the funeral of Jean-Claude Delcorps (Dirk Roofthooft) – husband of Goedele (Inge Paulussen). A couple of insurance brokers (Geert Van Rampelberg and Robbie Cleiren) start investigating his death, seeing as how he’s made a number of insurance claims in the months leading up to his demise. What they don’t know is that Goedele’s four sisters (Barbara Sarafian, Kristine Van Pellicom, Ruth Becquart, Maaike Neuville) have been trying to kill him off and making it look like an accident for a very long time …
The five Goethals sisters are very close since their parents passed away when they were still quite young and Eva, the oldest one, had to step up and be mother to her sisters. Jean-Claude has basically come between the mild-natured Goedele and her fiery sisters.
We go back and forth in time over the past year to unravel the story of Jean-Claude’s death, and the many reasons for wanting him dead. Everyone has a reason to kill him, because “the Prick”, was a complete asshole to everyone. By the end you as a viewer pretty much want to pick up a weapon of choice and help them! There are times I thought “surely he can’t have done anything worse than this” … and then was proven oh so very wrong. You think murdering an innocent kitten is as bad as it can possibly get? Yeah, it’s not.
I came across this series on More4, as part of Walter Presents, and started watching because it’s in Flemish and I’m trying to learn Dutch on Duolingo. I was hooked straight away, because it’s a great show! It’s darkly funny, and there’s a bit of crime drama and suspense mixed with romance. (Also: where have Geert Van Rampelberg and Maaike Neuville been all my life? Okay, Belgium, obvs. Why don’t we get to see more Belgian things here? See, this is why I love Walter Presents, because you get to see stuff from other European countries!)
The thing is of course that you don’t know exactly how “the Prick” died until the very end, other than the brothers Dewitt suspecting foul play because of the insurance, so you’re never sure which crazy scheme is actually going to prove to be the successful one – or if they got lucky and he died of natural causes. You think you know what happened, and then you’re proven wrong. It’s great fun! What’s even better is that the ending doesn’t disappoint.
If you’re in the UK I thoroughly recommend The Out-Laws, or Clan as it’s called in Belgium. Put aside some time and watch it online on All 4!
The series has been so well received that the Americans have bought the rights to make their own version. I’m sceptical, obviously, but still plan on watching it for comparison if it makes it back across the pond.
5 out of 5 murder plots.