The Out-Laws DVD review

★★★½

DVD release: Monday, 19 September
Rating: 15
Episodes: 10

If you missed it on More4 as part of the network’s excellent range of foreign-language series, now there’s a chance to catch up with The Out-Laws on DVD.

They do dark chocolate quite well in Belgium and it seems dark crime comedies are also a skill. The Out-Laws is a delicious tale of five sisters who can’t stand the vile husband of one of their number, the slightly dippy Goedele, whose other half is obnoxious Jean-Claude.

Whether he’s making insulting jokes about one of the sister’s infertility, showing the price label on a present he’s bought or making racist slurs, Jean-Claude is toxic.

The trouble is, no matter how much Eva, Veerle, Birgit and Bekka try to get Goedele to dump him, she won’t have it. So, the remaining four in-laws decide to become out-laws and kill the bastard.

However, Jean-Claude seems to have more lives than a cat.

The Out-Laws is full of malicious humour and has been praised mightily everywhere from Mumsnet to The Guardian. It’s also told in a delightfully offbeat format with the action switching from the present to the past, and back again.

Inevitably, the Americans are now making a US version. But don’t miss the original.

The Out-Laws

Dearly departed – not a dry eye for Jean-Claude, apart from his wife

Marcella on DVD

Marcella DVDIT’S BEEN CALLED infuriating and too dark, but dull it certainly is not. Marcella has been ITV’s attempt to refashion Nordic noir on these shores by getting the creator of the hugely popular The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, to conjure up this Nordic-cum-Brit thriller. Anna Friel has certainly been compelling as the detective prone to blackouts, and this week’s episode had critics spluttering over a child’s death in the story.

Following the former Murder Squad detective Marcella Backland as she is propelled back to work following a 10-year career break has been an intricate and pretty deep at times. On the face of it the investigation concerns a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bears a striking resemblance to an unsolved case Marcella was previously involved in, but there is plenty more to it, with Marcella’s husband being a bit dodgy (as well as unfaithful), sex worker muggers on the loose and various corporate shenanigans.

Personally, I can’t make up my mind about it (my original review is here). It is a bit daft and over the top at times, and certainly mystifying. I suspect we need to get to the end of it to see if it’s a load of pants or actually pretty decent.

Anyway, if the various storylines have had you baffled, you can scrutinise the drama again at your leisure or just see what all the fuss has been about as a first-time viewer when the DVD is released on 20 June. The boxset will be priced at £26.99 (cert 15, though this is to be confirmed).

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