Or Nah? is a new feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
S1E1: Farrell Wine | Tuesdays at 9pm | WGN America
Outsiders is a new series on WGN America, brought to us by Adam Berstein, known for: Oz, Breaking Bad, Californication and Better Call Saul. It follows the story of the Farrell/ Foster Clan who have spent over 200 years in the Appalachian Mountains overlooking the town of Blackburg, KY, bucking the system of mainstream capitalism and modern politics.
They have a code of their own. The head of the clan is Big Foster (David Morse), a leader of questionable moral character and sanity; his eldest son Lil Foster (Ryan Hurst) is the approval seeking polar opposite of the murderous patriarch, and Hasil (Kyle Gallner), a foolish charmer who is learning there is more to the world than his mountain home.
The Farrells live with an unspoken truce with the people of Blackburg: they rob and pillage with no injuries and the police force doesn’t press charges. A developer has his eye on the acres of land held by the Farrells and this sets in motion a war between those clinging to the past versus those with their sights set on the future.
In a behind the scenes video, Ryan Hurst described the show as Mad Max meets Little House on the Prairie. I would not go so far as comparing any part of this show to Little House on the Prairie unless Charles Ingalls was cutting off the fingers of Willie Oleson and we were unaware. The better comparison would be Sons of Anarchy meets Game of Thrones: feuding over land rights, love triangles, parricide, mysticism, wolves (yes, wolves), betrayal, new love between people from different worlds. This show has it all, jammed into one episode. If the attempt was to grab your attention, make you care about a few of the core characters; the episode accomplished that with some, but not enough for most people to tune in next week. It was not a strong pilot, but there is enough potential to give it three episodes to pull its act together.
Watch This If: you like Sons of Anarchy, Oz, The Shield, Appalachian Outlaws
Don’t Watch If: you don’t want to wait for the slow burn of the next 3 episodes.