The Outsider on HBO, an enthralling crime drama miniseries based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, will both captivate and horrify you.
The story begins when a beloved community little league baseball coach and father Terry Maitland is arrested for the murder of a young boy. Terry insists he’s innocent, but a ton of evidence, including video footage and eyewitness accounts, would suggest otherwise. Except more evidence, including other video footage, proves he didn’t do it. So, what’s really going on?
As more child murders are uncovered along with presumably innocent people charged for them, a team of investigators try to uncover the truth.
There’s a lot to love about the series, but some things we don’t like so much. (Note: spoilers ahead.)
10 Keeps You Guessing: Love
Right from the get-go, the story keeps you guessing and completely stumped. You must reconcile your belief that Terry didn’t do it with the clear evidence that suggests he totally did. How can a person be in two places at once?
Couple that with strange happenings and things that the eccentric investigator Holly keeps uncovering, and you can’t help but excitedly and anxiously wait for the next episode to see what will happen next and where the evidence might lead.
9 Teeters Line Between Believable and Not: Don’t Love
While we love the twinge of sci-fi and supernatural in the series, this is supposed to be a crime drama, not a sci-fi show. There are too many unexplainable elements that point to a supernatural being and not a human murderer.
While this would be great for another type of series, the plot doesn’t seem to fit with how the show is presented – as a crime drama miniseries. For those who have read the book, it won’t be a surprise. But for anyone expecting to find a homicidal human maniac behind the mask, so far the show isn’t pointing in that direction.
8 Interesting Look at Historical Folklore: Love
The series delves into historical myths that have been around for centuries and that anyone from any culture can relate to. While the focus thus far is on Coco, also known as Cuco, Coca, Cuca, Cocuy, or Cuci in Hispanic cultures, it’s essentially the basic concept of the bogeyman.
Kids are often told at a young age that if they don’t listen, or don’t go to sleep when they are told, the bogeyman will come snatch them in the middle of the night and eat them. This series looks at the bogeyman as a real entity that feeds on human pain, tears, and suffering, specifically seeking out children. As Holly looks into the folklore, there are some interesting details about this mythical monster.
7 Jason Bateman Dies: Don’t Love
You might totally get the impression from all of the promotional materials and trailers that Jason Bateman is a huge part of it. But in reality, his character dies in the second episode. It’s an essential part of the story because this gives Terry the opportunity to declare his innocence with his dying breath, making Ralph, his arresting officer, convinced he didn’t do it and hellbent on discovering the truth.
Bateman is involved in the series behind the scenes as an executive producer. And while he did a fantastic job portraying a seemingly perfect family man’s fall from grace, his time was limited.
6 Great Representation of Mental Illness: Love
While we don’t really know exactly what mental illness Holly suffers from, and indeed she doesn’t even understand it despite years of tests performed on her as a child, it’s clear that she’s a savant of some kind. She can look at a building and instantly know exactly how tall it is or recall minute details about random things and events.
But the way she’s represented as a talented investigator who uses her abilities for good and is sought out for them, despite her eccentricities, is refreshing.
5 Conjures Up Emotions For Anyone Who Has Lost Someone: Don’t Love
Central to the plot is the loss of not just one, but many, children. That includes both those being murdered by the mysterious entity and the son of Detective Ralph Anderson and his wife Jeannie.
Their son presumably died of cancer long before the incident with Terry, and their constant pain is apparent throughout every episode. For anyone who has ever lost someone close to them, particularly a child, it will hit you right at your core. This could be triggering or make some viewers uncomfortable.
4 Amazing Acting: Love
The cast is top-notch, starting from Bateman right down to Ben Mendelsohn (known for playing Talos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), who plays Detective Ralph Anderson and Academy Award nominated actor Cynthia Erivo, who plays Holly.
The characters are all so diverse and unique but each draws you in, in their own way. Also worth mentioning is Mare Winningham, another Oscar-nominated actress who plays Jeannie and Julianne Nicholson, known for series like Boardwalk Empire and Masters of Sex, who plays Terry’s wife Glory.
3 Focuses on Murders of Children: Don’t Love
It’s never comfortable when a TV show deals with murder, but when it involves the murder of young children, it’s even more unsettling. And this series doesn’t just follow the death of one child. It’s many children being murdered all over, from young kids to teenagers, as well as adults.
While it doesn’t really get into too many gruesome details, though there are some, nor show a lot of blood and gore that relates to kids, it’s pretty disturbing, nonetheless.
2 It’s Based On A Stephen King Book: Love
What’s not to love about Stephen King? The famous author has penned some of the most iconic horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, and fantasy stories that have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, TV series, and comic books.
Some of the most notable TV adaptations based on his books include The Shining, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, The Green Mile, Maximum Overdrive, and the list goes on. So King’s reputation alone precedes him and suggests that this series is one to love.
1 Corny Bogeyman Story: Don’t Love
While the fantasy and mythical elements are neat, it’s hard not to feel the same way the character of Glory Maitland felt when Holly revealed her findings: that we are really to believe that the bogeyman is real, far more sinister than we could ever imagine, and traipsing around down in jeans and a hoodie?
If this was the case, why are all of the child murders and mass family suicides or deaths only happening now? Maybe the bogeyman, or whatever you choose to call him, only comes out every century or so? Nonetheless, it makes the plot seem kind of corny.
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