OUTER RANGE (2022) – Performance rich drama with a bit of sci-fi element thrown in

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Here is a science-fiction tale that is more cowboy than science-fiction. It’s underlying story revolves around two neighbouring range families fighting over a piece of land in between their estate. We have the usual soap opera elements of a dysfunctional family environment, a murder, a mysterious intruder, romance, family rivalry and treachery.

What makes Outer Range different is the inclusion of a mysterious bottomless hole bigger than the size of a truck, on the grounds on one of the range. Here is where the science-fiction element gives its contribution. The hole’s existence is never really satisfactorily explained. It however acts like a kind of portal between time. Within the existence of this complicated abnormality lies some hidden mysteries that are slowly revealed as the plot thickens.

I liked Outer Range. It started off slow and kind of boring and you begin to wonder where the series’ direction is taking you to. However, the characters’ individual personalities begin to grow on you and you soon get caught up and invested in their increasingly complicated situations. This is largely because of an excellent cast and script. Josh Brolin who we have seen recently in a number of larger than live roles in block buster movies gets to actually do some real acting here, and he totally kills it. Another stand out performance here is from unknown Canadian actress Tamara Podemski. She plays the town’s sheriff who is not only female, but also an Aborigine by race, and a gay! But it is not so much her character’s credentials that made her performance standout. Rather it is her demeanour as she goes about her duty solving the murder mystery, while having to endure the bricks and bats that are thrown in her path as part of the job, and part of being looked down upon as a person of ethnic background. She made her character come across as someone real.

Outer Range is a rewarding watch but it does suffer from what many excellent TV series suffer from. An inconclusive ending that leaves more questions unanswered than answered! It is an aged old practice to end TV series that have intention of extending their stay with a cliff hanger ending but I can never get used to this. It leaves me feeling frustrated to have to wait at least one full year before I can find out what happens next. In the case of series like Outer Range which have a limited mass appeal, the assumption of a follow-up season is never a done deal. If the ratings are not up to par, the series may be axed and viewers will be left hanging without a proper closure. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Season Two for Outer Range

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