Hillbillies in Hell: Why ‘Outsiders’ is the Best Worst New Show On Cable TV

“Outsiders” Asa, G'Wynn and Little Foster. All photos courtesy of WGN America

“Outsiders” Asa, G’Wynn and Little Foster. All photos courtesy of WGN America

If you’re going to portray Hollywood hillbilly stereotypes, make sure you drive them over the mountain and off the cliff on the other side. That’s the only order given by the bosses at WGN America to the producers of “Outsiders,” cable television’s latest attempt to capture the essence of simple country folk coping with the modern world.

Just two shows into the 14-episode season (Tuesday nights, check your cable listing) it’s beginning to look like mission accomplished.

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The producers inform the program “tells the story of the Farrell clan, a family of outsiders who’ve been in these parts since before anyone can remember. Living off the grid and above the law on their mountaintop homestead, they’ll protect their world and defend their way of life using any means necessary.”

That’s right. The family’s name is Farrell, as in feral, human in appearance, descended from domesticated stock, yet living free and wild in the Appalachian hills above Blackburn, Kentucky, for so many generations now incest has become the norm.

“Outsiders” begins with return of prodigal son Asa Farrell (played by Joe Anderson), who finds himself standing on a bridge at night in Blackburn, straddling the abyss between sin city and the pious life of a forgotten rural upbringing, forced to choose between leaping to his death, blowing his brains out with the pistol stuck down the back of his lowrise jeans, or taking the first tentative step toward home, knowing he left under bad circumstances and his return may not be welcome.

Fade to black.

Flash forward six months.

Asa finds himself caged in the woods while the Farrell clan ponder his fate. Big Foster (David Morse), poised to become the clan’s next leader or “Brennan,” insists Asa must be banished. Prophecy intervenes via outgoing Brennan Lady Ray Farrell (Phyllis Somerville) and the timely arrival of an eviction notice from the Big Coal company.

Funny thing, though: The entire clan is literally illiterate. No one, not even spooky pseudo sorcerous Lady Ray, can cipher a stitch. Reading, righting and arithmetic are strictly forbidden on Shay Mountain. No reason has been given yet. Baffled by the one-page eviction notice, Witchiepoo calls for the kid in the cage because he’s a known “book-reader.”

(This literal illiteracy will pose an obstacle to suspension of disbelief for the remainder of the series. If the hillbillies can’t read, how do they determine what to steal at the Big Box store? Who keeps track of the moonshine business, the clan’s only visible source of income, or their currency, consisting of assorted hand-carved animals and other homemade objects? What about the scary stuff, like electricity and the bible? Is anything written down?)

Asa informs Lady Ray that the eviction notice commands everyone to leave Shay Mountain, or they will be forcibly removed by Big Coal and the Crockett County Sheriff’s Office. Lady Ray ponders this news then conjures up some prophecy on the spot: Armageddon is upon them, marked by the return of Asa, who will lead them to victory over the forces of darkness! Or at least teach them all to read.

David Morse is Big Foster.

David Morse is Big Foster.

This doesn’t go down well with Big Foster, Little Foster (Ryan Hurst) and Bhradain Shay (Ed Heavey). The cousins have been breeding together so long not even the show’s writers can keep the last names straight. Hill people fornicate freely and often, even at public gatherings. It’s all good. No mutations so far. These three alpha male outsider insiders oppose allowing outsider Asa inside the outsider clan.

Fair-skinned ginger G’Win Farrell (Gillian Alexy) is Little Foster’s squeeze but she and Asa have in the past shared things far more personal than mere last names. Now that he’s back from ten years in Sodom and Gomorrah (California), she’s hot for Asa. “I heard you were a gigolo and a philosophy professor,” she teases. Pimping and pandering never sounded so good. In a nod to 1960’s communal life, Little Foster says G’Win can fornicate with whomever she wants while behind her back he plots Asa’s murder.

Meanwhile, civilization’s encroachment continues below in the fair city of Blackburn, where Crockett County Deputy Sheriff Wade Houghton (Thomas M. Wright) walks the line between granting get-of-jail-free cards to drug-dealing teens and gobbling the oxycontin he confiscates from them. When informed by Big Coal’s WASPy-looking board of directors to evict the “retard hillbilly animals,” Wade tells them, “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”

That's Hasil as in hassle.

That’s Hasil as in hassle.

Young Hasil Farrell (Kyle Callner) happily demonstrates how quickly a good Farrell can go bad. Blessed with deer-in-the-headlights innocence, the kilt-wearing millennial hillbilly is just along for the ride when the clan, astride a fleet of ratted-out quads, invades the local big box store. In mid-blitzkrieg, Hasil sashays up to African-American sales clerk Sally-Ann (Christina Jackson) and orders her to “Look into my eyes when I’m talking to you.”

Perhaps confused by the white people rampaging up and down the aisles and all the smoke belching from the vehicles, Sally-Ann interprets Hasil’s command as an awkwardly delivered pick-up line.

The next afternoon, Hasil returns to the store and ask Sally-Ann out on a date. She informs him the hand-carved birds he carries around in his pockets and tries to pay everybody with aren’t legal tender. “Robbery” is not Sally-Ann’s idea of an ideal night out, so Hasil goes off in search of money.

In a solo journey reminiscent of the late Lou Reed’s “Street Hassle,” Hasil meets a pair of young adults, a drug dealer and his transexual lover, who inform the kilt-wearing wonder that gender is just a social construct and city folks will pay good money for moonshine. He replies the clan has just cooked up the latest batch of “Farrell Wine,” moonshine as infamous as its name sounds.

Hasil pilfers a few jugs from the family stash and sells them to the drug dealer for $40 per bottle. By the time he gets paid, it’s past Sally-Ann’s curfew. Crestfallen, Hasil offers to walk her home to “Coon Holler.”

Christina Jackson is the patient Sally-Ann.

Christina Jackson is the patient Sally-Ann.

“We don’t call it that anymore, at least nice people don’t!,” she retorts, beginning to suspect that despite mountain boy’s transgender attire, his creator failed to install a micro-aggression meter. But for better or worse, a woman in love believes she can fix her man, and we’ve got the makings of “Romeo and Juliet” on our hands, presuming Shakespeare had written in a land where trigger thoughts are forbidden.

I became convinced the producers of “Outsiders” were truly willing to go over the top when they snuffed out the Big Coal CEO at the end of episode one. Turns out one of the drug-addicted teens the deputy sheriff cut loose happened to be the CEO’s kid.

The ungrateful brat buys a jug of Farrell wine from the bi-curious drug dealer, chugs down half of it by himself at a high school kegger, staggers home and barfs up his stomach lining in the sink, picks up a kitchen knife and fatally stabs his concerned father, the Big Coal CEO, in the chest.

Later, the kid tells police his dad looked like “the devil.” Because moonshine.

The battle between Big Coal and Farrell is joined, but first Big Foster performs the hillbilly death grip on Lady Ray’s face, placing her in a deep coma from which she may never recover. Now who will be the Brennan, Big Foster or book-reading traitor Asa Farrell?

Asa makes his case to the people:

“I left this mountain ten years ago and yes, I was lost. I rob, stole, cheated, lied, I have sinned. I lived in a building that was 500-feet-tall! Communes of so-called holy men, liars, all of them. I acquired money, spent it on women and poisons. Their world is of a darkness. For them there is no respect nor tolerance for outsiders like us. When they look at us, these mountains, they don’t see us and our chillens … what they see is millions of dollars waiting to get dug up and burnt.”

“He’s a doomsayer!” accuses Big Foster, conscious that half the clan finds Asa’s sermon portrays their predicament with some degree of accuracy. Maybe there’s something to this prophecy thing after all! Lady Ray being out of commission and unable to reconfirm events, the gathered clan reaches a unanimous decision on the best way forward, screeched out by the next oldest witch in line.

“Pit fight at the next quarter moon!”

Coming to a WalMart near you soon!

Coming to a WalMart near you soon!

Keeping with the medieval theme, a pit fight is similar to a jousting match, conducted on ratted-out quads instead of horses, the knights wearing repurposed sports equipment for armor and wielding makeshift caveman clubs instead of lances. The wiry Asa is over-matched by the bearish Little Foster, but the latter fights with the pressure of knowing a loss means being disowned by Big Foster.

No more spoilers here. Catch the second episode of “Outsiders” on WGN America while you can. The first episode, in which we learn feral hillbillies don’t do books, is already getting hard to find. Perhaps you can go too far over the top. But everyone loves a pit fight.

http://www.wgnamerica.com/series/outsiders

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R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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87 Responses

  1. Jim Dowling Jim Dowling says:

    For some reason dueling banjos and squealing pigs come to mind.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I watched the first episode, mainly to see David Morse (a fine actor) slum as the Head Highlander, one ocean and three or four centuries removed.  I couldn’t help but compare it to “Justified,” in which the hillbillies ranged from stupid and violent to brilliant and violent.  (Antihero Boyd Crowder reading “Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham on his bed while listening to Southern goth leftist rockers Drive-By Truckers.)  Both shows go over the top, but at least Justified did it in both directions—some of the sophistication of Justified’s Appalachian Goobers and Gomers was a little hard to believe, but worth it in order to hear Boyd get off knowing one-liners every episode.

    I recommend renting the movie “Winter’s Bone,” set in the Ozarks, if you really want to see a reasonably accurate portrayal of hill people.  It was Jennifer Lawrence’s first lead role and she was nominated for Best Actress, but it was John Hawkes as “Teardrop” whose portrayal of her menacing, meth-snorting hillbilly uncle looking for Lawrence’s missing father that knocked me out (especially because I’d seen Hawkes in previous roles).  Hawkes was nominated for best supporting actor, and the movie for best picture.  An overlooked gem.

    R.V., your description of all of the bizarre implausibilities of “Outsiders” is both funny and spot on.  The weirdness is why I’m at least temporarily hooked.  I wanted the clan on the mountain to be some sort of brilliant allegory (the way “Breaking Bad” was about a meth chef cuisinier, but really about human yearning for self-actualization).  After watching the first episode, I suspect Outsiders is likely just trash.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      We were big fans of “Justified” as well. I haven’t seen “Winter’s Bone” yet but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the compliment on the writing. One thing I noticed was when I first watched the show, I was really mad and wanted to trash it. Then as I was writing and watching again, I started liking it, mainly because the actors are good and they have to work with the material they’re given. So, best worst new show. Another guilty pleasure. As if I needed one.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        There’s plenty of air in the room for fun nonsense.  I never got into Sons of Anarchy, though, and I wonder if I’d be much better served queuing up Season 1, Episode 1 of the biker saga.

    • Avatar MarthaMary says:

      It’s so amusing how different people have different views and ideas of what is an accurate portrayal of Kentucky “hill people”. I think a lot of people would be very surprised if they actually met one or spent a day in their community. There are places in Kentucky that are like going back in time 100 years, untouched by modern technology. A vast portion of Kentucky hill residents still don’t have access to blacktop roads, electricity or running water, even though they do want those things. The terrain, low population, and poverty levels make progress in these locations very slow. So that lifestyle is not totally by choice for many residents. I must add that the clothing and hair styles worn on The Outsiders are dead on and the filming location in Pennsylvania does closely resemble Kentucky.

  3. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    I, too, watched it because of David Morse, but one episode was more than plenty, and we are no longer recording it.  It’s impossible to be sympathetic toward a tribe of thieves/hoodlums/rotters who rob for a living.  It’s reminiscent of The Sopranos who were hardly upstanding.  Difficult to compare this program to Justified which had great writing, was well done, funny (who can forget “He was a husky lookin’ fella), good acting.  When I see “Devil” or “Dewey Crow” or “Dickie Bennett” in any other program, it’s hard to forget their Justified characters.  I miss Mags.  Enjoy your guilty pleasure.  I’ll stick with Walking Dead.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Walking Dead returns this Sunday, Valentine’s Day. I’m loving it! I’ll keep you posted on “Outsiders” third episode tomorrow so you don’t have to watch it yourself.

      • Avatar EasternCounty says:

        We have it scheduled to record, Walking Dead, that is, not Outsiders.   I was SO glad Glen got away from the Walkers.  My husband had no faith, but I said that the other chap was on top of him, and he could very well have survived the attack — and that’s what happened.  Back to Outsiders:  a friend said of the residents of an area here in Eastern County, “There’s not a full set of teeth among ’em.”  That’s how Outsiders affected us.

        Way off topic, but I have you to thank (I hope anyway).  I’ve been without Internet for nearly a week — what a surprise; Frontier is our ISP.  So I called Com-Pair having read about it in one of your columns, and I may be hooked up tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that I won’t have the constant problems I’ve had with Frontier.

    • Avatar MarthaMary says:

      It is hard to be sympathetic to thieves and I don’t like how the show implies that this clan of people basically steals for a living. That is the most implausible aspect of the show. I don’t care who you are, if you tore through a store like that in rural Kentucky the townspeople would not just stand by and let it happen. Some hill people are thieves (like anywhere else), but most people I know personally who live off the grid make money or trade for goods in legitimate ways, such as growing cash crops or selling lumber from their unlimited amount of trees. They grow or hunt for all their food, totally organic. They seem to do quiet well selling their high quality organic products and handmade goods at farmers markets (quiet well for people who don’t need cash money for many things at all). In reality, not many people anywhere would tolerate a clan of thieves who bully people and just take what they want. It would be a lot easier to support these characters if some of their moral values were more upstanding. The stealing is my biggest complaint with the plot of this show. One of the main points of living a lifestyle off the grid is being self-sustainable, and that can’t be achieved through stealing from others. I have a few issues with the show, but not enough to keep me from watching. I think overall The Outsiders does give an accurate representation of the culture and characteristics of very rural Kentucky. I base my opinion on my own experiences of living on and off the grid in the hills and backwoods of Kentucky. A lot of people may think The Outsiders’ portrayal of “hillbillies” is too far fetched, but you have to remember that they are representing a very small Kentuckian sub-culture of people who are on the extreme end of the spectrum.  The Outsiders isn’t a show for everyone, but I will be watching (just to see Ryan Hurst’s sexiness if nothing else).

       

       

       

  4. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    R.V.  thank you for making my day.  The type of program you describe makes me cringe, but your eloquence and rapier swift critique is a delight.  Steve Tower’s comment is wonderful.   One last thing.  Banjos are not bad.  Check out Bella Fleck and Allison Brown.  You will understand when I say I hate when the industry uses banjos or fiddles to express “stupid”.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Thank you very much for reading and the compliment. My brother the banjo players appreciates your musical taste.

  5. The fairly sudden appearance of various roughing it either in Appalachian mountains or stomping over wild Alaska they set out to paint these lifestyles as being preferable to normal ole nose to the grindstone.   Hard to remember which show lead off this march of the lemmings plodding off to fall into the sea but Naked and Afraid come to mind.  Given the state of most of the rest of TV I find myself cheering on more of these never ending tales of survival giving me something to watch.

    I’ve been around this world for 79 years and I can’t remember a time when the burnt offerings have been so been so bad.  When shows like the Outsiders make it to my record list shows how bad the offerings are.

     

     

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      You like “Outsiders.” That’s awesome. I agree it’s way better than reality TV programs. I’ll be watching tonight.

    • Avatar MarthaMary says:

      I think a lot of people just don’t get what this show is about. As mentioned, there have been several programs in recent times that represent people living off the grid. Although I may not be a big fan of all those shows, I do enjoy the concept…an introduction to a lifestyle that a lot people didn’t know still existed in this day and age. There are still a lot of people in rural areas that live off the grid and are willing to sacrifice modern technologies and “luxuries” in order to preserve a certain lifestyle and community as well as preserving the natural landscape, wildlife, and resources of their homeland. There are pros and cons that come with every lifestyle choice and shows like The Outsiders give us a peek into alternative ways of living and the reasons people choose to live differently than what is considered the norm. It makes you think about what freedom really is and what you would be willing to do or sacrifice to obtain that freedom.

  6. Avatar Melissa says:

    Wow.

    You’ve made up quotes from the show, made up rules for the mountain the show never conveyed, misspelled actors names and come up with some really absurd questions.

    Hasil, played by Kyke GALLNER, never said “look me in the eyes when I’m talking to you.” He gestured toward his eyes and said “look at me.” Sally Ann never told HAsil word one about his birds. A kilt is NOT transgender attire. Never once has anyone said anything about reading and writing begins forbidden. If they can’t read how do they know what steal? When you go to the store for bread do you need to read the label to be sure it’s bread? Seriously?

    Thos is truly the worst review I’ve ever read.

    • Avatar Melissa says:

      You’ll have to excuse the irony of my typos. Apparently I was chucking too hard to catch my errors.

    • Avatar Andi says:

      Well said, Melissa!

       

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Your typo is worse than mine. LOL. Maybe I got the quote wrong, but I went back and watched the first episode when I was taking notes. Whether the quote is wrong or not, the idea was the same: Look at me when I’m talking to you woman. It was bizarre and obviously sexist, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I didn’t directly quote Sally Ann saying anything about the wooden birds, what she said was Hasil needed money if they were going out on a date. Twice he used the birds for money. Finally, when they have to fetch Asa the “book reader” to read the one page eviction notice, Lady Ray makes it clear no one else is capable of understanding it. The point the review is trying to make is that it’s not necessary to resort to such over-the-top stereotypes to portray hillbillies. Thanks for reading and replying!

      • Avatar Marc says:

        Still you are making that quote seem like it was sexist when it wasn’t. He never said “Look at me when I’m talking to you woman”. He literally just said “look at me”. All of the other added words are what make it sound so bad. I don’t mind your opinion about the show, everyone has their own opinions, just make sure you have your facts straight in certain areas, and make sure you are getting names correctly. If you are a journalist, make sure you do your number one rule of proofreading. Along with actual research.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          I promise to do better next time.

        • Avatar MarthaMary says:

          I agree that what Hasil said was not sexist in the least. I felt like it was more of a sweet gesture; he didn’t want Sally-Ann to be scared or freaked out by what was happening so he got her to focus on him while he spoke to her in a calm and soothing tone until the incident was over.

      • Avatar Melissa says:

        My typos were definitely worse than yours! Especially considering the typo in the post I made to justify the typos.  ?

        I have to keep disagreeing with you about him being sexist. He said to her, “don’t look at them look at me.” He said this while they were robbing the store. What I took from that is he was trying to keep her from giving the others a hard time. I imagine if it had been a male employee he certainly (maybe?) would have flirted less but the message would have been the same: Don’t pay attention to them, don’t give them a hard time, pay attention to me, let me distract you. Trying to keep her focus off his family and “look at me when I’m talking to you woman!” are worlds apart.

        You did not directly quote Sally Ann (as you incorrectly did Hasil) but you did write that she told Hasil his birds aren’t currency. That just never happened and that was my point.

        Yes, Lady Ray did make it apparent no one knows how to read but not knowing how to read and reading and writing being “strictly forbidden as you wrote are not nearly the same thing.

        It’s actually ironic, you mention how over the top the producers must have wanted the characters to be yet you’re the one inserting the forbidding of education and sexist commands that never happened.

        Look, my only point is that your bio says you’re a journalist. Even without that title, as a writer of any kind you should know that manipulating, twisting and out right making up facts about a show or topic completely negates the validity of anything you else you might have to say. Unless of course you’re writing for TMZ.

        Fan to fan, I’m not trying to give you a hard time, well maybe just a little, but I had to clarify your mistakes. Writer to writer, come on man, rearly?!

        And I guess we both agree you don’t need to be able to spell bread to buy bread? ?

         

        • Avatar Melissa says:

          I did it again.

          Rearly?!”

          Hahaha!

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          “It’s actually ironic, you mention how over the top the producers must have wanted the characters to be yet you’re the one inserting the forbidding of education and sexist commands that never happened.”

          Melissa, care to explain how this is in any way ironic?

          “Writer to writer, come on man, rearly?!”

          You’re doing this for the lulz, right?

    • Avatar Kimberly says:

      I 100% agree with u! Apparently someone didn’t research the show enough to give an accurate description! Here we are going on episode 4 & I’m obsessed! I was also obsessed with Sons Of Anarchy too! This has to be one of the best shows ever & apparently the fans agree since, it has the highest ratings that WGN has ever seen……..enough said! Ged ged yeah!

  7. Avatar James Nacey says:

    if ya -all don’t like it ……………….don’t watch it ……………..problem solved……………………by a hick hillbilly    “Ged” “Ged” “Yah”

     

  8. Avatar Russell Meyers says:

    i just got one thing to say ,you said best worst  then why did 5.5 million people watch it????

  9. Avatar Russell Meyers says:

    Oh yea Ged-ged-yah!!!!!!!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Exactly why I said Best-Worst! Hopefully, we’ll see some more positive hillbilly characteristics in future episodes! Ged-ged-yah indeed!

  10. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    Sorry to show my ignorance, but what does ged ged yah mean?

  11. Avatar Jessica French says:

    I love the show Outsiders..Can’t wait for Tuesdays to get here..

  12. Avatar Melissa says:

    I love seeing some of the cast commenting! <3

  13. Avatar Sandi says:

    I can’t help but say, they are comparing to SOA. That is the biggest BS, I have ever heard… You have a family or two, maybe three. That has lived on this mountain for decades. No TV, no radio, but they have ATV’s… And they have ATV battles…Stupidest shit ever!!!

  14. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Lookin’ like some outsiders found this here re-view on that there Google.  Lotsa them fan-girls an’ fan-boys in the room, ain’t they?  You’da thunk ol’ R.V. jess trashed Game o’ Thrones or what have you, way people are getting’ they underpanties in a bunch.  Poked you a hornets nest with a too-short stick, R.V.  Got you a rattlesnake by the tail, boy.

    Y’all muss not know ’bout Shastanistan.  We don’t cotton t’ strangers comin’ ’round, tellin’ us how we jess don’ git stuff.  No threat intended….all I’m sayin’ is, settle down, chilluns.  Ain’t no malice in this here re-view.  Jess pointin’ out, us hill people ain’t a bunch o’ pretty Hollywood millennials dressed in animal skins an’ hemp, joustin’ on ATVs ‘n’ such, growin’ snapdragons in the veg’table patch that was obviously bought at the Home Depot earlier that day by an intern o’ one a them set designers.  Ain’t none of us rememberin’ any Celtic mumbo-jumbo from a long-ass time ago.  We ain’t all that inbred, neither.  (Okay, maybe some of us is, a bit.)  We kin read, an’ some o’ us got our GEDs.

    Anyhow, be all nit-picky an’ defensive ’bout this danged dumb fun TV show if that’s what churns your cream t’ butter, but jess remember:  Steve Earle had some words o’ wisdom ’bout payin’ the price for goin’ up Copperhead Road uninvited, which wuz in the currency o’ never comin’ back.  Best watch who you mess wit, hear me?

  15. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Again R.V., thank you for a great review.  Some of the responses to your review give me a better concept of the audience this type of program targets.  When people are enthralled by good programming they are off the street , at home and out of trouble and that’s important.

     

     

  16. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Thank you Barbara Rice.  I’ve been walking around this that nasty and vulgar  insult taking up room in my head.

     

     

  17. Avatar BabyLove says:

    We’re wondering if there’s going to be some sort of sci-fi spin along the way.  We could be wrong but there’s something in that SHINE! lol We think they are there to protect its healing powers or make sure its not misused or bad things happen.   This is an “out there” theory but… we know no backstory at all.  So… we’re just guessing what’s up constantly.  Regardless… it has us tuning in.  ¯\_(?)_/¯  My friend and I watched it originally for Ryan Hurst.  I have to say though, Morse is doing a hell of an acting job as usual.  

  18. Avatar Mottar says:

    “sorcerous”??? Apparently those hillbillies aren’t the only ones who aren’t good at readin’ and writin’…and spellin’.

  19. Avatar name says:

    Interesting (the review of the show, as well as some of the comments!)

    The show Justified was pretty good, as far as  redneck KY shows go.  However, they made a huge blunder in the first season by showing someone driving up to a house (I think the Marshall’s father’s home).  Anyway, there was an orange grove next to the driveway, WITH ORANGES on the trees.  In the background there were dry hills with sagebrush on them.  Very obvious that it was in SoCal and not Kentucky.  I guess the producers maybe figured that most viewers may not have ever been to Kentucky?

    I probably will not watch this show, but I do hope that the bosses do not try and pass off Southern CA locales as being in KY.  That just ruins the whole vibe…

    • Avatar MarthaMary says:

      Actually the show is filmed in southern Pennsylvania, which does very closely resemble the hills of Kentucky and West Virginia. I live in Kentucky and I think the landscape and terrain shown on The Outsiders  matches my hometown quiet closely. Some scenes may have been filmed in other locales, but filming primarily takes place in rural Pennsylvania.

  20. Avatar hacksaw says:

    this show wont replace Black Sails, but until we get into a new season of Vikings it will have to do.

     

     

    [img]https://duckduckgo.com/?q=richard+boone+photos&ia=images&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fmyfavoritewesterns.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F12%2Frichard-boone.jpg[/img]

    Paladin Paladin  where do you roam?

  21. Avatar Drewfuss says:

    I’ve found this show to be an especially damn good one!  Chicago-based cable network WGN came up with a pretty wild trip into painting a scene of redneck hillbilly country for the rest of these United States – that most of the rest of the country isn’t familiar with (again, unless you are from or happen to live in a rural area).  Being that my own lineage is from the south (as well as to this is where I will _still_ reside in until I die), I can definitely relate to this group of “anti heroes” in the Farrell clan; their backwoods mentality goes along with their _almost_ ancient naïveté – as well as the fact that ppl living “off the grid” IS_POSSIBLE(!!!) – my Scots/Irish great-great grandparents & most all of my kinfolk alive with me _still_ view life (almost) the same way as the Farrell clan.  Thiys show has a lot of realistic images that coincide with about 40-50% of this fair Country (I’m just “guesstimating” but I think I’m correct) in the fact of the matter that not _everyone_ in the USA lives in Hollywood, or New York, or whatever other artsy-fartsy part of the country that doesn’t know how to grow their own food, kill their own chickens & poultry, how to go “gather up the chicken eggs” every morning – or hell – even making their own damn moonshine (I love the stuff…) – basically, this show can help to reflect back at a time where society didn’t depend on the damn almighty dollar bill & folks could still provide for their own needs without having to go to the stupid grocery store.  Call me a hillbilly redneck I do NOT care – this is a great show that (in a humorous way) shows you how to barter/trade & depend on sustenance-living… Cheers to Kentucky moonshine.

  22. This is one of the finest series I have enjoyed.  I am a Black man and it’s good you put Sally Ann and Hasil together to make this even more interesting. I am thinking about buying the complete episode in DVD when the episode is completed.  Keep up the good work because it’s great. What does ged,gedyah mean in there language?

    • Avatar Rich L. says:

      I’m totally taking my best guess at this, because I couldn’t find the facts anywhere on the web… but according to the storyline, the Ferrells have been on the mountain for about 200 years…  and there is mention of Cherokee legends regarding the mountain.  After seeing the iconography (symbols) on the “Brennan”  oak staff, I noticed they shared a lot in common with Gaelic/Druid symbols.  If my presumption is correct, the language they are speaking is a hillbilly-fied version of Gaelic.  And if that IS the case, then I know that “Go Deo” (pronounced gi-jaw) in Gaelic means “forever” in English.  I think that their hillbilly holler of “GI GI JAW!”  is actually “G’ Go Deo” in Gaelic…  an improper pronunciation of “Forever and ever.”  My best educated guess.

  23. Avatar CJ Indy says:

    I was drawn to the Outsiders for Ryan Hurst. While I am enjoying how unique the story line is, I have to say I am disappointed in Ryan Hurst’s character. I think Asa and Little Foster should have been “flipped”. While the show admittedly has weak spots, I’m still enjoying it.

  24. Avatar Catie says:

    R.V. Scheide Jr.

    My husband and I just read.through this…HILARIOUS!!!! We love this show and we said the same thing…It’s the best worst show on tv! 🙂

  25. Avatar Luis Morais says:

    Blessed with deer-in-the-headlights innocence, the kilt-wearing millennial hillbilly

    Man, you are hilarious, genius writing…

  26. Avatar Joe Hanson says:

    Outsiders is great!…Hoping for a second season

  27. Avatar Richard Stevens Jr says:

    Great show my man!

  28. Avatar Beverly C says:

    I hope you don’t mind the little spelling comment, but it’s spelled “Transsexual”.  Two S’s.

  29. Avatar Kat says:

    My favorite new show, I LOVE this!! As soon as I’ve watched the latest episode, I’m already on pins and needles anxious for the next.

    Outsiders is beautiful to watch, with the lush mountainside scenery. The scenes of the Farrells on the mountain, with their eclectic garb, unique lingo, and clan rituals, are my favorites. Even the intro, with it’s dynamic graphic design work and gritty theme song, entices me to “set a spell”. Some shows make you feel like a viewer, but the really good ones make you feel like a participant. Outsiders is the latter!

    The more you watch, the more invested you become in the characters and their storylines. From the enigmatic Asa and the iron butterfly G’winn, to the boyish innocence of the quirky, besotted Hasil, to the frailty of Sheriff Wade’s psyche, I am fully immersed in this brilliant, beautifully filmed story. I don’t care a hoot if the Farrells embody the perfect stereotype of hillbillies to the nth degree, nor whether or not it’s realistic… I don’t want reality TV, I want a fascinating story with interesting characters and convincing actors – and Outsiders fills the bill! I will watch this until the very end, which I hope is not a moment sooner than what it takes for this exciting story to duly run its course!

  30. Avatar Greg Zeigert says:

    I’ve got family from Eastern Tennessee and while the characters are definitely over the top I love that Appalachia is getting some love on TV.  Justified was one of my favorite shows ever.

  31. Avatar Bryan says:

    Many are so quick to judge after one episode. Its a show meant to entertain.  I love how folks condone hillbillie life, as I condone California and new York and city life. I’d do the same to protect my home, family, and culture.. Not robbing stores and such.. But someone comes to my house it’s on too.  But I reckon shows like the walking dead, etc.. Any shows depicting how black lives matter and anything that condones religion and praises drugs sex and money is completely acceptable..

  32. Avatar Eileen says:

    I love the show

  33. Avatar Lisa says:

    I’ve never seen an episode of Justified nor Sons of Anarchy so I cannot compare Outsiders to either of these. I watched the first episode because of the weeks & weeks of teasers that WGN played – since before the holidays! What made me curious about wanting to view it is my lifelong interest in any program portraying the clash of cultures. And I was hooked before the first episode ended! One thing I noticed (that I haven’t seen discussed yet…. at least not here) is how this clan resembles Vikings. Well… at least how The History Channel portrays them. ? I’m curious if anyone else has that opinion. ???

  34. Avatar s. marie says:

    I love this show. I was a fan SOA saw every ep. I was hurt by Opie’s death in the prison.

    So to see Ryan Hurst here is awesome (been a fan since Remember the Titans ).

    I only watched Justified the first season and a half.

    Those 2 shows were used to compare so that’s why I brought them up again.

    Anyhoo:

     

    As a Black woman, I’m pleased to see Sally Ann portrayed in a real sense. A lot of time Hollywood can botch up our characterization. I love her natural hair, her sweetness, fierce when she needs to be.

    Love Hasil’s innocence. And his “old school” romanticism.

    Even though they are supporting cast, Tumblr and Twitter are on fire with these two. #Sasil

    What I really like with these 2 is that race is not the focus. It’s their different environments.

    My other fav is definitely Asa. Really want to know more about his life in the past 10 years.

    I know eveyone else is needed but whatever. I can do without G’win, Big Foster, someone please kill Haylie, Wade needs help.

    Anyway, nothing can compare to my Walking Dead so that’s why I can easily expend some characters here.

     

    But I will follow this show. It’s something different. The 3 clicks are all outsiders to each other. So it should be interesting.

     

  35. Avatar CieCie says:

    WTF! Anyone watch tonights episode?

    • Avatar Yok says:

      Yes. Really hope that it didn’t really happen. I’m curious as to what the deer had to do with anything…surely there’s something to it.

  36. We have two Yorkie Poo puppies one named Asa the other Hasil. Asa isn’t dead. He has too much more to do right. I love the show though. Keep it interesting as of lately. We will continue to record or watch when we can. The next time Foster see’s his Mother Asa should be there too. I understand that you must have epic reason for the so called killing of Asa. However he is one of the actors that keep people such as my wife watching. LOL

    • Avatar Yok says:

      G’Winveer is what brings me back. What a hottie!!

      I don’t see Asa is actually dead. The show leaves you with G’Winveer sad that he’s gone, but you don’t see where Asa lands as he rolls. Also, the blood could actually be the deer that was shot. I don’t see it since I think the show wants the viewers to want Asa and G’Winveer running the clan. I’m surprised that Lil’ Foster didn’t take his dad out. We’ll find out more next week…

       

      • “I’m surprised that Lil’ Foster didn’t take his dad out.” This seems to be a repeating event. You can replace the names of characters in this statement in way too many ways … I’m starting to get fed up with the fickleness of the characters. I hope someone actually commits to something and follows through soon.

  37. Avatar Laury says:

    I love the show !! Can’t wait until Tuesday’s to see what happens! I hate that the season is almost over, hope there is a season!

  38. I just watched “All Hell” (episode 12 of “Outsiders”) and the almost inevitable turn that occurs with most TV shows has happened; “Outsiders” appears to have reached the end of its ingenuity, and the writers appear to be losing control of the story line. The surprise twist in a character’s allegiance, which adds interest the first time it happens, gets really old when it seems to be occurring with all the main characters, and not just once, but the fickleness seems to be catching, like a disease. Think about it, almost every main character has at this point in the show’s “evolution” apparently changed allegiances, and without the necessary events viewers need to make such a change believable. In particular the triangle between Foster, G’Winn, and Little Foster, and their individual relationships with Asa have had more sudden, explainable twists and turns than one of those winding mountain roads, and it’s getting hard as a viewer to suspend my disbelief. In an attempt to create a show for the new era of television, the writers may be adding too many surprise decisions by its characters, making the viewers wonder what motivates these people, and realizing it’s just a TV show, something a viewer should never think while watching! I hope it changes soon, otherwise it will fall along the wayside for at least one fan.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I remarked to R.V. elsewhere that the last three episodes of Outsiders should have been titled with variations of Jumps the Shark*.  “Foster Jumps the Shark.”  “Asa Jumps the Shark.”  Even “Sheriff Wade Jumps the Shark.”

      A show with great writing (The Sopranos) or even very good writing (Justified) can lose some of the best central characters every year because the writing and the story will still be compelling.  Outsiders is now trapped, because the writing and the storyline are starting to stink like roadkill.  All that’s left is that it’s still interesting to watch some of the fine actors make the most of their characters and their lines.

      *For those who don’t know, the colloquialism “Jumped the Shark” comes from the latter episodes of the TV show Happy Days.   The shows writers—apparently completely out of ideas—wrote an episode where Fonzie jumps over a shark on water skis.  Thus the use of, “That show really jumped the shark” for shows that have dived recklessly into shallow end of the pool of implausibility.

  39. Avatar jay says:

    *presumably, you misspelled ‘writing’:

    “…cipher a stitch. Reading, righting and arithmetic are strictly forbidden”

    kinda hilarious.

    and other typos

  40. Avatar Mike Dee says:

    Just watched season 1 finale, not impressed. Not a bad show, however way to many holes in the plot.

  41. Avatar Ted Crawley says:

    My oldest daughter(59) and I watched every episode when she was here every month for three weeks every month.  We anxiously waited for each episode.  Loved every one of the episodes.  Hope to live to see next season of “Outsiders”.

     

  42. Avatar Brandon says:

    Over-the-top or not, who doesn’t love a good far fetched story? I for one have watched every episode and although I’m quite sure one season will,be all for this cast, I would absolutely love to see the story continue. If fodder it be, then well painted, well executed fodder it be. Plus I think of Ryan Hurst as one of the greatly underrated actors in my generation. He found his niche with SOA – the big burly “gentle Ben” of the underworld. Anywho, love the actors, love the show, hope there is more to come!

  43. Avatar Joshua says:

    Well, first off, it seems there are plenty of couch commandos here willing to mark Outsiders as a cheap and trashy diatribe against the “real” hill people or whatever…I say on both that count and the idea that things don’t make sense in the show,  y’all are kind of… “losties”. Firstly, in the actual article (if that’s what we are calling it), to say it doesn’t work with the whole illiteracy thing, you have made a number of assumptions. So then, I too shall make assumptions to rebut your ridiculous notions. How do they get things like yeast from the big box store without being able to read the label? Hmm, I don’t know, is there any chance they know what yeast looks like and smells like? And presumably, they have done this before, many times, so they probably learned to recognize the packaging after ripping a bunch open the first times to find what they were looking for. My grandfather grocery shops, pays bills and ran a business for over thirty years while being completely illiterate. People learn to deal with disabilities and disadvantages. How do blind people find a way to survive? Oh the horror, they can’t see so that must make them stupid (this is the same friggin logic). Secondly, the family on the mountain doesn’t run a moonshining business, they only make Farrel wine strictly for themselves and don’t sell it. They don’t keep track of currency and they obviously don’t read (or follow) the bible since ged ged yah basically means hell yeah. They have their own language and belief system. They do things their own way, loosely based on Celtic language and Druidic systems. So, uh, the point is, if you are gonna critique some shit, maybe you should have a slight idea of what the hell you are talking about. Just saying.

  44. Avatar Shantel says:

    As a “hillbilly” from the Chestnut Ridge nation.  I’ll answer why no one “reads” and what about the Bible,  electronics and the store. Most hills people actually dont have much use for English in the first place. Most still speak their Native tongue. And since Native Americans aren’t Christians, there would be no reason to read the Bible. Stories, customs and such things go are passed down verbally. Same as they were before white men came here. And the Farrells actually use electricity and running water MORE than most hills people. As I’m sure you’ve come to see in season two with Morgean’s arrival, they use generators. But most hills people have NO running water and electricity. Outhouses and fire heated baths. As for the store, ever noticed that most products have pictures of the item? Yeah probably how they guessed. But even if it didn’t all they would have had to do is grab Sally Ann and demand she show them where the yeast is. Oh and just because they have the same name, doesn’t mean they are in breeding. Last names are not tracked or traded down the same way as the modern world. Everyone in the clan would have the same name, related or not. So for example, how they talk about Morgean’s people breaking off from the Ferrells and forming their own  clan. Everyone who went to this new clan would automatically have a new last name, based on what the clan chose.

    It’s kind of funny people writing about how realistic you consider Outsiders, when you don’t even  know that basic information.

     

    Far more unrealistic is how clean they are and how much free time they all seem to have. Not that hills people don’t bathe regularly, they do. Matter of fact Natives tried desperately to teach puritans to bathe because puritans thought it was sinful to bathe too often, and Natives thought they were disgusting. But they grow, make or trap almost everything in their world. That requires a lot of constant work. Meaning sweating, getting dirt on you from farming and often crawling on the ground to hunt. And obviously they all look like Hollywood stars. Which lets face it, even in the modern world, few people are that attractive

  45. Avatar Bonnie says:

    I love the show…. Please continue. I’m at the edge of my seat in every episode.