Entertainment » Television

The Outsider

by JC Alvarez
Sunday Jan 12, 2020
'The Outsider'
'The Outsider'  

This isn't what it seems.

On the surface, the crime that kicks off "The Outsider" appears an open and shut case. For police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn, "Marvel's Captain Marvel," "Rogue One") he's pretty certain that he's got his man. When the mutilated body of an 11-year-old boy named Frankie Peterson turns in a Georgia wood, there are eyewitnesses and even camera footage that put Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman) at the crime scene. But how can one of the community's most beloved citizens, the school coach, have murdered a child?

The evidence just doesn't add up. Ralph is also deeply troubled and still mourning the passing of his own child, and doesn't appear to have a problem suspecting Maitland. Could Maitland have had something to do with his young son's own passing? With the support of his wife, Jeannie (played by Mare Winningham) he finds comfort at home and his job, though when Frankie Peterson's broken body is found, it's as if every nightmare has come crashing back to the forefront. How could Maitland do it? How could he not have?

All the footage points to him as the murderer, but something is off — whether it's the clues, which put their prime suspect in two places at once, or the haunting vision that begin to plague Terry's youngest daughter. Something is just not right. In order to put all the puzzle pieces together, Ralph enlists the help of private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose very own and unique approach gives her an insight unlike anything Ralph has ever seen. As the body count continues to rise and the tragedy surrounding this case widens, it becomes more unbelievable.

Chillingly frightening and expertly acted, HBO's new original drama, based on the bestseller from Stephen King, isn't the usual horror-genre adaptation that has been saturating the pop-culture spectrum. This is a mind-bender, and a thoroughly examined emotional narrative that is extremely compelling and claustrophobic as the clues revealing the nature of the crime begin to surface. With episodes directed by Jason Bateman, "The Outsider" is the perfect drama series for the winter season.

Its cast is among one of the best assembled and keep the suspense rooted in a textured reality, even as the supernatural relevance of "The Outsider" starts to become more and more evident. It's dark and disturbing and still deeply satisfying.


"The Outsider," an original series on HBO, premieres Sunday, Jan 12 @ 9pm EST

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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