Outer Range

Outer Range is an American science fiction drama created by Brian Watkins. The series also features genres relating to neo-Western, mystery and thriller. The series premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 15 April 2022 and stars an ensemble cast headed by Josh Brolin. The question we need answered is this – is Outer Range worth binge-watching?

As usual, let’s begin with the premise.

A rancher fighting for his land and family discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness. (IMDb)

Now, to put it simply, Outer Range contains a mystery box in the vein of Lost, Manifest and From. At the beginning of the series, rancher Royal Abbott (Brolin) comes across a hole in the ground on his property. But this is no ordinary hole – it’s literally a void that defies explanation because it is unearthly and other-worldly. Royal’s discovery is the inciting incident that will define his dramatic need for the rest of the series – he wants to ensure that nobody knows about this void and will do anything and everything to achieve this end.

Unfortunately for Royal, of course, there are numerous antagonists who not only know about the void but are scheming to get hold of his land in order to possess the void. Like hippie chick Autumn Rivers (Imogen Potts) who squats on the land but is slowly revealed to have a more sinister purpose. Then there’s the Tillerson family – Royal’s neighbours – where patriarch Wayne Tillerson (Will Patton) is obsessed with Royal’s west pasture (where the void is located).

More than that, there’s the thorny issue of Royal’s family. His elder son Perry – whose wife disappeared years ago – is an emotional wreck, his younger son Rhett – a budding rodeo performer following in his father’s footsteps. The Abbott brothers will get into an altercation with one of Tillerson’s three sons, with lights the fire between the two family’s tense interactions.

The characters are mostly well-written, though the Tillersons are a tad over-the-top with the undercurrent of religious doubt, existential dread and dark secrets fuelling the tension and conflict throughout. The main flaw, as usual, relates to the mystery box – there’s a hint of what the void is all about – though at this point, it makes little sense.

In the final analysis, Outer Range is probably worth binge-watching but the mysteries can only pay off with a second season, which at the moment, has not yet been confirmed.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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