Recommended: Outer Range on Amazon Prime Video
What's Outer Range About?
Out in the west pasture of the Abbott family's sprawling Wyoming ranch, there's a sinkhole that appears to be a portal through time. The things thrown in — and the things crawling out — cause problems for everyone in town.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
Outer Range weaves an absorbing, intricate tale. The show's larger supernatural story unfolds alongside a series of compelling smaller dramas, including a murder, a romance, and a longstanding feud between the Abbotts and the Tillersons. The twisted dynamics of both families are so well drawn that everything from Sunday dinners to Sunday school meetings crackle with tension.
There are also moments of outré comedy that suggest Pulp Fiction on the prairie. When Billy and his father have an intense conversation about the nature of vengeance, for instance, Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is blasting on the radio. When two characters get ready to brawl in the street, we hear a riff on a classic Wild West sound cue.
That's not to say the show is jokey. In fact, it's mostly brooding and tense, with regular fight scenes and impassioned monologues. But these wacky interludes break up the mood and give the show more texture than your typical "unexplained forces" series. That's also true of the cinematography, which uses stylized lighting and startling camera angles to remind us that this part of Wyoming is slightly outside reality.
Brolin is an excellent anchor, moving easily between lengthy, eloquent speeches and moments of raw, wordless emotion. The other standouts are Reid, who carries many of the comedy bits, and Podemski, who communicates just how much she loves her job, even when she's in danger. She's got a wild woman's spark in her eye that matches the energy of the show.
Pairs well with