‘Outer Range’ – To be or not to be (like the others)

If it already seemed that way from the outside, it’s even more so from the inside: ‘Outer Range’ takes us back to Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Yellowstone’ but seasoned with a fantastic touch. A fantastic touch, subtle at first but which progressively takes over the function and which, in turn, at its own risk, refers to other series not too well known and little referenced such as ‘Lost’, ‘Twin Peaks’, ‘The Leftovers’, ‘The Twilight Zone’ or why not, the Jordan Peele movies. It is not so much that there is a reasonable resemblance as that Brian Watkins, the creator of the series, wanted to emulate that feeling of being on the edge of the limits of reality. That same sense of expectant curiosity and intrigue that arises from the enigmatic and unpredictable. It may be nothing or it may be bullshit; maybe anything is possible, who knows. Something that he manages to do successfully, although ‘Outer Range’ is not a series of apparent popular success that advocates prompt payment and the more or less free impact of throwaway productions like ‘Stranger Things’. He takes it easy and is not in a hurry to raise his cards, which, as a dedicated series, he does not hesitate to do just before the credits of each episode appear. Back to the Island. It is especially noticeable in its first two episodes, when we are still taking the measure of a production with a serious and sober appearance nuanced, or accompanied by small extravagant flashes. Perhaps it is that it is difficult for him to take shape, perhaps it is that he is not in a hurry to take it. ‘Outer Range’ advances slowly but surely, firmly and decisively towards a goal that, as it has to be, gradually reveals itself. But it is not a question of patience, but of knowing how to appreciate that what gives meaning to the action is rarely the action itself: It is everything that precedes and/or surrounds it. It is what makes it have meaning or foundation. Not everything can be zombies and blood. Josh Brolin and Will Patton stand as opportune totems within a series with a remarkable audiovisual invoice, well interpreted and with clear ideas although it may not seem so; At least in its first season. A robust production that, under its common appearance of a modern western about the struggle of egos, lands and powers like ‘Yellowstone’, hides what we tend to consider a (potentially) addictive and stimulating cult series that makes use of restless fiction and free of ties, anything is plausible. Matter of faith. Again a hole in the ground and a series of questions with no apparent answer… logic. At this point, ‘Signs’ comes to mind, without the reference to the M. Night Shyamalan film being a spoiler in any way. It’s simply because ‘Outer Range’, just like that one, unfolds through everyday terrain where its fantastic look serves as a courtship to its true reason for being. ‘Outer Range’ continues to be a family drama faced with the same existential restlessness of a Damon Lindelof who, as he demonstrated in ‘Watchmen’, requires blowing up the conventions that his appearance projects from within. That “different” series that wants to be “particular” because in short, it doesn’t want to be like the others.

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