Fish in a Barrel | Review Score = 4.5/5
Roanoke | Review Score = 4/5
Dark Uncle | Review Score = 3.5/5
Que Viene el Coco | Review Score = 3.5/5
Tear-Drinker | Review Score = 3.5/5
The One About the Yiddish Vampire | Review Score = 4/5
In the Pines, in the Pines | Review Score = 3/5
Foxhead | Review Score = 4/5
Tigers and Bears | Review Score = 4/5
Must/Can’t | Review Score = 3.5/5
Stephen King TV adaptations are usually very good or very bad. While the series is far from perfect, with a methodically slow pace and an over-long run-time, The Outsider has enough allure surrounding its story to keep you gripped until the very end, making for a really solid series.
The Outsider wastes no time getting right to the heart of the drama either and if you’re in the mood for a good thriller, The Outsider has all the right ingredients early on, mixing these to perfection. Although the series does slow in pace toward the middle portion of episodes, there’s enough tension and mystery with this to keep you gripped until the end.
The story begins as a simple police procedural before morphing into something far more chilling and supernatural as the episodes tick by. Charged with raping, mutilating and killing an eleven-year-old boy, Terry Maitland is arrested by police detective Ralph Anderson. As it soon becomes apparent, there’s more to this story than meets the eye and what follows is a dysfunctional group of eclectic characters teaming up to hunt down a spiritual entity known as El Coco.
After a breathless few episodes, the series slows down to a more methodical crawl as the investigative pieces and different characters start to align. It’s around this time that Ralph enlists the help of the erratic and spiritual Holly and together the group combine their efforts to solve the case, with the latter portion of episodes essentially turning into a monster-hunting party. All of this builds to the climax as the final fight brings with it a conclusive finale for all our characters. There’s even a slight tease that this may not be the end either, for those who like an ambiguous ending.
In true Stephen King fashion, where The Outsider shines is with its characters. Each of the main players here have really consistent and well written arcs, with both Holly and Ralph standing out among the other players. Jack Hoskins has a suitably depressing descent, both physically and mentally, while the other supporting characters have enough material to help add some depth to this ensemble.
The idea of a monster feeding on grief while introducing a whole array of characters consumed or haunted by this very emotion has a twisted poetic irony and The Outsider does a great job capturing this across its run-time. While it may be a little slow at times and the story does meander on unnecessarily during the middle episodes, there’s enough tension and mystery wrapped up in this to make for a solid book adaptation.