A Thoughtful Solo Adventure with the Outsiders

Written by Kim Wilson

In which Kim strays off the beaten path with Outsiders.

Having spent the past 13 months desperately missing my dose of the hotness that was Sons of Anarchy, I was so excited to see that my Opie (Ryan Hurst) was in a new show with his fabulously long hair and beard that made me want to curl up with him in the first place. I sat down with my beer and shitty microwave popcorn to watch Outsiders on WGN.

This show had two really compelling reasons for me to watch. The first was that, though totally unrelated, I simply loved the book and the movie, The Outsiders – kudos to S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola! I figured it shared a name, so it really can’t be that bad. Second, obviously, was a mountain man version of Opie. You just don’t pass that kind of thing up, especially if he might be wearing flannel.

What unfolded over the next sixty minutes can only be described as coming across a field of body parts in the snow, when you’re just out looking to do some ice fishing. It’s incredibly terrible and difficult to see, you have no freaking clue what’s going on and yet, you look around, hoping to see a nice arm that you might have wanted wrapped around you at one point or another during a cold, lonely night. Then, you see the arm, but realize it’s not attached to anyone anymore, so it won’t really do you any good. If only you could make some sense of what you’re looking at, maybe you’d get an idea about how you should respond. Yep, that sums it up perfectly for me.

I have watched a lot of really bad TV before, just to see a hot guy I wouldn’t mind sitting in a bathtub with. A perfect example would be watching Stalker for an entire season, just to see Dylan McDermott. Sadly, even Ryan Hurst can’t keep me coming back to this show, though the hillbilly band is way better than the remixed music on Stalker.

The show opens with cops and what I think are coal executives, sitting around talking about getting people off of the mountain. Instantly, I have a mental image of The Waltons, for no apparent reason. The cops seem terrified, and unwilling to do much of anything, kind of like the federal government when Ammon Bundy and friends decided to get a free stay at a cabin in Oregon. Incidentally, I would watch a show called Bundy & Friends, but it would have to involve the writing of the Twitter Universe when they did the whole #BundyEroticFanFic thing.

Then we get to see the Farrell gang. I was expecting, maybe 10 people living up there. Nope. It’s an entire community, and I think they’re all related to each other, so incest is a big thing. I started searching for my beloved Opie, while not understanding a single word anyone was saying. Except, maybe, “mother” and “shit.”

Wait! Is that my Opie? I see hair and I see a beard. I’m 85% sure that’s him, but it’s kind of a dark picture and I can’t be certain. He’s going over to that chick. He…he…he ran his hand across his forehead and back through his hair! That’s the Opie Winston hand in hair move! My Opie is there! Be still, my beating heart. By the by, that gray that’s crept into his beard – that’s pretty hot. I hope it wasn’t just poor lighting on my TV. I really want it to be there to complete my fantasy.

Truth be told, I have no idea what really happened in this show up in them there mountains. I get what happened to all of the devil people in the regular world, because they spoke clear English. Mostly. Every single time a mountain person spoke, I had to back it up and listen three or four times to understand about 65% of the words. I’d try again with subtitles, but let’s be honest here: this show is terrible. This is not the Sons of Anarchy on 4-wheelers that I had hoped it would be. Little Foster is no Opie Winston, that’s for certain.

So these folks needed some supplies and rode their 4-wheelers into a store in town (yes, into) and just took whatever they wanted and no one stopped them, or pressed charges or anything like that. I’m unsure why they need supplies at all, to be honest. Don’t they know if they make a public anti-government statement that people will send them snacks, sex toys, and possibly a 55-gallon drum of lube? As an aside, the customer in the store who comes around the corner on his scooter with the shopping basket attached juxtaposed with the crazy old hillbilly on his 4-wheeler was pure genius. I actually laughed out loud, but just at that one part.

When they brought out the moonshine and musical instruments, I was pretty certain that was probably how the Allman Brothers Band got started. I was also pretty certain that the entire clan had far too many teeth and fairly tidy hair for mountain peeps. When they spoke, they reminded me of Kathy Bates’ character in The Waterboy. In fact, to sum up how they would act when they came down off of that mountain, I’d like to quote Mama Boucher, “You don’t have what they call ‘the social skills.’ That’s why you never have any friends, ‘cept fo’ yo’ mama.”

The main cop who knows the family and is expected to single-handedly deliver bad news and make arrests of the family members reminds me of Ben Stiller as the orderly in Happy Gilmore and I just can’t take him seriously, at all. Not sure how an entire family of hillbillies who believe in magic and whatnot are going to listen to anything he says. Now that’s two references to two Adam Sandler movies, so you know I really didn’t like this show.

All in all, I was wholly disappointed that Ryan Hurst spoke maybe 10 words this entire first episode and the only two I understood clearly were “he’s gone.” They really should just have him start beating the crap out of everyone, delivering the Opie trademark, “I got this,” before he does so. That would make this show worth watching. Everything else? No. Just no.

For the record, I didn’t even finish my popcorn, but tore through three beers in that hour to help dull my pain. And if you think this write-up is all over the place and confusing as hell, then you know how I felt about that 60 minutes of my life.

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