This past summer was an interesting one, to say the least. Due to COVID-19, we saw many entertainment outlets change such as movie theaters, streaming websites, etc. In my opinion, entertainment was a little lacking. However, out of everything that I have watched this past summer, I can say that HBO’s The Outsider” was one of my favorites and something I highly recommend to any thriller/mystery lover like myself. It is one of my favorite genres and having seen almost everything this genre has to offer, I am hard to impress, to say the least; “the Outsider” was able to grab my attention straight from the beginning and hold it all the way through the season. 

The show takes place in Flint City, Oklahoma. It's a true southern town in the way it's a tight-knit community, everyone knows each other. Everyone feels safe, because crime really isn’t a thing. That is why their worlds are completely turned upside down when little Frankie Peterson is gruesomely murdered. The police and town are shocked and disturbed by the circumstances of Peterson’s homicide. They have never seen anything of this severity and are bewildered by who could do such a thing to a young boy. Even the lead investigator, Ralph Anderson (played by Ben Mendelsohn), who appears to be more of a detached, aloof man, is taken aback by this case. 

After analyzing the DNA found on Frankie Peterson and finding other seemingly airtight evidence, Anderson arrests town local and loved coach, Terry Maitland (played by Jason Bateman). This causes a whirlwind of consequences for Maitland and his wife and kids, ruining their reputation amongst the town forever. But as the police believed the evidence to be airtight, it isn’t until further investigation into Terry Maitland’s real whereabouts when the crime occurred, that things become more and more confusing. 

With the help of Cynthia Erivo’s eccentric character Holly Gibney; Anderson and his team are taken on a dangerous, eye-opening journey filled with self-discovery and grief to uncover what exactly is happening in their beloved town. There is more than meets the eyes and the team is forced to open their minds and question everything that they believe to be possible and most importantly, impossible. 

I finished the show the other week and am already missing it! I do wish that there was more to the series than just one season. However, with the episodes spanning from 45 minutes to sometimes an hour, I was satisfied with the content that each episode gave. Furthermore, HBO’s technical production of the series was amazing. The quality of the shots and the thoughtfulness of each scene and transition added to the depth and richness of the shows’ cinematography. This high quality is really what pulled me and got me addicted. The details were well thought out. I was in awe of every image and scene that came on screen. 

At the end of each episode, I was constantly wanting to watch more and would find myself staying up until early morning just to do so. With its supernatural elements, this show had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation at just the right moments. I suspect that this was due to Stephen King’s participation in its production as it is based on his best-selling novel of the same name. He added depth to the show’s “creepiness” and made it more refined so it didn’t come off as tacky. Again, I believe that this show is perfect if you enjoy a thriller with notes of horror. This series’ suspense is addicting and it will leave you wanting more. You will not be disappointed! 

Price, R. (Creator). (2020). The Outsider [Television series]. HBO.

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