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Amazon Prime Outer Range (1 Viewer)

Walter Kittel

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I also can't remember if the disappearance matched perfectly with Royal and Autumn's handshake--i.e. was did it disappear while the touched, and reappear when they broke contact?

I believe that is how it was depicted. We could see Royal looking at where the mountain had been while holding Autumn's hand and she asks him if something was wrong.

- Walter.
 

Walter Kittel

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Viewed episode five earlier this morning, probably get to six this weekend...

This episode has some pretty strange elements in it that definitely evoke Twin Peaks, in particular a sequence with Royal set to Lee Hazlewood's Your Sweet Love. Lili Taylor has more screen time in this episode and has a sequence with a bear that really perplexed me. Not sure what is up with that segment of the episode. (?)

Really loved a lot of the music in this particular episode; Your Sweet Love has a certain lush quality that definitely fits the aesthetic of the series in terms of its Twin Peaks-iness. In addition to that song also worth mentioning is Get Thee Behind Me Satan performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Paul Weston and his Orchestra which features a terrific vocal performance and works well within the context of the scene it accompanies.

This episode in particular felt more emotionally resonant with some strong character interactions that were (for me) some of the best moments of the series to date.

- Walter.

edited for spelling.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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If my Amy-is-Autumn theory is correct, now we know why she woke up in the past with a head wound...

Brutal that Perry's confession only came after it was too late for Rhett's relationship.

Was that flash of Kristen Connolly supposed to be Perry's missing wife Rebecca? If so, that level of casting says Rebecca's going to have meaty screen time as well as consequence.
 

jayembee

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Anyone finish this yet?

Last night I was set to watch The Batman, but I was having playback issues with HBO Max (again), so I went to Prime to start this. Got three episodes in. If I hadn't been so tired (and had to get up early today), I probably would've binged it straight through.

Weird, but compelling. Big fan of Josh Brolin, Lili Taylor, and Will Patton, so I'm good on the cast front. I'm also a big Twin Peaks fan, but this time that works against it. Outer Range seems to be a nice try at being a TP-like series, but Brian Watkins is no David Lynch, and it doesn't quite succeed in that respect. Not that it's bad...I'm enjoying watching it and trying to figure out just WTF is going on. At any rate, I'm looking forward to picking up where I left off.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Outer Range seems to be a nice try at being a TP-like series, but Brian Watkins is no David Lynch, and it doesn't quite succeed in that respect.
There were a number of moments in the last two episodes that were just absolute bonkers, where I was asking myself: "Is this good absurd or just ludicrous absurd?"

My theory re: Amy and Autumn was vindicated, but there's still a whole lot of gaps left to fill in that respect, especially with the last minute return of Amy's mother.

Perry jumping into the void to escape the consequences of his actions was a particularly dick move given that his parents had used the ranch as collateral to bail him out.

Did Rhett and his girlfriend die when the herd of buffalo from the past shoved their truck into that support beam for the billboard?

Who was supposed to have killed Royal? I'm wondering if time has been rewritten, or if the path leading us to that future scene is just different than I expected.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Outer Range seems to be a nice try at being a TP-like series, but Brian Watkins is no David Lynch, and it doesn't quite succeed in that respect.

There were a number of moments in the last two episodes that were just absolute bonkers, where I was asking myself: "Is this good absurd or just ludicrous absurd?"

In theory, this show should have been perfect for me. I love David Lynch and especially Twin Peaks. I like westerns. Josh Brolin is one hell of an actor. And yet…

I can’t quite put my finger on it. It felt…synthetic.

When I watch Twin Peaks, it feels almost as if Lynch is excavating the weird and random riddles of existence. Like the idea is flowing through him, like it’s out there somewhere in the ether and he’s just channeling it. It feels authentic.

But this show feels more deliberate, more engineered than discovered. A pastiche. Let’s have the bad rancher’s crazy son break into song at random moments; that seems like the kind of thing that happens in these shows. Let’s show Autumn going from functional and collected to batshit seemingly overnight because that’s what happens. Let’s take twenty minutes worth of strange mystery and stretch it over eight hours because being more obtuse for the sake of it. It just felt like someone trying to emulate the aesthetics of Lynch without understanding why; the show copies the language without understanding the dialect.

I feel like there might have been something there and I may be willing to give a hypothetical second season a shot. The first few episodes held my interest. I don’t know quite what happened in that last episode or two that made it all fall apart for me, but I especially hated every moment with Autumn being like strung out stupid and the singing dude just being stupid stupid. I just wanted those characters to not be on my screen anymore…it wasn’t like a fun “love to hate” scenario but a “this is really irritating me and I’d rather go read a book” scenario. I can’t remember the last time I had such a strong negative response to something like that.
 

jayembee

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I agree wholeheartedly, Josh. I was intrigued by the first three episodes, but Sunday night, I binged the last five, and with each episode, I began thinking that I just wanted these people to just kill each other off and be done with it.

The thing about Twin Peaks is that despite so many absurdities and fantastic elements going on, they all had a consistent internal logic (of sorts) to them. In Outer Range, they all seem to be completely random as to when they appear and what effect they create. It's like the Gary Larson cartoon where a scientist is showing his work to his colleagues, and it's a blackboard with equations on one side, equations on the other, and in the middle is a big space where he's written "And then a miracle happens".

There's also another joke that I was reminded of. It's a writer thing, where the idea is that when you've gotten your character into a situation, and can't figure out how to get them out, just have them get run over by a truck. Problem solved. Those of you who've seen the finale will get where I'm going with this.

That there are a number of unanswered questions suggests that this was written with the hope of a second season. We still don't know what happened to Rebecca. I was assuming that she must've fallen into The Hole. Maybe she did, maybe she just ran away. And if Autumn is indeed a grown-up Amy, is Rebecca responsible for the chain of events that leads to that? Did Rhett and Maria survive? Where and when did Perry go? Based on what we've seen so far, there's nothing to suggest that he's permanently gone. And what's up with Sheriff Joy? Did she go back in time, or did the things she saw come forward in time? Did Royal suddenly remember what happened to him as a child? If not, why did he not know about the Hole before? And what's up with the "2 years (or more) in the future that he saw"?

Again, it all seems like, as the saying goes, "sound and fury, signifying nothing". This made Lost look completely straightfoward.

So very, very disappointing.
 
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Walter Kittel

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I think I enjoyed it a bit more than the folks who've posted recently, but I agree that the enterprise did have a 'weird for weird's sake' quality at times that undermined the effect of the series. A little bit more resolution on some of the unanswered questions would have been nice, but having said that I didn't regret the time I spent with the series.

In particular I enjoyed every moment of screen time with Josh Brolin. Also worth noting were some of the music selections and some of the choices made with regards to the cinematography. I enjoyed the symbology related to the bison, which speaks to a sense of loss, particularly to Sheriff Hawk. The show is all about loss and the bison personify that emotional context for the series.

I would agree that the character changes for Autumn felt a bit forced. I did not like the singing episodes with the batshit crazy Tillerson brother. Those moments really had the effect of pulling me out of the show.


One of the big questions involves Royal's vision of the future. Does Autumn surviving the episode doom Royal to his fate?

Was Perry's abandoning himself to the portal the impetus for Rebecca to appear?

Will there be a second season?

- Walter.
 

jayembee

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In particular I enjoyed every moment of screen time with Josh Brolin.

I can't argue with that. Same with Lili Taylor. And even Tamara Podemski (Joy).

Also worth noting were some of the music selections and some of the choices made with regards to the cinematography.

Some of the music selections, yes. Fit right into the mood of the moment. Some were just plain bizarre, but then given that the more bizarre choices were what Billy Tillerson chose to sing...

I enjoyed the symbology related to the bison, which speaks to a sense of loss, particularly to Sheriff Hawk. The show is all about loss and the bison personify that emotional context for the series.

If that was only the case. I loved the scene where Joy comes across the herd of hundreds of bison
and the teepees and Indians
. The awe (or should I say "joy"?) in her face was palpable. But when they use the bison as an element of destruction, and do so again and again, it was just crazy. See my metaphor about the truck above.

One of the big questions involves Royal's vision of the future. Does Autumn surviving the episode doom Royal to his fate?

I'm not clear on why that would be. Did you see a connection between her and his vision that I didn't?

By the way, it seems to me that the mountain disappearing and re-appearing likely had been the same moment that Trevor's body appeared on the mountain trail. But why did any of that happen? That's part of what I meant by the miracles seeming random. Also, why did Perry's jump into the Hole cause the Hole to disappear? Just to complicate things for the Abbott family?

It had occurred to me that Royal's ending speech suggested that he regained his belief in God -- at the same time that Cecelia was losing her faith. That, and the big sign about America and things worth knowing (which seemed to be suggestive of a religious statement) made me wonder if the whole point to all of this was God visiting troubles upon the Abbott family to get Royal to recover his belief in God. If that's the case, you'd think there would be less complicated -- and less disastrous for everyone concerned -- ways to do that. Yeah, yeah, I know, "God moves in mysterious ways" and all that.
 

Walter Kittel

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I'm not clear on why that would be. Did you see a connection between her and his vision that I didn't?

I was referring to the sequence when Royal emerges in the future and Cecilia informs him that he had been dead for two years. The final episodes seemed (to me) to infer that either Royal or Autumn has to die, so my question was based on the assumption that Autumn surviving might condemn Royal to the death he was made privy to during his temporal travel to some future. Is that future set in stone or can things go another way?

-----

And yes, I agree that the bison were also destructive and did bring a sense of bliss to Joy Hawk in at least one sequence. So their usage in the series did vary, but I still believe that loss was the dominant thematic element of the three (or at least the effect I experienced the most.)

Further thoughts... While I liked the implications of the roadside sign, I thought the show went to too great a length to ensure that the viewer got the message. My thoughts on how religion fits into the show are a bit hazy, but the premiere episode did mention Cronos and Royals' monologue on the nature of God certainly reinforced that aspect of the series. Considering the amount of loss experienced by the Abbott's I was sort of looking for parallels to the story of Job, but it doesn't really track since Royal already had no faith to be tested. (I assume, based on his early episode comments.)

- Walter.
 
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jayembee

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I was referring to the sequence when Royal emerges in the future and Cecilia informs him that he had been dead for two years. The final episodes seemed (to me) to infer that either Royal or Autumn has to die, so my question was based on the assumption that Autumn surviving might condemn Royal to the death he was made privy to during his temporal travel to some future. Is that future set in stone or can things go another way?

Yes, in that future that Royal experienced, Cecilia said that he'd been dead for two years. But we don't know how far in that future that was. We can assume it wasn't that far in the future, as the characters in that future that we already "met" (Cecilia and Luke Tillerson, and did I see Autumn there?) didn't look notably older.

Neverthless, I didn't see anything that suggested that for Royal to survive, Autumn had to die -- or vice versa. At least beyond the fact that they were trying to kill each other. But there's no reason why both couldn't end up dying, or both surviving. I suppose one could infer that Royal was dead in that future from Autumn (or Billy) killing him, but there's nothing that I saw in any of the episodes that implied that to be the case. Cecilia didn't say he was killed, just that he died. He might've had a heart attack, for all we know. And he still could.
 

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Has anyone here come back for season 2? Looks like all seven episodes have been released together. I had honestly completely forgotten about this until I had seen the ad.
 

jayembee

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Has anyone here come back for season 2? Looks like all seven episodes have been released together. I had honestly completely forgotten about this until I had seen the ad.

Nah. Decided after the first season was over that I wasn't inclined to come back. Reviews seemed to be relatively positive for the new season, and the few things I liked about S1 felt like they were trying to lure me back in. But there are so many other things I haven't had the time to get to that I don't want to waste it giving this another try.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I wound up watching the first episode of the second season last night and for the most part, I sat there just wondering why I was using my limited free time to watch it. Great cast but it doesn’t feel good enough to continue with. It feels like a show that was designed by an algorithm. The “this season on” teaser at the end seemed promising but you never know how accurate those are.

First time I’ve watched something on Prime since they added commercials. It only played one 15 second ad before the start of the episode, and then rest of the presentation was commercial free, so there’s that.
 

Josh Dial

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I binged the entire second season in a weekend and really liked it. It's still one of the best sci-fi shows on TV right now. I like it more than Severance, Silo, Foundation, 3 Body Problem, Constellation, and For All Mankind, which are shows I really like, and I think Strange New Worlds is at the top, with maybe Mrs. Davis in second for the last ~24 months.

But unlike many "mystery box" shows, the second is actually forthcoming with answers. Not a lot of answers, mind you, but there are some. And the characters actually talk to each other and explain what's happening to them.

There is one fewer episode than the first season, but it feels like it told three more episodes' worth of story than the first season.

The second season has lost some of its Twin Peaks-ness, which is a shame, but it's not completely erased. There's a new writing team, as show creator Brian Watkins left as writer and showrunner. He's still EP but by all accounts he's gone--sort of like JJ Abrams and LOST (but after the first season instead of the first episode).

While Watkins is certainly brilliant, and the lead creative "leaving" a show isn't usually a good sign, in this case I think it helped buck the usual trend of mystery box second seasons doing nothing to advance the plot. Usually they rest on the first season's laurels, and it isn't until the third season--usually after heavy criticism--that the story telling ship is righted. Here, the new creative team infuses some new energy which helps the show avoid a sophomore slump.

I really like the mystery that's been set up here. A few of the threads from the first season were sort of abandoned. Or maybe not! As the plot develops it appears that some "plot holes" might not be plot holes, but rather deliberate choices that will be explained next season.

Speaking of which: I hope the show gets a third season. Apparently the first week numbers are solid (it ousted the truly excellent Fallout show, which I rate 10/10, from Amazon's top spot).
 

Philip Verdieck

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My brain is hurting just a bit after that second episode. :)

Heckuva a prayer at supper led by the patriarch of the Abbott family. Not exactly the sort of thing we would've said at the dinner table when I was growing up.

Trying to piece together the final scene. If you know the future can you alter it?

- Walter.
That was Brolin's plot in Deadpool 2....
 

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