Spoiler-Free Review of “The Outsider” on HBO: A Glimmer of Haunting Potential

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

In the midst of this slow burn crime drama, there is this potential for chilling perfection lurking in the shadows.  Combine that with an extremely talented cast, an intriguing plot, and some supernatural elements, and this could be the formula for a hypnotizing new show.

The Outsider premiered on HBO on January 12th 2020 with two full length back-to-back episodes.  The mini-series will feature 10 episodes (60 minutes in length).  It stars Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Julianne Nicholson.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider follows the investigation behind the horrific murder of a young boy.  After evidence begins to appear quite quickly, things become much more complicated with potential supernatural forces at play, causing the lead investigator to question things further.

This slow burn crime drama has the potential to hook its audience completely, but does it do enough in its first two episodes to keep us coming back for more?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Outsider HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

An extremely talented cast.

The performances are so captivating and believable from the opening minutes of the series.  Having an all star cast definitely works in the show’s favor.  The characters are compelling enough and there are still a lot of secrets left to uncover, hooking us in that much more.

Some really creepy and gruesome elements.

There are some graphic images in this show, but it adds to the shock and horror behind the crime.  We also get some really creepy moments that I haven’t quite figured out yet, stirring with disturbing possibility.  The use of discord music to set some of these scenes is actually quite brilliant as well, really creating a world of unexplained mystery.

The Cons:

The Outsider HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

The pacing is slow…extremely slow.

I watched the two opening episodes back-to-back and felt like I was sitting there for over three hours.  I even almost fell asleep a few times because of that so I’m not sure that a double episode premiere was wise.

Moving forward, I will only watch one episode at a time.  There is a lot to process, but I am really hoping that the show can pick up some steam because that may be its biggest downfall.

So am I in or out?

The Outsider HBO 3
Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in…at least for now.  Episode 3 will introduce us to Cynthia Erivo’s character, Holly Gibney, and I am truly hoping that she can liven things up and start to make sense of this case.

The unexplained mystery is genuinely intriguing and I want to see this unfold, but things need to pick up so that I don’t lose interest completely.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Outsider in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Dare Me” on USA Network: Dark Sensational Potential with Spirit Fingers

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Cheerleading equals death,” according to Torrance’s hilarious younger brother in Bring It On and he may have been spot on when it comes to USA Network’s new teen drama.  Teenage girls can be dangerous, especially when the captain’s spot on her beloved squad is threatened, as secrets slither into the open, luring us into a promising slow burn thriller.

After watching the Pilot episode, the show already reminds me of Bring It On combined with some dark cult comedy greats like Heathers and Jawbreaker, which could be the formula for a fantastic new show.

Dare Me is based on the novel of the same name by Megan Abbott, following the plot of a cheerleader who seeks revenge on the squad that betrayed her.  The show premiered on the USA Network on December 29th 2019 and will feature 10 weekly episodes.  It stars Willa Fitzgerald (Scream), Marlo Kelly, Herizen Guardiola, Erika Prevost, and Taveeta Szymanowicz.

The show seems like it may have been better suited for a slot on Freeform and a mid-season premiere can be problematic, but the show could be a diamond in the rough.

Does Dare Me do enough to capture our full attention in its Pilot episode?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dare Me USA Network 1
Images courtesy of USA Network

Strong and interesting characters.

I am already a fan of Willa Fitzgerald and she is definitely making waves as the new coach of this cheerleading squad.  Marlo Kelly is also proving to be quite the scene stealer as the mean girl captain with a bitter sweet tooth for revenge.  More please!

Cheerleading can be brutal.

I absolutely love the concept of this show and we are immersed into a competitive world where these girls will do anything to be the one on top of the pyramid.  The dark and sadistic hints are enough to hold my attention, as we begin to explore the secrets leading up to some kind of unspeakable crime.

I have a lot of questions already, but that just means this show is doing a good job of keeping me invested so far.

The Cons:

Dare Me USA Network 2
Images courtesy of USA Network

Super long montages and lots of fluff.

The show is already coming across as a slow burn thriller, which means we will need to invest some time into it before we get any major reveals.  There is a lot of set-up in the pilot episode to really introduce everything, but I could have done without the numerous montages.  Seriously, it seemed like they were endless.

So am I in or out?

Dare Me USA Network 3
Images courtesy of USA Network

I’m in for now, but I’m not completely convinced as of yet.  The show has a lot of promise and potential to become something truly dark and magnificent, but I just need things to speed up slightly so that I don’t lose interest too quickly.

When a show airs weekly episodes, they need to do enough to keep viewers coming back and I think they have, but we need to keep up the pace and introduce more dark secrets involving this major crime to prevent us from losing interest.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Dare Me in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!