• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 7 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes, 1 second, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

HBO & Stephen King's "The Outsider" | OT | Starring Jason Bateman, Cynthia Erivo, and Ben Mendelsohn (No Book Spoilers)

Aug 27, 2018
1,251
I literally just read this book not even a month ago, they put a lot of the first half of the book in to those two episodes.

I have a pretty good idea why that is though

Also, this is technically the fourth part of a series of books by Stephen King that were also made in to a tv show called Mr. Mercedes.
 

DanGo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,124
I thought the first episode was really mediocre. I didn't really learn anything beyond the most basic surface layer details about any characters, nor anything at all about any relationships. There's some mystery but it's more curious than intriguing, with obvious questions and then completely random supernatural teases. It strikes me as a massive mistake to jump into the murder and investigation before seeing this small town operate and some of these characters interact, since that would give Terry being a suspect some actual weight and make you feel the betrayal that other characters feel. Instead we're constantly told this is surprising and everyone knows everyone, but none of that's seen. The episode did nothing to make me care about any of the characters or solving the case (which includes possibly exonerating Terry, finding the true killer, giving the boy justice or the family closure, etc). Speaking of, am I supposed to care about the bits with the generic and almost completely unheard grieving mother? Her few bits, which did nothing to establish a character, and then she's disposed of in two wordless and extremely melodramatic shots.

Can't say I'm impressed. It just feels like a self-serious spin on True Detective without any there there, just all the superficial trappings of a PRESTIGE DARK DRAMA.
 

spx54

Member
Mar 21, 2019
2,554
decent first 2 episodes.

can't wait for Cynthia ervio's character, when she arrives I think the show is going to get really good
 

Captjohnboyd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,952
What is going on underneath
the daughters bed
in episode two. It was obvious it was alluding to
the guy in the sweatshirt
but HBOs low light is always such shit I couldn’t actually make out what it was
 

Kevers

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
8,344
Syracuse, NY
Really enjoyed the first episode, was shocked at the opening of the second. I picked up the book last week hoping to get to it before the show premiered but oh well.
 

ducktape

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,678
It just feels like a self-serious spin on True Detective without any there there, just all the superficial trappings of a PRESTIGE DARK DRAMA.
I really enjoyed True Detective S1 and S3, especially S1, but I found that the show felt over-stylized and often relied on mumbly edgy one-liners or some emo monologue from the main character, which got old fast. I like that this show doesn’t have that. If The Outsider stays this good, it’ll end up as the better show for me.
 

Captjohnboyd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,952
I really enjoyed True Detective S1 and S3, especially S1, but I found that the show felt over-stylized and often relied on mumbly edgy one-liners or some emo monologue from the main character, which got old fast. I like that this show doesn’t have that. If The Outsider stays this good, it’ll end up as the better show for me.
Mendhelson’s performance as the lead is sublime. He’s always been able to play world weary with the best of them but everything about his work in the first two episodes feels so authentic. While he usually excels at the beaten down there’s a depth to his hurt in this one that’s perfectly transmitted in every scene without the need for scene chewing. Just great stuff and it’s the antithesis of Matthew’s Rust in TD (although I do love that show)

There’s a couple of scenes in the first two episodes that feel heavy handed with regards to the mystery but I’m reserving judgement on whether or not it was appropriate until I’m further along in the season. Those aside, the acting across the board is phenomenal and Bateman’s direction creates a palpable sense of dread in almost every inch of the first two episodes
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,837
Really digging this. Feels a bit uneven with the mystery bits, but the acting and directing has been excellent. Slightly worried now it'll continue to abandon true crime for the supernatural as this is Stephen King but whatever I'm in
 

Captjohnboyd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,952
came to post this... i couldn't see shit half the time. i notice a lot of inside scenes at night there was only one lamp on or something
I don't think it's the scenes lack of light sources. I have a great TV for HDR so generally low light scenes are still fine. It has to be their bit rate or something. They’re just all washed out, there’s no contrast or anything. It’s a shame because this series is as well shot as any of their stuff
 

Mcfrank

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,395
I don't think it's the scenes lack of light sources. I have a great TV for HDR so generally low light scenes are still fine. It has to be their bit rate or something. They’re just all washed out, there’s no contrast or anything. It’s a shame because this series is as well shot as any of their stuff
HBO's compression is garbage. Same thing that happened during Game of Thrones.
 

Captjohnboyd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,952
Think compression is due to your cable company not HBO. I didnt run into any lighting issues through HBO Now but noticed the same shit compression when I used to get HBO through cable.
I haven't used HBO cable in years. I only use it through Amazon or HBOgo and the compression is just a shitty through them as actual cable. It's definitely a problem on their back end not on the users choice of viewing platform. Although Amazon HBO is a smidge better it's still trash. I know they're looking into providing 4K content soon, and they'd have to to stay competitive in the streaming wars, I'm just hoping it happens sooner than later
But it's neat that my OLED simulates thick scanlines in every dark scene...which in this case means 75% of the episode.

I'm intrigued by the show, but the pacing is so strange and slow. Are the hooded weirdos supposed to be the "low men" from Hearts of Atlantis et al?
I'm under the impression it's one person but I haven't read the book
There were wet footprints in the area she was staring at.
Ah okay. That's what I thought it was but couldn't be sure
 

Matthew77

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,376
Massachusetts
Also, this is technically the fourth part of a series of books by Stephen King that were also made in to a tv show called Mr. Mercedes.
Not really though, that was the Hodges trilogy and Holly was a secondary character in those, and she is a secondary character in this, really not uncommon in King’s work due to the shared universe and her being in it and sharing some backstory is the only connection.
 
Aug 27, 2018
1,251
Not really though, that was the Hodges trilogy and Holly was a secondary character in those, and she is a secondary character in this, really not uncommon in King’s work due to the shared universe and her being in it and sharing some backstory is the only connection.
I just know this book referenced those books and I had no idea what the hell they were talking about.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
I don't think the lighting is an HBO or ISP issue actually, because reviewers noted how dark the episodes were in their reviews too and those would've been on screeners (unless screeners have now moved from discs to streaming links?). I think it's a deliberate style choice.
 

Matthew77

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,376
Massachusetts
I just know this book referenced those books and I had no idea what the hell they were talking about.
You didn’t miss much unless you wanted Holly’s full story. And while I don’t have a problem with it what she does at the end is a repeat so you might actually be better because that was one of the biggest complaints people who have read this and the trilogy had.
 

ZOONAMI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
Watched on a hisense 5 series. No issues with it being too dark. I also watched thrones episodes people were always complaining about on my B7 and had no issues. Calibrate your sets people.
 

Kevers

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
8,344
Syracuse, NY
Think compression is due to your cable company not HBO. I didnt run into any lighting issues through HBO Now but noticed the same shit compression when I used to get HBO through cable.
The Long Night episode of GOT looked like dog shit through HBO Now, it definitely wasn't my connection and it wasn't their servers getting hammered because I tried watching it a couple weeks ago and it still looked like shit.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,442
I watched an episode of Watchmen last night (the black and white episode) and the compression was unacceptable.
 

Filthy Slug

Member
Oct 25, 2017
348
This is a'ite so far. I really like Mendelsohn but there's not much interesting character work in the first two eps, and some of the writing is stiff and flavorless. Hopefully it picks up!
 

Dr Doom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,442
Episode 1 has some good directing by Bateman

Episode 2 is good too. Keeps you stringing along with the mystery

Special Guest Appearance: Jason Bateman
 

Mars People

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,678
I thought the book was a bit crap to be honest.
It was a decent thriller til they revealed what was going on and it was super disappointing.
I guess the series will be the same way.
 

RatskyWatsky

Pesky Therizinosaurus
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
8,513
I don't know. I guess it's mostly fine? Half the time I thought it came across as a bog standard grim dark crime drama and the other half I thought it played like a parody of a bog standard grim dark crime drama. I just kind of feel over this type of show at this point. They all feel so samey, not to mention exhausting to watch. I guess the mystery is kind of intriguing? Ben Mendelsohn and Jason Bateman are good in it. But even with the twist of the alien/monster doppleganger I feel like I've seen this show a million times before and it wasn't even that good the first few times when the premise was actually fresh, you know?

It strikes me as a massive mistake to jump into the murder and investigation before seeing this small town operate and some of these characters interact, since that would give Terry being a suspect some actual weight and make you feel the betrayal that other characters feel. Instead we're constantly told this is surprising and everyone knows everyone, but none of that's seen. The episode did nothing to make me care about any of the characters or solving the case (which includes possibly exonerating Terry, finding the true killer, giving the boy justice or the family closure, etc).
I agree with all of this. I imagine they did it that way because they wanted to adhere to the book (if that's how the book is?) but it would have been a smart change to make for the show in order to make the audience really feel the effects of the murder on the community.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,779
It strikes me as a massive mistake to jump into the murder and investigation before seeing this small town operate and some of these characters interact, since that would give Terry being a suspect some actual weight and make you feel the betrayal that other characters feel. Instead we're constantly told this is surprising and everyone knows everyone, but none of that's seen. The episode did nothing to make me care about any of the characters or solving the case (which includes possibly exonerating Terry, finding the true killer, giving the boy justice or the family closure, etc). Speaking of, am I supposed to care about the bits with the generic and almost completely unheard grieving mother? Her few bits, which did nothing to establish a character, and then she's disposed of in two wordless and extremely melodramatic shots.
I do agree with this part. I was very confused and there was zero weight on him being fingered for the crime.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,837
I do agree with this part. I was very confused and there was zero weight on him being fingered for the crime.
It worked for me. 🤷‍♂️ I thought the intention was to put the viewer in his shoes, have us be as mystified as Terry and his wife appeared to be. Then after show the days before (remember: he was arrested 3 days after the murder) where all the evidence was gathered and witnesses were interviewed that gave Mendohlson's character the growing anger and absolute certainty; ie, enough to publicly arrest and humiliate Terry.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,779
It worked for me. 🤷‍♂️ I thought the intention was to put the viewer in his shoes, have us be as mystified as Terry and his wife appeared to be. Then after show the days before (remember: he was arrested 3 days after the murder) where all the evidence was gathered and witnesses were interviewed that gave Mendohlson's character the growing anger and absolute certainty; ie, enough to publicly arrest and humiliate Terry.
it wasn't mystifying though if I didn't know anything about Terry. Maybe he WAS an asshole. We didn't know.
 

scottstephan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
333
I do agree with this part. I was very confused and there was zero weight on him being fingered for the crime.
I felt the opposite. Dude is the baseball coach, ergo he has contact with everyone's kids. He's out on the field, highly visible. I got the small town drama thing immediately and was glad they didn't feel the need to beat it into us by having him like... run the bake sale or something.
 

Sunster

The Fallen
Oct 5, 2018
3,861
I'm loving this show so far. Haven't read the book. Didn't watch the trailer. so I legit thought Terry did the crime at first and felt like I was in the same shoes as the detectives investigating it.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,779
I felt the opposite. Dude is the baseball coach, ergo he has contact with everyone's kids. He's out on the field, highly visible. I got the small town drama thing immediately and was glad they didn't feel the need to beat it into us by having him like... run the bake sale or something.
I felt like we saw him on screen for 3 minutes before the murder happened and car was found, and he hadn't been fleshed out at all. At first for awhile I didn't even realize they were talking about him.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,837
it wasn't mystifying though if I didn't know anything about Terry. Maybe he WAS an asshole. We didn't know.
To be more specific, the intention was that he could be an ordinary guy, trusted to coach baseball with kids, or he could secretly be a monster. We didn't know why Ralph was so convinced. That's my point. We're almost immediately shown Ralph's disgust and the arrest but don't understand why he's their guy. I personally liked how it was inverted.

Anyway, I'm not trying to change your mind here. I understand you wanted more to be established about his character so that you felt something when he was arrested.