The Outsider - A new HBO hit series based on a novel by Stephen King

Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo in Stephen King's new adaptation

After the success of Castle Rock, HBO again decided to reach out to Stephen King and do another adaptation of his work. This time around they chose The Outsider, authors recent work, published mid-2018. Richard Price was selected to do the adaptation, stretching it into ten-episode mini-series. Unlike the book, the series focuses on the police detective Ralph Anderson - starring Ben Mendelsohn- and investigator Holly Gibney - starring Cynthia Erivo- the character that has already appeared in King's Mr Mercedes trilogy. This turned out to be a good move because Mendelsohn and Erivo are driving force and probably the main reasons why you should check out this series.


Lets clear out one thing right out of the way, the main objection to HBO's The Outsider is that it is a series! Ten episodes are too much, and with what we got, truth to be told we would be better off with a movie. The pace is slower than one from Mr Mercedes. The main part of the action happens at the beginning. During the first episode. This is followed by a slow investigation through an unnecessary multiplicity of episodes and characters, which do not match each other.


Cruelly killed boy Frank Peterson, teacher Tarry Maitland gets arrested, in front of the whole city! 

Favourite teacher, sports coach Terry Maitland - starring Jason Bateman, in sight of the entire city - Flint City, gets arrested during a baseball game. He is charged with the cruel murder and rape of 11-year-old boy Frank Peterson. He was arrested by detective Anderson, who is his acquaintance and who does not doubt his guilt. Terry appears in a bloody jacket in front of a bunch of witnesses, in front of various CCTT cameras, all over the town. It's like he wants to be arrested.

From an entirely clear case, the trial turns into an uncertain case. Specifically, Terry Maitland was 100 km away at the time of the boy's murder at a teacher seminar in a nearby town. He was captured there on cameras, several people saw him there, talked to him and he also had a roommate in the place he stayed. Seems like he wasn't alone for a single moment. I mean, he couldn’t be in two places at the same time? But it looks like he was? Khm... Doppelganger?


How was suspect Terry Maitland in two places at the same time?

As the investigation is stalling, Detective Anderson is increasingly convinced that Terry actually might be innocent. But his rational mind cannot accept alternative solutions. This is where unconventional private investigator, Holly Gibney, comes into a game. At first, no one trusts her. But when they have no choice, they decide to go with investigator Gibney into an uncertain battle with the centuries-old entity.

As I said the series was too long and truth to be told this major objection goes completely to the Richard Price as the creator. Luckily that the great cast made up for those shortcomings. When I first saw Ben Mendelsohn, a great Australian actor, it was in the Bloodline series, where he played Danny Rayburn. He dominated the series so much that when he was gone, the series was not interesting. How good was Mendelsohn? He received the Emmy Award for his role!


Holly Gibney is a mix of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, and Mulder from X-Files!

As for the great actress Cynthia Erivo, we recently had the opportunity to watch her in the movie Harriet. Before that, we remember her by her role in The Color Purple. She is a talented actress and a singer with great potential. In the new season of the National Geographic-Genius series, Cynthia is starring great Aretha Franklin. In HBO series - The OutsiderCynthia is, as I previously said, Holly Gibney. It's hard to describe her character, which is the most interesting part of The Outsider series. Maybe like an odd mix of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory and Mulder from X-Files. The resemblance to Mulder is that they are both - "open-minded" type of people. When you watch the second part of season one, Gibney completely takes over the central stage, and you can't help but think she's autistic -and yes it is Erivo's brilliant performance that brings this. She has some skills that ordinary people do not have. And most often people, associate them with autism. But this is not fully explained in this series.


There aren’t many horror series on HBO, so don’t hesitate when it comes to The Outsider

Notwithstanding all the disadvantages, this series is still for the recommendation. Of course, for horror fans. Thriller fans will not be so thrilled. After the thriller intro, everything shifts in the direction of horror. Still, it's Stephen King. You can binge-watch the series now on HBO completely. The last, tenth episode, aired on March 9, 2020, so don't hesitate because we don't get a chance to watch high-budget horror series on HBO, every month of the year.