a critic who revisits The Leftovers with Western sauce on Amazon


In the realm of series, hybridization is the queen. Genres mix and change almost spontaneously, encouraging the creation of richer and more unique universes. External range fully complies with this inventory. The project was led by a newcomer to the serial landscape Brian Watkins, who studied to be a playwright. Theatrical education, which we often perceive during the series and which willingly bears fruit.

During the eight episodes of this season 1, viewer watches the crash of a ranch family, the Ebott family, at their ranch in Wyoming. After Father Royal (Josh Brolin) discovers a supernatural cavity on the family property, the situation is further degraded under pressure from the Tillersons, who live on a nearby ranch and claim a share of Abbott’s land. And if that wasn’t enough, the arrival of a strange tourist, Autumn (Imogen Putz, magnetic, as always), fuels the rift between the two families.

Give this actress more roles, she deserves it!

Tragedy is smoldering from the pilot episode. In the middle of the night, Royal loses his body before being blinded by a flashlight. These first minutes set the tone, there will be blood as well as gray areas, blind areas to which characters will seek access. The unknown is embodied not only in this hole that appears on the plain, but also in this irrational and mutual resistance of the Eboths who want to be pierced.

It is difficult to know each other, and therefore others“- Cecilia’s mother (Lily Taylor) begins to her eldest son Perry. Deep down, everyone seeks harmony in themselves before trying to find it with their loved ones, hence the feeling of loneliness, which gradually threatens family cohesion. Brian Watkins, who organizes paroxysmal reconciliation, respecting the sacred unity of time, action and place.

Outer range: Photos by Josh Brolin, Lily Taylor, Tom PelfreyAs the beginning of tension in the air


Outside the earth there are those who inhabit it and govern the people. Not only decorative features in history, animals play the role of spiritual guides, “totems” for the characters. Even the dead continue to be revered. This is the case, for example, with the father of the Tillerson family (Will Patton), who repeatedly relies on the wisdom inspired by his hunting trophy, a buffalo head hung in his room. The same goes for his sons, Luke and Billy (Noah Reed, remarkable as the youngest of his siblings, a fan of pop music), whose most important interactions take place in front of a wall lined with owl stuffed animals.

It is the species of animals that is responsible for preserving the memory of the world. The memory that the heroes buried themselves, and they are afraid to dig it up. Only Autumn, this traveler who is allowed to be in Abbott, agrees to live among the wild beasts and “listen” to them. In one of the most attractive scenes of the series, she meets face to face with a bear who whispers to her: “show him “. A sentence whose prophetic value completes at this point the boundary between the animal and the divine.

Outer range: ImageThe biggest McGuffin in the series

The choice of location in the heart of the American West, of course, is not free. In addition to its Western affiliation, this is the only place that relates to the history of the United States genocide and External range solves this topic directly through the character of Sheriff Joy Hawk, of Indian descent. The audacity is twofold: she is not only a woman who brings order and justice, but also belongs to an ethnic group that once killed those she now represents.

What is called the Hawk (or “falcon” in French) also does not matter if we know that the animal is symbolically associated with the zenith in Indian culture. The sunlight that will eventually envelop him at the end of the last episode, unlike the other characters who will remain lost in the dark. This alternation of day and night contributes, on the one hand, to the aesthetic “between dog and wolf” series and once again emphasizes the importance of these “twilight” animals, messengers who evolve from one world to another.

Outdoor area: Photo by Tamara PodemskaWhat do you want, she saw the light


Which brings us to that famous cavity, the supernatural element that holds the whole secret of the series. Another audacityExternal range is to approach science fiction because of an anomaly coming from the basement, not from the sky. The American media ask Playlistexplains Brian Watkins: “I always imagined science fiction in the show as something terrestrial, not alien. This is actually the story of heroes who reveal secrets right under their feet.“.

Instead of using this cavity as a pure spring for the script, the series uses it for its metaphorical charge. If the characters, especially the Royal ones, seem to be drawn to this bottomless abyss, it is because they recognize their inner emptiness there and try to fill it. And the more they try, the more their subconscious mind reminds them, especially because of the flashes that the staging and editing cleverly stop to better reveal them to us at the right time.

Outer range: ImagePlay with fire

Since then, the Abbots seem doomed to extinction. The story begins with the disappearance of Perry’s wife, the eldest son. No one can explain it, but everyone feels deep guilt. That’s where the comparison with Leftovers obviously. And even if Lindelof’s series is better in every way, External range means absence, absence with the help of often appropriate tricks, such as this photo of a missing woman who is kept behind the scenes, or this little girl who regularly avoids the vigilance of her family.

Unfortunately, because of the desire to keep the secret at all costs, the series leaves open most of the ways in which it moves. As is Season 1 serves as the starting point for Season 2, which we hope will receive confirmation soon. The potential is great, as evidenced by the culmination of the last episode, which releases not horses but bison, to offer us the same impressive as the mysterious courage. Therefore, we will be wrong to think of our satisfaction, because the experience, even disappointing, remains exciting.

Season 1 of the Outer Range is fully available on Amazon Prime Video from May 6, 2022

Outer band: US poster


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