Review: Outcast E.01 – “A Darkness Surrounds Him”

To start with I have never read Outcast. I know that’s probably weird given how much I read and the fact that I run a comic book site. The reason I passed on it was A) it was picked up as a TV show before the first issue hit stands and B) I wasn’t sent a review issue because the sales for it were too good. I figured, why bother reading it if the sales or so good it doesn’t need to be reviewed. I don’t regret this choice.

It's hard not to compare this to Preacher since they're both summer cable programs based on comic books turned into TV shows and that said Outcast seems to be better suited for the TV medium. Even if it’s just slightly better. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that Robert Kirkman has had a lot of hands on time with The Walking Dead or that Fox/Cinemax was there to guide it better or simply the fact that by selling the TV show before creating the comic allowed him to write the story out as a rough draft in comic form and then final draft for TV. Whatever the case it worked better as a TV show than Preacher. That doesn’t really have anything to do with the review, but this is really the only place for me to make a statement like that.

Outcast PosterTo recap the show there’s a kid possessed by a demon. A dude whose mom was possessed by a demon or possibly the same demon, living back at his childhood home because supposedly he did something to his daughter which broke up his marriage. Eventually their paths cross and dude discovers that basically demons have been trying to get at him his entire life. There’s a lot of flashbacks from his childhood showing his possessed mom’s abuse and then one flashback that reveals that he’s not as bad of a guy as the story has 100% led you to believe.

It’s built for TV minus all the flashbacks. The flashbacks are typically a comic book gimmick and while I don’t know how many issues of the comic this is combining, I kind of hope that it’s at least more than one because the episode was bogged down by them and hopefully they lighten up on them for future episodes.

The acting is a mix bag. There’s some good acting when it comes to horror, but it also all involves children which is not for the faint of heart. Hopefully it being demon’s will pacify anyone that would be like, “there’s a lot of kid beating going on here.” On second thought it’s on Cinemax so I don’t think people who say such things have Cinemax. At any rate, the lead actor Patrick Fugit does a fine job. He’s believable even if he looks like utter shit. They show him at one point looking all clean-cut and dapper and while his appearance is reflective of where he is in life, it’s just not a good look on the dude. I know that’s that a weird criticism, but it bothered me the entire show. The rest of the cast is seasoned. There’s a lot and I mean a lot of familiar faces. It’s too soon to say if they’re a good cast together or just a bunch of good actors working on the same show.

I will likely watch more of Outcast and here’s why… I haven’t read the comic. I think that if you haven’t read the comic its worth watching as well. If you have, it doesn’t matter. It never matters because even though Kirkman wrote the comic for TV, TV still changes everything. Looking at this as just another TV show, I’m interested and would continue to watch it. For a first episode it did a hell of a job of not feeling like a pilot and rather the start of a season. That’s a difficult feat for any TV show so it should be applauded for that. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start. If we did half points this would get one, but as decent as it was it's still pretty average when you remove all the shock value.[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Outcast E.01 – “A Darkness Surrounds Him”
Friday’s on Cinemax