Outsiders

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Outsiders TV Poster Image
Violent, gritty, entertaining Appalachian family drama.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Some insight into Appalachian culture, but stereotypes are often used to characterize.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Ferrells preserve their ways by any means possible.

Violence

Beatings, shootings, stabbings; bloody, gory wounds; murders (including of kids). Folks held in cages, chains.

Sex

Occasional strong innuendo.

Language

"Pussy," "ass," "bitch," "s--t"; rude gestures.

Consumerism

Occasional references to Bud Light, other brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of moonshine, whiskey; cigarettes, marijuana. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Outsiders is a dramatic series about the struggle for power and control in the remote Kentucky mountains of modern-day Appalachia; it also incorporates interpretations of Appalachian tradition and folklore. There's a lot of violence, ranging from beatings and shootings to bloody wounds and deaths. There's also plenty of cursing ("s--t"), sexual innuendo, and illegal behavior. Alcohol (especially moonshine) and drugs are prominently featured in some episodes, too. Older teens who like drama will be drawn to it, but it's not for younger viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHelen M. March 8, 2017

Captivating Story NOT for children, or anyone under 17

The story is pretty interesting as it circles around a family's intense loyalty values that border on cultic ideas. However, characters learn to find their... Continue reading
Adult Written bySusan E. August 12, 2016

It's a very detailed and honest depiction of Present Kentucky life

With this family they stuck together something no family presently does. They do not sell and that's a vast difference between drug family's and th... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

OUTSIDERS is a dramatic series about the struggle for power and control in the remote Kentucky mountains of modern-day Appalachia. It stars Joe Anderson as Asa Farrell, an estranged member of the wild Farrell Clan, a Scotch-Irish family that has lived off the grid and by their own rules for generations on Shay Mountain. But few are fully prepared to welcome him back, especially his brutish cousin "Big Foster" Farrell (David Morse), who is fighting to take over as the clan's Bren'in (king). Complicating things is Asa's feelings for former sweetheart and clan healer G'Winveer (Gillian Alexy), much to the chagrin of Li'l Foster (Ryan Hurst), Big Foster's slightly gentler adult son. Meanwhile, moonshiner cousin Hasil (Kyle Gallner) is stirring up trouble as he becomes more curious about the world down the mountain and interested in Sally-Ann (Christina Jackson), one of the few Afircan-American residents in the area. As the family contends with their internal problems, their isolated, self-governed way of life is severely threatened by state law enforcement, much to the consternation of local Deputy Sheriff Wade Houghton, Jr. (Thomas M. Wright), who understands the danger the Farrells pose and the values that guide them.

Is it any good?

This well-produced, intriguing series offers a dramatic narrative steeped in history native to Appalachia, a mining region full of stories of survival under difficult conditions. But the show is fictional and creates an extreme universe that is ruled by brutal (and often sexist) behavior and shrouded in mystical elements, some of which are actually drawn from other cultures. However, as wild as some of the characters are, they have very raw, honest feelings that range from curiosity and selfishness to a love of family and traditions so fierce they'll do what they can to protect them.

References to things such as the traditional Elizabethan-rooted Appalachian settler dialect, meeting rituals, and serious and secretive moonshine practices make the show colorfully entertaining at times. It's also hard not to acknowledge the corruption and greed of the "outsider," which in this case is the government-supported coal-mining industry. This doesn't hide the fact that it's a gritty and violent show, but it allows you to understand some of these acts within the context of evolving events. It's certainly compelling and will probably appeal to older viewers who like this kind of storytelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the history of Appalachia. How has its history of mining, poverty, and difficulty contributed to the region's folklore? What about its reputation? Do films and TV shows such as this one accurately portray the communities that live there? Or are they creating stereotypes to be easily understood or more entertaining?

  • How does the media traditionally portray communities that live outside the mainstream? Why are audiences interested in them?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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