What can I say, I am sort of a sucker for really any show on The CW. So, when I saw that a new series was going to be released, I had to check out The Outpost. I am sorry that I did.
Full disclosure, when I saw the original trailer teasing the show I was sold. It looked promising: fantasy genre, an element of mystery, sword fighting, – what’s not to like?
The premise of the show isn’t a terrible one. It follows the main character, Talon (played by Jessica Green), as she hunts the men responsible for massacring her village. We learn that she is the last remaining “Blackblood” – essentially magical elves who control intra-dimensional gateways. Her pursuit of these killer’s leads her to the Outpost, a fortress on the furthest edge of civilization. But the promise of the show really ends there.
Unfortunately the promise of the show ends there. The main character Talon suffers from unearned badassery. The characters, and the story lines, want us to accept that she is a badass. But as an audience, her character has never really earned that respect from us. Think Star Wars: A New Hope, we all know that Han Solo is a badass the moment he shoots Greedo in cold blood in the cantina. But as an audience, we never witness a moment like that with Talon, so it is difficult to accept her in the light that the other characters seem to.
On top of that, every other character in the show seems like a hollow shell. Captain Spears is the noble, heroic soldier. The Marshall is the corrupt and evil government official. Gwynn is the innocent maiden. And Janzo is the bumbling bar-keep. Whether these characters evolve into more than this later in the show is unknown – and frankly I don’t really care to find out. As I was not invested enough into any of them to see where their arcs would take them.
The real killer in the show is the production value. It just looks bad and dated. Everything looks like a set, and characters spend most of their time talking about things, so they viewers don’t have to watch them actually unfold. The lighting is weird, and the fight sequences are unimpressive and unimaginative. The visual of the show looks somewhere between a low-budget Soap-opera, and Hercules: The Legendary Journey. The difference is that the Hercules show was produced over twenty years ago, originally airing in 1995, and we are living in 2018.
Aside from that, the show just is not compelling. It really isn’t. As an viewer, I just found myself really not caring about anything. I had no fascination in the greater world that they were building. I felt no real attachment to the characters and their goals. Essentially, I found myself scrolling Instagram or Twitter thirty seconds into any conversation, because I really just didn’t care.
The sad thing is, there are not a lot of Fantasy shows in production, so The Outpost could have filled a huge void in the genre. Aside from the super-high value Game of Thrones, and The Magicians on Syfy network, there are not many other Fantasy shows in production. Once GOT ends, Fans of the genre are really now forced to wait in anticipation of the The Lord of The Rings series coming from Prime in 2021. The Outpost is not the series you have been looking for.
The Outpost airs on The CW of Tuesday nights, and you can also catch it on the app. But do yourself a favor. Quit while you are ahead, and don’t even waste your time with this one.