‘Outsiders’: Will WGN’s Emmy luck continue with new David Morse drama?

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Last year, WGN entered the big leagues by winning its first-ever Emmy Award (Best Main Title Design for “Manhattan”). Will their luck continue this year with the new David Morse drama “Outsiders“? Produced by Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti, this rough-and-tumble drama series follows a clan of mountain men — the Farrells — who live on the outskirts of civilization and believe they are above the law.

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Morse plays Big Foster, the next in line to be the Farrells’ king and who’s in an unknowing war with the town deputy played by Thomas M. Wright. Among the supporting cast, Joe Anderson portrays Foster’s cousin who left the clan when he was younger, Ryan Hurst is the son of Foster who’s always loyal to his dad, and Kyle Gallner is a young clansman who becomes romantically interested with one of the girls in town.

The first reviews have been posted following the show’s first two episodes (which aired January 26 and February 2 on WGN). Among the critical raves are these:

Allison Keene, Collider
Though “Outsiders” seems to have high ambitions and a complex story to tell, it’s not pretentious. There are great elements to it that are reminiscent to the FX series “Sons of Anarchy” and “Justified,” although it also occupies its own unique space.

Vicki Hyman, Newark Star-Ledger
The performances — a supremely shaggy David Morse as Big Foster, a mercurial leader of the clan, Joe Anderson as Asa, who returned to the fold after a decade in the outside world, and Thomas M. Wright as troubled deputy Wade Houghton Jr., with a mysterious link to the Farrells — are strong throughout. And there’s much in the material that resonates.

Amber Dowling, The Wrap
Sweeping and complex with a large cast of characters to delve into, “Outsiders” isn’t necessarily new or gripping television, but it’s structured drama that delivers results thanks to the likes of Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti at the helm as executive producers.

Mark Trammell, TV Equals
I was in dire need of something to fill the void of “SOA” and “Justified,” and this definitely fits the bill. Only time will tell if it smoothes out the rough edges and becomes something more than a guilty pleasure.

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“Outsiders” airs Tuesdays on WGN. What do YOU think of the show so far? Have your say in our TV forum, which is filled with many Hollywood famous folk who hide behind screen names.

Photo Credit: WGN/Sony

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