The Outlaws (new Stephen Merchant comedy thriller)

Started by Ballad of Ballard Berkley, October 20, 2021, 09:42:17 PM

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olliebean

iPlayer already has the first four episodes. I thought they were releasing them a week before broadcast, but episode 4 seems to have come early.

Shit Good Nose

November 03, 2021, 09:31:12 PM #61 Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 09:52:43 PM by Shit Good Nose
Dolly Wells' Bristolian accent not great.


Watched the first and second episodes, spotting all the locations I'm familiar with, but it was far too soapy and far too on the nose for me (thought the endless woke MESSAGEs [that already feel massively dated] were not only tiresome, but cringey as well - not exactly subtle [hmmm, I wonder if any of those lines and boundaries will become blurred as the series goes on...hmmmmm.....I........WONDER.......]) and it felt like a VERY long hour.  I've bailed on it.

NOTE - I'm normally a fan of Merchant, but I think he should stick to comedy.

derek stitt

The only bit I really liked was when Christopher Walken was sarcastically asking the community service supervisor  if he was allowed to keep any human waste found on the site, nice little exchange that. The rest not too far removed from an episode of Walker Texas Ranger.

dead-ced-dead

I quite liked it. It's a bit ragged round the edges and it is a bit soapy, but it's just nice to see a functional script from either Gervais or Merchant. That's definitely a bias that's boosting it, but it is a relief.

DrGreggles

This is OK, isn't it?

It's essentially a drama with a couple of comedy characters chucked in, but it kind of works.

gib


dead-ced-dead

Quote from: DrGreggles on November 05, 2021, 10:52:38 PM
This is OK, isn't it?

It's essentially a drama with a couple of comedy characters chucked in, but it kind of works.

Yeah, pretty much, and it's a pretty good one.

PlanktonSideburns

Yea it's warming on me, great central performances

icehaven

I watched the four episodes today, it's a mixed bag for me, I like it and will watch the rest but there's some glaring faults, pointing out that characters are types doesn't excuse it and you can see plot turns coming a mile away. That said it moves at a reasonable pace and when I first read the premise (community service probationers finding a bag of money) I presumed they'd all be in on it together so it's interesting to see that's not how they've done it. Music's getting on my nerves a bit though.

ZoyzaSorris

Pleasant bit of easy brainless fun for my money.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Yep, I feel the same way. It's comfortable in its own skin: an enjoyable drama with some funny bits scattered throughout. Merchant is basically the comic relief character, and he works well within the otherwise fairly serious framework. It's a likeable show. Not 'A Major Work', but that's fine.

I wonder if Gervais has bothered to tune in? If so, would it even occur to him that Merchant has a superior grasp of character development and narrative structure? Not that Merchant is some sort of storytelling powerhouse, but he's capable of producing work which doesn't feel like a tossed-off first draft. You get the sense that The Outlaws is something Merchant has toiled over; a labour of love, if you like.

After Life and Derek are incompetent, narcissistic follies; utter guff projected from the mind of a lazy man. There's just no way he could ever write something as good as The Outlaws.

icehaven

I bet folding money
Spoiler alert
the big drug uber boss is the youtube influencer/posh lady's father.
[close]

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: icehaven on November 09, 2021, 12:44:33 AM
I bet folding money
Spoiler alert
the big drug uber boss is the youtube influencer/posh lady's father.
[close]

Almost certainly.

gilbertharding

Quote from: icehaven on November 06, 2021, 07:53:31 PM
... moves at a reasonable pace...

Surprised you say this. I'm watching it every week (traditional style) and while I am enjoying it, on the same superficial level as everyone else who is enjoying it, they are very long hours: I'm looking at my watch by about halfway through.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: Ballad of Ballard Berkley on November 06, 2021, 11:42:36 PM
I wonder if Gervais has bothered to tune in? If so, would it even occur to him that Merchant has a superior grasp of character development and narrative structure? Not that Merchant is some sort of storytelling powerhouse, but he's capable of producing work which doesn't feel like a tossed-off first draft. You get the sense that The Outlaws is something Merchant has toiled over; a labour of love, if you like.

As you say, Merchant isn't some storytelling powerhouse, but the difference between the two of them is that Gervais is incompetent and Merchant is competent, and sometimes that's enough.

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: gilbertharding on November 09, 2021, 09:43:38 AM
they are very long hours: I'm looking at my watch by about halfway through.

Completely agree.  I haven't gone and won't go back to it, but those two episodes I did watch dragged.  It was a real slog getting through them.


But yeah - more generally, Merchant is infinitely more talented than Gervais.  I'd still love a Darren Lamb spin-off with zero input from Gervais.

I don't love this but have watched all 5 and interested in the story. Not sure how they are going to get out of this perilous situation.

icehaven

Quote from: icehaven on November 09, 2021, 12:44:33 AM
I bet folding money
Spoiler alert
the big drug uber boss is the youtube influencer/posh lady's father.
[close]

Spoiler alert
Alright called that wrong, bloody Withnail. Still think the drug boss will turn up somewhere.
[close]


neveragain

That's a spoiler, it's the punchline to the whole series... Which incidentally I enjoyed very much.

typeforty

I enjoyed it - it wasn't the best drama ever by a long shot, but it did make me laugh a lot. The final episode was shoddy, though - it threw several balls up in the air and didn't even make an attempt to catch them. I know there's a second series coming, but in
Spoiler alert
cutting to everyone cheerfully doing their community service again at the end
[close]
it didn't even try to address what seemed like fairly pressing stuff like
Spoiler alert
Smerch's slimy colleague and the potential end of his career
[close]
or
Spoiler alert
Nina Wadia's response to the fact her daughter left the house AGAIN
[close]
. I'm sure they'll be addressed in Series 2 because they have to be, but it didn't feel like a "Come back next time and find out!", it just felt like none of that stuff was important anymore. That said, I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time with these characters.

I liked the characters, but the gangster stuff just seemed to be lifted directly from Top Boy.

icehaven

Quote from: typeforty on November 12, 2021, 03:42:10 PM
I enjoyed it - it wasn't the best drama ever by a long shot, but it did make me laugh a lot. The final episode was shoddy, though - it threw several balls up in the air and didn't even make an attempt to catch them. I know there's a second series coming, but in
Spoiler alert
cutting to everyone cheerfully doing their community service again at the end
[close]
it didn't even try to address what seemed like fairly pressing stuff like
Spoiler alert
Smerch's slimy colleague and the potential end of his career
[close]
or
Spoiler alert
Nina Wadia's response to the fact her daughter left the house AGAIN
[close]
. I'm sure they'll be addressed in Series 2 because they have to be, but it didn't feel like a "Come back next time and find out!", it just felt like none of that stuff was important anymore.

And the fact that
Spoiler alert
the gangsters would just have gone and got Ben as soon as he was out of custody. Unless they've all moved into Lady Influencer's mansion and she's hired 24hr bodyguards for them.
[close]
Yes why did
Spoiler alert
Oliver Platt want Stephen Merchant to go for a drink with him?
[close]
That bit really was left flapping in the wind.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: icehaven on November 12, 2021, 04:14:25 PM
Yes why did
Spoiler alert
Oliver Platt want Stephen Merchant to go for a drink with him?
[close]
That bit really was left flapping in the wind.

Because
Spoiler alert
he was going to blackmail Greg. I thought that was obvious
[close]
. Merchant already knew that a second series was in the bag while making this, so I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt with regards to some loose threads.

I really enjoyed that series. A wee bit clunky at times, but overall I found it engaging and funny. A sweet endeavour.

neveragain

Yes, I found it very enjoyable and engaging. Loved the characters and will look forward to more. If TV was in a better state there'd be more drama series like this (well-made, humorous with a clearly personal vision) and fewer cookie-cutter domestic abuse series with poor lighting and unconvincing husbands.

Twit 2

I thought this might be a thing to look at while I ate a bland reheated mid week meal.

Cringed at two lazy transgender references and one race reference in the first few minutes. "The character is the butt of the joke" doesn't wash with me. That those references are in there at all smacks of a preoccupation with those themes, which is lazy at best at tasteless at worst. Very Gervais-like writing. Neither has moved on from the cringe comedy and lame referencing of controversial topics which they made their name with. Why do these thoughts have to be shoehorned into the characters mouths in the first place—why not just give them decent lines and jokes?

Whilst it's still miles better than Gervais, it's still a bit "Hur hur trans people, hur hur pronouns, hur hur black youths" for me. And another similarity to Gervais is the narcissistic need to be in the show, playing a bumbling version of themselves. Yes, Merchant is more palatable than Gervais, in the way a mouthful of piss is preferable to a mouthful of shit. "All the characters are deliberate stereotypes archetypes." How convenient that you don't have to write with nuance, Stephen, you fucking hack. Dreadful.

boinks

Eh, I enjoyed it. Made me laugh a fair number of times and for that I appreciate it. Like others have said, sometimes a bit clunky and obvious, but I enjoyed it. And as always, Darren Boyd is so watchable.

Ignatius_S

Interesting to see various comments about the writing that imply that we only need consider Merchant's input.


Twit 2

Well, the bits I mentioned seem so clearly in Merchant's voice.

To be clear, I didn't find it hateful, just lazy and dull.

Virgo76