ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - There’s no denying the literary skills of author Stephen King to pen horror stories like no other writer in his lifetime, and his 2018 book The Outsider lives up to what fans have come to love.
So with HBO’s 10-part miniseries of the book, viewer numbers soared because every King fan streamed the show – myself included.
But was it worth the data and time, and did it captivate and horrify like King’s written work? Of course.
This is mainly because HBO enlisted the creative talents of celebrated novelist and screenwriter Richard Price (known for the books The Wanderers, Clockers and Lush Life) to re-envision The Outsider for the screen.
No stranger to bringing gritty and gripping dramas to life, Price is lauded for his writing on The Night Of (starring Riz Ahmed) and his contributions to The Wire.
As any serious King fan would immediately recognise, there’s a character in The Outsider that Price relocates from King’s Mr Mercedes trilogy.
Having never read any of those novels before getting to work on The Outsider, Price told the recent Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour that in reinventing Holly Gibney (played by Cynthia Erivo) he didn’t want to be beholden to anything from the Mr Mercedes trilogy.
“With King’s blessing, I made the character mine. I wanted to do my thing. Mr Mercedes [the book or series] did not exist in the world of The Outsider. It’s just, ‘Forget everything you knew about Holly.’
“I asked King to change her name to make more of a separation. The only directive he gave me was ‘Just keep the name’.”
Other than that, and the glaring fact that the first episode kicks off about a quarter way in on the novel, HBO proves once again why it maintains its position as a top contender when it comes to streaming content.
The Outsider begins when a beloved community little league baseball coach and father Terry Maitland is arrested for the murder of a young boy. Even with evidence (including video footage and eyewitness accounts) stacked against him, Terry maintains his innocence.
However – and this is where it starts getting interesting – there is also other video footage showing him about 70 miles away at the time of the murder. So, what’s really going on?
Guess you’re going to have to sit through it to find out.
And that’s not as bad as it sounds when considering awesome acting talents of Ben Mendelsohn (as detective Ralph Anderson), Jason Bateman (as Terry Maitland) and Mare Winningham (as Jeannie Anderson), among others.
Of course, there are those naysayers who will try to talk you out of watching this show, but with a Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating of 88%, you may regret following their advice.