Monday, January 25, 2016

They Created OUTSIDERS

Actor David Morse plays the fierce father figure of the Farrell Clan.  He's in OUTSIDERS, a new original drama series that premieres Tuesday night, January 26th, on WGN America.  The Farrell Clan has lived in the remote hills of Appalachia for 200 years.  It's a clan with its own customs, currency, rules and language.  Now corporate types want to evict them off the land for the sake of profit.  Are sophisticated corporate dudes in suits really a match for a clever, manipulative mountain man like "Big Foster" played by David Morse?  We shall see.
In this struggle for power and control and survival, there are echoes of today's headlines.  Think of factions that proclaim it's time to "take this country back" and oppose the current White House administration.  Look at Americans vs Americans on Supreme Court rulings while there's an outside force of foreign terrorist.  Think of greedy corporate executives making life harder for average folks who pursued the American Dream?  Look at all the working class people who got eviction notices because of shady activity on Wall Street.  All those elements come to mind when you watch Outsiders.  It's more than just a bunch of wild hillbillies who make a wicked moonshine opposing corporate forces and the law.  As Sheriff Wade warns the white collar men making snarky comments about The Farrells, "You have no idea what you're dealing with."
Two top forces of creativity gave us this compelling new drama series.  Peter Mattei is an indie filmmaker, a playwright and a novelist.  He wrote a novel titled The Deep Whatsis.  He's the creator, the writer and an executive producer of OutsidersPeter Tolan has given us over 20 years of laughs.  He was a producer/writer for the TV sitcoms Murphy Brown, Home Improvement and cable's The Larry Sanders Show.  He was a co-creator and writer on Rescue Me.   (Lord, how I wanted to a do a bit part in an episode of that excellent Denis Leary series about firefighters!)  Tolan co-wrote the hit comedy movie, Analyze This, starring Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro.  As you can tell from the description of his new series, Outsiders is a departure from kind of popular entertainment Tolan has given us in the past.  He's the other executive producer on this challenging new show.
Before I interview the two Peters, here's a trailer for their new series about a Caucasian family living off the grid.

Now, meet Peter Mattei (wearing a cap) and Peter Tolan (not wearing a cap).  Early in the interview for We Got This Covered, I'm so thrilled to meet the gentlemen and so in-the-moment that I made a mistake during a question.  I said "Lord of the Rings" when I meant to say the William Golding book title, Lord of the Flies.  Here's our interview.

Again, Outsiders premieres on WGN America which is available on the DISH TV network.  The show airs at 9p ET/PT on Tuesday night.

The opening episodes are smart and thought-provoking.  America is 240 years old.  The Farrell Clan has been on that mountain for 200 years fighting to keep its independence and way of life.  In some ways, is that family with all its in-fighting a reflection of the U.S.A. itself?  The writing is very layered and the acting is very good.  I hope Outsiders connects with viewers and becomes a success for Peter Mattei and Peter Tolan.

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