So recently, having finished
four three seasons of Killing Eve, we have been casting around for something else that my wife won’t find too violent/gory (and the four three seasons of Killing Eve just barely slid in under that barrier), and, for the moment, have settled on the Amazon series Outer Range. This series doesn’t have very many episodes yet, so it won’t occupy us for long, but it’s the one she currently asks for when we sit down to watch television after a long day of trying to tire out The Bean.
The basic premise of Outer Range is that There’s Something Weird in the Fields of Wyoming (and it isn’t a thing in a canyon shortcut that eats cowboys):
As per usual with a new series, when we started it, I didn’t tell my wife what it was, I just put it on, and it didn’t take long before she had thoughts:
Wife: “This reminds me of that other show.”
Me: “What show?”
Wife: “The one with the guy?”
Me: “That narrows it down.”
Wife: “Loop stories?”
Me: “You mean Tales from the Loop?”
Wife: “Yes, that one.”
Me (beat): “I could see that.”
Here’s the trailer for Tales from the Loop, in case anyone wants to compare and contrast:
Although this is nominally a science fiction show, it spends a lot of time on character interactions, which is probably why my wife is watching it; she’s definitely invested in what happens to at least some of them*. For instance, there was a scene where one of the characters was talking to a woman he had a crush on in high school, and is trying to get something going with now. My wife does not approve of this.
Rhett: “If I asked you out in high school, would you have said yes?”
Maria: “Probably not.”
Rhett: “Do you wanna dance?”
Maria: “Can you dance? You’re not drunk.”
Wife: “Why is he even interested in her? She’s not very nice to him, saying stuff like that.”
Me: “She’s just teasing him.”
Wife: “No she’s not. She’s mean. She’s not a good person.”
Me: “I don’t think that’s the direction this show is going to go—”
Wife: “Before you met me, would you have dated somebody like that if they talked to you that way?”
Me: “Uh …”
Wife: “Yeah, you probably would have, and then later on you would be like, ‘Why did I ever date that person?'”**
Several episodes later, my wife still hasn’t forgiven Maria for her behavior, and editorializes about her probable bad intentions every time she shows up.
Maria: (shows up and is nice to Rhett)
Wife: “She wants something.”
At this point, we generally don’t refer to Outer Range as Outer Range; instead we call it Tales from the Ranch (or, occasionally, Ranch Tales, which sounds like either a show about salad dressing, or perhaps a sequel to DuckTales). The episodes are generally around an hour long and they don’t tend to put my wife to sleep, which is pretty good for a science fiction show that isn’t the first season of Westworld. What does put her to sleep is when try to tell her how the lead actor, Josh Brolin, played Thanos in the “Avengers” movies, or how Lili Taylor, his wife, played John Cusack’s female bestie in Say Anything***, or how their son looks so much like the President from Independence Day because the actor is in fact the son of the actor who played the President in Independence Day, or how … HEY! Wake up! I’m explaining stuff here!
* Which is more than we can say about Max from Stranger Things.
** The evidence suggests that this is a correct assessment.
*** Which went something like this:
Me: “Do you remember Say Anything?”
Me: “John Cusack played a kickboxer?”
Me: “He held up a boombox over his head playing ‘In Your Eyes’?”
Wife: “Sounds vaguely familiar.”
Me: “Well she played one of his female friends in that movie.”
Wife: (quite obviously could not care less)