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Amazon’s ‘Outlaws’ Shows We Actually Can Get Along

British import depicts conservative 'blowhard' with dignity, respect

It’s hard not to wince while meeting the ensemble characters in Amazon Prime’s new British comedy “The Outlaws.”

“You’ve got your right-wing blowhard, your left-wing militant, celubutante, shifty old-timer and whatever the hell he is,” Rani (Rihanne Barreto) says early in the series, pointing to Stephen Merchant, the show’s co-star and co-creator.

Viewers half expect Merchant, who plays a sad-sack lawyer, to make said “militant” far more agreeable, if only to grovel to Amazon’s woke overlords.

And, in turn, rob the blowhard of his dignity.

RELATED: Merchant Blames Left for Cancel Culture Crisis

Something different happens over six engaging episodes. “The Outlaws” humanizes both stereotypes, but in doing so suggests two radical notions. A straight white male character can grow beyond his biases, and there’s common ground to be had between the decent Left and Right.

That’s subversive to the core.

The Outlaws - Official Trailer | Prime Video

“The Outlaws” follows seven Brits who committed minor offenses and must pay for them via Community Payback. They’re guarded by Diane (Jessica Gunning), the office grunt with delusions she could be a bona fide cop one day. Gunning steals every moment she can through six boisterous episodes.

Together, these very different “outlaws” bond over their respective woes and a gang threat targeting not just Christian but potentially the entire group.

The show’s casting could not be better. Each actor brings a richness to their part, which is something you expect when casting Christopher Walken as a shady senior citizen. The rest? Pitch perfect.

That’s not why “The Outlaws” matters in modern pop culture, though.

“Right-wing” John (Darren Boyd) isn’t a monster, nor is he prevented from defending his views when questioned. His business is failing, but he genuinely cares about the employees who could lose their job as a result. It’s hard not to appreciate the guilt he feels for failing a company started by his crusty, unforgiving Pa.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Clare Perkins’ Myrna will grate on conservative viewers’ nerves from the jump. She’s every awful BLM-style tic boiled into one insufferable soul. She, too, isn’t cast off as a caricature. She’s suffered for sticking so fervently to her beliefs, alienating family members and allies alike.

One could argue “The Outlaws” misses some comic material by not drilling down into the absurdity of Myrna’s woke lifestyle, and that’s a fair point. Yet the series packs enough humor, as is, undercutting that  critique.

The bigger victory is clear. (Very mild spoilers ahead)

RELATED: Showtime Mocks Conservatives Getting Censored, Attacked

Myrna and John develop an uneasy bond, one built on shared trust in the worst of circumstances. “The Outlaws” reveals just how much Myrna sacrificed with her take-no-prisoners activism. For John, it’s about learning to see different cultures through a fresh lens.

Each is allowed to grow in ways modern storytellers often ignore. Depicting Myrna as a deeply flawed soul is brave, full stop. There’s not a drop of Mary Sue in this hard-charging soul.

Letting John have depth and courage is equally so.

The very best part?

At a time when the Left and Right savage each other online and off, here’s a stark example of two opposites uniting to help themselves, and others.

Sure, it’s only a TV series and one found on a streaming service many don’t share. It’s a rare unifying example from a pop culture landscape far too giddy to turn us against each other.

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5 Comments

  1. “A straight white male character can grow beyond his biases, and there’s common ground to be had between the decent Left and Right.”

    Sorry Christian: The fact that you tout the show’s notion that “a straight white male character can grow beyond his biases” accepts the Leftist weltanschauung that straight white males as a whole are biased. I need more information on what the character’s “biases” are, but assuming he rejects the notion of his innate bigotry, climate change, transgenderism and every other false god and shibboleth of the left, then that is not biased or bigoted but sane and normal.

    And what makes the Left “decent” anyway. Full disclosure: I have not actually watched this show, but from how you describe it, it’s not making me want to.

    1. This is what we’ve been reduced to. We are grateful to be portrayed as biased, but capable of overcoming our evil natures. Lol. I’m with you. I’m skipping it.

    2. Amen, J.J.
      I’ve pretty much given up on new content. Last month I got Apple+ to try out a british spy series starring Gary Oldman (Slow Horses), about a not-so-stellar subgroup of British Intelligence. Gary Oldman was awesome as Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a few years ago, so I had a little bit of hope that it might be good. It immediately turned out that the intelligence unit was targeting a ‘right wing’ reporter / podcaster whose philosophy was described as “he hates immigrants and can’t get over the fact that we won some war 70 years ago”. And that was the end of Apple+. Got rid of Netflix years ago. Now I only have Hulu for the old reliable (if not necessarily brilliant) content like ‘Burn Notice’.

    3. The first cpl episodes are interesting and somewhat refreshing. Then comes episode 5 and that is woke garbage. Idk if I can handle the other 2 if they keep going like this.

  2. It’s too bad those commenting can’t get past their own biases to give the show a chance. Irony?

    The “right wing” character John never gives up his views on political issues, nor does “left wing” Myrna. They are able to look past the politics and SEE the person, and specifically in the context of the show – the other’s life experiences and they adjust. Don’t underappreciate the use of “decent Left and Right” in the article . That’s what is key here.

    I’ve not seen the last episode yet, and I really doubt these two run off into the sunset together, but I think they will all unite to for a common good. Huh, what a world.

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