Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why Outlaw Empires Worked

First, I owe a big apology to my good friend, Kurt Sutter, for NOT postin' a review of his series, Outlaw Empires, while it was still broadcast on Discovery Channel.  It had been my intention to do so from its' premier.  Unfortunately, real life dealt me one Hellicious curve ball, and the last few weeks have been spent regroupin' and recoverin'.  Still am.   

Since I've already gone on record why the so - called 'real SOA' show, 'The Devil's Ride' didn't work for me.  Even though one of the members sent an email to one of the blog sites about the behind the scenes of the show; it only confirmed what I believed and already posted.  

Now, on to the meat and potatoes.  Outlaw Empires was well written, well presented, and well thought out.  It did not glorify street gangs, the Mafia, the IRA, 1% bikers, or any other outlaw organization.  It was a documentary, but it was much better than some of the 'Outlaw Bikers' documentaries on the National Geographic channel that I've watched.

Yes, there were re - enactments of past events, but the narration came from the people who lived them, not from a script read by a narrator.  The men who lived through these events told the stories realistically, without justifying or glorifying what they did.  Hearing the one adult member of the Crips gang explain how enraged he felt over the situation with the Rodney King Beatin' verdict, followed by the brutal method cops treated a resident of the neighborhood, a person really could understand how the pressure cooker exploded back then.  Didn't try to excuse it, just told it the way it was. 


Having Kurt include some of his own research into the theme was different from most of the other documentaries I've watched.  As were the interviews with the men who lived the history.  Often times, while the idiot box is on, I wind up doin' some of my writin', or generally multi - taskin' on other things.  This was one of the few programs (Yes, SOA is another of 'em), that kept my attention from the very first moment. 

It distresses me that in an age of so much 'reality drek' on the boob tube, that somethin' as well done as 'Outlaw Empires' may not get picked up for more episodes.  There are other stories to tell.  Stories of the past, from prohibition and the old West and onward.  I would love to see Kurt delve further into this premise. 

Frankly, if Discovery doesn't pick up OE for a second season and/or more episodes for this season, they will do themselves and the viewing public a great disservice.  Summer teevee is, as Edward R. Murrow spoke decades ago, a vast wasteland.  It's drek, and OE is/was a shsining gem amongst the trash. 

Recently, Mr. Sutter tweeted (and I paraphrase here) that it looked to him like only six episodes of OE would ever see broadcast.  He felt people weren't watchin'. 

That's really not true, sir.  Yeah, I watched late, thanks to the wonders of the DVR.  But I didn't FF through the commercials, just in case my little viewin' counted with the bean counters.  Lots of the SOA faithful watched.  Why the numbers didn't materialize may remain one of those mysteries.  Don't let it get y'all down. 

 OE was good. 

No.  It was GREAT. 

And like Oliver said in the play/movie.  "Please sir, may I have some more?"


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