There’s a Hole in the Ranch

I’ve talked before about my love for stories that bend and blend genre.

Recently I stumbled across one of these gems. I’m guessing most of you know about the show Outer Range, but I’d put it on my list to watch a while back and forgotten about it until just before Thanksgiving.

Watching the first episode I was convinced I was watching a family drama/western. I expected something akin to Yellowstone.

… And then there was a hole.

At that point my head and imagination slipped sideways. Where was the story going? Was it sci-fi? Maybe fantasy? Fantasy/western? Was this just a strange fusion of all these genres thrown in a creative blender, frozen in ice cube trays, and served up in a frosty drink to combat the dog-days of summer?

I believe people are complex creatures. On one hand, I think we want things to come in neat little packages. We want to walk into a bookstore and know that we can mosey on over to our favorite sections and find something we like.

But … we also want to be surprised.

We love it when a creator can throw something at us that we haven’t seen before.

I know Outer Range is a slow build, but that’s half the beauty of it. The show works to captures the grand pace of life out on the range. Wide vistas with punctuating action that hits like a freak lightning storm become the keystone to the pacing of this series.

The other key to the pacing and the beginning as a family drama is that it builds characters you love/hate and genuinely want to know more about. By the end of the first season your take on characters has flipped on its head and back again so fast you see these actors are real people and not just the cardboard players that usually populate the screen.

I won’t go into great detail for fear of spoiling things for you, but I would recommend this blend of humanity.

As a writer, working on blending ideas into a new path can be loads of fun. What are some of your favorite genre blending titles or ideas?

Let me know. In the meantime, keep on reading, keep on visiting your local bookstores, and keep on flying the Black.

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