An­ar­chy abounds in clan drama

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Ilove the idea of the wilder­ness – but the re­al­ity is I like my crea­ture com­forts. Sure, na­ture might be beau­ti­ful, but can you re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it with­out a proper hot shower and a flat white?

But the Far­rell fam­ily in the new United States drama se­ries Out­siders (Thurs­days, 9.30pm, Box) are made of sterner stuff. They also look like show­ers and other per­sonal hy­giene rou­tines aren’t a high pri­or­ity for them so they get along just fine liv­ing in iso­la­tion on Ken­tucky’s Shay Moun­tain.

The Far­rells have de­vel­oped their own cloth­ing style – think earth tones and dirty vests; they’ve got their own Far­rell wine (moon­shine); they’ve got banjo mu­sic and a can­tan­ker­ous ma­tri­arch. And, judg­ing by the amount of ink I’m as­sum­ing they have a res­i­dent tat­too artist.

But the Far­rells have also de­vel­oped a so­ci­ety of their own – they’ve got their own rit­u­als, their own words, a hi­er­ar­chy and hundreds of years of his­tory. And their own rather harsh jus­tice sys­tem where fin­gers are chopped off and Asa

Far­rell (Ryan Hurst), who left the moun­tain for 10 years, is kept in a cage.

This idyl­lic way of life is threat­ened when a cou­ple of smarmy cor­po­rate types want to mine for coal on the moun­tains. Their plan re­quires the Far­rells be ‘‘re­lo­cated’’, de­spite the warn­ings of the be­lea­guered look­ing deputy sher­iff who warns them the Far­rells ‘‘they’re not like you and me’’. But the coal com­pany suits don’t care.

The Far­rells and the whole clan thing make this feel a lit­tle de­riv­a­tive – it re­minded me of Game of Thrones with a nod to Sons of An­ar­chy for fight­ing, law­less­ness and fash­ion in­spi­ra­tion. And the only char­ac­ter that I felt a spark of sym­pa­thy for was Deputy Sher­iff Wade, the one charged with evict­ing them.

There are some tired stereo­types too – the rich, spoilt col­lege kids scor­ing drugs in town; the coal com­pany ex­ec­u­tives from the un­trust­wor­thy, heart­less busi­ness­man mould; the pre­dom­i­nance of ban­jos and moon­shine.

So, what am I say­ing? Well, it’s not great, but it’s okay. The mul­ti­ple sto­ry­lines, some slow-burn­ing in­trigue and plenty of ten­sion make some­thing rea­son­ably watch­able. Whether that’s enough to sus­tain it for 13 episodes re­mains to be seen.

Mind you, at least fic­tional life in the wilder­ness is on the whole less pre­dictable than the re­al­ity shown in Homestead Res­cue (Wed­nes­days, 8.30pm, Dis­cov­ery). For­get char­ac­ter prop­er­ties, in the US, a homestead seems to be a shack in the mid­dle of nowhere.

Peo­ple buy these shacks and then dis­cover that liv­ing miles from the su­per­mar­ket blan­keted in snow for sev­eral weeks a year, well, it’s not that much fun. It struck me as a re­ally ex­treme form of the life­style block.

Any­way, in comes ex­pert home­steader Marty Raney, along with his chil­dren Misty and Matt, to help the home­steader in trou­ble. In­stead of paint­ing a fea­ture wall, he might sug­gest in­su­la­tion. There are guns aplenty and much talk of sur­viv­ing in the wild and dan­ger­ous wildlife.

But what he never asks is, ‘‘Why on earth did you move out here?’’.

Res­i­dent on Ken­tucky’s Shay Moun­tain, Out­siders’ Far­rell fam­ily have de­vel­oped their own cloth­ing style and way of life.

Homestead Res­cue’s Marty Raney is there to help the home­steader in trou­ble.

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