Hey TV.com, Should I Watch IFC's Out There?

By Tim Surette

Feb 21, 2013

One of the most exciting places to watch television these days is way out near the edge of the dial on IFC, the home of experimental hipster-friendly programming that's unlike anything else. The network's separation from the pack continues with Out There, a new animated show debuting this week. But is it worth picking up the remote, tapping in a few numbers, and trekking all the way to IFC to watch? Let me help guide you, little one.

So... what is Out There?

The first thing you should know is that it's animated. The second thing you should know is that its characters are weird, humanoid, sometimes-hairy man-beasts. But they're also adorable and incredibly relatable—the fact that they're bipedal creatures is purely a creative decision, because the stories are very grounded in human nature. Out There follows the misadventures of Chad and his best friend Chris, two teenage social outcasts caught in the throes of confused adolescence living in a suburban hellhole they can't wait to escape from. John Dimaggio, Megan Mullally, Fred Armisen, and Linda Cardellini are all part of the voice cast.

Who came up with it?

Former South Park lead animator Ryan Quincy created the program and voices the lead character Chad; his great animation style is all over the place in it.

When does Out There premiere?

Out There premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm on IFC.

What kind of person should I be to enjoy this show?

This is definitely one for the alt-comic art set who grew up on Mike and Spike's Animation Festival bootlegs. Indie-film fans will also like it. But the coming-of-age theme should be appreciated by all, and there's a little bit of The Wonder Years, Dazed and Confused, That '70s Show, and early South Park in it. However, it's not the laugh-a-minute hijinks that currently dominate animated comedy in shows like Family Guy or The Simpsons.

Tell me about some good parts!

Out There is surprisingly poignant and touching, perfectly combining the paranoia associated with the awkwardness of adolescence with an absurd backdrop in charming fashion. It's also very funny when it wants to be, turning the misfortunes of its characters into comical disasters. But rather than bog itself down with cynicism, the show is full of hope and optimism, thanks to the very convincing friendship between its two leads. There aren't a lot of punchlines, but there are teen-dream sequences with chicks in bikinis, flashbacks to drug hazes, and lines like, "I'm going to float my ass out of here on a magical balloon to an exotic new land teeming with breastled women." Yes, "breastled."

And what isn't as good?

It's a bit of a hard sell to the general TV watcher, because it isn't flashy or gimmicky. Also, maybe it's too indie, if that's a bad thing? Sadly, I'm not sure how many eyeballs this will get, so it might be just me and you on the Out There message boards.

Well, it sounds like you think I should watch it. Right?

Right! Out There is an incredibly charming, breezy, and touching half-hour of television that should hit home for anyone who's ever felt like an outcast in a mad world. Honestly, I kind of love this show.

Can I get a peek for myself?

You can watch a full episode (not the pilot) right now!

Is there a drink of choice to accompany my Out There viewing?

Pour seven shots of rum into the biggest Slurpee you can find.

Out There premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm on IFC.

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  • startug Mar 18, 2013

    I've been watching the show, and I'm glad I've been watching it. It's easily one of the best newer animated series that has come to life. I can call it almost as good as Bob's Burgers.

  • startug Feb 22, 2013

    Kinda wish people would just stop assuming bad show because of animation and trailers, just watch it when it gets here. Watch it for a few episodes before making judgement. I know I'm definitely going to watch it.

  • WavSlave Feb 22, 2013

    This is not IFC's first foray into animation. Here's hoping it's more watchable than their previous effort(s?). Also: Mmm, Linda Cardellini.

  • avatarsucks99 Feb 22, 2013

    I watch the pilot weeks ago and I thought it was terrible

  • TheLittleOne00 Feb 22, 2013

    HELL NO!!!! I am passing on this show.

  • Silver_Sword_14 Feb 21, 2013

    This sounds like a nicer version of FX's Unsupervised but with weirder animation. Also, everyone should know that there are TWO episodes airing tomorrow night.

  • iheartfrosty Feb 21, 2013

    I watched a clip on YouTube with a card trick and I was sold.

  • sunnysfunny Feb 21, 2013

    I'm in!

  • darkitp Feb 21, 2013

    similar to Teletubbies , you should watch it while smoking some weed to enjoy it ..
    otherwise .. you would suffer agony and confusion of WTF did you just watch ..

  • DrSpongejr Feb 21, 2013

    Probably going to pass. The animation looks like it would be on Nick Jr. and it just looks like it has too strange of a sense of humor to make it appointment viewing for me. I liked animated sitcoms like Mission Hill, Baby Blues, and Home Movies, but this just looks too nauseating to really watch much of this.