While Australian television programming for young people is often extraordinarily good, "Out There" is a gem. Watching the embarrassed fumbling of Reilly as he tries to court Fiona is almost painfully true-to-life. Although Douglas Smith as Reilly Evans is ... ahem ... "a fox," his awkwardness as he tries to ask for his first date with his first crush is touching and bears the mark of true adolescent angst, with none of the cockiness we might expect from someone as good-looking as Smith, nor as exageratedly stupid as Reilly might turn out on an American sitcom. "Out There" seems to have the pangs of first love just about right. The presence of English girl Aggie (who can't understand Australian slang any better than Reilly) helps to accentuate the show's presumption that Australia is truly "out there," as is (from his own perspective) Reilly himself. Co-distributor Noggin ("the-N") has done the show a great injustice in the USA, however, by relegating it to a 1:00 A.M. time slot, when its target audience is presumably asleep. Meanwhile, Noggin is flogging to death Canada's recent entry in the war for American children, "Degrassi: the New Generation," by airing it upwards of fourteen times a week (almost all of the episodes being reruns). With all due respect to "D:TNG," which is a fine show, one would hope that Noggin would give "Out There" a chance to at least be SEEN by its target audience, who are, presumably tiring of seeing "D:TNG's" limited number of episodes being run to death seven days a week. Bravo to the makers of "Out There."
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