THANK YOU STARZ

Note to STARZ

 

First – I apologize. This is long again but it’s what I felt I needed to say.

 

I have made no secret of my thoughts about this show and the fandom surrounding it. Most of my blog posts have been observations about the Outlander fandom as it is the first and pretty much only fandom I’m really involved with. This fandom can and does do EPIC shit! The money that has been raised for extremely worthy charities, the hundreds of people that have gotten healthier thanks not only to Sam and his Peak Challenge in conjunction with Bear Strength – but the care and support of the fans for each other to strive to reach their fitness goals, support each other in times of trial, rejoice with each other in triumph. This is an amazing group of people and I feel blessed to be part of it – most of the time.

There is, however, a disturbing trend in this group to whine. Nothing, it seems, is ever quite good enough and simply must be complained about. When all this started – everyone was SO excited to just be finally getting it on the screen…..but then….Sam looked nothing like Jamie, Caitriona was too skinny, wrong eyes, Duncan should have hair, those are not the proper knits for the time period and on and on and on. I think for the most part people have settled with those early decisions and have moved on to other ‘issues’.

There is still a lot of ‘discussion’ _ahem_ about all that was done ‘wrong’ in Season 1 – even though all the complaining in the world won’t change it. I have suggested several times that people start discussions about Voyager – aka Season 3 – as that is not set yet. No one seems interested in this idea which is too bad, but if the value of expressing what the fans WANT to see in season 3 before it’s set can’t be grasped I’m not going to waste my time or energy trying to make people ‘get it’.

Today I saw slams against STARZ PR – they aren’t doing enough to promote the show. Over the last few months there have been load of complaints that WE (meaning Outlander) isn’t getting enough attention/press/episodes/hype/or giving the fans enough pictures or information.

Sorry, but I have to stand up and say STOP!

First, STARZ PR has been AWESOME to the fans of Outlander and, like it or not, OL is not their only popular show. All the giveaways they did in December weren’t for the fans?!. I happened to win a set of the posters. I was expecting little 8X10 promotional pictures and would have been perfectly happy with that but…..NO….these are full theatre size, high quality, absolutely awesome posters! Signed by Tobias, Catriona and Sam as appropriate.

STARZ PR got the show spotlighted at Comic Con and the PaleyFest when the show was barely going – amazing! The premiers that they have done are way above and beyond what they have done for other shows and we, as fans, have a lot of access to both the team and the stars. They did THREE premiers for the second half of the first season: LA, New York and the UK. That’s huge and bloody expensive I’m sure. No, not all fans can get to these events, but this is way more than what fans for other shows get.

Doing a bit of research, I picked five other STARZ shows and looked them up. These are shows that even I have heard about and they seem to be fairly popular. Here is what I found.

DaVinci’s Demons: Season 1 had 8 episodes / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 10 Eps

Ash vs Evil Dead: S1 = 10 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps

Survivor’s Remorse: S1 = 6 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 3 Eps?!

Torchwood: S1 = 13 Eps / S2 = 13 Eps / S3 = 5 Eps / S4 = 10 Eps (older series)

Black Sails: another favorite of mine and a fairly popular show that doesn’t get anywhere near the PR shine that OL does from what I’ve seen: S1 = 8 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 =10 Eps

So, realistically in comparison…for its very first, untried season Outlander was given two seasons worth of episodes! Other series get 10 episodes for their second season and OL / the fans got 13! Yet all the fans seem to do is complain that we are getting ripped off! I’m sure that is not how everyone feels, but this is the opinion that seems to be the most vocal – I’m really hoping the positive feelings will be expressed more prominently as time goes on.

STARZ put together an amazing team. Ron Moore has been in this business a long time and is very successful in it. So are the members of his team. They have a vision and know way better than we do the constraints they have to work under to bring in a good show under a contract. We as fans are NOT THERE. We don’t sit in on all the meetings with the accountants and suits and have to please both the fans and the guys that sign the checks. My perspectives are different and while I may not LIKE the way some specific thing was done – I can appreciate the difference in vision and wait to see where it goes. I trust them to do what is right for the series to make it a long-term deal. I’m not qualified to judge or make comments about Ron’s job because I have never done anything close to it! Same for Matt Roberts and the exceptional team of writers, Bear McCreary with his haunting/beautiful music and Jon Gary Steele and all those other marvelous people that give us such a fabulous show – including the PR staff!

I have acted a little and done some production work. I have done some costume work and I am in absolute awe of Terry Dresbach! If I could afford the trip I’d go work for her for free for a season just to learn a tiny bit of what she knows. None of this ‘experience’ makes me even remotely qualified to judge what any of these people do and have done on a daily basis for years. There is no way I would have the temerity to say they are ‘wrong’ about any decision they make for this or any other show they work on.

I’m sure I have a few people fairly steamed right now so let me qualify and clarify. No one is going to ‘like’ every single thing done on the OL show. (ah…I imagine that includes the people working on it). There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing that opinion and why you would have liked to have seen something different. I encourage this – I always have. What I don’t like and wish people would stop doing is judging something they are not qualified to judge (i.e. STARZ PR is not capitalizing on the GG buzz enough, wasting opportunities…etc) and doing it in such a way as to be all negative. Unless you WORK or have worked in a particular field – you simply do not have enough information to ‘judge’ it. We as civilians to that have no idea what all STARZ is doing to promote the show – I’m pretty sure it isn’t all just what you see as an ad on TV/cable. This is true of any aspect of production.

STARZ has been really great to the fans of Outlander – in my opinion. Yes I won the posters which is cool but it is very unusual for me to win stuff. They have done lots of giveaways, lots of promotion, lots of ‘fan events’ – so many things that other shows aren’t getting and yet what I see most often is negative thrown at them. Why should they keep doing all they do if all they get is crap in return.

There is an idea being generated right now about kindness. Being kind to each other as fans; being kind to the actors to that work so hard to bring these characters to life; being kind to all the production team that does so much to make OL the great show that it is. Let’s include STARZ in that and be kind and grateful for all they have given us.

There is an old saying that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. People are perfectly within their rights to express disappointment with something – but it can still be done in a positive way. I hope more and more fans start expressing, loudly, all that we like and appreciate about this great show and the marvelous people that get it on the screen for us.

A final tidbit to mull over. If the loudest expressions about the show on social media are negative (this was wrong, that was wrong, hated this or that, Ron/writers/STARZ is ruining the story, etc.) why would anyone checking the show out want to watch it? I encourage all fans to start tweeting, facebooking, tumblering (whatever your preferred SM platform is) all the stuff you love about the show. Counter a negative/judgmental comment with something positive. DO NOT attack the person! DO NOT attack the opinion – simply balance it with something positive.

 

 

 

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47 thoughts on “THANK YOU STARZ

  1. clarehoover says:

    Amen Sister! My first fandom also, well there was Donny Osmond way back when. Getting into arguments is a waste of time & energy, being positive or agreeing to disagree is best. We may grumble about certain decisions but yeah we are very lucky to see Outlander come to life on our TV screens. Be Kind!

  2. clare Foley says:

    I, too am digusted by all the whingeing and whining. I believe the majority of fans are quite happy with the show, as I am. It is too bad the Negative Nellies are so loud and demanding. Starz and Tallships have done an amazing job bringing these books to life. They know what they are doing and I hope they don’t take the negativity to heart. I want to see the show continue for years to come!

  3. mistahbue says:

    Reblogged this on wahoshe and commented:
    Everything I’ve wanted to say but don’t have the talent to put it together. Thank you!

  4. mistahbue says:

    Amen! Word! Thank you for stating what’s in my heart and soul about Outlander!!!

  5. Bravo Ryna! Thank you so much for writing this! I love, love, LOVE Outlander, both books and series, and I’m tired of reading whining and complaning about this and that. Starz has done a fantastic job with the casting so far, and I think we can call ourselves VERY lucky to have had 16 episodes in season 1 and to get 13 in season 2. I admire the sweetness and patience Maril and the others have towards nagging fans. Gonna share it on Twitter now.
    Anne ♥

    • rynawolfe says:

      Terry gets some really great conversations going on Twitter – I don’t always agree with her politically – but I’m just in awe of her as a person. A very strong lady.

  6. laney1120 says:

    I totally agree with you. I’m just happy that we’re getting this at all after so many years of waiting, and as far as I’m concerned, they couldn’t be doing a better job. I, like you, rarely win anything, yet I have won several things from Starz (my posters weren’t signed though 😦 ) and various Outlander groups, and even got a personal tweet from Sam when I won a contest that he was judging! I’ve loved these books since the first one was written, and so happy that Ron listened to his wife and didn’t screw it up!!

    • rynawolfe says:

      It’s ok for people not to like everything and to discuss that – it’s all in presentation. Discussion is great! I just wish people were discussing Voyager so TPTB would be seeing what we want to see in the NEXT season that isn’t already set. But…I’m just one voice.

      I too had a tweet from Sam…but VERY early on. He was packing for a speed trip to LA from Scotland – I THINK to read with Caitriona – and I tweeted for him to remember his peanut butter. (he was eating a lot of it just then) he responded that ‘it’s already in my case’. Of course…being new to both a fandom and Twitter, I didn’t screen capture and save it. Ah well. It’s a nice memory.

      • trishsixtus says:

        Re Voyager. I can quite happily say the Starz / Ron can leave out Jamie’s Seasickness, I would prefer not to have to watch someone Vomiting or Dry Reaching for half the season…..I really hope they find a way to convey the affliction without showing it graphically & repeatedly

  7. Julie says:

    I agree with everything you say, and in the end if you don’t like the way the developers of show are adapting the original work the choice is not to watch it. I would like to address your post however. I would like to say, that amongst all the complaining and belly aching,( which I know is excessive and annoying), there are people who have valid points and criticisms. I happen to like your idea that perhaps they ask for fan input prior to writing season three script as to what they liked and didn’t like about the adaptation. Most of DG’s book fans are tried and true and know the stories inside and out. I do not think it would hurt them to get the book fan perspective prior, it might actually help. (IMO). If they find there are an abundance of similar opinions on one issue or another they might tweak or adjust their storyline/outlines. I think there is a perception out there that although they say they want to stick as close to the original work as possible to keep the fans happy, they are not always achieving that. There may be logistic problems and various other problems as Ron has often explained about the difficulties of adapting literature, and I as many others can appreciate that. My biggest issue is not changes that have been made but rather in character development and relationship development. The most special thing about DG’s work is character and relationship development.I am merely saying that fielding fan input might indicate that they really do appreciate the fan point of view and do want to make their fans as happy as possible. If they choose not to obviously that’s there choice but my feeling it can only improve upon a already spectacular show, Afterall, there is always room for improvement is there not?

    • rynawolfe says:

      Absolutely – what I’ve tried to get across is no amount of even valid points about Season 1 will make any difference NOW. It can’t be changed. Same goes for Season 2 really – it’s in the can. They are not going to go back and re-shoot things. But every time I’ve suggested on FB pages and such that we get discussion going on Voyager – I get shouted down. I get told “We have valid points about what is wrong and we are perfectly right to gripe about them” Ok fine but what bloody good is it going to do?! I can flat guarantee that Ron’s head is already planning out Season 3 – NOW. If they aren’t seeing discussion how will they know? They aren’t going to ASK for input – that would be crazy. For one thing then everyone that gave opinion would expect THEIR idea to be followed and if not all hell will break loose. But if they see legitimate, intelligent discussion about what is really important to fans….it could sway things at times.

      As far as character development, I know it can be frustrating, but a TV audience generally is very different from avid book readers. Ron has a very good handle on how to develop characters for TV and while it may not be how the book lovers think it should go – the people who just watch the show think the characters are awesome. So…we may have to just voice our ‘I wish they could have’ but support the show and re-read the books….again 🙂 Thankfully the books will always be there just as they have been and can be our own private perfect because I can promise, I will read them differently from you.
      Thanks for the comment.

      • Judy Kaiser Roberts says:

        I’m sorry, but what is on the screen, and in the books is in the hands and minds of a great number of highly educated writers, producers, editors, etc., who are taking over 8,000+ pages (1,000+per book) and condensing those words to fit into 16 individual hours of television. How they choose a theme, and can condense each episode is magic to me, and I applaud them. Each, to my thinking, is a sheer GENIUS, and I can’t comprehend ANYONE would even dare to think to tell them what to do, or not to do.

        Outlander does not belong to the fans and the audacity when some dare to tell these dedicated producers, and in some cases, the actors too, that they don’t know what they’re doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fail to create anymore than the 2 seasons.

        Please stop making fools of yourselves: watch, enjoy, and keep negative comments to yourselves, unless one of the creators asks for your opinion! And note too that unlike some others, there are exercises, charities, etc. that are unique to Outlander via Sam, Claire and some others. This incredible love story is so sweet and beautiful, I just watch each episode over and over, and over, so I can absorb ALL of it. I have read all the books, and am about to read them a third time.

      • rynawolfe says:

        Honest discussion is great….different points of view and opinion is fine…it’s how it’s presented. Bashing, viciousness and hatred toward the show or any individual is not ‘discussion’. The fandom is well aware at this point what bits some people hated in Season 1 – further ‘discussion’ won’t change anything including what decisions might be made in the future. Talk about what you WANT to see in Season 3 – what you think is vital to show and that MIGHT have some influence on decisions. Beating a dead horse as they say does no one any good.

  8. Joyce McQueen says:

    Bravo!!! I agree completely with you.. I believe the fans that enjoy and relish the work that Starz has put into the show and I’m praying, will continue to do so, far out number the whiners.. It would seem, however, the whiney ones are the more vocal… I personally feel that Ron and crew are doing an astounding job of being our favorite characters, books, locations and time to life!! My thoughts are simply this.. IF you are so let down and upset by choices that you didn’t have any say in making then just stop watching the show.. Go the hell away.. Don’t put a dark cast or make a bad name with the makers of the show that is attached to the Outlander Fandom… Or as the author of the letter said.. Discuss what your desired and fantasies are for Voyager.. That project has yet to be started… If you don’t want to do that then all that tells me is that nothing can bring you happiness …. But as I said above.. I am loving what Ron and crew has created to this point.. I can’t see how they would let fans all over the world down… I feel it’s only going to get better!! Can’t wait April!!! Keep up the wonderful job.. And from this fan and many I know we love what you do!!! Thank you!!

    • rynawolfe says:

      Debate and discussion is great – I have seen many differing points of view from people voicing their frustrations. Gives me new insight which is always good. What I have issue with is HOW they go about things. Even disagreement can be done in a positive way – you can be kind and respectful even when you disagree with someone and that is what I think needs to be spotlighted. We all love the story and while we may not all/always LIKE something going on with the show, we can certainly respect others view points and show respect & gratitude for the people that work so hard to bring us such a great series!

  9. Eva Schmitt says:

    Thumbs up. Absolutely true. Thank you

  10. Marc Spurlock says:

    Love the show! Love the new perspectives. Think it is an excellent adaptation. I love the outtakes that they couldn’t include in the show due to time constraints. The vision is there! But you can’t please everyone. I hope Ron and crew are thick skinned enough to see through and know they have done an amazing thing on so, so many levels! Bravo and Brava!

  11. albertarose says:

    Amen is right.. I love the books, and I love seeing it on screen.
    It may not be exact for some chapters, but do people not realize
    that every sentence and every scene in the books cannot possibly be acted out on screen. Time nor money does not permit it. I’m just happy to see print turned into video.
    The actors chosen are perfect for roles they play.
    If negativity keeps up, the show could be cancelled.

  12. Janice Wright says:

    It must be so hard to adapt books that have such an enormous fan base, fans who know nearly every word of every book. Who adore the love Jamie and Claire have for each other. It has to be dramatised to hold an audience who maybe haven’t read the books. Fans lets just be greatful that Startz is prepared to bring the books to the screen, to give us flesh and blood characters from these much loved books.

  13. Peigi says:

    BINGO ! well said. All involved are artists and I am just thankful that they are creating their vision of a masterpiece, whether it matches others’ view or not. Kind input is good, Whining is not!

  14. cindy says:

    Agreed! I have some opinions, that I mostly keep to myself; there is no use to stir up shite unnecessarily. My biggest fear is that a raging fandom might make our beloved cast and crew shy away from public attention. Right now Sam, and the others, are so gracious to their fans and active on social media. As they become even bigger stars, if fans are acting like arses, they might chose to stop interacting with them at all. Thanks for your sage words

    • rynawolfe says:

      Terry had a discussion going about this with some people on Twitter today. People involved with the show understand that the ‘crap’ comes with the territory – doesn’t mean they enjoy it. Part of what I wanted to do with this post was encourage people to put out good stuff. I’m sure there is a lot of good thoughts/comments/ideas from fans that just don’t get expressed. The ‘stars’, the rest of the cast, the crew – all of them are PEOPLE! People with feelings just like you or me and, like anyone else, appreciate kindness and honest appreciation of what they do. The proverbial ‘pat on the back’. I just think there needs to be more of those comments getting out into social media both to show the people involved with the show we DO care and like the series and to put a more positive face to the fandom for those just checking it out.

  15. Raynel Spiers says:

    Very well said. I could not agree more. So ditto from me

  16. Glenda Zimmerman says:

    Amen, Mr. Moore! I love the show, love the books more, and greatly admire all of you and your hard work. That being said, I feel quite strongly that if you aren’t a writer, producer, director, costume designer, camera, set or other support crew, actor (you get my drift), you need to hush! You are not a fan and definitely not a true member of the fandom! Let the talent work thru the cast and crew, let them have their private lives, and just enjoy the show. And, Starz, allow me to apologize for the bad rap y’all are getting. The fans need to remember you have been doing TV for a long time AnD…..you manage the checkbook!
    I, for one, just want y’all to keep doing what you do so well….the majority of us LOVE it!

    • rynawolfe says:

      Everyone is entitled to an opinion about the show – good or bad. I encourage healthy discussion here. As I’ve said before what I don’t like and is unhealthy for the fandom is bashing and hate talk. There are ways to express dislike or disappointment without making it totally negative.

      Case in point. Diana herself and Terry (Ron’s wife/costumer) both expressed disappointment that Ron & the producers just could NOT for many reasons do the scene in the cavern with the hot springs. Time, logistics, cost and other factors just made it quite impossible. Both these ladies said how they wished they could have seen the physical manifestation of a favorite scene, they understood it just wasn’t possible and they could always go back to the book and read it. Done. THEY have never brought it up again that I know of (though I have used it before as an example). Disappointment was expressed in an intelligent way, the show was supported and they moved on. Those are two ladies who, I highly doubt, would EVER whine. They expressed themselves clearly without name calling, belittling or bashing, still supported the show as a whole and dropped it.

  17. Jack Fraenkel says:

    What an excellent essay, thank you Ms Wolfe. Pessimism is a communicable disease and the only known antidote is optimism.
    Like you, I urge all Outlander fans (Outmanders like me) to positively promote our favourite story to the world at large. Frankly I don’t care that Sam doesn’t tower above Cait etc, etc. What Starz and its crew of all disciplines has achieved is truly magnificent and I for one appreciate their skills and dedication.

  18. monica says:

    I am in minority because I do not not want more publicity photos or hints about season 2. I like surprises and want to be excited when I first see it. i am happy with STARZ and my only complaint is maybe they don’t put out enough publicity geared to the critics and those who have influence prior to GG or Emmy award nominations. i think they treat the fans well

    • rynawolfe says:

      ok…but do you KNOW what all STARZ does as far as promotion ‘inside’ i.e. to critics etc.? Ron & Maril both seem to think STARZ has done a great deal in that regard and I think they are in a better position to judge that. I know Terry commented on Twitter that the cast and PTB on Outlander are thrilled with what has been achieved and the recognition the show has gained so far. It’s still a very YOUNG show that is earning it’s reputation. Three GG noms for a first season is huge – we may not, as fans, like how things went, but the people that KNOW think it was fantastic.

  19. I for one absolutely love the show and everything about it, the cast is outstanding as is the directors , producers & Terry is absolutely amazing! In order to put these books on film, it’s really impossible to find actors that are Jamie & Claire in the flesh, hence Cait got her hair permed and Sam got his colored. What they have as cast is beyond anyones dreams! What they have put on film is more then doing the books justice ex. how many awards the show & cast have won.
    I can’t wait for the next season and thank Starz every day for bring to us this fantastic story from Diana;s wonderful books!

  20. Deb Glazener says:

    Love the show and all the people involved do. I could never make the perfection they have. Can’t wait for season 2. what’s to complain about it’s wonderful!

  21. Connie says:

    I really appreciate your perspective. I put this post on a Facebook page I admin, but with these additional (horrifying) thoughts:

    Just think what things might be like if Starz/Sony hadn’t picked up Outlander:
    –HBO might have made the show and made a mess of it (my opinion).
    –Ron Moore might not have been given the freedom he’s had & the budget to back it up (including $$$ for costumes)!
    –The costumes might be dreadful, with zippers and other outrages, as seen on some other “period” shows.
    –Someone might still be trying to make a 2-hour feature film out of it!
    –And without Ron Moore’s involvement and prior history with Bear McCreary, we might be getting canned, recycled music.
    –Etc., etc., etc.

  22. Suzanne Cole-Rice says:

    Very good article! This is my first fandom too. I have not always liked how the adaptation has gone, but I have been trying to understand it. After rereading again, I find that as Diana said “there will always be the books”. So if I like something better in the books, then so be it. Some things are good both ways, but lend themselves to a bit different meaning. Seeing a lot of the backstage stuff on line, listening to the podcasts, etc. has given me a different view of a show rather than just watching it & waiting for it to come back around next season. So maybe that is why I noticed along with others the fact that the fans were doing more PR than Starz (until lately). I think maybe we are just worried that the show won’t keep going if it doesn’t get a lot of pub & awards. I don’t know how that all works. But you are right, they have been given a lot more eps and backing to put a show together that can cover so much territory in one season. As to the whining fandom, in wandering in social media you see all kinds. I have tried to weed out my feed to those who intelligently discuss rather than angrily complain. And I am weeding out the super shippers (just not into that).

  23. Cathy says:

    Love, love, love this blog. So glad I chose this one to click on because I avoid most of them like the plague. Well written and I couldn’t agree more.

  24. Dawn says:

    Thank you for this.. I usually shy away from the negitave, skip over or even delete it. They books are amazing, and the adaptation of the show has been more than what I hoped or even expected. Yes I wished they had done this and that, and ponder on why this did something. But when the final episode closed and the ship became smaller, and the music became louder I cried. Cried because it was beautiful and moving and ultimately everything I wanted and more. I love the fandom. I have made friends, on a Peek Challange, reasearched my Scottish heritage and shared what I loved with my husband and daughter who are also fans. Negitave comes from inner sadness and fear. Expressing it through social media is these small sad little people’s way to feel good about themselves. Don’t feed their negativity, don’t respond, don’t engage. They don’t need fuel for their fires. Post positive constructive posts.
    Just my positive little take on things

  25. Fiona says:

    Great blog. I was reading Terry’s tweets yesterday too, and I really felt for the whole crew! It is a fantastic show with such beautiful attention to detail, fantastic chemistry with the whole cast, and it gives us a visual feast to apply to our favourite books. I’m not sure what happened to the old convention of if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything, but I wish it would make a comeback. Thanks again for a great piece 😊

  26. maknightma says:

    Thoughtful and well-said. Thanks!

  27. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!! Beautifully reasoned and stated!

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