Edited: Updated to reflect current issues Jan. 23, 2019
This is something I’ve written about several times coming at it from different directions. Two good examples are here Differing Opinions: Books vs TV Series and here But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!!
Discussion, asking questions, understanding the process – all these are GOOD things! Having differing opinions and viewpoints is great because discussing different perceptions help open up new facets to people seeing the same material.
My huge frustration is with people who just bash and whine showing little to no courtesy or respect for the actors, all the behind the scenes people and the process that are vital to the making of this (Outlander) or any other creative endeavor. These are skilled professionals doing a damn fine job and as fans, we need to respect that.
The Team (Ron, Maril, Gary, Terry, Matt, Toni, Anne, Ira and all the other writers, the directors, scouts and hundreds of others whose names/jobs we don’t even know) work their tails off to bring us the very best adaptation of Outlander they can. Their job isn’t to recreate the books, but to bring us (and their bosses) great television that will retain viewers and make the studio money. (They are doing a FABULOUS job IMO).
These people work long hours, often in miserable conditions (night shoots+Scotland+winter) with little in the way of breaks between seasons. Knowing a fair few creative people, I imagine that even on their ‘down’ time from the show it is never far from their thoughts.
The actors have been stellar – both in ability and their willingness to interact with the fans. STARZ has been wonderful doing multiple giveaways and exposure to keep the show going.
So what do I mean about Courtesy and Respect? Here is an example. These are not actually ‘direct’ quotes from any one person, but close to things I’ve seen the last two days after the recent episode and through the entire life of the show.
“You all just ruined the absolute most important moment of the series! How could you?! What were you thinking? RDM is an idiot that should be fired for screwing up the story!”
“Fans have been gypped again! Totally blew such a great scene! Jamie/Claire/Jenny/???? was supposed to be/do/act THIS way – not the stupid/wrong way you did it. WTF were you thinking?!”
“WTF? Jamie and Claire are the story here! Why are you wasting time on other characters when we get so few episodes! How can you be such f*cking morons! Just follow the damn book – it’s all right there!
“What happened to all the great sex scenes?! You are totally screwing up this major love story! Jamie and Claire are still passionate people that have sex! Get it right for a change!”
“I was so disappointed that this (pick something) was done differently from the books – it was a favorite bit. Could the writers/director/actor please explain why the decision was made to do it the way you did so I/we can understand?” Thanks!”
“I have to say I’m angry. I just don’t understand the way the writers are doing these recent episodes. The balance of the story seems WAY off to me – and I know a lot of other people. Would you mind explaining how/why you decided to spend so much time on secondary story lines / characters at the expense of Jamie & Claire’s awesome story?
“Many fans are really unhappy that the main romantic couple seems to be getting pushed into the background and aren’t being allowed to portray the deep, passionate feelings they have for each other. I get it’s not a ‘soft porn’ show, but you can have great intimacy without having to use sex (though I wouldn’t complain about that).”
Now…be honest if only in your own head…which of those questions shows respect for the people and the process? Which will promote discussion and add understanding? Which wind situations up in a bad way and make people feel defensive? Which is so discourteous it’s just plain rude?
Express opinions, discuss different viewpoints, give the makers of the show feedback – but do it with the respect they are all due and gratitude that we have a series to watch.
And please, please, PLEASE – let’s show that same courtesy and respect to fellow fans. I get that feelings can run hot and strong, but everyone has their own things that are vital/important to them and seldom will two people have the exact same bits they are upset about.