Courtesy & Respect

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.





61 thoughts on “Courtesy & Respect

  1. Jacquie Adsett says:

    I totally agree 100%. These actors are brilliant and have given us an extraordinary show to watch. To criticize choices made by the creators of the show is extremely disrespectful and it’s annoying. I stopped reading people’s opinions of each episode because of this. There has never been, nor will ever be, a show that’s been based on books that is completely verbatim. It’s impossible! These actors have chosen their own artistic representation of certain scenes and that is fantastic, I think it shows how versatile they are. It certainly has kept me entertained. So much so that I’ve watched the entire series 3 times. I’ve watched the printshop episode even more! I truly wish “fans” would stop disrespecting the writers and creators and actors of this fabulous series. I say, if you don’t like it then stop watching!

  2. Carol Michaels says:

    I’ve not been disappointed at all with any of the episodes. The chemistry between Jamie and Claire is incredible. I just love watching them!! I’ve read the books and love them too!!
    Job well done in every way

    • rynawolfe says:

      I agree Carol – the acting has been just amazing. Sometimes I’m just in awe that those two especially stay so gracious with the fans considering some of the unpleasantness they have to deal with. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Bernie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Along with rudeness and disrespect, I detest whining. I know I “scroll down” a whole lot more these days. Silver lining: it’s a time-saver!

  4. Lisa Brown says:

    If you don”t have anything to say noce ,keep your mouth shut! (per my momma !)

    • rynawolfe says:

      Yep yep. One of my blogs here has a picture with Thumper saying much the same thing. Sharing disappointment or disagreeing with something is fine – we aren’t all going to like exactly the same thing – but explain it, don’t throw hissy fits. Discuss it, see it from other viewpoints. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Dawn Counter says:

    Totally agree, and love the series!❤

    • rynawolfe says:

      Let the people involved know that whenever you can. As I said elsewhere, it takes 10 positives to overcome 1 negative. Letting ‘The Team’ know we appreciate them is always good! Thanks for reading!

  6. Terran Cox says:

    They have done amazing job. Sam is great. I think Clair was suppost to be nervous and unsure of herself. She hadn’t been with a man for 18 years. She did a great job. I have watched it 5 times. Great job Outlander.

    • rynawolfe says:

      One of the changes…in the book, Claire & Frank maintained their marital relations. They slept together and had sex. It gives the story a different flavor, tweaks things a bit…but that is ok. I’m sure there was a reason and it works fine for the show. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment – much appreciated.

  7. rindyrussell says:

    I totally agree. All the writers have done an excellent job of making the book, Outlander, into the series, Outlander. All the actors’ performances have been excellent. I can only imagine what mindset they have to get into in order to portray such delicate subject matter. Of course the program is going to be different from the book. If they don’t like the program, then don’t watch. Do they think they could do a better job? I don’t think so…. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the episodes and have been emotional about most of the episodes. I cry every time I hear the lyrics to Outlander. Bear has done an excellent job as well with all the music. I cringe every time I read or hear something negative about a story that is close to my heart. I am glad that I am not the only person who feels that if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Everyone has worked their heinies off to make sure that they have done the very best they can. I think they’ve done an magnificent job. I am so appreciative of all their hard work.
    Thank you for giving us a place to vent our opinions on how rude some people can be. You can’t please everyone, but that’s no excuse for being negative about something that someone has put their heart and soul into doing to make others enjoy such a beautiful, romantic, love story mixed with all the history of Scotland and other locations.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I really don’t mind honest discussion – I saw a quote today I wish I would have kept because I won’t get right. Something about explaining your anger (or disappointment) rather than expressing it. Explaining allows for discussion, expression makes it emotional. Makes sense to me. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Lisa Bibona says:

    I agree 100%. I take the books for what they are and the series for what it is – both awesome! For myself, I actually like the differences, embrace both genres and enjoy seeing things done slightly different. I could not write this myself or portray it to others, so I fully appreciate and respect all the cast crew for doing such outstanding work. Asking questions about why a particular scene was filmed a certain and making respectful observations is one thing. Making uncalled for comments is another

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’ve commented many times on this blog how fun it is to have the differences…gives new perspective to my thinking. I may not always like them, but I appreciate them for showing a new facet of a favorite story. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Kath White says:

    I have watched every episode countless times and cannot express how much I have enjoyed each one, a massive THANK YOU to cast, directors, producers, crew and everyone who works so hard to make this wonderful series! I hope the wingers and nitpickers realise how rude they are! Love the show and appreciate the hard work that is needed to create it. Long may you all continue. X

    • rynawolfe says:

      I honestly believe this feeling has bigger numbers behind it, but we just don’t seem to be as vocal. Or maybe it just gets lost as people tend to zero in on negative. One negative can cancel out 10 positives. Let people know they are appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read the post and comment.

      • Wanda Kemker says:

        My experience is you better NOT have a different opinion unless you want to be argued with or insulted so much you just shut up and shut down. I LOVE this series and I really think if people wouldn’t sit and try to dissect EVERY second of it…they would be happier..JMHO

      • rynawolfe says:

        My experience too, Wanda. I shut down for a long time…but…I’m a writer so here I am. The people that like the show and want to be positive need to speak up as much and as often as possible. I’ve said many time, discussion is great – but we seldom get open dialog like that. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Deborah Nunnallee says:

    Thank you so very much for this article!!! I could not agree more fervently!

  11. Mary Kay says:

    As a 17 year book reader, I love the show! Excellent quality! Thank you for this essay!

  12. Debbie says:

    It does seem as though things are getting out of hand. I think it’s because you can post things on social media with no repercussions. I posted a comment on one of the Facebook pages after the last episode aired. It has several hundred replies, most of which don’t respond to my opinion at all. Plus, people are getting so nasty on it. (I have asked the moderator to turn off comments to it, but they haven’t yet).
    Also, the negativity seems to be affecting the show runners. Ron Moore said something on Twitter that he was considering quitting–I don’t know if he meant the show or social media. Also Terry Dresbach has been quite upset about the responses to the show. The people who work on Outlander work all the time. They do the absolute best job of any show on TV.
    I remember the same with Game of Thrones, while that show was following the books, but the actors and writers on that show are not as engaged with the fans like those on Outlander.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Ron has been at this a long time – it isn’t his baby quite the was BSG was, but he’s still been very committed to seeing Outlander done well. Terry often says that Ron finds the critical fans are good with feedback – perhaps – but the fandom got toxic enough that I quit doing this blog for a long time – I didn’t see the point. Just not enough positive to drown out the negative. Terry has her own frustrations with people picking things apart they simply can’t understand all of (with costumes) and taking things out of context from publicity shoots. She is very patient and doesn’t mind honest questions, but it’s hard to get ask things rudely with a lot of vitriol – especially on things she has already explained. She is WAY more patient than I would be. I’ve done a LOT of posts on here about being a better fandom and how to deal with negative issues – but most of my posts haven’t been read half as much as this one. Maybe people are ready to stand up and say ‘enough with the negative’. I hope so. cheers!

  13. I loved the episode think Sam and Cait did a great job have watched 7 times already keep up the good work.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Wow really? Pretty amazing. Sam did do a fabulous job with expressing himself in a very subtle yet moving way. There was another blog recently about Sam’s acting for this episode – of course I can’t find it now. It was really good though. Glad you are enjoying the show!

  14. Diana McGrew says:

    I confess that I have not loved everything (S2) but while I love the actors and S3 has left me pretty much breathless I don’t understand some of the rude behavior, except that I think society has gotten a little harsher, less tolerance for even the slightest difference of opinion…loved your article, think you are spot on….you can disagree but it is not necessary to be rude, thoughtless of others or coarse

    • rynawolfe says:

      Yes, Diana, exactly! I encourage discussion and debate! Unfortunately in recent times people are tending to degrade to nastiness and name calling rather than discussion and open dialog (in many areas). It’s a sad thing really. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  15. Linda Sears says:

    Thank you for the article! You are absolutely correct. All the writers have express that this is an adaption of these books and if the Author (Diana) has no problem with this, why should anyone else. She has continually said she thinks the show is amazing. I loved all the episodes so far and really appreciate the effort made to do the books justice!

    • rynawolfe says:

      Linda, many of us have said this all along, and been called arse-kissers for it. I don’t mind. I can only state my truth – I honestly enjoy the show and some of the changes/adaptations are a big reason for that. It gives a view outside my own head for the situations and characters that I am completely intrigued by. I don’t like 100% of what the show does…but I don’t know of any show/movie I’ve ever watched that I have. None of them were made specifically for ME and how my head and heart works so little things – or maybe some big things – grate. But that is no reason to throw out the whole experience. JMO Thanks for the comment.

  16. I joined this group because I am a big fan of both the books & the series. A late-comer to the books, I haven’t finished reading the series but am okay with “spoilers” mentioned by fellow fans. What I’m not good with, by any measure, is words of disrespect or disparagement of either Mr Moore, Sam, Catriona or anyone else involved with the production. The books are long & inordinately detailed….unless you have a 30+ episode run (way to costly, folks), you need to condense & adapt. Mr Moore et al have done an exceptional job in priducing a dynamic, coherent, comprehensive & entertaining series. Unless someone can do better(doubtful), be adult in your comments…or don’t comment at all! A true fan is like Jaime & Claire…kind, respectful, understanding & forgiving.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I completely agree, Judith! More episodes per book would be awesome of course…but they have a 10 month shooting schedule as it is. I’m surprised sometimes how perky they all still are – especially Sam and Cait! I mean, aside from a grueling shooting schedule, people want them to make appearances and do special stuff where there are meet and greets and such. All that takes time! They need to be allowed a LIFE as well. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  17. Sherry Riley says:

    Thanks. I took the liberty of posting it On FB. You are receiving many positive responses, especially on the Outlander Series Forum! Looking forward to more from you during the coming weeks.

  18. I had a professor in a college psych class that said for every one criticism it takes one hundred positives to get past the negative one. It’s called tact. You can reveal your opinion in a way that emphasizes that is your opinion but shows respect for other people’s opinions. We need to start a revolution for respect and dignity. My 94 year-old mother lives in daily fear because of the US President and the party that kisses his feet. Respect is not dead and we can “go high when they go low.” (Michele Obama)

    • rynawolfe says:

      I always heard 10 to 1, but yes… the there has to be a LOT of positive to overwhelm negative.

      Just for future reference, Mary – I try very hard to keep politics out of my SM. Thanks.

  19. Gael McPherson says:

    So well written. The episode 306 was beautifully written and executed by all concerned. Tender almost delicate acting brought out carefully identified nuances, I loved it and am a staunch book fan.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Always great to hear Gael. I think those of us that can really embrace the show for the separate thing it is from the books are getting to enjoy it so much more. Thanks for commenting.

  20. Wendy Smith says:

    For me, I have enjoyed reading the books many times and will continue to reread them while I can, this does not mean I expect to see everything on screen from the books. I love watching the series and have watched each episode several times and again will continue to do so. The cast and crew have done a fantastic job in bringing to life all of Diana’s characters, she has agreed with all the changes made and as the person who made these stories, she is the only one who can. All I can say to these people who wish to remark negatively about this wonderful series, is, watch and enjoy the wonderful acting, or don’t bother!

    • rynawolfe says:

      I don’t know that Diana has agreed with all the changes – she has argued against a few things – but she supports the show and the people involved 100%. Once they do make a decision and go with it, she backs them. I know a couple of people that just quit watching the show, quietly, but hang with the fandom because they support the idea of the show and the great actors and team that bring it to us. Thanks for the comment, Wendy.

  21. Chris Snowdon says:

    At last, a positive, we’ll reasoned article about a series that has captured the attention of a LOT of people and you know what they say about pleasing all of the people! Some are never going to be satisfied but I’ll take it whichever way it comes. It’s amazing! Thanks for the article.

  22. I agree 100%! I have read the books and can’t remember everything. They did a great job! Look at the Harry Potter series, they had to cut and change things around, but the series was great! I love a little surprises! Thanks for writing this article and looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thank you! I walked away from this blog for a long time tired of the nastiness. My skin got a little thicker I hope. Look at the post of Vampires vs Highlanders. You want book lovers that got a series WAY WAY off book….True Blood was it. It was a great show but did NOT follow the books except in the loosest sense and even didn’t follow how the characters were. Outlander has been very true to the characters even if they have to tweak the storyline.

  23. Colette says:

    While there have been a number of departures from the books, I am tremendously impressed by & love the adaptations by Ron, etc. The exquisite attention to authenticity, to the wonderful behind-the-scenes training & coaching in Gaelic speech, and in horsemanship, in bringing to life the venues of each element in the story: Leoch, Lallybroch, Boston, which I only recently learned was actually Edinburgh or Glasgow. the amazing costumes, etc. I love the joy & anticipation of looking forward to the next episode. I am in awe of tbe talent, dedication & hard work of the team & for me, Jamie, Claire, Bree. Roger, Lord John, Fergus (both the child & now the adult), Jenny, Murtagh, etc. sprang to life off the pages of the books. The series is a visual version of all the best elements if DG’s books.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’d love to lift this comment and make it into a meme to post on Twitter. We need to see more of these comments and have them get circulated over the negative stuff. Well said. Thank you.

  24. Sue says:

    Very good article! The level of complaining and being discourteous really shocked me! I have to laugh: people wanted no Willoughby but the complaint this week was he’s not Chinese’s enough and so on and so on. I just enjoy all of Outlander books and series!

  25. Judy Bessler says:

    The problem is that if one respectfully states an opinion of disappointment, they get bashed to hell. It seems only one side counts.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’m sorry if this happened to you. That isn’t right either – I’ve seen many expressions of disappointment I had no issues with because they were just that. “I was disappointed with ________ because _______” No name calling or nastiness. I take no issue with this and never have. It’s the “They totally RUINED the best scene in the story! WTH were they thinking!” sort of comments that I take issue with. There should be NO name calling or nastiness from EITHER side.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’m sorry if this happened to you. That isn’t right either – I’ve seen many expressions of disappointment I had no issues with because they were just that. “I was disappointed with ________ because _______” No name calling or nastiness. I take no issue with this and never have. It’s the “They totally RUINED the best scene in the story! WTH were they thinking!” sort of comments that I take issue with. There should be NO name calling or nastiness from EITHER side.

  26. katejlongo says:

    I was so sad to read such acidic reactions. WOW all the Outlander People (production people) have busted their asses, probably neglected their families and devoted 7 years by contract, to bring us this show… for goodness sake be grateful.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Being disappointed that something wasn’t what you envisioned is perfectly ok. I’m sure all of us have had a few of those moments…it’s how you present/express that disappointment that becomes an issue. That is where I come from on this – I am jus as unhappy with people that are snotty to someone just voicing and honest concern without being nasty or disrespectful about it.

  27. Karen Peabody says:

    I so agree with you. I wish people would appreciate the book for the book and series for the series. If I want a certain scene to be the way Diana made it, then I read the book. I watch Outlander because the story is based on the books, but I want to see their point of view. My husband sings in a cover band and he sings some songs just like they were song on the album, however he also sings some songs differently. He wants people to hear something you know, but you can like or dislike the changes that can be done to the song. The book readers (myself included) all have expectations for the show, but they must understand (again myself included) that they will never be meet with perfection. I watch the show knowing that things are going to be sometimes disappointingly different, but 95% I am pleasantly surprised and grateful for all that everyone has done to make a truly amazing show.

  28. I agree with what you posted. Not all mediums are goung to follow the written or televisied version of a show. It doesnt mean that it will not be just as good.The actor should have the right to deviate or change something to fit their character. They play and have perfected them and know their feelings better thany critic or author. Sagas like Twighlight, The Hobbit, and Star Wars deviate from the written media and the movie versions are great. They stay within thr story line but the character makes its own personality, that cannot be written, and I dont believe that Sam should have been bashed for chaning the reaction to the photos of his daughter just because it was on screen and not the same as what was in the book verbatum. Thank you.

    • rynawolfe says:

      You are welcome – though not sure exactly what you were thanking me for. 🙂 I can totally understand people being disappointed with something really special to them not being done as they envisioned it…and I have no issues with that disappointment/frustration being shared and discussed. It’s the – as you put it – bashing. The name calling and just plain rudeness are so unnecessary & cause way more turmoil than they need to. As I wrote a few posts ago – looking at what was done with/compared to True Blood, Outlander is following the books almost verbatim!

  29. Narelle Wiseman says:

    I have just found your blog & really enjoyed reading it. Totally agree that we can have expectations, but there is no place for
    nastiness. I’m a book fan from the beginning, & now so love the series. Kudos to all involved in the making of it.

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