Outlander S4 Finale

I don’t tend to do recaps of episodes because the fandom has several stellar writers that do this much better than I can. My niche seems to be discussing observations about the fandom itself.

This particular post is going to be a combination of the two. I saw some really strong comments about the finale across Twitter and Facebook and thought I’d give my own thoughts on those particular points. Besides, I need to cool off a bit before writing the other thing bouncing around in my head.

book vs movie 2

One of the big topics of discussion was Murtagh. Early in the season, many were excited that he was alive and well rather than having died at Culloden. I wasn’t one of them. Love the character, think Duncan plays him perfectly (although nothing like the description in the book LOL) but this just isn’t his time/place in the story for me. That said….I like how the character is being incorporated into the new material. It’s funny how there is often much wailing and gnashing of teeth over changes to the canon – unless the fans like it – then it’s OK. Now, when the character is ‘stealing’ precious screen time from J&C, people aren’t so sure they want Murtagh back.

The hooking up of Murtagh and Jocosta. It was ‘cute’. I have to agree with many that, while a fun bit, it took screen time from other scenes that many fans felt were more important. Also, since Duncan Innes has made no appearance, it seems they may be trying to shoehorn Murtagh into that space. I hope they don’t. It would so tweak that thread with Jocasta being so firmly in one political camp and Murtagh in another. Also, the relationship between Duncan & Jocasta works because she needs a figurehead more than a working husband…Murtagh is definitely the type to take over in that position.

I saw several comments about the wasted time on the ‘expanded’ Otter Tooth story. I was a bit puzzled by this as, having JUST reread the books in the couple of days leading up to the finale, it was taken almost directly from the pages of the book. Where/when the story was told was adjusted, but the story itself was almost exact and, really, not that long. It was important to establish things about the Mohawk and about time-traveling. His going back didn’t change the outcome – so CAN travel back affect change at all?

A huge disappointment to many was Jamie & Claire not being at the birth. While it didn’t bother me that much personally, I can see where many fans are coming from. This is a huge bonding time between Bree & Jamie, a time of forgiveness and new beginnings. THAT part was important and I agree, should have been incorporated in some way if not at the birth.

Not even going to attempt to comment on all the Roger / Richard hate going on. While I agree the writing hasn’t given us the exact character from the book, it seems an awful lot of the nastiness stems from R/R getting more screen time than J/S rather than a true problem with the character/actor/acting.

Young Ian not being in full Mohawk when we last see him was a complaint. It really wouldn’t have worked the way they did the scene – another scene with his whole cleansing and such would have to have been added in. What do you get rid of to have it? A thought here; that was the last episode of the season. Perhaps John Bell is going to actually shave his head or do something radical for the part and didn’t want to look that way for his whole break between filming. Might be a question for someone to ask him.

The last thing I want to comment on was in the opening credits. I saw several comments bemoaning yet another ‘social justice’ moment by the writers depicting an angry Native American with the kids playing and the whole ‘why can’t they leave off the political commentary in the show?!” While I agree the story telling has skewed things a bit when it comes to social issues – I’m not sure this was one of them.

The Native American in that scene was the man who went back in time and became Otter Tooth – noted by the large opal he had hanging around his neck. I think this was more about him personally than a social commentary. This man, while rightfully angry at what happened to his ancestors, was also rather twisted about it. He was on a path filled with anger and vengeance, which came across rather well (to me) in that tiny little scene.

In the end, there are things I love, things I like, things I’m not happy with, and a very few things I hate. However, this is not MY version of Outlander. What is in my own head, my own vision and my relationship with the books will always be there. The series is the vision of a collective and I can only take it as it comes to me. I can voice my opinions – good and bad – as I’ve done here, without personal attacks or nastiness. I can discuss my thoughts with others without fighting about them. I can choose to enjoy the show – the good, bad and ugly – or I can allow the things that bother me to ruin my enjoyment of it.

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The Outlander Ensemble

Jamie and Claire – Claire and Jamie. The whole story – passionate love – middle-age sex [must have more] it’s all about THEM doncha know.

NOT IMO

It has gotten to a point where I am so sick of hearing about Jamie/Sam and Claire/Caitriona it’s hard to follow some of the groups anymore. Don’t get me wrong – Jamie and Claire ARE the heart and soul of the Outlander story. Sam and Cait have done a magnificent job of portraying these characters (even though they really don’t look like them and have terrible wigs and really aren’t written correctly [NOTE SARCASM] ) – it’s just that there is so much of “it’s ALL about THEM” to the point of dissing other characters/actors that it really rather turns my stomach some days.

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Does Caitriona deserve the recognition and noms she’s getting – absolutely. Should Sam be getting some of that? I think so – but then Hollywood is a mucked up place that has its favorites and cliques and if you aren’t “IN” well then dahling that is just too bad for you. Personally I’m far more excited by all the other projects Sam has going and not that bothered he isn’t having to waste time on red carpets. But that’s just me.

I have never quite understood the ‘readers’ (or the ‘viewers’ now) who say they get so bored with the subplots and other characters. They skim through to get to the good parts that are Jamie and Claire – because, after all, that is what the story is all about.

It is – and it isn’t – IMHO.

As I said above, yes, Jamie and Claire’s love/relationship/journey IS the core of the Outlander story. However, J & C aren’t who and what they are ONLY from their interaction with each other. Those other people in their lives shape them. Who they touch – who touches them; those experiences and situations outside their own little bubble of each other. For me, in order to really grasp how these other characters affect J & C, you have to understand them a bit – THEIR stories and how J&C affect each of them. It’s a very give/take deal – just like in real life.

This last episode – #Providence – had very little J&C in it – which really seemed to annoy some people. Richard Rankin absolutely owned this episode and he deserved every bit of praise that was being heaped on him. Yet, I saw a load of J&C memes and comments as if to drown out the kudos Richard was being given on TW and FB. Why?! Roger’s story – along with Brianna and Lord John – are HUGELY important. These three have tremendous impact on J&C both individually and as a couple. Tests of fire, pressure, pain, loyalty and love. These events shape J&C as individuals and as a couple going forward. J&C have a similar effect on those around them in this time of trial and crisis.

Just because Richard/Sophie/David got to really shine in this episode in no way diminishes what Sam and Caitriona bring to the table – if anything, it enhances it. I am so jazzed that we have so many awesome, talented performers in this ensemble to bring Diana’s story to life! I know, I know – it’s not exactly like the books. Stuff gets changed, moved around, done completely different (next blog) but I don’t care! I am – overall – loving the show.

Fergus and Masali also have impact in this episode and I so wish there was more time to see them on screen. These two are smart and dedicated to each other and have their own trials coming up. They are the next generation of love and have been shaped by observation and interaction with J&C from the time they were kids. The other characters – to me – tell J&C’s story almost as much as they themselves do.

All the other players and situations can give insight into the character and depth of who Jamie and Claire are – beyond the passionate, still having great sex in middle age, kick-ass characters we love to lose ourselves with. All these things are wonderful, but they aren’t ALL the story. (P.S. – People keep saying “Outlander isn’t some bodice ripper romance novel” and the show isn’t meant to be ‘soft porn’….yet all the complaints about not enough sex scenes seem to contradict that sentiment. You can’t have it both ways kiddos.)

I simply can’t understand why people would want to cast aside the ensemble that is Outlander and lose so much of, what are supposedly, the main characters.

As always, these are just MY Random Thoughts – discuss, disagree, share or ignore as you will.

The Rings of Outlander

Rings, wedding rings especially, symbolize many things. Unity, the continuous circle of life and death, connection. They are usually made from precious metals and gemstones to show the value of such a relationship. Diamonds are favored – perhaps because of what they go through to become the gem that they are, much like a marriage must go through the trials and fires of life. More and more people are choosing metals and or gems (or lack of them) for specific meaning to them personally. A friend of mine in college picked out a ring that had a lighter emerald center stone with an amethyst on either side. It was a beautiful setting, unique and very ‘her’.

WARNING: possible spoiler(s) below for those that are show only people.

The rings Claire has in Outlander have been the center of many discussions. I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while (since Claire got her new/original ring from Jamie in the series), but life and other issues had me putting it aside for a bit.

 

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Please remember as you read MY musings here that I am someone that can/does view the books and the show as separate, unique expressions of the same story.

The first ring is what is described in the books (pretty close). Jamie went out on their return to Leoch to get this ring for his bride with the limited funds he had available. Now, in the books, enough time had passed between the very difficult beginning to their marriage (near rape, Claire running off to the stones against Jamie’s orders, being captured, the tension between her and the men, her punishment, etc.) that things had settled a bit between them and Jamie disappearing to do this made Claire insecure again. In the series…they had not sorted things out yet and so it wouldn’t have made sense for Jamie to go get a ring and it wouldn’t have fit in with the alterations that were done to the story line as it related to Laoghaire.

Instead we got what I call the Lallybroch ring. (I’ll get to Frank’s in a minute). Most of the comments about this ring were negative. It was/is ugly, not special, and so on. Much debate back in S1 about this and much wailing and gnashing of teeth for not sticking to the books.

A couple of thoughts here. Claire is a very simple person when it comes to jewelry. All she wore as far as Jamie ever saw was the simple gold ring on her left hand. Jamie was a young man, an outlaw, with little money or immediate prospects. He took something valuable and precious to HIM (the key to his beloved Lallybroch) to make a ring for his wife. Not only precious (though inexpensive in terms of value) but a promise of all he hoped to give her one day. The ring is plain, but sturdy. There is beauty in the simple lines and meaning behind it (much like Frank’s ring). I thought it was a beautiful gesture and something Jamie (even book Jamie) might have done.

Frank’s ring is very plain, gold but inscribed. Claire and Frank were married on the eve of war when things were quick and needed to stay simple. It was still a token of their love and a promise of things to come. Not that their future together was remotely what either thought it would be at the time.

When in Ep1 this season, Claire lost the Lallybroch ring instead of Frank’s – I had a couple of thoughts about the change.

1) There was a possibility that the writers would not use the rape story-line with Stephen Bonnet. Of course that would radically alter many other things, but the writers and producers have gotten so much flack for the rapes, it was a possibility.

2) In the series, Bree would also recognize the Lallybroch ring as Claire had worn it every day of Brianna’s life. In some respects, it would be easier to spot/recognize than a plain gold band (though I’ll be honest, no idea how often gold was used for rings in that time/place). If they kept the Bonnet/Bree story, it would go much as it did in the book.

When Ep8 rolled around – obviously the writers had gone with the second option. At this point though, Claire has already been given her new (book) ring so what happens with the Lallybroch ring? My thinking, which did not go over very well in the FB group I posted it in, is that this might become the ring Roger and Bree could use. In the books, they use the ring with the red stone that belonged to Jamie’s father – but that ring is lost in the series.

I’m sure there are those saying that using the Lallybroch ring for Roger & Bree is a horrible idea because of what happened to her getting it back. True – that is one heart-wrenching memory connected to it. However, it is also something her mother cherished. It represents (in the series) the relationship Jamie and Claire have and all they have gone through to be together. Brianna comes to see just how special this love is over time and comparing it to the good marriage she thought Frank and Claire shared. It is THIS sort of relationship she wants for herself, not one of duty. It was also made from the key of Lallybroch, which is someplace that is important to Brianna (having been there, seeing where Jamie came from, meeting extended family) and becomes even more important later. I also think the simple lines and its origin as a key would appeal to the engineer/mathematician she is.

One last bit. I’ve seen many comments from people wondering why Claire would continue to wear Frank’s ring. Again, just my thinking from reading the books/watching the show, I believe because that was such an important part of her life and, like him or not, Frank made it possible. She had Brianna and Frank adored Bree no matter her origin. Claire became a doctor and then a surgeon – something hugely important/useful in the colonies and Frank supported that even if he didn’t care for it. Frank was a good man that Claire had deep feelings for, she wears it for memory and respect.

As always, this is JMHO.

The Book is the Book & the Show is the Show

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I’ve been hanging out on the CompuServe forums quite a bit lately, and have been seeing an interesting trend in the comments. My ‘take’ is that the majority of the forum are book lovers that watch the show based on their love of the books.

As a side note, this is a place where there are many opinions and much nit-picking, but done with courtesy and respect. It’s a nice breather from most of the social media out there.

What I see as a trend in the comments, all over social media, is the disappointment of the show cutting out wonderful bits of the story claiming there ‘just isn’t time’ yet inserting other things that are totally off book that take up time. If they can do that, why can’t they use the wonderful material provided for them right there in the books?!

Now, I don’t have a degree or even much study in TV production. I have read what was basically a text book about TV production (A book called “Inside Section One” about the making of the original La Femme Nikita series) which opened my eyes to many things about making a weekly TV show that would never have crossed my mind. In this post I am merely taking my minor experience with acting, doing theatre (both on stage and behind the curtain), having participated in a movie, reading that book and just my own thinking and formulating one possibility as to why the show is going the way it is. It is an opinion, nothing more – I have no idea if I am thinking correctly or not.

The Team has said from day one that this would be an adaptation that would adhere to the story of the books as closely as possible. They have also said, absolutely, that while they will do their best to satisfy the long-standing fans of the books, their first priority is to make good television.

The term ‘good television’ is, somewhat, subjective. I know some people that think good TV is 24/7 sports. Others, find good TV in blood/guts/gore. Some, think reality TV is the greatest. Comedy, drama, soaps and so on….everyone has their own idea of what is good or bad television. For the bean counters, it is a show that will include the biggest possible audience that will draw in advertisers and grow to keep making money. There is quite often a ‘target’ audience. I know with LFN the original ‘target’ was 18 – 35 year old males, hence Peta Wilson in the title role. However, as the show progressed, while the producers got that target audience, they were shocked to find their biggest most supportive audience was 18 to 65 year old women because of the lead male role of Michael played brilliantly by Roy Dupuis (who they didn’t want originally).

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I would say, JMHO, that for the particular show of Outlander, good television is meaning that it appeals to a fairly large audience (those interested in the books, Scotland, history, drama, and adventure with the added twist of time-travel). Good television has to capture an audience with EACH episode. One never knows when a viewer will stumble upon an episode having no idea the show exists or, never having watched it, and – lacking better options at that moment chooses to watch. So, there has to be tension, some comedy moments for relief, some conflict that can happen and be resolved in that timeframe while leaving a bigger thing hanging to draw viewers back to the next episode. A lot to balance.

Diana is a wordsmith of epic proportions – literally. Davina Porter reading the unabridged version of Voyager goes 42 hours and 50 minutes. The Team is trying to shoehorn this story into around 13 hours. Bloody YIKES!    UPDATE for Season 4 – “Drums of Autumn” read by Davina Porter runs 44 hours and 50 minutes….a full 2 hours longer than Voyager and still trying to get crammed into just under 13 hours.

Like all the Outlander books, Diana has woven a rich, thick, complicated tapestry of a story. Even many of the ‘secondary’ characters (Mr. Willoughby/Yi Tien Cho is a great example) have pages and pages dedicated to ‘their’ story. All these wonderful side bits and stories within stories that she can layer in because she has the time and space to do that – and while they are rich material, those bits might be far too complicated to get across in a one hour-ish episode with lots of other stuff going on.

So, here is my thinking. The team takes the important bits of the story that need to be kept in to keep cohesion (Jamie & Claire’s relationship, young Ian being kidnapped, going after Ian which takes them to Jamaica and beyond) and breaks those important elements into the 13 episodes they have been given to work with. Then they have to fill the time for those episodes in such a way to make it ‘good television’ (all the points I mentioned above) and keep the flow of the story. To me, this means inserting less complicated bits to hit all the notes they need to while keeping with the main push of the story and ending the episode in such a way people will want to come back.

I know many book people are disappointed with missing so much of the rich material that is in the books, but really, because it is so layered and nuanced, it is hard to give it any kind of justice in the time they have. Likely it is far easier to invent a simple bit of tension; the “Jonah” arc in “The Doldrums” episode rather than trying to actually explain the entire story behind Yi Tien Cho. It keeps to the overall story in plausibility without stripping a good piece of writing down to so little as to be meaningless and still be plausible within the frame of the original work.

I have truly never minded the differences because I started out on the journey of the series expecting them. I can embrace them because I like being shown a different facet of the same story – seeing it from a different perspective that challenges my own thinking. Also, the books will always be there to drown in and enjoy in a way, no matter how much you might like the series, simply has no comparison.

Again, this is only MY opinion and thoughts.

Cheers!

“King of Men” – really?

As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, I go a different direction from most of the Outlander blogs. There are several exceptional bloggers out there that recap and discuss the various episodes so well that I wasn’t even going to try. I have read some fabulous takes on Ep306 and many of the comments following them were enlightening as well.
Looking back at my various posts; I can get preachy. Sorry. That really isn’t my intention when I’m writing (well ok sometimes it is). I just see something I really like or really hate and spout off about it. It’s just my personal take on things meant to give people a different perspective. Should be interesting to see where this post lands.

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Some people were disappointed with certain aspects of this episode. I can empathize with that, but not with how a few chose to express themselves about it. I already ranted about that – done – no worries. However, I saw and interesting comment on one of those many great blogs yesterday and it made me think, which prompted me to write something so here we go.

This brought some different perspective to me & helps me not hate the episode. But I still always get the feeling that the writers just don’t “get” Jamie & his larger than life personality as the “king of men”.

I paused over this for quite some time. First because I’m pretty sure it was in the writer’s room with RDM that this phrase first came into use. *Edit – I have had this confirmed by DG. Second – I’ve never seen Jamie that way.    *ducking*   Let me explain.
Part of what makes Jamie the ‘king of men’ is that he always says exactly the right thing (he doesn’t ALWAYS because he isn’t perfect, but way more often than not). He says all these ‘perfect’ things because he has an incredibly talented, witty and wise woman writing his lines for him. She also writes his actions and thoughts. The character may ‘talk’ to Diana – but it is still all in HER head.
Sam/Jamie has the same benefit with amazing writers and directors to help him out.

Jamie – contrary to often voiced opinion – is not perfect. He has a tendency to be arrogant. (Be honest with how full of himself he was taking over Lallybroch and how WAY out of his league he was). He can be a hot-head and not think through the possible repercussions of his actions; probably why it drives him so crazy when Claire does it. There is other smaller stuff, but those are the big things. I mean, some of what Jamie does – if it was anyone else (including your own partner for those that have one) you’d probably want to slap them silly.
Part of what made me fall in love with this story is that the characters were so ‘real’. They all have flaws, they screw up, they have moments of perfection and they slog their way through life like all mortals must. Perfect is plastic and very uninteresting.
Sam plays/portrays Jamie in a very physical – yet often subtle way. He so reminds me of one of my favorite actors – Roy Dupuis (I have a page dedicated to him here). Roy is a master at communicating a great deal with only his eyes and the tiniest of movements. If anyone has seen the original La Femme Nikita series and the character of Michael – you know exactly what I mean. Sam has a lot this same talent; the ability to let things just power out of his eyes and use of body language and movement to express things rather than words. The performances are all the more powerful for their subtleness. It also means when a line is delivered or big movement is used, they are that much more dramatic.
The actor and the character he/she portrays have a unique bond. Sam has made some choices in how Jamie acts and reacts based on the character that has been developed over the first two seasons and where he knows things are going. The ‘base’ of Jamie is the books – of course – but this Jamie is in the alternate reality of the TV series so, while still Jamie, there can and will be minor differences.
Maybe part of the reason I don’t get all wound up about the differences or even outright changes in the show from the book is I expect them. I’m not asking the show to be ‘perfect’ – I’m asking that it be good, well-done television that stays true to the characters and story (within the constraints episode numbers/time imposes). I believe ‘The Team’ has done this. The story – the important main artery of the story – is still there. The characters a still very real and relatable – not perfect.

I don’t feel Jamie is the ‘King of Men’ – I don’t like putting anyone on that much of a pedestal for them to fall from. I like him better being a good guy that still screws things up (people will understand, trying to be nice here to non-readers) yet is steadfast for his love, family and what he feels is right.

Well done.

Highlanders vs Vampires

2 August 2017

As anyone with any knowledge of me knows, I have a ‘thing’ for vampires. Long before they hit mainstream popularity – again – these creatures have intrigued me. They are compelling in their complexity while being simple predators. So many different directions an author can go with them by tweaking various points of vampire lore…….ok I’ll stop now because it really isn’t vampires per se I wish to discuss here.

I recently left my co-pirate and our boat to travel back to Washington State to help some friends with a major move. Vancouver, WA to Colorado Springs. Major because these people are not quite pack-rats but close and not very organized. They had been in the same house for years and are some of my oldest/dearest friends, so on a plane I hopped. They gave me an amazing deal on an extra vehicle they didn’t want to try to move which gave me transportation. With that, I went (between the moving packing due to my friends schedules) for a quick visit with my sister’s family and to help my dad do a yard / estate sale. All told, I was gone three months. Very glad to be home.

I tell you this because, while I was with my dad, he took me to a half-off book place. WOW! Not a safe place for me to hang out as I am addicted to the written word and being on a boat, hard copy books just don’t do well due to moisture and lack of space. However, they have pocket books on sale for 25¢ each on Tuesdays and I managed to get the Sookie Stackhouse books (2-8) by Charlaine Harris for that fantastic price. This is a series I had wanted to ‘try out’ for a long time but just hadn’t gotten around to it (so many books – never enough time). I tracked down book one and dug in. I had found and read all 13 books in the series twice within a few weeks. (I read through fast the first time for the story as a whole then go back for detail – yes….even with Diana’s books).

Why do I bring this little story here – to a predominately Outlander fan page? Well for those that don’t know, the Sookie Stackhouse novels became HBO’s series ‘True Blood’. After reading the books I commented on social media somewhere I would have to track down the series to watch. I was warned, several times, that the series deviates from the books – BIG TIME.

Once I got home, I tracked down Season 1 of True Blood and have watched it. Yes…it varies hugely from the book. Part way through S2 and there are bigger and wilder variations from the book. There is one story line I’m not fond of – not because it is SO far removed from its book elements, but because it is very dark and abusive.

Where Outlander has combined some minor characters for time / continuity or had a major character pick up some small thing to avoid bring in yet another character – True Blood has major characters going WAY off book (this is highlighted with Sookie’s brother Jason in S2 which we are part way through) doing things that book Jason wouldn’t dream of.

UPDATE 7/22/19:  Having watched the whole series since writing this post, I can say the longer the series went, the farther off book it went. Totally changed the ending. Some things I wasn’t thrilled with (especially the ending) but overall it was good television based on fun, enjoyable books. For me, while they are the based in the same world with the same characters they are different stories – each to be enjoyed (or not in some instances) for their own merits.

So, how do I feel as a book lover first seeing these huge departures from the story I fell for? Great! I mean….it’s the same characters with a different spin, two great stories in the same universe with the same characters. It’s interesting to see the differences and some of them, I actually like better. Now that one story line I’m not thrilled with…..so what. Overall the show is a good watch with great twists. I’m not going to bag the entire show for one storyline that I’m not thrilled with. If I felt I had to do that I’d never watch ANY series.

Ron Moore and the entire team that bring fans the Outlander series have done a phenomenal job of being true to the books. Yes…there are a few tweaks and changes. As has been discussed, ad nauseam it seems sometimes, television is a completely different medium than print with different constraints and structure. While some people would like to see 20+ episodes per season, it is just not going to happen. I already did a post on Outlander vs other cable series and how we are spoiled with our numbers. (THANK YOU STARZ) changes that have been made might bring out something book people feel is minor or tweak something so it flows better on screen. The always present combining of minor characters or having a major character ‘pick up’ something so another character doesn’t have to be introduced. This is all common practice when converting from book to screen.

My point here? The series CAN NOT – WILL NOT – SHOULD NOT follow the book verbatim. How boring would that be?! Embrace those changes as new facets and nuances on much beloved characters and story or make yourself miserable. Outlander fans have no grounds for griping about ‘changes’ IMO – after watching what was done with True Blood.

And please Outlander readers….if you truly can’t stand the series and the team’s vision of it – just stop watching and go back to curling up with the books. Don’t feel the need to dump your aggravation and disappointment on people that are enjoying the show for itself. I’m told there is actually a subculture of people out there that watch shows they hate simply so they can hate them via social media. What a sad, sad thing. Life is too short to embrace so much negativity.

Not everyone love the same things. I’m sure many reading this don’t like True Blood or even want to see/read it. That’s ok. Some people like all the super-hero shows out now while others are firmly entrenched in comedy. JMO If you find you don’t like something – GREAT! One less thing to clutter up your life with. Find something you love and share that with the world. You never know, sharing your positive thoughts, love of new shows/books/music etc. may turn someone else onto it and make new friends.

Cheers!

Being Thankful

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So once again, there is angst and drama in the Outlander Clandom. The culprit this time is a deleted scene from S2 revolving around the death of Faith. Once again, my biggest frustration is that SOME of the ‘fans’ rather than being thankful went into full bitch mode.

I am working to accept the fact that there is a small contingency of people out there that are going to be nasty. Nothing I or anyone else can say or do is going to get them to realize that there is indeed a difference between critiquing something and criticizing it. These people are going to be loud, rude and nasty no matter what just because they feel entitled to. I can’t imagine how some of the fans who follow thousands of people and see this nastiness on a regular basis deal with that much negativity in their life. I have cut my SM time to bare minimum with only a specific list I’m following on Twitter until after the elections because I was upset and angry all the time.

Beth Wesson did an absolutely fabulous blog about all this with links to two really interesting articles about fandoms and some of the issues that are coming out with social media playing such a role in the arena now. Please click here to read FANS & CREATORS…DRAWING A LINE OF DECENCY IN THE SAND.

 

Another recent blog that I really liked can be found here: A RESPECTFUL NOTE TO YOU, RON, ABOUT JAMIE. The author let her readers know her frustration without being at all disrespectful, whiny or nasty. It was a wonderful read.

Instead of duplicating the efforts of other writers better than myself, I thought with Thanksgiving coming up (Canada having already had theirs) I’d list off some stuff I’m thankful for rather than grousing (too much) about stuff that is frustrating me. So here goes.

I’m thankful that the last job I had allowed me to spend my days around books. Being in a second hand store that processed and resold donations, I was exposed to a huge variety of tomes I might not have looked at otherwise. I had to have a good enough feel for the book to know where to shelve it, and so I found many authors I fell in love with while ‘working’. This is how I found Diana Gabaldon and Outlander.

I am thankful that a ‘movie’ was never made of Outlander. Huge parts of the book had to be left out with 16 hours to work with – a 2-3 hour movie wouldn’t have come close to doing it justice.

I’m thankful that Ronald D. Moore saw something gripping in the pages of these books and was willing to put in the effort to get it made right and on a channel that would allow the grittiness, sex and violence that is part of the story be told properly without having to water it down for viewers.

I’m supremely thankful that Ron and his team work with Diana to keep (usually) the story on track. I’ve seen many stories where the original author is cut out of the process completely.

I am thankful for a solid group of extremely talented actors who get the essence of these extremely layered and complex characters. Actors who work very hard to bring that to the screen. People who give up a lot of privacy to make, promote and give this story to the fans. While they get paid for their time, it has to get old to so constantly be in the spotlight with no life to call your own. I appreciate their willingness to interact with the fans and hope they won’t feel compelled to cease that because of a small minority that insist on being nasty.

  • I am thankful to ALL the people behind the scenes that work so hard to make Outlander such a great show.
  • Ron, the producers, writers and casting crew that give the show its frame and characters.
  • Jon and the production team that give the production its base and background.
  • Terry and her whole team that dress it up.
  • The dedicated drivers who get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there.
  • The directors who put those elements together for a compelling hour of drama.
  • Specialists like Àdhamh and Claire who make sure the unusual/special things are ‘right’.
  • All the support people that work hard to make it all happen.
  • Basically for every warm body that makes this show happen as I’m sure I missed some above.

I am thankful for all those people above that take the time and energy to interact with the show’s fans on social media and (so far) haven’t shut them all down due to the inability of a few to express themselves in a grown-up, dignified manner.

I am thankful that this team shoots way more footage than they will use in the hour so they have options to make each episode the best it can be. This also means that we get to see extra footage when the DVD’s come out that make it that much richer. These are the extra bits that keep us going through Droughtlander and give us special moments.

Mostly, I am thankful that the responsibility for deciding what goes into each episode to be aired is not my responsibility. I may not love every minute of every episode – but it is a series that has done a damn fine job of portraying good drama. Not just a love story – though that is a huge part of it; not just a history – though that is its base. An excellent story brought out in a difficult medium with gobs of competition and doing well enough that it is getting to be ‘known’.

For the scene that many seem upset about – I’m thankful it was filmed at all and we got to see it. We as fans do NOT have a clue what all goes into these decisions. Yes it was a wonderful, well-acted scene that I enjoyed very much – but I didn’t miss it at the time the show aired. Expressing disappointment that it wasn’t included in the actual episode isn’t and never will be the problem I have with the fandom; the problem is a few, very vocal ‘entitled fans’ crucifying on social media the people that work so hard to bring us this show. There are days I honestly shake my head in wonder that Ron and the team don’t throw up their hands in disgust at being attacked yet again and say “fine – since we can’t make everyone happy we just won’t do the show at all.”

I’m very, very thankful that the cast, crew and all the wonderful folks who bring us Outlander are all sane, sensible people who are too professional to let immaturity from others dictate their actions.