The other day, a Variety reporter wrote an article about 12 cable shows that are coming out this year. (I wouldn’t click on the link only because it’ll increase her page views and that’s not the idea I want to give. Just keep reading.)
One of the shows on her list was “Outlander”, a highly anticipated show that will hopefully turn into multiple seasons. Instead of trying to sell her readers into tuning in, she managed to insult them. According to Saval, the author of the article, she describes it: “This new series is based on the internationally bestselling novels by Diana Gabaldon that bored middle-age housewives have been going absolutely bananas over.”
She then adds one last sentence saying what time period the show is set and the genre, “Harlequin Romance-esque plot”.
When I read this I had to re-evaluate my life. Apparently I am a bored middle-aged housewife, and so are many of the other fans of various genders and ages. I guess Saval needs to do her homework before posting a blurb like that. First of all, you can’t generalize a readership like that. I am a 21-year-old college student, far from a bored housewife. People who read like to do it for other reasons, not because they’re bored. Like finding a different world to escape to or because the book is simply so good you can’t put it down (which is one of the reasons you SHOULD read Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series).
The fan base is huge. I suspect it’ll only grow much larger after it premieres on Starz later this year. So, I give you 10 reasons you SHOULD watch “Outlander”, a series fans of any sex, occupation and those of a mature age (there is some inappropriate content but if you’re mature enough it should be fine) will enjoy. Outlander is more than a steamy romance, like the author seems to be implying.
1. There is time travel. Claire Randall unexpectedly falls through the standing stones into 1743. Lost from her native 1946, she has to learn to adapt temporarily until she can find her way back home. Claire tries to make sense of this time jump and in the future books she and others try to discover why this phenomenon can happen.
2. Her leap back into the 1700s leads her (and us viewers) to meeting Jamie Fraser. Jamie Fraser will easily become a fan favorite. Besides the fact that he is tall, Scottish, and handsome, he is fiercely loyal, funny, and very intelligent.
3. But the show isn’t all about the ideal man. Gabaldon knows how to write strong female characters. She gives women a role model to look up to. Claire is a nurse on the battlefield during World War II and becomes a very valuable asset when she goes back in time. She can save lives with her knowledge of future medicines and treatments. Claire can be a little feisty and that can get her in trouble. BUT she is intelligent and can stand up for herself.
4. The series takes place in Scotland, France, and America. Even though we won’t get to see the latter two places until later, it’s neat to see Claire visit these places in history.
5. Which don’t be intimidated by the little bits of a history lesson. You may have read about some of the events in school, like the battle of Culloden, the Pretenders, the American Revolution. The show will only make you the more knowledgeable about events that did happen. Even if they’re not portrayed accurately (since Claire and Jamie are just characters and could not have influenced these historical events) you can go on good ol’ Google and research these things yourself.
6. Of course there is some romance, but that’s not all what the book is about. (Gabaldon even finds it difficult to find the right genre for “Outlander” and she describes it as a lot more than just ‘romance’). Claire has too much to worry about, like finding her way back to her time period! It doesn’t help that as soon as she lands in 1743, she is captured by a Scottish gang. It’s not that easy escaping from a castle.
7. And you have to remember that Ronald D. Moore, creator of “Battlestar Galactica”, is the producer. “Battlestar” was an awesome show and he handled the romance in that fairly well. It was there when necessary but didn’t take up too much screen time.
8. Did I mention Claire kicks butt? A lot. She also saves the day. A lot.
9. If you like “Game of Thrones”, you’ll like “Outlander”. The two authors George R. R. Martin and Diana Gabaldon even get lunch together a few times a year. As Gabaldon said at the Starz Fan Event on Saturday, they are the only two authors so far writing that fantasy/literature/science-fiction/mystery/fiction genre.
10. The books are awesome, the cast so far look awesome, and the fans who are excited for the series to premiere have faith in it so why not give it a try?