I woke this morning to a post from Diana. I’m always interested in what she has to say. After all, she wrote my favorite book series and I admire her writing. And….bonus…she’s usually pretty funny. Here’s what I heard her say today:
Writers have time and space to do what they wish. TV writers and producers do not.
What works on the page does not necessarily work on the screen.
Some scenes in a book, although great to read, may not be needed to advance a story.
Sometimes additions for a visual medium may enhance a story. We can see things from different points of view.
I think that about sums it up. Now…here is what people heard ( according to the comments)
” I think the haters have been schooled “
” …no matter what “they” say ”
” …put everyone in their places ”
” Saddened you must make justification ”
” haters and nitpickers ”
” now everyone just leave her alone ”
” if you don’t like it don’t watch and shut-up ”
Of course these are just a few of the lovely tolerant responses. (yes, I’m being sarcastic)
I’m not blaming DG. She has every right to share her perspective and opinions. And, I love that she does. I believe her motivation was to speak reason. What I’m not sure she fully appreciates is the power her words wield in the fan-dom. When she speaks it becomes gospel. It is as if word has come down from on high. Despite what she intended, it’s obvious that her words will be used as a justification to destroy free-thinking. The response to her post leads me to believe that her words are being interpreted as a “set down”. I’m seeing a shift from, “isn’t it wonderful how we are able to share our ideas” to “It’s us against them”.
You’ve all heard the term “Poutlander”. Definition: Poutlander; noun, a fan of the Outlander series of books who is still complaining about who was cast for the TV series a year after production has commenced and still doesn’t think Claire’s rump is round enough or Jamie’s hair is red.
How about this term you may not have heard, “Sheeplander”? Defintion: Sheeplander; noun, a fan of the Outlander series of books who refuses to accept that the Outlander TV series may not be perfect and feels the need to start every sentence with ” The show is different from the book”. It is rumored that they may believe that Diana and Ron actually poop rainbows. All those who dare vocalize a concern are deemed disloyal haters or nitpickers who need to die! (ok, maybe not die, but they sure want them to shut up).
I wouldn’t feel good about being lumped into either one of these groups.
I’m sure Ms. Gabaldon was trying to help the situation. I believe that she was trying to clarify and explain what happens in an adaptation. I’m sure she is baffled by what she perceives as a stubborn refusal by some to let go of small details and changes. But…no good deed/idea goes unpunished. Diana’s choosing to make her “opinion” of the TV series know is tantamount to Declaration of Independence saying all men are created equal. How do you argue with what the author thinks?! “Well, Diana says….” will become the battle cry of all those who want to put dissenters in “their place”. Discourse about the show will be reduced to re-caps with cute quips, pictures of the actors’ various facial expressions and pictures of Sam’s butt. ( not that I don’t enjoy laughing or looking) And of course….praise for the genius of all involved.
I discussed my fear that an intelligent discussion of the shows’ merits and failings was being threatened. A friend and fellow fan, who happens to be very asute at cutting through bullshite and seeing situations clearly, told me it was going to get more and more difficult to say you didn’t like something about the show. Clearly more cynical than myself, she believes that there is too much on the line for anyone in the fan-dom to express disatisfaction without impunity. She believes that unless you are getting paid to be a critic anyone who doesn’t “love” every thing and everyone involved will be ostrasized. I don’t want to believe that is true. I kinda of hoped that the fact people cared enough to discuss the show was reason enough to believe the show was worth watching. “You know…Outlander…that show everyone is talking about.” But, instead this atmosphere of intolerance of others ideas and feelings is starting to remind me of something…blind loyalty…mindless fanaticism…..hmmmmm. Anybody remember some really movies about a teenage girl and her vampire boyfriend? Shiver
So…here’s my early Christmas list. Tolerance. Manners. Open-minds.
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