Like many in the fandom, I tweeted the cleverest tweets I could for an hour solid in support of #EmmysforOutlander. I truly believe the show deserves accolades and as a fan I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen. The show was more than entertaining it was compelling.
As positive as I am that the show deserves all the awards they can get, I’m fearful that there is a fly in the Emmy ointment. It appears that the show is still battling an image problem. Please don’t misunderstand. I did not feel that recent interviews were negative, nor do I believe the interviewers have to read the book to talk about the show. But, I’m hearing questions and comments that make me fear the show is still misunderstood and as a result maybe not be as respected as it should be.
In a recent interview with Sam Heughan, the interviewer kept referring to the fact that his wife watches the show and that Sam appeared shirtless a lot. Sam was gracious and tried to steer the conversation toward a more serious and less shallow topic, but even Sam’s discussion of the Gaelic used on the show was turned into a “Fabio” type reference by the interviewer.
I have a theory that the show is still being perceived as a series based on a romance novel that Ron is somehow fixing up.
Point in case, another interview with Sam found the interviewer surprised that what he found were interesting plot twists and character development were INDEED in the book. He actually looked taken aback and asked the question again to make sure Sam had heard right. The same interviewer shared with Caitriona Balfe that he had binge watched the first half of the season and was now hooked on the show because he must have an inner old lady side to himself (can you see the incredulity on my face?). I continue to see the story referred to as a time-traveling bodice ripper romance where Claire falls for a hunky Scotsman (not that bodices aren’t ripped or Sam isn’t hunky, but you get my point). The show is still having an image issue. And…in my humble opinion things like this don’t help;
Sigh…..they are cute, but I’m really finding it hard to like a Black Jack Randall doll after episodes 15 and 16! Does he come with accessories? A mallet and nails? Lavender oil? Is this what Starz marketing folks think we want? If so, then I’m wondering what THEY think the show is about and who they think WE are? (They’ll probably sell thousands because they are cute and I know I’ll be taking some hits for this) So, I’m confused and I think people who really don’t know about the show are too! I know this is blasphemy, but maybe that original Vanity Fair article was right! Maybe they are marketing to who they THINK we are…hmmmm….the kilt drops…
All this leads me to be a bit concerned about how the show is being perceived by the academy voters if this is how the media views the show. However, a fellow fan pointed out to me that the critics have also consistently given the show high marks. And, they have thrown around some wonderful adjectives and called the show brave and ground-breaking and called performances stellar. So, maybe the RIGHT people (those with the power to influence votes) get it. Fingers crossed!
But…. just in case they need further convincing…here are my top reasons.…Outlander deserves an Emmy…its my blog…I can pretend my opinion matters if I want to!
1. They took their time
Those of us who read the books were understandably concerned about how they were going to do justice to our “big book” and story. We were relieved to hear Starz was giving the first book 16 episodes which was pretty much unprecedented. For us book fans, it still wasn’t enough! Greedy lot us book fans. There was a lot of talk about Outlander’s decision to take their time setting up the story including the use of voice-overs. It was a gamble for sure, but a necessary gamble if you intended for the show to last more than one season. This story needs the set-up. If for no other reason than to understand Claire’s decision when Jamie takes her back to the stones, The story needs the context of her internal struggle and the real danger she places herself in by staying. The “slow burn” of Jamie and Claire’s relationship was refreshing to see. They didn’t jump into bed despite an obvious attraction. Their relationship was given time to develop. By the end of the season, the viewer truly had a sense of who these “people” were. They gave us time to connect to the characters and their struggles. They allowed us to see how alike and different our world is from the one Claire finds herself. They allowed us the time to care about the characters.
2. They got the genre thing right
One of the most intriguing things about Diana Gabaldon’s books are the fact that they are hard to describe. Try it! I find myself saying a lot of “just trust me on this, I know it doesn’t sound good, but it is”. Because she was writing the first book for practice, Ms. Gabaldon freed herself from the boundary of genre. She wrote and figured she would determine what genre she was writing along the way. I’m not sure she ever did fit her square book into a round genre hole and I’m thankful for it. It made the reading that more interesting to have a mix of history, science fiction, horror, mystery, and yes, a love story. This would seemingly make the story more difficult to adapt, but I think this was one of the big things the series got right.
Every episode had a story arch and just when the viewer would think they knew where the story was going and maybe expect more of the same the show would change. One week, we are at witch trail and the next a complicated homecoming. One episode we are navigating life at the castle and the next traveling the Scottish countryside. We watched Claire try to match wits with the terrifyingly cruel Capt. Jack Randall and then watched her try to deal with a unwanted marriage and …honeymoon. And, … they never let us forget the stones and Frank were always on Claire’s mind. The adaptation worked.
3. They immersed you in 1743 Scotland
Scotland was a character in the story. It was breathtakingly stark and beautiful. The costumes and sets made it easy to believe that Claire had found herself in 1743. It was a rich viewing experience. The musical score, the filming, directing, writing and production choices were all made with the idea that everything had to have a purpose including the tougher more titillating stuff. I never felt the violence or nudity was gratuitous. It always felt necessary and as a result, we got to see an intelligent and beautiful story.
4. They let us see real women
A lot has been written on this subject, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the FACT that this show has done more for the portrayal of women in film than anything in recent memory. There is a lot good TV out there right now, but I would say that Outlander’s women were the closest to real people. The women on this show were portrayed as complex, strong, kind, ruthless, compassionate, sexually confident, intelligent, able to think on their feet, and heroes who could save the day. These ladies weren’t your typical damsels in distress!
5. Characters with character
I enjoy watching Game of Thrones, a show Outlander has been compared to. I have nothing against R.R. Martin or the show based on his works. They are what they are, but what they are is a far cry from what Outlander is or tries to be.
GOT’s season was full of characters acting out of warped emotions, values and needs. Lots of titillating stuff to discuss around the water cooler, but I must admit the most shocking thing about this show is how hard it is to find a redeeming character. I wish I could say this trend toward pushing the moral and ethical envelope was the exception rather than the rule on TV, but I can’t. It is all too common.
My reaction to the GOT characters and their actions is very different from what I feel when I watch Outlander. When I watch Outlander I find myself emotionally connected to their stories. Even given the fantasy element of time-travel, I found the main characters struggles to make the right choices familiar. Many of us struggle to do the right thing and be good people. When I watched Claire and Jamie and Ned and even Gellis make their choices, I felt a real kinship. My eyes filled with tears for the human compassion I was witnessing. These characters made unselfish choices. Refreshing.
6. Real People Sex
Once again they took their time and made sex a part of the story. The Wedding Episode was the closest thing to real sex between two people who care about each other that I’ve ever seen. The other elements of sex in the story were told with the same care and purposefulness. Sex is a part of life and relationships. It can be awkward, passionate, tender, and sometimes even horribly life-shattering. Outlander did not shy away from showing us sex from a man’s AND a woman’s point of view. It was beautiful and awful, but always done with story in mind.
I can’t remember the last time I was so blown away by performances. In fact, the show has been off the air for over two weeks and I can’t stop talking about those performances! I know there is this common belief that a viewer really shouldn’t notice the acting because if you do then somehow your disbelief didn’t get suspended enough. Maybe that’s true, but I’m pretty sure I bought what they were selling! My appreciation occurred upon reflection. Like I said before, the dust has settled and I can’t get the performances out of my mind! It felt real.
- Tobias: It was something about the eyes. Tobias Menzies portrayal of Frank and his ancestor Black Jack Randall was fascinating to watch. Watching an actor play two roles and imbue them with character was intriguing.. I saw their differences and their similarities. He managed to make Jack’s villainy believable and somehow human despite his monstrous appetites. He was terrifying.
- Sam: Sam Heughan’s portrayal of Jamie was spot on. Although I wished we could have seen a bit more of the man beneath the boy in the first half of the season, I was won over by the switch to his POV in episode 9 The Reckoning. ” What is Jamie thinking?” was a brilliant technique for moving the story and the character forward. Jamie had dialogue long enough to let us see his character and with his convincing acting skills, Sam had time to let us “see” Jamie. We saw Jamie be brave, calculating, thoughtful, loyal. imperfect, frustrated, devastated, strong, truthful, and caring, just to name a few of the many sides of the character I knew from the books. And then,…there are the last two episodes. I’ve never seen an actor portray so much with so few words. As uncomfortable as those episodes are to watch, I keep re-watching them because I’m amazed by the performances. Every time I re-watch, I find something new to appreciate like body language or a subtle look. The progression from a proud and unbreakable man to a totally devastated and broken man was heart-breathtakingly beautiful.
- Caitriona: I’m not sure that Caitriona Balfe’s performance is ever given enough credit. She is in almost every scene and without her brilliant portrayal of our frustratingly wonderful and strong Claire the show would not have succeeded. She made us believe that this happened to this woman and the viewers grew to care about her and her plight. We have all been strangers in a strange land and had to find our way at some point in our lives. Caitriona’s portrayal of Claire dealing with the unimaginable and retaining her humanity and strength of character truly made me proud to be a woman. She managed to get Claire’s sense of morality, justice and passion for life on the screen. We saw a woman who like many of us picks herself up, dusts herself off, accepts the situation and makes the best life for herself and others as she can.
One of my readers, an actress in the Biz summed up a lot of what I’m hearing from those folks who know what it takes to do a show like this;
It is the kind of TV we have been waiting for and we want more of this kind of quality story-telling on our screens.. Please consider Outlander for an Emmy.because they deserve it.
64 thoughts on “Emmys for Outlander….they deserve it!”
I totally agree with you Beth. This show is unbelievable great ! This show is just not about 1 thing but everything you want in a series . It has made me angry , sad, frustrated, pissed , and cry . It definitely deserves not just 1 Emmy but a lot of emmys !
I know we get frustrated as book fans, but if you look at the show as a show you have to come to the conclusion some pretty wonderful stuff was happening on that screen.
I’m always amazed when the Outlander series is mentioned as a “romance”. This is a saga of a woman, a couple, a family, a clan, and a nation destroyed. Within the story there is certainly love, but also, respect, caring, responsibilities, difficulties and so many more situations that are maybe an exaggeration of real life, but closer to most people’s stories than any romance story could ever be. Like in the old westerns of the 60’s, life is fraught with dangers. They had Indians, rattlesnakes and bandits. They also had wives that were in their stories. In this case, the “wife” is central to the story throughout each episode. Instead of the male character being in the forefront, we have the wife and therefore her story which includes her husbands and her worlds.
Beth, as always, you hit the nail on the head.
I am so tired of expressing my enthusiasm for “Outlander” and the rejoinder from my colleagues being, “But you seem too young, intelligent and well-educated to watch something like that, isn’t it just a big-budget Lifetime romance with better sex?”
Part of it is, of course, the reverse halo effect if you will that comes from being associated with Starz which has never had a first-tier-content image. I think this show, if the press and PR are managed properly, has the opportunity to elevate Starz — that is, if the batsh&t crazy element in the fandom in combination with poorly managed social media from Starz itself doesn’t interfere.
I also agree with the comments on Caitriona Balfe. The woman, simply, is a freaking rock star. Everything that happens is told through Claire’s eyes and Caitriona Balfe is not getting the amazing publicity that she so merits. So here’s my opinion — awaiting the slings and arrows that will arrive — it’s because the majority of the audience appears to skew towards women over 35 years of age. Naturally the handsome over 35 year old guy — who is also a first rate actor at the top of his game in this vehicle – is going to get “the love.”
I too worry that Starz is too busy getting in its own way to really assist “Outlander” in getting the type of recognition it so merits.
Beth, thanks again for everything you do — I really appreciate the positive, intelligent posts you bring to us.
Thanks and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sees this misconception!
but I am not a blogger. Would you have an email address where I could send you my comments?
Thank you again for your wonderful perspective, Karen Fleming
are you on Twitter?
No I am not Beth, sorry.
hi Beth. I was wondering if you’ve ever done a post on the craziness of some fans who can’t except actors with their significant others. I followed for a bit the crap on Twitter over Sam in Monte Carlo with his friend, girlfriend, whatever. I had to stop and then get rid of some people I was following. That’s just a level of craziness that I don’t want to read about. This is the second time I’ve removed many Outlander links. I think for some people it’s misplaced attachment to the characters and not the actors. I’m speaking as a 57 year old woman, so maybe I’m wrong. Still, this fandom thing is in some ways so fun and exciting, but in other ways, it is scary. Anyway, thought it might make an interesting blog. Terry
Hey Terry! Early on a wrote a post about what I feared would happen once the show aired, but I haven’t written anything since. This is my first real experience with a fandom, but I’m told this type of thing isn’t uncommon. I haven’t read any of the stuff over Monte Carlo, but I can imagine. The sad truth is these folks are very vocal and the more attention they get the more vocal they get. I’m going to spend my time feeding a more positive ” wolf” and try to not let the craziness ruin what has been a great experience. Right now no plans for a blog on the subject, but I’ll give it some thought!
Hey! I resemble that remark! LOL – I’ll comment more later – catching up after being completely away from the computer for 12 hours.
Oh I have been tempted to many many times over to write about it on my Outlander blog. I have a lot to say on that particular topic but I am still debating it over in my head. If I do write something, it won’t be on my Outlander blog as I don’t want it cluttered with it. I want Outlander to be the focus, as it should be.
I also had issues over the weekend w/this “stuff”. Mine was a separate issue. Commenting ANY WAY on a person’s personal life is not acceptable to fandom. I know “Red Carpet Protocol” as it would be, having been to half a dozen or so festivals/awards myself. I can say right now. If you don’t see people (outside the show) photographed w/the actor, they aren’t together (or at least serious). MANY times people bring friends or people close to them, but not anything serious, so it isn’t appropriate to have them there. I was specifically told by one boyfriend “I have to do this, but you & I aren’t in a place where you do & it isn’t fair, but until then, we are going to go out there & you will be out of photos until we are a more permanent commitment”. It didn’t hurt, I wasn’t offended, I understood. I’ve also gone w/friends. ANYWAY….everyone talking about Sam & Cait and who they are or aren’t with is pointless. This is a Sisyphean task, but I’m trying to give perspective. Just EVERYONE leave them in peace about this & STOP SPECULATING….you don’t know! Thanks : )
Truly, fame is a double edged sword! Been worried about this stuff from the beginning. They are going to lose their anonymity and the right to a personal life I’m afraid. Thanks again.
I spelled accept wrong. I’m also 58 as of yesterday. Just thought I’d clarify. Lol
I’m 58 tomorrow! Small world! And happy birthday!
Thanks for the birthday wishes and same back to you. Maybe your right, better to focus on the positive. I was just so disgusted by what I was reading. Also my first time dealing with a fandom. By the way, again, great blog. Terry
Beth, thank you for your efforts to get Outlander the respect it deserves for Emmy consideration. I’m hopeful, mainly because of the series’ critical success, but there are factors in the awards world that have nothing to do with talent and outstanding performances. Still, I believe Outlander will receive some Emmy recognition.
And I’m with all of you who have to listen to derogatory comments from folks who’ve never watched or read the books. So infuriating.
Thanks Janet! I’m sure my show biz reader is right much behind door stuff, but the show was Emmy worthy!
I agree with you more often than not Beth. I always feel I can disagree with you openly with conversation & will do so with kindness now. I think though that this is simply a matter of focusing on the wrong thing.
I watched the same interviews you referred to and I saw them with a different eye. The interviewer has not read the books. There were a few things that he said, and you pointed out that rubbed you the wrong way – but the majority of his interview had very impactful, honest & fun questions. When you assume positive intent from the person speaking, the viewing is vastly different. I encourage you to go back and watch again from that perspective.
Plus, many interviews, not Toms but ones for pop culture magazines, blogs & websites are for a young subset…not us.(Not saying we are OLD persay…but we ain’t 19 anymore…lol) They are looking to attract fun…fluff & giggles. We truly need to understand this.
This, I believe is important to know and to respect. I am a 20 plus fan of the books who wants there to be TV fans who “haven’t” read the books so I can hear their input. It truly bothers me when book lovers yell and shake down the walls at people saying they “HAVE TO” read the books to enjoy and understand the TV show. No, no they don’t. They don’t even HAVE TO LIKE the show…It is not my job to convert people to the books, to the show, MAKE THEM LIKE IT. Personal choice & free will has been a gift to us since the beginning of time. This is the reason there is the adaptation in it’s form. We, the readers, have a whole other dimension of story. We have a whole other world of Outlander. The TV viewer will have their own. With or without the book, it is not ours to judge them or tell them what they are or are not missing.
That is why when those who love the books get so upset when something is “missing” or “changed” have no real right to do so. The TV show is not the book, was never the book…Its an adaptation & should feel very lucky indeed that it resembles the book in anyway.
As for the POP characters. Just like anything else in mainstream media, it isn’t necessarily simplifying or making light of a serious franchise…what it is doing is “mainstreaming for the masses” and THAT is exactly what we do want to spread the word of what Outlander is. Almost every popular show has them. It is a sign of growth in the industry and we should be thrilled about it.
We can not assume and should not assume that what “we” want personally is what is needed, wanted or should be marketed for the show. The world of marketing is changing and we don’t have to like it or embrace it. The POP characters, future action figures, blankets, pillows & assortment of other merchandising that “will” certainly be coming our way isn’t always going to be directed at “us” but at new markets of “viewers” that have not and will not ever read the books.
That is ok.
The level of nastiness I have seen against the non-reader/ viewer is sad, pathetic & all together entitlistic. (I know you have not gone there) Though I am a 20 plus fan of the books…I believe there is plenty of room for everyone – if we treat one another with kindness & respect.
Thanks again for your insight Beth. Always gives me something to think about.
I think you may have misunderstood or maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I certainly DON’t think interviewers have to have read the books or know all about the show. And you’re right there was a lot of good things in both interviews. In fact, I loved the fact that Tom was surprised by what was in the books and it was a great opportunity to address a misconception. What I was trying to point out was that the show IS still suffering from image issues that will affect who and how many will watch the show. And the dolls… I’ll accept your word that this is a good thing…sigh
I don’t think I misunderstood, I know what you were saying and I don’t see it the same way. Image is in the eye of the beholder right? It can be seen many different ways by many different people and I really do not believe that it’s a bad thing. When we get emotionally involved though, it tends to make us more sensitive to suggestions of others as well. As for merchandising. Something very important to remember is that we all will have personal tastes. Everything that brings attention to something we love, while “we” don’t have to be in love with it…has it’s place. ❤
I’m still not sure what you were disagreeing with? And yep no doubt we all like different things!
Sorry that I wasn’t clear – my personal belief is the show gets a great deal of respect, more than most & as for an image problem, I don’t think it has one.
Me n you Beth…we got more than common agreements or disagreement. We have mutual respect and kindness & that my friend…goes a long way.
Have you read this post http://wp.me/p4mtBT-V5 or the one on the kingdom of Outlander I wrote?
❤ the Kingdom of Outlander Beth
I agree completely. I have always thought of the Outlander series as a time travel historical fiction with a realistic look at marriage, not a romance. But then I am a history geek, and my whole family enjoys these books: Husband and over 30 son and daughter. We are all history geeks.
I think Starz’ greatest “sin” in all of this is trying to cast as wide a net as possible, and they think the widest net is found in the largest segment of the population buying the books. They do not realize that their net can be oh so much wider. They have a PR problem. And to a degree some people (mostly non book readers) have felt a bait and switch. One particular recapper apparently felt this so keenly that she thought this show was a bodice ripping romance and love triangle. Her recaps treated it as such until things occurred in the show that she could not wrap her 21st Century head around and keep it in the context of the 18th century. As the weeks went by, it was apparent that she did not like the show and felt like she had been sold a bill of goods by Starz. I blame Starz for how they chose to market the show to begin with.
This book/show appeals to men: there is history, there is warfare, there are male heroes. This show appeals to women, young and old alike. There are strong female characters, there is romance, there is marriage, there are strong family ties, positive role models, negative characters, but the characters are so well developed and complex, just like real people are, and even the antagonists have at least one redeeming quality and the protagonists have some negative traits. There is a lot of attention to detail, and there is something here for everyone.
All that said, I think that what has bumped Out lander up in the likelihood that they will win awards is because of the more difficult subject matter that was handled and how it was handled. When critics use words like “ground breaking” and envelopes get pushed, There are likely to be nominations, even if no awards materialize. I agree that this is some of the best television to come out in a long while, and Starz has put itself in the serious contender mode with all the attention Outlander has garnered. I think it will take a season or two before it settles into a more mature and nuanced genre classification. Thankfully, we have at least one more season to solidify that view.
Yes! Hard to remember this is only the first season and shows usually need at least two to get the attention the deserve!
I share the opinion that the batsh&t crazy element of the fandom does quite a disservice to the show’s image. Pummeling any dissenting journalist or blogger with angry comments just feeds the impression that this is a niche offering rather than mainstream entertainment, and many of the comments read as unreasonable, if not ridiculous. I’m not sure how the “YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS” evangelists don’t see that if reading 6000+ book pages is required to “get” the show, the show isn’t executed well enough. And while it’s certainly not unique to the online Outlander-verse, many fans seem to not understand that yelling at people is not persuasive.
I personally love the adaptation, with a few reservations about pacing and the choices the showrunner has made about where to focus the story. I freely admit, though, that with my book knowledge I cannot objectively judge how much those choices would make a difference to the show-only audience, and I would never chastise a non-book reader for having a different interpretation than I do. Someone else thinking something different does not discount or invalidate my experience at all.
Thanks for the thoughtful post!
I love hearing from non book readers as it helps me take off my book eyes!
I would not worry about those Funko Pop dolls creating a negative impact as far as Emmy’s go. They are just cute little keepsakes that folks can have from their favorite show books. I have an Eric Northman POP doll from True Blood.
While BlackJack will never be my favorite character,Tobias fans will want one because it represents one if his duel roles, and he played it magnificently.
Beth, I agree that many interviewers and academy members really don’t have a clue about the “real” Outlander.
Sent from my iPad
The whole question of Emmy’s for Outlander brings up interesting issues for me as a “silver surfer”,< (I'm not sure I like that moniker but…)
Feedback is almost instantaneous to programmes in social media, unlike the days of M.A.S.H or All In The Family, or even the snail mail letter writing campaigns to keep Star Trek, the original on the air.
It's only been in the past few years (relatively speaking) that immediate response of viewers to programmes has been available to those that watch, criticize, or review as a metier.
The bottom line for any company such as Starz is revenue. And if nominations for programming, gains income for the company as in advertising, then whatever the publicity, pro or con is acceptable.
Personally, I feel Outlander and it's production values, writing, acting, et al deserves an Emmy if only to validate in the public eye what excellence is all about. And if they get nothing, then there isn't much to be done about it except hope Outlander will continue.
I’m sure that you are right and there may be nothing we can do except say that we think it is worthy and hope for the best!
I really hope they at least get recognised for the Emmys. But Wouldn’t be suprised if nary a nomination is seen. Disappointing sure. But we all know the truth.
I don’t know too much on Starz it us shown on soho here and I get it off itunes and DVD later. But someone had mentioned they had trouble getting press to promote off Starz.
I don’t mind the pop as it is just merc which is the usual for anything with a fandom. People buy stuff.
Now fandoms are a unique beast. I have followed a band for over 25 years now so there is nothing I havent seen. The different groups. The power plays. The us vs them. Ringleaders come crashing down in multiple identitys a and general troll behaviour. I refuse to get involved in all that. I don’t ship anyone except the characters. I don’t care who is or isn’t their partner in reality. That is their lives and they can live it as they see fit. It is a real rabbit hole of crappery you get into that stuff. i think Sam and Cait are amazing but I especially love their acting as Claire and Jamie. I might run off with both of them lol.
As for the show yes romance is a dirty word for sure. Plus middle aged woman watching I am 44 makes it even worse. Apparantly we are just the desperate of society. A show is less if the menz aren’t watching. Well screw that it just means they are missing out. The show is not a guilty pleasure. it is a bloody fabulous show with enough elements to satisfy anyone.
The show has just enhanced my book reading. i had read the books over the years. But decided a reread was needed and with the show it made the whole read even better.
i wish everyone could experience the brilliance of outlander but we who love it totally get it.
Yes! I love that you mentioned the ” guilty pleasure” thing! I’ve even seen articles about that! Why?
Because of the bodice ripper reputation? The sex. Woman watching. One interviewer kept on with the dragging men to watch. Like Sam should be embarrased to be in such a thing.
I don’t like mills and boon style romance or FSOG sex. But Outlander is the first time in ages that I am hooked on a TV couple. I like others. But it is not quite the same, maybe it is from loving the books and having that come to life so well. I like this couple and this romance/love.
They took their time! Let us see friendship AND attraction! The relationship is so much more!
Thank you Beth for shining a light on the very fine line being walked right now with your spot-on insights. I’m so flattered that you could relate and agree with my POV on the show. The Emmys are a difficult road to maneuver. To be fair, I don’t think STARZ has been in this situation before. They have something that they “bought” that seemed to fit into a particular niche, and it has shown to be SO substantial and momentous that they are still adapting to how to cast the wide net, so to speak. Marketing & merchandising are SO different! Toys, coloring books, ect. are all fine, but the marketing needs to stay just as strong. The Emmy Magazine was a phenomenal get for Outlander and I know that Entertainment Weekly has always been producing bits & pieces on it w/heavy praise, but it does tend to be very sporadic coverage. Besides all the model-esque pictures of the 2 leads we need to keep the momentum of just how dramatic and well written/directed the show is. That will help cast off the “Romantic-Time Travelling Bodice-ripper” lines that are always present.
Now, there is another issue that I’d say at least 20 shows are dealing w/now with respect to The Emmys. This Academy has never been one to favor change. They like to play it safe. Without out toooooo much detail, this will describe why a certain sitcom & another actor ALWAYS win when other comedic work is far superior (get me drift? it isn’t bad…it’s just stale now). Also, you see things win “last minute” or “consolation” awards. I will be specific here. True Detective & Breaking Bad were INTENSE last year….on another level intense. True Detective got a few well earned awards, but they showed their hand early on and said “this is all we’ve got” next year it will be different. So, they were in the wrong category (in my opinion). I have worked on Breaking Bad & know the caliber has been that intense/high for several years, but last year BrBad took the cake because there were years of NOTHING! Brian Cranston & Aaron Paul were able to break out & win a few time, but it wasn’t a given. There was a year where a certain actor won (one who is also being talked about AGAIN this year, though WHO KNOWS WHY?) & he was so genuinely shocked & knew he WAS NOT the best actor of the year & very graciously proceeded to talk about how wonderful everyone else was. He knew. It was embarrassing because he’s a pretty well-known guy on a HUGE network & he knew that was why he won. A certain actress repeatedly wins & NO ONE KNOWS WHY! Everyone else voted for someone else more strong & daring, but I suspect it is the same shame voting happening. You say you want daring, but you don’t look at the daring stuff, you just check a recognizable name.
I have hope though!!!!!! Kyle Chandler put out an AMAAAAAAAAZING performance year after year on Friday Night Lights! The final season, HE WON!!!!!! I literally held my friends as we cried tears of joy! THEY GOT IT RIGHT!!!! The same thing happened last year w/Sherlock (which is a brilliant show). Cumberbatch, Freeman, Moffat won their well deserved awards. The Emmys can brush off great stuff year after year (FNL, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, ect.) but eventually people see through the charade. There are also new voting rules/procedures that allow for better viewing of the nominees. If Outlander can get in there, we stand a chance. The Emmys LOVE to reward strong 1st seasons (Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.) We need to get the noms & they need to push HARD for that. I won’t give up hope & I will do anything I can to spread the word. I just finished 3 days on another AMC show shooting in Albuquerque (it was actually down the road from me) & I was going ON about Outlander & convinced a few people to throw in a vote on my behalf (We all did it together…lol… ; ) There is nothing that will stop me from loving this show & now that I’m in Droughtlander Pt.2 I can FINALLY read the books! I’m pretty hopeful, but always happy to at least have this show I can watch over & over.
Thanks again for unique insight! Are you saying you are starting the books? Wow! Love to talk with you about them!
Yes I am! I started watching on a Friday night 2 weeks after it came back from break and by Monday night was caught up & wrapped up & HOOKED! I then….(no judgment ok!)…got fixated on every aspect of it & was HAUNTED by every aspect of it and would rewatch the season each week as a new one came out, adding the next each time. I saw new things in each episode every time and was SO IMPRESSED by what I saw. Now it has grown to this! I figured that since I loved it so much & it would be a while til season 2, so I could fill the droughtlander by reading the material. I’m a few chapters in & LOVING it! I would love to talk about!
Beth, your posts always give me food for thought and the comments are so interesting, diverse and thoughtful! It will be interesting to see how the Emmys play out, but I’ve known for many years the political nature of that beast and am prepared for disappointment. While I think it would be validating and certainly quiet the voices of those who continue to try to pigeon-hole this unique show, I’m not expecting it and will simply enjoy the surprise if it happens. I’m not sure which commenter said it, but I think they are right; STARZ really wasn’t prepared for how well Outlander was received and they are scrambling a bit to get their bearings. Even if they’d made every move perfectly, however, that would still be no guarantee of love at the Emmys. And as to the “rabbit-hole of crappery” (LOVE that phrase!) surrounding fandom’s reactions to the actors personal lives, I can only hope that from my quiet little corner of the internet, I offset some of the crazy! And finally, wishing you the most fabulous of birthdays!
Thanks! So glad we met while I was shopping the hardware store! I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts!
That’s RIGHT! How funny that you remember that!!!! I’m touched that I made a significant enough impression that you remembered what you were doing when we first interacted! Now I’m trying to remember what it was you were getting at the hardware store!! Haha! Apparently MY memory is not as stellar!
Oh wow. The last two posts, Sassypants25 and GGW make me think that John Hamm will get the Emmy for best actor. Simply because he has been nominated in the past but has never won. Hasn’t it been an unfortunate habit to award an Emmy to someone who has done stellar work in the past and the final season has played, but never won? Sorry, but that’s just the cynic in me.
S1 Outlander is the Freshman year for the series and perhaps the voters think there is time for any one of the lead actors to be awarded an Emmy for future seasons.
There are several series, Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, that have finished their runs and both Hunnan and Hamm have been around for awhile. Cynical reasoning to be sure, but we’ve seen it before and I’m sure many have thought WTF? when it comes to the award to some of nominees. Then again there can be a surprise element. Dim witted optimist me!
Aha! Don’t give up hope! 😉 Hamm has been nominated & never won and I think he will go down in history as winless for this. His best seasons were long ago. “The Suitcase” was his apex. Plus, his performance this year was ‘meh’….Matthew Wiener was greedy&stupid to split the season and it made it clunky and blah. Handsome, introverted, and troubled is hard to win with, even when you do great things (see Six Feet Under). Kurt Sutter burned his Emmy bridges long ago w/complaining about being overlooked, so I’ll be shocked if he gets a lot of ❤️. Remember my cynical friend, they LOVE to reward a STRONG beginning, so as long as they watch their screeners (which I think they will) we can still get it done….we just need the noms. That is where the press needs to take us seriously.
Thanks sassypants, I will happily opt for your explanation and continue to be hopeful for many Outlander Emmys.
I watched a few episodes of both Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy in their early years but neither were my cup of tea.
I really have to differ with some fans that worry about Outlander being called a Romance. Only when people use that term to imply paperback formula throw away books is it insulting. But I find that Outlander has brought back something we used to love in our greatest classic films: They were unforgettable Romances with characters and love stories we never forgot: characters we deeply care about who, as Beth said, are trying to make the right choices. We can invest ourselves in them with no excuses, or regrets because they are on this incredible journey based on profound Love, Respect, Honor, Curiosity, Appreciation of Life and the Intelligence to ask some really big questions about what their purpose is on this journey. Even Graham McTavish spoke about how this was such a great Romance … and that is not a bad thing and certainly it has been missing on television in this kind of epic adventure. We are all so lucky to share the ride .
I would agree! The trouble is the negative connotation that is out there for that word.
Hi Beth, love your comments. As far as the pop up dolls….they aren’t catering to their market. I have been a fan since the books came out. I would have loved for them to go to someone like a Franklin Mint and have a quality version
of Jamie and Claire. I bought one from them many years ago called Maureen? of County Cork (Can’t get the ebay link to post). It looks like Claire (cait). High fashion and beautiful porcelain face.. More a collectible than a child’s toy.
As far as the Emmys, I will be the ultimate optimist but living in Los Angeles for so many years it seems like the same shows garner the awards and pay for them via advertising. I can’t believe how many adds for Big Bang Theory (Color Glossy in Envelope 3?times?). Some of those shows win over and over and they are old hat by now. I can only hope that the Drama category will actually go to an original show and the members have open minds.
There is a lot of good shows out there right now! But, I think Outlander has done something more. Set a new standard for quality storytelling and TV?
Finally – man life is being weird to me.
As usual Pixie Beth (I just love that – hope you don’t mind) I pretty much agree with you. I’ve been wanting to do a blog on “The Lie of the Romance” for a couple of months now and just haven’t managed it. Things keep pushing to the front and I feel that there is something that will be just that perfect bit I need and I haven’t quite found it yet.
I think Outlander has the possibility of redefining ‘romance’ for the better – but you are absolutely correct that we have to get people past the current ‘women’s fiction/bodice ripper’ mentality. Just look how many guys we have as fans and the number grows daily.
The ‘POP’ dolls aren’t my favorite either – but I think it’s sort of like years ago having a character getting a PEZ dispenser was this big deal. (Should we contact the PEZ people? LOL) Sort of a landmark marketing thing. That the show is recognized to get it is a good thing I suppose.
I really hope we can get the show in front of the Emmy people and at least get nominations. We (the show/actors) have a lot more to offer. As they say ‘we ain’t seen nothin’ yet!’
As always, great & thoughtful comments as well. We don’t all agree on everything, but we respect each other and give opinions without attacking or being combative. You gather great people by your words and bless us with them.
Thanx – Wolf Beth
Thank You! Yes I love the comments. I always learn something or gain new perspective.
Beth, thought I’d pass this on, and get your thoughts. I think you know I’m an exec in the software industry, I’ve mentioned it before. In a conversation with other industry colleagues today over lunch, we talked about our geeky pleasures like Game of Thrones and Outlander and Poldark. But the topic came up of how demanding it is to be an OL fan given the somewhat obnoxious reputation of the “fandom” around the personal privacy of the actors and some of the remarks offensive to gay people made relative to Episode 116. What are your thoughts? Don’t want to constantly be in defensive/apologetic mode regarding being an OL enthusiast. Thank you, Beth.
Ellen, thanks for caring what I think! I wasn’t aware of comments prior to episode 16? Do mean the discussion about whether BJR was gay? As fandom so go this I my first, but I have heard that most fandoms experience the same thing. It is a shame that this is the reputation you believe Outlander fans have. As you can see from the comments on my blog, I rarely have anyone whether they agree with me or not folks are never rude and I always learn something. I find most Outlander fans to smart folks who enjoy good storytelling. I think the element are vocal, but small. I just tend to skim on social media and if the logic or topic seems off, I move on. Too any great folks to talk to engage in the crap. Crazy is everywhere I guess. Hope this helped.
Ellen, I think what you raise is really valid & I’m interested to hear other people’s thoughts on show followings aka fandoms. As a pre-Internet, original X-phile, I can say where there is chemistry/romantic tension, there will be people who go too far. Speculation, rumors, and gossip have no place in fandom, but it sneaks in. People get passionate and take things too far, but don’t let a few crazies scare you away.
I can say I have several people close to me who are Throners (Game of Thrones). See, I hear lots of trash talked by/about them. They are ABUSIVE to George RR Martin & threaten the show-runners, but there you go….nut bags! I primarily live in Albuquerque New Mexico & GRRM lives 40mins away in Santa Fe & I’ve witnessed INSANITY up there & at GoT events & Santa Fe film/TV stuff. People go to his front yard & LOSE IT! Not kidding….so hopefully you will embrace wonderful people like Beth & see them as the rule, not the exception…those would be the crazies 😀
So far I’ve only read Outlander having waited till the series concluded, but I have to say I’m a little terrified of the Outlander fan base. So many comments are inappropriate, especially those treating Sam like some sort of commodity or a personal possession. I wonder how long he can remain so kind and accommodating to possessive fans at appearances. And there’s the hate around things they thought should have been included in the adaptation. Beth, I’m grateful for this dignified forum.
Thanks and I’m sorry this is what you have been exposed to! There really are wonderful fans out there!
Oh I know there are many wonderful fans out there. I didn’t mean to sound negative, just joining in on the conversation about the extreme fans and putting in my two cents.