Ronald D. Moore @RonDMooreI tell everyone not to get too caught up in the reactions of the moment. The show lives forever, that’s the important thing.
I’m sure Sarah Y’s question was sparked by some of the stuff that has gone down in the fandom in the last three weeks. I believe that Sarah is right, most fans are thrilled with the show and believe it is one of the best things on TV , but…there is a vocal contingent that feels less so. Their dissatisfaction is one of the things that has been bumping around my brain this week. The discontent seems to be centered around the adaptation of the book and perceived changes to the characters.
A commenter on DG’s page that is representative of concerns, but not abusive:
It has memory
This is one of the things I am most enamored of in this series. They are always calling us back to events in the story with beautiful parallels, dialogue, and visual metaphors.
Defies genre classification
A historical, sci-fi, adventure, romance…did I miss anything?
Tends to be literary
A book adaptation.
Social and cultural criticisms
They are subtle and the more effective for it, in my humble opinion. The treatment of and value of women is one of the key criticisms and a timely one.
Tends toward the controversial
Think about the subjects this show hasn’t been afraid to tackle, from male rape to miscarriage.
Aspires toward realism
The detail and care given to suspending our disbelief is staggering. Everything is telling us a story and everything is thought out. Terry Dresbach, the show’s costume designer, Jon Gary Steele, production designer, the writers and producers, the actors have all taken the time to share the inner workings of the their jobs and how much they think about the story and how to present it to us. They have given us realistic standing stones and mystical ceremonies, Scottish and French castles, witch trials and apothecaries, battles and prisons, print shops, brothels, and ocean voyages. It is a show wrapped in a fantasy, but I challenge anyone who suggests this show doesn’t strive to show us the truth in relationships, war, loss, and love wrapped in a richly detailed and realistically beautiful package.
Recognized and appreciated by critics, with awards and critical acclaim
Well! Yes, more and more. #Goldenglobes
…Often the Starz drama is lauded for its incredible set and costume design and ambitious cinematic scope, but the series’ pensive, poetic exploration of the human heart’s mysteries, and the quixotic nobility of commitment, is singularly brilliant and underappreciated in the realm of top shelf TV dramas. Salon
As you can see, Outlander easily meets the criteria Robert Thompson sets forth for Quality TV.
Dorothy Swanson (Viewers for Quality Television) argued that “A ‘quality show’ is something we anticipate before and savor after. It focuses more on relationships than situations; it explores character, it enlightens, challenges, involves and confronts the viewer; it provokes thought and is remembered tomorrow. A quality show colors life in shades of grey.”
This show does focus on relationships, provokes thought, and despite the frustration of some fans lets us see life and our characters as complicated imperfect people and their life choices in “shades of grey”. We anticipate each episode and savor after (how many times have you watched the print shop, lol). I anticipate re watching these shows for years to come just like I re read the books.
One of the interesting phenomena I read about when researching this topic was the rise of amateur critics due to the easy accessibility afforded by the internet. I guess I should consider myself one of these at this point! I watch and continue to watch Outlander because it continues to hold my interest and I am fascinated by the creative choices that are bringing my favorite characters and stories to life. The characters and story are recognizably Outlander and yet, uniquely it’s own entity and I am enjoying the hell out of coming along for the ride this team of hardworking creatives is taking me on. Will this story last forever? Yeah, I think it will.