“The show lives forever…” a mid season reflection on Outlander Season 3

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Sarah Y. @Meowzilla Replying to @RonDMoore
Was surprised by (-) reaction this season. Most fans ❤ it. Do u do pep talk w cast & crew since u’ve experienced this w trek?
Ronald D. Moore @RonDMoore
I 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:

@knoxnervig  Replying to @Writer_DG   I think the need to “normalize” tv Jaimie has taken away from the integrity of the book Jaime.
A commenter on my blog page:

fclarecat: We have had the joy of an outstanding season; given by a team of incredibly talented people. Yet for some reason there have been some very disturbing comments on fan sites.
Reading is a very intimate form of art appreciation. No one can reproduce that imagined by one, in a visual medium.
No one works on Outlander because they hate it. Personally, I am grateful that something I hold dear, is now given to us on film.
One may make a comment, or state an opinion respectfully. Personal attack has no place in this wonderful Outlander family

I’ve written before that is difficult for book fans to objectively watch the show and I have often found myself jealous of those who watch the show first and then read the books.  They get to enjoy both in a way I’ll never get to experience.  Love this comment from an AVclub article discussing adapting books to screen.

Going from a derivative work to its source, people tend to expect fidelity less than when they start with the original, then move to the adaptation…When I read the book first, I go to the movie expecting to see a strict translation of what I saw onto the screen, even if that’s not truly what I want, or what best serves the story. Whereas when I see the movie first, I go to the book looking not for the same story, but for a greater insight into the characters…  Robinson

Yes, it is difficult, you cannot undo what you know or completely separate yourself from your expectations, even if you want to.

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Another idea bumping around my head this week was the benefits of bingeing a series and the pitfalls of episodic TV.  A friend said that she went back during the drought and watched the show in binge format.  She said she was amazed at the flow of the story and how differently she felt watching episodes back to back. Her experience was much more positive. We both speculated on the impact of weekly episodes on the perception of the shows success by fans.  The show’s creative team works hard to adapt the source material into 13 separate, yet connected story arcs, an episode. Some folks enjoy the having to wait a week to see what happens next or get their questions answered, they enjoy the speculation around the water cooler on Monday morning. However, I’ve come to believe, along with my friend, that the show’s episodic format contributes to a lot of the angst in the fandom.  I saw Ron’s advice to cast and writers, to not get caught up in immediate reactions, play out this week. I saw some fans’ rage and turmoil turn on a dime or episode 308, as the case may be.  The writers and producers have a long-range plan for the story arc and I have come to understand that we really need to withhold judgement of the success of the series until the end of the season, if not longer and not get caught up in our own immediate reactions.  Book/series fans reactions are volatile and we are not necessarily reliable narrators of the series weekly success.  We have too much of a personal stake in how we think this story should be told. I struggled with this very thing while watching “A. Malcolm”.

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The second half of Ron’s tweet also peaked my interest, ” The show lives forever, that’s the important thing”.  I wondered what makes one TV show better than another and gives it the chance to be remembered as a great show.  Ron tweeted that they try to please both book and non reading fans, but ultimately, they are trying to tell the best story they can tell.  I, for one, am thankful they are not influenced by the whims or immediate reactions of fans.  I know that some fans have running issues with how the characters are being portrayed and I know the writers and producers do read and respond to fan feedback, but that feedback cannot be the driving force behind creative choices.  From the AVclub article:

…Both book and film should be addressed as independent entities. …This means not going into an adaptation with a mental checklist of things that must be in the movie to make it good, and evaluating a film based on what’s on the screen, not what got left off. In that sense, a “good adaptation” may have to involve a good-faith effort from the viewers, who participate in the process by giving that story a chance on its own terms… But it takes two to tango. If viewers have a responsibility not to see a book as an unalterable outline for the film, then filmmakers have a responsibility to respect the book, to acknowledge that there’s a reason they’re telling this story, rather than another story altogether… Filmmakers should ask “What in this book do I want to emphasize?” The key words are “in this book.” Meaning, part of a good adaptation is knowing what to cut or revise, even if it makes the fans cry, but part of it is maintaining a meaningful relationship to the source material. Robinson

I went in search of criteria for what makes a “quality” TV series that will “last forever” and whether Outlander fits that criteria.  Please understand that my “lite” research is in no way exhaustive or particularly academic. I just read what I can find and use it to make meaning for myself.  Having qualified my bonafides, I did find some interesting stuff.  The study of what makes “quality” TV is a fairly new one and has picked up steam since the cable and streaming programming have increased their presence in the landscape of what is available for us to view.  I found some of the same scholars being quoted and cited in most of the articles and information I read.

One of those people most often quoted or cited was Robert Thompson.  He is considered an expert in TV.  He teaches on the subject, is founder of Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture and has authored, co-authored, or edited six books on the subject.  Here is his take on what constitutes quality TV.

Robert Thompson: …quality television has the following characteristics: It must break the established rules of television and be like nothing that has come before. It is produced by people of quality aesthetic ancestry, who have honed their skills in other areas, particularly film. It attracts a quality audience. It succeeds against the odds, after initial struggles. It has large ensemble cast which allows for multiple plot lines. It has memory, referring back to previous episodes and seasons in the development of plot. It defies genre classification. It tends to be literary. It contains sharp social and cultural criticisms with cultural references and allusions to popular culture. It tends toward the controversial. It aspires toward realism. Finally, it is recognized and appreciated by critics, with awards and critical acclaim…

I found myself mentally ticking off the boxes in regards to Outlander.  

Break the established rules of television

From the very beginning this show has shown itself to be willing to take risks and create itself outside of the box.  The biggest risk being bucking the idea that a show marketed to women was destined to fail.

Like nothing that has come before

Like the books they are based on.  Have you ever try to tell someone what this show is about?

Produced by people with quality aesthetic ancestry

Ron Moore and company have a track record that impresses and his work continues to held up as an example of what can be done in television. This show is no small undertaking.

Attracts a quality audience

The ready-made base for this show were intelligent, educated women from all walks of life from around the world.  These were women who were in love with “big books” that bent genre were richly full of details and that spoke to the truths and ironies of life with characters who struggled with hard choices and for the most part chose to do the right thing despite the cost to themselves.  Not everyone in the fandom is there for the deeper story, but many are. I love it when I see folks who thought the story was “housewife porn” catch on and become wowed by this story.

Outlander is already considered a phenomenon to those who have fallen under the spell of the books and this exceptional adaptation. In its third year on TV, it feels primed to break through even wider, not just as a filler of the Game of Thrones void, but as an emotionally rich, powerful piece of storytelling in its own right.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/outlander-season-three-review.html

Succeeds against the odds after initial struggles

Those of us around since the beginning remember the initial reviews for the series.  We were disappointed that critics were just buying into and repeating “pop culture” cliches surrounding the buzz about the story and not giving it a chance.  The ready made fan base, “the book fans”, knew this story and its depth and adventure.  Our battle cry was “just wait and you’ll see” and they did.

…But tucked inside Outlander‘s salacious exterior is an intelligent, well-acted drama about the nature of love and intimacy, with an often radical position on sex…. NPR

Large ensemble cast allowing for multiple plot lines

As the story progresses and we see new characters added, we will see more plot lines with Jamie and Claire the matriarch and patriarch of a large extended family and story. We will become invested in the stories of Roger and Bree, Fergus and Marsali, Wee Ian, Auntie Jocasta, Lord John, and all of the folks on Fraser’s Ridge.

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.

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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.

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Another expert:

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.

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Amateur critics

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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64 thoughts on ““The show lives forever…” a mid season reflection on Outlander Season 3

  1. Adi Tamir

    Well, you did it again Beth. So much good information and I love reading your blog. I am one of those people who started watching without having read the books. Then I started reading the books. I love reading them but I have the feeling I should stop and just watch this season and allow myself the luxury of just enjoying the TV series and then going back to the books. I don’t want to compare. I just want to enjoy the TV series and value it for what it is. Anyway, thank you for putting it all together for me. I just pray that they don’t stop, and continue to have all the seasons that this epic story will allow.

  2. Anne Hetherington

    This post makes my heart sing, particularly after your previous “will wait and see how this plays out” re: 306 . Love it!

  3. Mary Kay

    Thoughtful essay, Beth. You got it right. Outlander definitely checks all the boxes for quality TV. It must be considered as a whole, not just in episodic format. One of the Compuserve contributors has been advocating patience and waiting an extra week to view new episodes in pairs. (I admire her self-control!) As a book reader, she enjoys the show more.
    Also, another series that meets Thompson’s requirements is China Beach, written by our own Toni Graphia. We are so fortunate to have our books in such gifted and talented hands.
    Thanks!

  4. Your research might not have been exhaustive, but it was thorough enough to make my brain hurt. That’s a GOOD thing!! LOL It means that what I’m reading or hearing is deep enough that I am grateful someone else did the work while I am able to reap the benefits. I am continually amazed at the passion of the fan base. I, myself, came to the books late. I can’t even believe that I hadn’t heard of them since they are so “me”. But, once I found them, I gobbled them up with intensity, and that intensity has never waned. I still refer to chapters, passages, etc. almost on a daily basis. There’s just so much THERE. I love hearing that we will always have the books. I might just have to be buried with them. Ha! And now…now, we have a show that will live forever. I am beyond grateful. Even when I do not agree with a twist or turn or change or tweak…none of that is a “deal breaker”. I hope the cast and crew know just how much we appreciate what they have done and are doing. And thank YOU, Beth, for your dedication and hard work to produce a blog about the importance of Outlander in so many lives. – Dawn

    • Pam Allum

      Oh my goodness Dawn, are you sure you are not speaking on my behalf? Your comments echo mine exactly! I have been living in the Outlander universe for around 12 months now as I too found these amazing books through a friend and have reread them many times and enjoy watching this amazing series pretty much on a daily basis. I also listen to the CDs as I read.

      • Pam, too funny! As my daughter says, “Hey! Get out of my head!” lol I make miniatures, and while I sculpt, I listen to my Outlander audio books. I have them as hard cover books, paperbacks, on my Kindle… I drink my coffee out of an Outlander mug too, and Funko Pop J & C live on my desk. Obsessed much? You betcha!

  5. Lisa Margulies

    Another thoughtful and well researched reflection! Thank you for dedicating such time in careful support of your valuable insight. Truly appreciated and enjoyed.

  6. Laurel Bierovic

    Perfectly stated. Again. I always look forward to your insights, Beth!
    Before the start of season 3, we binge-watched the first two seasons (at my husband’s suggestion!). I, too was amazed at the flow – not always apparent in week-to-week viewing. Sam made Jamie seem so young in the early episodes, how he changed from that carefree lad to become the man we see at Cullodon and beyond. In the first two seasons, Catriona had Claire slowly adapt to her new time while remaining the essential Claire – which is why I understand and can empathize with the Claire-on-the-cliff in the last episode: this time it was her choice, but imagination rarely matches reality, and recently-returned Claire needed to make some of that journey again.
    I’ve read (and re-read) all of the books and love them. But I also appreciate the adaptation, even some of the loudly criticized changes, knowing those changes have a purpose and all will be well. I trust Ron Moore and company to tell the tale – sometimes with surprises – and the writers, cast, and crew have yet to disappoint. As usual with this wonderful series, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  7. Joyce Cohen

    I am also jealous of fans who get to view first, then read! I had never heard of Outlander until I stumbled on season 1 months after it aired. Although I couldn’t resist reading the entire series, I have never duplicated the 2 day binge buzz I got from season 1.

  8. Kathy

    The initial view of each episode is not enough to catch the glimspes of all the references to the written word. We are starving when we watch the episodes for the first time each week. And so we might sit and gorge on all the sights and sounds of the episode. I find it is not until I have watched again the my greedy appetite for this story cams enough to truly watch, listen, see and hear all that the episode contains. Binge watching has it’s place 😃

  9. Rebecca J Rungsang

    Thank you for taking the time to set down your thoughts in such a thought-provoking, honest and fair way — with such clarity! You write well and it is a joy to read your comments on Outlander.

  10. Joyce Johnston

    Well done you !
    i have done a complete turn around with regards to ep7 as i did the from the 2nd viewing and stated here.
    Your words resonated with me so much! Thank You!

  11. Lisa F

    Hi Beth,

    This was a very interesting post. I found the TV show last fall, binged it, and then read the books, so I have now had both experiences. My viewing and reading is more that it has become a bit of an escape, and I basically find it interesting to see how things are adapted. And there is no question it is quality TV.

    I think there are parts of the book that are impossible to capture in the TV format, and that they are siblings, in a way. I also think my reaction to the changes is equally important — why am I wedded to certain details, and why didn’t I like it, and that was my feeling about 307. I only couldn’t reconcile one detail, and that was why Jamie seemed surprised that Claire asked about moving out of the brothel, since he didn’t want to take her there the episode before. But I wanted to stay in an idealized world, and that isn’t a story. That’s just my take.

    But, from all sides, it is a quality production — writing, sets, acting, costumes — and I think our responses say more about us then the writings.

  12. DRedfearn

    I wish all the show critics would read this post!
    The book story is in each of our minds and isn’t the same from person to person, so how could the show be the same as in my mind?!?!
    One thing I would like to add – I listened to an interview with Diana and she said each book also contains a murder mystery! So, you can add mystery to your list of genre for these books!
    Thank you again for your very wise words!

  13. Debra McCurdy

    Once again you have captured the essence of Outlander and it’s ever increasing community. I look forward to each episode and to your blog posts each week. Each week the show invites me into the Outlander world. Your writing is a welcomed recitation that only deepens my appreciation of this excellent production. Thank you, thank you.

  14. Sharon from S.I.

    Love your observations. As always, It think you show that patience is rewarded and offer several ways to view this show to have the greatest satisfaction.

    I think that the cast and crew have been so generous by providing us with a tutorial for series viewing. We have learned how collaborative this effort is. We have learned about writing and producing in blocks where story arcs and dialogue are changed and moved because of the differences in film production and novel writing. They have taught us about budgets, logistics and thd creative use of existing sets like those in South Africa as substitute for the West Indies. It is not at all as simple as we think it is. That’s why it’s movie magic.

    And, I also think that some book fans, in their own way, criticize Diana by pushing her to publish Bees, but rag her because Stones came out before. So It’s not just relegated to the tv series.

    Many heartfelt thanks again for helping us sort through this wonderful obsession….

  15. joan smith

    Thanks so much for your continuing contributions for us fans of OL—both screen and books. I have unfollowed most, if not all, the people who continually carry on. I do accept that reasonable people can disagree. I’m not sure what “normalize” means, though.

  16. Nancy McCulley

    Thank you Beth, interesting take on the TV experience. Outlander certainly manages to check every box for a quality TV show.
    Season 3 had for the most part checked every box as well, oh to watch this wonderful series without benefit of reading the story. Most would certainly appreciate it more as a stand alone series without benefit of the source material.
    My small criticisms of Season 3 have not been because of the writers need to move the story along, or mix things up s bit for the show to have a better flow. What bothers me is the changes in the actors “character ” and some of the script the writers give them to deliver “with a straight face, so to speak”. Most of these lines are given to Jamie (the King of men). Marrying Leghaire after he knew she had tried to have Claire killed, then saying to Claire ” you told me to be nice to her”….and why? Not to move the story along or serve any purpose really, other than to sound pathetic and weak. Out of character.
    I love this show and would never miss an episode…..but having read the books first I find myself wanting to protect these beloved characters and keep them true to their character. I can only imagine what Diana Gabaldon must think sometimes, she has the grace to seldom be critical but I suspect there are a lot of eye rolls 🙄
    Man up! If she can do it so can I.

    • I am another viewer who is not at bothered by the constraints of adaptation, but by what are (to me) changes made to the characters that are not related to the limits imposed by adaptation.

      Here’s where I highlight the difference : The Wedding. The Wedding episode in S1 was not a direct transcription from book to screen at all, and yet everything the characters said and did was entirely recognizable. It all felt right. We did not get Claire’s faint and Jamie’s line, and it was quite ok – because it’s an adaptation and we can’t get it all. But Claire and Jamie were spot on and The Wedding was the best episode to me, bar none.

      Just like the post I’m responding to, I feel there are changes to the characters themselves that are not required for the sake of adaptation.

      Mr. Moore told us as much himself, in the “Inside Episode 308” capsule (sorry, I’m not near my AppleTV so I don’t have access to it to be able to quote from it directly). Two things are said that (to me) confirm that the characters are being tweaked because Mr. Moore and his writers think it improves on the original written work. He first states that he purposely made Leery “more sympathetic” in S1 because he thought it would make the marriage between she and Jamie “more believable” in S3. The second comment is made by the writer (the lady – respectfully, I do not remember her name) and it is about how Book Claire is much more secure about she and Jamie’s relationship in the book, but that adding insecurity and creating more conflict made Claire and Jamie “feel more human”. There is no mention of the needs of adaptation, or to make the plot move along in any way. The changes are made because “more believable” and “more human”. This is where they lose me : I don’t mind switching events, expedited plots, dropped sub-plots or things like the loss of the Gutenberg dress and the addition of the Batsuit. But the fundamental changes to the characters themselves is the one thing I require from an adaptation, whether it’s LOTR, Harry Potter or Outlander.

      I could totally see Claire making her own dress, it was totally in-character. But I have exclaimed too often “Jamie/Claire would never do/say that!” and when reinforced by the comments made in the “Inside” capsule, the “but it’s an adaptation” starts to ring a little hollow. Purposely making characters speak and behave differently for the sake of making them “more” anything means you are touching the core of the written material and the written characters.

      TLDR : you can change everything *except* the core characters I was tuning in for. When you begin changing them you are creating a different story. Is that different story worth watching? Perhaps. But since my beloved characters are different, my disappointment keeps me from enjoying the modified ones you are trying to convince me to watch in their place. If you’re going to do that, you may as well change them completely and rid yourself of all comparisons because “close but no cigar” just leaves me soured on the whole thing.

      • elizhol

        Thoughtful comments which explain some of the dissatisfaction I have at times with the TV adaption. Many of us are watching the series because we read the books; if there are too many core changes it loses the allure of the story. I read the Director’s (?) explanation of why they haven’t aged the characters. Happy with that as age is not definitive of appearance today. But they have aged Claire with her dowdy, unchanging costume. This didn’t happen in series one with her clothing, when times were much harder. The ‘more realistic’ Jamie of series 3 subdues the qualities which made him such a standout previously. Claire telling Jamie she wasn’t sure if they should be together is a logical storyline of this more ‘human’ Jamie but I do miss the passionate Jamie, the one who was overcome with his daughter’s photos, not the one who takes over the conversation with his own issues. I watch because I read the books but I may stop watching because I read the books. And I am also very aware that these are my issues-if I can’t transcend my connection to the books and expectations of the TV series, it’s time for me to accept this and move on.

      • Barbara Spellman

        I have to disagree with you. I feel that Jamie and Claire in the series are absolutely wonderful. I think that Sam and Cait do a great job. I have read all the books more than once and love them. I have watched each episode many times and love them too. In fact, I love them more each time I watch them. I am so grateful to see these books on screen with such quality by all involved. I enjoy every detail, dialogue, facial expression, scenery, costumes, adaptations and straight form the book. I love it all.

      • I don’t nesseccarily see change to characters as beyond or off limits in an adaptation. It isn’t a constraint it is a creative choice that they have made.

      • I, too, am well aware that if I cannot “transcend my connection” as you so eloquently put it, that it is my problem and my problem alone. It does feel reassuring that I am not alone feeling this way (though we are a minority).

        Thanks to everyone here for the respectful exchange. Feels nice not to have ‘IT’S AN ADAPTION’ screamed into my face.

  17. Pam Allum

    Thank you Beth for your great comments. I am a book reader and think Outlander is the best series of books I have ever read. I also think the TV series is a wonderful adaptation. I don’t have any complaints of the series not being a true representation. They are different identities and I appreciate and love them both for what they are. Your comments, I would think, validate what so many of us think, so thank you for expressing them.

  18. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🙋👏👏👏👏👏👏
    Hello from Queensland, Australia.
    Crikey Dingo Beth. ..!
    Your ability to grace the page with articulate descriptions, of The Best Show on Tv, is greatly appreciated.
    Thankyou.
    Merci.
    Gracias.

  19. Jacqui Page

    Beth, I do love your ability to analyse and articulate the realities of this production. You provide a view that is so refreshing after some of the nonsense that flows through social media. Ron Moore et al are to be hugely congratulated for painting the portrait of Outlander in such a stunningly captivating way. And in my small world it will live forever alongside those who have the ability to discuss it intelligently and thoughtfully. Thank you for being Beth.

  20. Janice

    Just as men and women can never experience sex from the other’s vantage point, book readers and non-readers will never be able to appreciate what it’s truly like on the other side. I believe there’s envy on both sides. One huge advantage I have as a delayed reader is that I’ll have Sam and Cait and a host of other actors to visualize when I get around to reading the books, which I apparently must do since readers keep reminding us of what we’re missing. Not a bad place to be.

  21. Oh. I’d love to be an Outlander virgin too LOL. You’re right. it’s better to see the movie before reading the book so no preconceived images fight with you.
    I’m very much afraid too many negative comments will make Sony think twice about doing all of the books. I shall not breath easy until they have announced Season 5 and 6 (at the very least).
    My book hat has got the better of me at times but I’m getting much better at leaving it in the closet.
    Can’t wait to see what delights await us on Sunday 😀
    Kate

  22. Jude

    If only I had the strength of character to hold off watching each season in episodes! How I would have loved to have binged s3 in one glorious, luscious hit! Aah…but to do this I would need to stay away from all SM and avoid your blog Beth! Sorry…no can do…❤❤❤

  23. Barbara Spellman

    This is absolutely perfectly written, Beth. You covered so many things in this analysis. I love the quotes about what makes a great series and the check off list. So well said, Beth. The depth and insight of this critique is wonderful. I agree with the person that said watching the episodes together instead of weekly shows the flow of the series. Watching episodes over numerous times increases the enjoyment of them to me, as well. There are so many small nuances, facial expressions, voice inflections, eye movements etc. happening in these episodes that they need multiple views to take them all in. Maybe that’s the problem for some viewers, reacting before multiple viewing. And I truly believe that Sam and Cait have the right to put their interpretation on their characters. As Sam said in one interview, “He is my Jamie too.” I absolutely love watching the series and appreciate all the dedication, thought and hard work each person involved puts into bringing it to us. And now I am going to read your analysis over for the third time because it has such depth and is so beautifully said that I want to enjoy it even more.

  24. Lynne

    I stumbled across Outlander on STARZ during episode 1 of the first season. I had never read the books, and I must have been totally distracted, as I hadn’t even heard of them. Now totally immersed, I have read all 8 books 4 times, plus every related book at least once, and working on a 5th reading of Voyager! Obsessed is an understatement! I love the books for their detail & depth, but I also love the adaptation that has brought this series, the characters to life. As an artist I can appreciate many different mediums, and the beauty each portrays. Like a live daisy is beautiful. Photographed it’s still beautiful, but some dimensions are lost. Painted on canvas, it’s still beautiful, but some details are different, etc. This adaptation is so rich in detail, with superb to extraordinary actors that have embodied their characters so well that they literally “breathe”, that I thoroughly enjoy it as much as the books…maybe even more! Kudos to Ron Moore and the whole production for the accomplishments they have achieved in bringing this series to life. It is a fantastic work of art. May it continue for many, many seasons.

  25. I always appreciate your posts and you have outdone yourself with this one! Annotated even! I had begun to reread the books, which I had read over the course of a few years when a friend at work introduced me to the earlier ones and we then began to get each new one from the library as it came out. I decided I would rather see the season first before rereading Voyager because I felt like my recent reading of the first ones interfered with watching with an open mind. I would sit there thinking ‘That doesn’t sound like the way they said it/did it in the book.’ And it would keep me from remaining in the moment watching the show. So, I will reread Voyager when S3 is done.

  26. Will this story last forever? It will for me and my family. Both my daughters watch and thoroughly enjoy the series and one has read all the books. She’s been an avid reader forever and commented after finishing the last book “I don’t know how I’m going to read anything else”. I’ve bought every season because when my grand children are adults they’ll watch it too. They’re intelligent, thoughtful people so I’ve no doubt they’ll be enchanted as well.

  27. Brenda Nichols

    I am one of the lucky ones who had only read Outlander years ago so have no preconceived ideas on how the plot should play out. I think this also allows me a broader view such a production values, sets, costuming, dialogue and the superb performances by the actors. I’m not mired down by one or more pet peeves that tend to take away from the show because those peeves tend to eat away all other considerations. I may, one day, read the books for detail or maybe not, at my age it’s hard to read without falling asleep, no matter how wonderful the subject matter. For now, however, I’m along for the ride and what a glorious journey it has been. I too believe it will last forever.

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