Thursday, May 24, 2018

Discussion: Ten Profound Thoughts While Binge-Watching Outlander

The 2018 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts At Midnight


If you’ve been on this blog in the last few weeks, you might know that I’ve hit a bit of a shit pit in life. I haven’t been able to concentrate on reading. Or blogging. Or anything. Instead of staring at the walls and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do something super important. I binge-watched the TV show Outlander.

What the heck is Outlander? The show is based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon. It follows a British nurse, Claire Randall, who tumbles through a magic rock and finds herself in 1700s Scotland. Since she’s stuck in a place with rampant disease and no Internet, she makes the best of a bad situation and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior. Together, they get involved in the Jacobite rebellions.




Outlander isn’t normally the type of thing I’d watch. It’s a romance, complete with barf-worthy declarations of love and a lot of fumbling between the sheets. (And in random fields. And in prison cells. And on boats.) Outlander isn’t my preferred type of entertainment, but I was desperate for a way to mentally escape from life, and it certainly delivered.

Here are all ten profound thoughts I had while watching 42 hours of Outlander. Thar be spoilers ahead. Be cautious.







Ten Thoughts While Binge-Watching Outlander








1. It’s amazing that these people can’t survive for five minutes without nearly getting raped and murdered. 

I think Jamie and Claire hold the world record for making enemies. Seriously, everyone wants to kill them. I guess attempted murders are bound to happen when you’re trying to overthrow the government. Good thing Claire and Jamie are (usually) able to rescue each other right before the rapes and murders start.







2. “Wee” (meaning “small,” not “pee”) is probably the most excellent word ever. English is a mashup of different languages. Why did “wee” not infiltrate English hundreds of years ago and spread to the entire English-speaking world? It’s an awesome word! During my Outlander binge, I started referring to my dog as a “wee beast.” My fellow Americans just stared at me like I had brain damage. Maybe because a 70-pound dog isn’t “wee.” Or maybe my neighbors just need to climb on the “wee” bandwagon and stop being so judgmental.







3. On a related topic, I really want to visit Scotland now. 

Parts of the show are filmed there, and it’s beautiful. Also, I’d like to see a real castle. They don’t have castles in my neck of the woods.













4. What’s up with Black Jack Randall? Does anyone else think that this character is kind of . . . shallow? I know that stalking and sex addiction are real things, but holy crap, the dude needs a hobby. A nice, friendly, non-sex hobby. Like stamp collecting. Isn’t he in the military? Aren’t there enough wars to keep him occupied? His obsession with Jamie just seems way too over-the-top to me, especially because he lives in a world that’s teeming with prostitutes. If he threw a rock down the street, he’d knock ten hookers unconscious. Sex partners aren’t hard to find. Maybe I missed something, but I would have liked to see more depth to his character.







5. Speaking of the characters, is it weird that I hate Claire and Jamie? I was never a Claire fan because she’s technically having an affair. She’s married when she falls through the magic rocks. I know that her marriage to Jamie was forced, and she resisted at first, but she eventually cheats on her husband. After she gets with Jamie, she barely even thinks about her husband. While hubby is frantically searching for his missing wife, she’s having a sexy romp in a sheep field with Jamie. Not cool, Claire.




The wife-beating scene sealed my hatred for both of them. Claire gets herself into trouble (of course she does; that’s basically all she does), and Jamie decides to punish her. He whips her with his belt. Then she forgives him for hurting her. The show kind of makes it look playful and sexy, but it looks like abuse to me.







6. My mom’s reaction to the show: 

“I’m sorry to tell you this, but marriage isn’t all sex and plotting to save Scotland.”














7. For a pregnant lady, Claire sure drinks a lot. In the 1700s, it was safer to drink alcohol than water because alcohol kills the germs that live in water. People back then must have been hammered all the time. In the show, Claire always seems to have a glass of wine in her hand, even when she’s pregnant. Did real pregnant ladies drink that much? If they did, I now understand why the human race is so stupid.







8. If you’re going to plot the assassination of a prince, close the damn door! Since Claire comes from the future, she knows that Jamie and all her 1700s buddies will be slaughtered at the Battle of Culloden. In an effort to stop the battle, Claire and Jamie plan to assassinate Prince Charles. Unfortunately, they make their plans with the door open. Of course they’re overheard. Step one of assassinating a prince: close the damn door!







9. Underwear may have saved the world from overpopulation. 

Did birth rates in Scotland go down when people started wearing underwear? In this show, everybody goes commando under their skirts and kilts. Whenever they feel the urge, they hike up their bottom layers, whip out the necessary body parts, and have a go at each other. Do you think birth rates went down when pants became fashionable? Has anybody ever researched this? It’s important. 







10. The moral of the story: Let people explain before you stab them. If I had to take away a lesson from Outlander, it would be to let people explain before you blow up at them. There are so many times when a character is trying to explain what happened, but the other characters have already pulled out their daggers and are screaming at each other. So many problems can be solved by listening.







My ten thoughts about Outlander probably sound harsh, but I actually had fun watching the show. I’m not planning on reading the books, but I’ll watch the next season if I can get it for free.







Have you seen Outlander? What did you think?









25 comments:

  1. Ha, fun commentary! I've read all the books, but only watched about half of the first season. Book Claire can be really smug and self-righteous, but TV Claire was worse. Although, TV Jamie nearly made up for that. I agree, it is weird seeing a pregnant woman drinking, but I guess that was the time period, even the time Claire came from I think women were still drinking and smoking rampantly while pregnant. And yeah, Black Jack Randall is a weird character - he is beyond obsessed with Jamie.

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    1. I looked at the books after I finished the show, and they’re so big! I didn’t like the show enough to put myself through that many pages of romance.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. Such a fun post! I have read the first four books and listened to the first six. I still have a few to get through. I love this series and the show. I like Jamie and Claire and think that the acting is very well done. I don't like the spanking scene but I do think that it would have been considered the norm at the time. Same with the drinking while pregnant. There is a lot of rape in the books and the show - more than one would think possible. I have been known to use some of the words and sayings from the show or books if I have been spending any amount of time reading or watching. Wee is fantastic word :)

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    1. The show has the best words! I spent way too much time trying to perfect my Outlander accent. Good thing I mostly talk to the dog. She doesn’t care how stupid I sound.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I've been to Ireland. Castles have narrow stairways to impede dudes in body armor.

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    1. That makes sense. If I ever go to a castle, I’ll leave my body armor at home. ;)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I haven’t watched Outlander, but I’ve read the first three books, and literally all your points apply there too! I wasn’t a big fan of the whole wife beating scene in the book either (it made me hate them both too - Jamie for doing it, and Claire for letting him! She was such a strong character, why would she stand for that?) and Claire and Jamie do seem to make enemies literally everywhere they go! Great post! :)

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    1. I guess the wife-beating was realistic for the time, but that doesn’t mean I have to forgive them for it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I totally skimmed this as plan to watch this show at one point. But my favorite part of this post was “I’m sorry to tell you this, but marriage isn’t all sex and plotting to save Scotland.” Ha!

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    1. Haha, their relationship does eventually get more complicated, but it’s still mostly sex and plotting to save Scotland.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I love posts like this. 42 hours- that's like a week of work. Although more entertaining perhaps? Anyway while I haven't reads the books or seen the show, I always wondered about the affair thing too. Like, isn't that BAD? lol and he beats her???? Um, ok.

    And of course we have the whole changing history thing- when I read your bullet point about the assassination, I was like- should she be changing history? I guess why not.

    Commando... I guess yeah back then, Wow. Now THAT'S a discussion post.

    Sounds a bit like Westeros?

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    1. Watching Outlander is WAY more fun than a work week. The world in Outlander is a bit like Westeros. There’s lots of sex, death, and war.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. OMG! This is so hilarious. I am a fan of the show, because I love all things romance and swoony, but I totally see the ridiculousness in much of it. I hated Claire's husband and loved Jamie, so I had no problem with the "affair". I think she was operating under the assumption that she would never return to the present, so that probably made it ok in her mind. I did try to read the book, but the dialect was so tedious. I just couldn't do it.

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    1. I don’t think I could deal with reading all that dialect. I guess I was bothered that Claire barely thought about her husband. Maybe it’s different in the books, but once she started having sexy times with Jamie, she seemed to forget that she ever had a husband.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. If you are running for your lives don't keep stopping to have sex in fields. When I was reading the first book I kept yelling, "I hope you get caught by the English!" every time they did this.

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  9. oh this post makes me want to bang my head on the wall for not having read Outlander yet! I'm sure I'll love to hate Claire and Jaime. Are they kidding me??? HUMPH!

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    1. They do get frustratingly ridiculous sometimes.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. This is hilarious! I will assume that you watched up to the end of Season 2. The closest we get to another side of Blackjack is that he has a beloved brother who has health problems, but that is it. My main complaint about Claire drinking is that I think it should have crossed her mind that drinking while pregnant isn't healthy for the baby, since she was a WW2 nurse. She did give Jamie's sister a look for drinking while in labor. I think Season 3 is weird, but it was worth waiting for a Watchathon weekend for it. I will want to watch the fourth season.

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    1. Yep, I watched all 3 seasons. I like that we got to see Jack’s brother, but that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more scenes of Jack doing something that’s NOT having sex, or trying to have sex, or thinking about sex.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I can't watch Outlander.
    The first time I tried was just after the first Independence Referendum and the whole Scots Vs the wicked English thing was too raw for me. That referendum was BITTER and it drove a huge wedge down my country and across families.
    Now I don't watch it because I hate how Scotland is represented in historical romance - even though this is TV it's TV based on historical romance books and it carries the same annoyances.
    Plus, it's set in the time of the jacobite rebellions and that's another example of some Scots facing off against other Scots, against the rest of the UK... Of families tearing themselves apart and hating on people for no reason other than what part of this damp foggy island they're from and I detest it.

    *Shrugs*

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    1. I’m not Scottish, but I think I understand. There are some parts of my country’s (USA) history that have been romanticized to an unacceptable level. The Civil War era comes to mind. Writers get swept up in all the uniforms and pretty dresses and ignore the all the death and slavery.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. My mom really loves Outlander :) but I have neither watched it, nor read it. Hey, what would you recommend to my mom, if she loves this series? She always struggles with finding books.

    LOL your mom's reaction to the show is PRICELESS xD and yeah, I wonder about the drinking thing. Maybe it really was that way? And your pants theory is hilarious (and possibly true xD)

    Even though I haven't seen Outlander, I really did enjoy this post :D

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  13. Oh this was too entertaining to read! I haven't even read or watched Outlander but I do intend to do both. I just want to get through Game of Thrones because for some reason my brain has decided that I should not mix the two at any costs. I'm mentally preparing myself for all the dying, rape and sex that is going to be in this series. But I like the sound of Scotland as an ever-present setting in need of saving :P

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/05/book-haul-the-bargain-edition/

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  14. You know, I've seen a lot of people make the point about Claire cheating, but I gave it a lot of thought and I don't think I can blame her. As far as she knows, she's stuck in the past indefinitely, so I can't fault her for making the best of things. I'd imagine it would be similar to becoming a widow? I totally agree with point 8 though! It reminds me of the girls in Pretty Little Liars NEVER closing the blinds!

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