Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Outlandish Outlander

Anyone out there a fan of Diane Gabaldon's Outlander books? I've hear and seen plenty written about them, mostly about the TV series based upon them. Given my corner of the interwebs is primarily devoted to historical costuming, much of the talk has been about the costumes.
 Claire's controversial wedding dress, based upon a robe de cour
Lots of greys, browns and plaids. Scotland in 1743
Well, when in a frenzy of buying TV series on DVD the other weekend, I chucked in Season one. My expectations of historical accuracy having been managed down to about a 3/10 by the conversations online, I figured it would be interesting.
OH DEAR. After watching several episodes, bits of which I left the room for while waiting for the action to get past the latest overly graphic violent bit, I'm putting it into the freezer.
The overwhelming sense of violence, pain and fear left me feeling really unwell. A sadistic, nasty anti hero who enjoys flogging and humiliating people, and we get to see it over and over again. Lots of sex where we see Claire's everything and Jamie's almost nothing speaks far more strongly of a male audience than the female one it is written for and targetted at.
It made me angry, disappointed and left with that hopeless feeling of, "Really? Is this only how far we have come?" and I abandoned it mid episode just before yet another sadistically violent bit.
I'm amazed that in all the stuff I've read about this series, it's all been about the frocks. Really,  the frocks were not enough to distract me from the sadism. Is it really just me? Is it OK to use the word really so often in a paragraph????
I am sure I am missing the point somewhere as the people I know who have read the books enjoy them. But that is the impression it left me with and I want no more of it.
Instead I have been enjoying Season One of Hustle. 
A delightfully intelligent programme about a group of London based "Long Consters."  The way it is put together i.e. use of freeze frame, out takes, stylised actions, not overdone, very much set the tone for programmes to come including Sherlock. A truly stylish piece of telly. I just wish the team wasn't so laddish, with token woman for distraction and playing the mole. Still that was 2004, we've had ten years to grow up since then. Haven't we?

Nothing to do with Christmas. I am slightly overloaded with it and just wanted a bit of time out ;-)


  1. I totally relate to your feelings about the seeming requirement that tv and movies contain violence and sadism to appeal to programmers and the audience. I do not enjoy watching people suffer, bleed or be humiliated. A friend recommended "American Horror Show" and another loves "The Walking Dead." I tried, I really tried to like them, just to bond with friends, but ugh! I loved the "Sookie Stackhouse" novels by Charlaine Harris and was so excited to hear that HBO was televising them, but wow, what a bunch of crap they produced. Totally messed-up what I loved about the books. (Except for Alex Skarsgard as Eric!) I really love a good scary, suspensful show, like "The Sixth Sense" or the 80's movie, "Ghost Story", both of which are spooky as hell, but cut out any gore and sleaze. Believe me, you are not alone!

  2. IMHO, if you like/love the book, the movie or TV show will be nothing like the show put on in your mind. Especially if the show is made by and targeted toward the male audience. And oddly, if I see the show or movie first, I just can't enjoy reading the book. For me, the subject matter doesn't seem to matter (historical, romantic, comedy, etc), whichever format I encounter first tends to ruin the experience of the followup format. But yeah, even if I hadn't read the book, if the show is produced with male audience in mind, I probably won't watch much.

  3. Interesting. The violence and graphic sex was my impression from the first few commercials, but I've seen nothing on it since and heard even less. I'm glad you've mentioned it though, because I was thinking of getting the first season and now I totally won't. I hate that crap, and I don't understand why violence and sexual content is shoved so enthusiastically down our throats at every turn. I don't want it and I won't watch it. :(

    On the bright side, I love your bag! It's super cute. :)

    1. Haha whoops. Forgot that it was a separate post! :D

  4. I've enjoyed Outlander. It was a violent time, so there will be violence. I found the sex scenes refreshing, because I felt them NOT targeted to a male audience. The focus is less on the guy, as it normally is and more equal, more focused on the woman's pleasure. It's a sexually charged relationship, it would be odd if there were no sex scenes, and I liked it that it wasn't all about the guy. The show has been one of the few that celebrates a strong woman. She is not hanging about, whining and needing a guy to save her. They save each other, in different ways. Much more realistic and exciting stuff to watch.