Traveling back in time to find love.
Damn, is that what it takes to get a date?
I gotta say, I have a bit of a binging addiction. Once I find a show that I like (sometimes even when I don’t like it), I’ll stay glued to the TV until there’s an ending. I have to say, though, one of my biggest pet-peeves is watching a show that ends a season in a cliff-hanger, especially if I have to wait a full damn year to watch what happens. But that time, I’ve watched so many other things in the meantime, read so many books, posts and whatnot, that I can’t even remember why I was so annoyed that it ended how it ended.
I like it when seasons are connected but not dependent on each other, sort of like Dexter used to do, that with each season there’d be a new serial killer antagonizing Dexter. But, let’s not get into that, I’m here to talk about a guilty pleasure, not about TV in general or, well, any show. Because there are shows that are unanimously approved as being so brilliant that they don’t enter in the “Guilty Pleasure” category (as, for instance, Luther or The Wire —off the top of my head).
I’d have to say my choice of a guilty pleasure show would be Outlander. Because I actually like it but feel silly liking it to the point that I binge watch each new season that comes out and I start salivating when I see the new seasons available on Netflix. Ooooh, can wait for all that sexy time going on between Jaime and Sassenach, or what adventures they are going to fight together which they’ll only combat with the power of their love. I know, it’s corny. It is. SO CORNY!
It was actually my former hairdresser that told me about it. I can’t remember what show we were talking about, but I was saying how I like shows with a sci-fi component and she mentioned that Outlander had time travel. Oh! Time travel, I thought, one of my favourite themes. Who doesn’t love the idea of going back and forth in time and experiencing different scenarios in different decades (centuries?). More on that in the German show Dark (which is definitely more of an acquired taste —one I became quite addicted to). But, again, I digress.
Let’s get back to Outlander. Yes, it was the time-travel that drew me to it, but it wasn’t what got me hooked. It cleverly combines the drama, the action, the romance, the supernatural, and the camaraderie all in one place. There’s war, betrayal, drama, sex, heartbreak, tension, violence, love… I mean, what other ingredients does a show require to hook its victims?
What I like most
I have to say, the one thing that drew me most of all was the main character, Claire Randall (later Fraser). She was this smart, independent, strong woman, a doctor, who’d take crap from no one. The story starts in the sixties, so even then, a female doctor was not very common. Portrayed by Irish actor Caitriona Balfe, she inspires respect and admiration. She was the hook for me. Then the story, and the great chemistry that built between her and fellow actor Sam Heughan. So much so that one almost wanted them to be a couple off screen. The other thing I loved about the show was the scenery. Filmed in Scotland and later in the U.S., the landscape is nothing if not astounding!
Of course, there’s a bit of comedy, especially coming from the handsome main male character, Jaime Fraser, portrayed by Scottish actor Sam Heughan. But the show is mostly a science-fiction romantic drama. I also really enjoyed the brotherhood that builds among the Scottish characters, which I’ve also thought is a true characteristic of the Scots.
The show creates tension, leaves us with cliffhangers in more than one occasion and just knows how to keep the viewer interested.
What I do not like
There were times where I was getting annoyed with all the: “am I gonna see him? Are we every gonna meet again? I am so miserable because I lost him” type of plot. It was getting annoying and I just wanted them to get on with it. It dragged on for too long in Season 3 (I believe it was). Also, sometimes there’s just too much drama! I mean… for crying out-loud! How much crap needs to happen to these people so we can see how amazingly resilient and strong and great they are? It gets a bit tiresome at times.
Also, why is everyone so good looking? I mean… seriously! And they all have such perfect teeth (keep in mind, a lot of this takes place in the 18th century, there were no dentists!!). There are some here and there who have terrible teeth, but, overall… nope, not an issue.
I’d like more of the conversation of time-travel. I mean, this huge thing happens, and most people whom it happens to or are aware of it are more or less accepting of it and yeah, like nothing else, especially those in the 18th century… yeah, right! I mean, they don’t think much of it. Because, of course you can travel through centuries by touching some stones. Big deal! Let me tell ya, if that happened for real, those people might need some shrink to “un-shrink” their brains… I could probably keep digging deeper on holes in the history and other things, but I am not one to over-analyze everything, and I just want to keep enjoying it without thinking too much about it.
All in all, if you like romance, adventure, history, looking at beautiful people struggle, succeed and get undressed in more than one occasion per episode, then you might enjoy this show.
I know I will continue to watch until the author finally ends the series.
Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of the books. I don’t read book-series that are not finished (made that mistake with The Name of the Wind, and now I’m forlornly waiting for the latest instalment.