I think it is only right that I start the year’s first blog post talking about the focus of my current fandom obsession: OUTLANDER (both the book series by Diana Gabaldon and the hit TV show on STARZ based on them). This post will most likely be split into two parts, because I am not exaggerating when I say I can talk about Outlander until my teeth fall out!
In a season where I have not had time to watch/catch up on any of my regular, favorite shows, Outlander has become one of my absolute, go-to, MUST SEE shows.
I got my first copy of Outlander probably about 10 years ago; I have no recollection of how I obtained it, where or exactly when. I just know that I’ve owned the book for quite some time with all intentions of reading it; I never got around to it, but I also never got rid of it. It sat on my bookshelves for awhile and I actually forgot about it. When the show premiered in 2014, a couple of friends of mine suggested it to me as one I would enjoy – but once again, I put it on the “to do” list and forgot about it (moreso because I already had a million shows on my plate that I was having a rough time keeping up with). In April 2015, while on one of my usual Goodwill book-hunting runs I found autographed copies of Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Drums of Autumn (Books 1, 2, and 4, respectively) for $1.50 each, and of course I had to get them because I had been planning to read them and that must have been a sign for me to start, right? *sigh* Not so much.
Fast forward to June 2016. I was cleaning up with the TV running in the background, and I happened to catch a promo for the Season 2 finale of Outlander. I don’t remember which promo it was or what it was about it that struck a chord with me, but that day I decided, “okay, I need to watch a few episodes of this to see what it’s about.” The finale was set for 9pm on a Saturday, and this was Friday afternoon the day before). I only planned to watch one or two episodes just to get started (and to finally quiet that voice in my head that kept reminding me that I was supposed to have started on these books/this show ages ago). I sat down to watch S1E1, and I. WAS. HOOKED. The character of Claire and her unexpected journey was an interesting thing to watch, although I was a bit skeptical of the fact that she grasped the nature of her circumstances so quickly and was able to keep such a calm head about it. However, any irritation or disbelief disappeared the moment she met Jamie. I know now that it had as much to do with the chemistry between actors Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, and the life they breathed into those characters, but at the time the only thing that I cared about was Jamie and Claire, and the physical pull I personally felt from these characters. I was intrigued, and I felt the pull of this obviously budding romance as much as if I were part of the story.
From that point on, it was a done deal. I stayed up until 4am Saturday, binging all of Season 1. OMG THOSE LAST TWO EPISODES!!!! I had to take a break because I seriously could not remember the last time a show had me completely mind-fucked – not just because of the raw, emotional, and disturbing content of the episodes, but also because of the brilliant acting by both Sam and Tobias Menzies (Black Jack Randall). Those two episodes made me angry, made me cry; made my skin crawl in disgust ,but also made me look upon BJR’s character in awe because of the sadistic, calculating, and unnervingly calm way he approached the whole situation with Claire and Jamie, and the end result. I cannot quite put into words the effect those episodes had on me; I felt in my bones that this was some of the best stuff I’d seen on television in a long time.
I went to bed that night (morning), but woke up a few hours later, determined to catch up on season 2 before the finale aired that evening. I finished just as the finale was about to start, and was able to watch the show live for the first time. I loved it, and I hated it. I loved that the story line stayed interesting, how we were introduced to some more amazing characters. I hated that we also lost some of those amazing characters, and I hated Claire’s having to go back to her own time, and to Frank. Season 2 also had an episode that made me “ugly cry” for damn near 30 minutes after it was over (“Faith”). Season 2 is also the season that added another instant fan in my household: my younger daughter (who was 18 at the time) came into the room while I was halfway through the finale and – after getting caught up into it enough to watch the rest of the finale with me, turned to me and said, “Okay, we need to start from the beginning.” So we did, and by Sunday evening she, too, was hooked. A couple of months later, my 21-year old daughter joined the ranks of Obsassenachs.