Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Outlander" at last!

I'm thrilled to see that author Diana Gabaldon's mammoth Outlander series has finally found its way to film. Unlike readers today, who have to know everything before they even consider looking at a book, I picked up that huge book without knowing a damned thing about it other than it was about time travel, Scotland and Jacobites! How could I have lost? It was/is chocked full of eternal love, action, sex, betrayal, etc. Good stuff. The stuff of which terrific historical romances are made.

The making of this series has taken the long road to FOREVER. The first book came out in '91 and I've followed it ever since. For me the first three books are the best. An early contender for the role of Jamie was, hold on to your bandana, are you ready? AXEL ROSE. Yep, The GUNS N' ROSES front man. I suppose it was because he had red hair. Could he act? Probably not. Well, you know Hollywood. That use-the-flavor-of-the-moment.mentality regardless of talent level. He was the popular rocker of the nanosecond. That's all that mattered. Since early plans had been for a feature film, a name was needed to sell tickets. Translation: put asses in seats. Anyhoo, it didn't come to pass. Thank goodness. But hopes were still high. High for over twenty freakin' years:( Just happy it happened before the next century rolled around.

The choice of Sam Heughan for Jamie is spot on. Catriona Balfe makes a radiant Claire. Which brings me to the subject of fandoms. I've never encountered such a crowd. They live for the "feels." Now, I can get lost in a story as completely as the next person but the difference is I come the frig back. I don't sit staring at the TV, pillow to my mouth screaming into it because something befell a character. It's not real. It's acting. I'm a little scared of the zealotry of fandoms. And Lord, they have risen up for this series. I guess all that True Blood love had to shift to some place. If the adoration of Mr. Heughan plays out like the adoration for Twilight's Robert Pattinson, I fear for Heughan's career. I pray that women stop asking him what he's wearing under his kilt. Really, folks. Grow up. I hope his career blooms and does not stagnate because women want to see him in Outlander, season 57 and will expect him to attend every convention for the next 40 years as "Young Jamie" no matter how old he'll be. But what truly scares me are the fandoms of people who've never read the book, and have no clue as to the extremes that Jamie will endure. When, and if a particular situation in the book is televised, a mass howl will reach the heavens and dogs will drop dead from burst eardrums.

The other part to Outlander madness is women will be booking flights to Scotland to find their very own Jamie Fraser. Hell, I'm sure some are there already with versions of Claire's wedding dress in tow! Any guy with a pulse and a kilt will be fair game. Plus, Scotland? Yo, Scotland? Are you listening? Expect a gazillion Americans to flood the place for vacations and weddings. They'll be looking to stay in digs "just like that castle" they saw on TV. Get ready because they are a' coming! I say jack up the prices, gird yer loins, lie back, and think of England.

In closing, I take my hat off to the creators of this series. The actors, the locations and the scripts are superb. I'm hooked and waiting eagerly for next April. But the person who deserves the largest chunk of credit is Diana Gabaldon. She is a ROMANCE WRITER. That's the one thing the creators of the series, and she neglect to call Outlander. First and foremost, it is a ROMANCE. And Ms. Gabaldon gave birth to it all with the power of her imagination and a Dr. Who episode. I suppose they couldn't pitch it to TV as romance? Funny but the show is big on sex. Lots of sex. Long live romance! And gorgeous Highlanders.

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