Outlander is my undoing

Outlander has become to me what I can only imagine Saturday Night Fever was to Gene Siskel, rest his movie-loving soul. It has hit me on an emotional level that I didn’t even know I possessed.

The friend who recommended the show to me has a pretty good idea of some of my favourite things:

  • prestige cable tv shows, esp. Game of Thrones and BSG
  • historical fiction
  • time travel
  • the UK
  • the Doctor Who episode “Blink”
  • period pieces
  • hunky ginger men with Scottish accents in kilts (list not necessarily in order of importance)

but lord, I doubt he realizes what he unleashed with his casual suggestion. As Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel.com puts it, way better than I ever could: “I’m only just barely exaggerating when I say this show is a basket of kittens short of my perfect TV experience.”

Recommending Outlander causes me to blush furiously and inspired me to coin the term “cable-y” to advise others of the level of violence, nudity and sex that prestige cable shows have become known for. I blush because of, well…Jamie Fraser. Thankfully, there is a rich online presence of Outlander (and Jamie Fraser) fans who keep me from having to articulate things myself. The Laws of Jamiedynamics or JAMMFdynamics are pretty spot-on, and I have friends who can vouch for their own similar incendiary experiences upon being introduced to James. Alexander. Malcolm. MacKenzie. Fraser.

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What can I say? I watched the first episode of the show, ran out and bought the first book, kept watching the series, and ended up reading all eight (very thick) books in the series between August and January. 2014 was a bit of a strange year for me, filled with interesting twists and lots of reasons to want to get sucked into a good, long-lasting epic. I read very quickly, so when I can find a well-written series I like by a prolific author, it’s a major win for me. I think the last time I read a book series this obsessively I was 14 and happened upon The Lord of the Rings during my summer holidays – the kind of reading you do when you put the book down only to pee and grab a snack once in a while.

I’ve never had a crush on a book character before. This is weird. It certainly helps that Sam Heughan is perfectly cast and a truly gifted actor. Also, unlike many fans of the book series who have been waiting for over 20 years for the series to be brought to life on-screen (Outlander was published in 1991), watching the TV show first made that a non-issue for me, although I’m sure I still would have noticed if any of the casting was less than ideal. And I’ll now be able to join the fun and speculation as other much-loved characters are cast in upcoming seasons. I’m not above mentioning that I also have a huge girl-crush on Claire, brought beautifully to life by Caitriona Balfe. Reams have been written about how awesome Claire is, a strong, fearless and complicated female protagonist, and anyone who passes on this show because the lead character is a woman should be ashamed of themselves.

Major kudos to my husband who has NEVER ONCE teased me about my obsession, actively watches the show with me and lets me ply him with whisky. He had a moment of thrill when one of his ancestor’s clans was mentioned in the show, which was pretty cool.

If you watch the show and/or read the books and end up fangirling about everything Outlander, you are in luck  – so many awesome fans are doing great things online.

Some of my favourites:

Killing Time – These are the most amazingly hilarious screencap episode recaps – just as much fun as the episodes themselves. You should also follow her on Twitter – she’s so fantastic!

Candida’s Musings  – to say it’s another wonderful website full of great Outlander episode reviews would be only scratching the surface – this fangirl is DEDICATED and I can’t do justice describing the amount of interesting content she has on her site.

Outlander Kitchen – Diana Gabaldon’s books are full of wonderful food descriptions and Outlander Kitchen has taken them to the next level. Theresa’s story is amazing and inspiring. Also, see? Now this is a food-related post and therefore appropriate for my food blog.

Jezebel and Vulture are also must visits, especially in the wake of aired episodes or anytime there’s an Outlander happening in the pop culture world. I have to single out and gratefully thank That’s Normal for this particular compendium.

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