Thursday, November 19, 2015

TV Series Review: Outlander, Season 1

Title: Outlander, Season 1
Author: Diana Gabaldon 
Creator: Ronald D. Moore
Actors: Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan
Release Date: August 9, 2014, & April 4, 2015
View on IMDB

Follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

You probably know that TV series reviews really aren't my thing and you might be wondering what the heck is going on! Well, I had never intended to become invested in the Outlander series. The books are all way more massive than anything I'd commit to. Instead, I decided to watch the show. It looked pretty good and I thought it would be a good substitution for the book series. I actually attempted to watch Outlander last year when it was still fairly new. But halfway through the first episode I was so bored I thought I might fall asleep! I toughed out episode one and didn't go back for episode two. I know this doesn't sound good for the series, but please bear with me!

A few weeks ago I found myself with nothing to watch. I had caught up with all my regular shows and had resorted to watching Ink Master on Hulu. (Don't judge me). It was only then that I remembered I had season one of Outlander waiting on me... I started with episode two because, honestly, I have to hold to the opinion that episode one was terribly boring. It definitely got better moving forward though, which caused me to binge it over a couple weeks!

To start with I thought that a time travel story would be downright ridiculous. I expected Outlander to be a shameless soap opera with a ton of gratuitous sex. I was somewhat right about the sex, to be sure, but I didn't expect that the rest of the story would be as in depth and heart wrenching as it was. Outlander is a beautiful show in a lot of ways. The music is enchanting and the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands (I'm assuming it was actually filmed there) are breathtakingly beautiful! The characters are (mostly) easy to love and sympathize with and I'm not out to fool anyone - Sam Heughan is definitely not difficult to look at. Honestly, I fell completely in love with Claire, Jamie, and their story. Captain Jack Randall is probably the most despicable villain I have ever had the displeasure of encountering in any medium, which I suppose is a job well done.

Despite all the things I loved about this show, I do feel that I should give fair warning about its content. Outlander has its fair share of sex, nudity, rape, and murder, and general violence, but it's pretty mild on language (there's a reason it's been called the feminist GoT). Not much bothers me in the TV/movie world, but there were a couple scenes of violence in this show that made me feel a bit queasy and I'm guessing that some people might find themselves having to divert their gaze. Still, all of these things lend an air of authenticity to a show depicting a 20th century woman thrown into 18th century Scotland during a time of unrest and I wouldn't let these a little sex and violence keep you from experiencing such an amazing story!

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I fell completely in love with Outlander. Season one is a complete adaptation of the first book and I have now had to start book two in the series. I had no choice, really, since season two of the show isn't scheduled for release until sometime next Spring. Because I'm picking up the series with book two and will not be reviewing book one, I thought a season one review was in order! So there you have it. Outlander is completely amazing and I totally love it, despite my attempts not to. This is a show that is definitely worth your time!