Friday, April 10, 2015

Outlander - The Books vs The Series

I’m intimidated by big books.  Any book with over 500 pages scares me.  I like to read fast and with a large book, I know going in it’s going to take a lot longer to read.  So even after hearing so many wonderful things about Outlander, I still gave it a pass.  But after hearing constantly how Jamie Fraser was the perfect hero, I finally bit the bullet and read it.  This is probably going back about 10 years or so.  I read Outlander, skipped Dragonfly in Amber and skipped a good deal of Voyager and read the part where Clare and Jamie were reunited and I was all good.  I was never tempted to read any of the other ones. 

I heard talk over the years about how wonderful it would be to see the books be made into a movie and who should play what part.  I never really cared.  But then I heard Starz was going to make it into a series. A much better idea then say a three part movie franchise like they do with so many other books to movies.  And while I was ambivalent as to who would play Clare, when I saw who was chosen for Jamie, well, my hot actor radar kicked up big time and the more I read about it the more excited I got until I could hardly contain myself when it started playing in Canada on Showcase.  I love period piece movies series, North and South, Last of the Mohicans, Rob Roy, The Highlander (the television series – never did see the movies) and so on.  So I was ecstatic when I found out that yes, we would be able to see it in Canada.

I loved it from the opening credits, in fact I have the song now from ITunes.  I waited anxiously for 10:00 every Sunday night for it to start.  And oh my, the connection between Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire!  Their chemistry leaps off the screen.

I thought three episodes in that since it’s been a while since I’d read it, I should do a reread.  And now that I had a Most Excellent Picture of Jamie – I think I didn’t really before as he was described as having red hair and
Carrot Top kept getting in the way.  I skipped the first part and started reading where the series was up to and kept reading until the end of the first series.  I figured I’d keep reading when the series had a break but that didn’t happen.

The second series started last Sunday – and hands up – who watched it??  I gave up smoking when I broke my leg but my heavenly stars I could have used one towards the end of the final scene. 
That was – as Jim Carrey says – SMOKIN’.  I was definitely breathing heavy.  Anyway – moving on – I figured I’d best get back on the book horse and start reading again.  And I hit a wall.  A huge wall.  I wall I don’t think I can climb and now I remember why I didn’t get caught up in the whole series like so many others have.


I Don’t Like Claire.  Oh no I do not like her at all.  While not as apparent in the series because I do like Caitrona playing her, in the book, I find her dreadful. 

***Rant about to begin****

I do not understand why she seems determined to press all of Jamie’s buttons. 
It seems like it’s almost out of spite.  Here she has this hot, young guy who is strong and brave and hot and patient and forward thinking for his time and hot and willing to risk his own life for her and hot and funny and protective and willing to take on the punishment of others and hot and a virgin no less but very good at it once he gets going and hot and between the Jamie in the book and the Jamie in the series just about the most perfect hero – evah – and Claire seems determined to rile him up in one way or another.  I get that she comes from the future and as a working woman is even more advanced than the usual housewife, but she’s not in her own time and so she shouldn’t play be the rules she knows.  In the past, she should be led by Jamie.  While I don’t agree with the controversial spanking, she did do an extremely stupid thing and as a result has risked the whole clan, not to mention putting a HUGE target on Jamie’s back.  She knows there are redcoats wandering about.  She knows that Black Jack Randall is after her.  And during their epic fight she had the nerve to call Jamie a sadist – when she had evidence herself and what she saw he had done to Jamie, that Randall was a sadist in truth. 

Yes, I get that she wants to get back to Frank - though why I don’t understand completely why when she has Jamie.

Yet despite everything he has done for her she accuses him of cheating.  She accuses him of marrying her for money.  NO, you stupid woman!  He married you to SAVE YOUR LIFE.  I don’t see a whole lot of gratitude for that either.  Sure there was some – but not much.  I swear Jamie has the heart of a saint to both get past his anger so quickly and forgive her so easily.

 Anyway, I’m going to have to give up on reading the book.  To do both would be a double negative on my feelings for Claire.  I would be so angry with her while reading and so angry while watching.  And because the series is so good and Jamie is so, um hot, I’m just going to stick with the series.

And I need to update a previous post.  I was talking about getting invested in shows only to have them cancel before their time and I completely forgot about Copper.  This was another show that ran on showcase a couple of years ago about Kevin Corcoran,  a ‘copper’ from Ireland who helped police the slums of Five Points district in New York City just around the time of the Civil War.  He was a very intriguing character, a real anti-hero.  One scene he would do something heroic, the next something despicable.  It was a series done by BBC America and I loved it.  I was devastated when it was cancelled.

Well, that's it for today.

'til later


azteclady said...

Sorry, I ain't watching Outlander.

I was a pretty dedicated fan for about four books, then I lost interest. My then s.o. got them the next two (three?) books and they are sitting unread in one of my bookcases.

Given how much I did enjoy the first few books, and that my experience is that movies/series never do books justice, I was already pretty set against watching.

But a) I am weak and b) the actor playing Jaime is pretty yummy indeed, so I tried watching the first episode. The voice overs did me in. No more, thanks but not thanks.

On series ended too soon: Oh how I feel your pain!

Firefly. *shaking both fists at FOX and cursing*

Kristie (J) said...

Oh AL! You don't know what you are missing. The series is SO good. And considering the book is written in the first person, I think the voice over actually adds to it.
But then we have quite a number of die hard Outlander where I work and a couple of them don't plan on watching the second season. One isn't happy with who they chose for Jamie, something I don't understand at all as have I mentioned he's hot? And the other doesn't like that the series follows the books to the tee. And this point I don't get either as the author is deeply involved and I think many of the changes actually tighten things up. *grin*

Anonymous said...

You know, I plan to give the series a shot- when it's completed the first season. I'm not a fan of Claire either. It just goes to the skill of Gabaldon that I can ignore her main protagonist in favor of Jamie and the other things she manages to shove in there.

Kristie (J) said...

The series is even picking up more. I still don't like Claire any better but series Claire is slightly better than print Claire. And I think the series is tightening things up a bit from the book.

And Jamie, my goodness Jamie. Series Jamie is SO good. Towards the end of the last episode, where Claire and Gellis get arrested as witches, I actually had tears running down my face over how awesome a hero he is. I never did that while reading the book. What he does for Claire, who does not deserve Jamie, is just so amazing. And the actor plays him brilliantly. And then there sre the love scenes....... I quit smoking a few years ago now, but as I've been telling other watchers at work, I sure could do with one after some of the scenes. *sigh accompanied by deep breathe since I'm not going to start again just for that*