Last night I finished watching Season One of Outlander for the second time. The first time I watched it, I was alone – or pretending I was alone with the aid of headphones and a fierce glare for anyone who approached. But then it was added to Netflix, and after much deliberation, I decided my husband had to watch it too.
This required deep thought. I knew (knew!) that he would make fun of the theme song, he would groan about the bagpipes, and he would attempt a terrible Scottish accent at least once during each and every episode.
Despite my reservations, I really wanted him to see it. You know when you love something so much that you just have to share it with someone, even if it’s possibly not a good idea? I feel that way about the Outlander books. There’s no way my husband is going to read 8 huge novels about time travel and a red-headed Scot, so the tv series was the next best thing.
I love Diana Gabaldon’s books because they arrived in my life just when I was returning to my childhood love of reading. I read the first one in Hawaii and I remember that old feeling of being pulled into a story. Of not being able to put the book down. With so many books to read (and write!) it’s not often that I will return to a book I’ve previously read. Outlander is a rare exception – I’ve read them all more than once, and the first four at least 6 times each.
There’s so much that I love about the books. Claire – strong, self-sufficient, decisive. My children have her to thank whenever I come at them with a tincture or a cup of meadowsweet tea. I love the history, the clothing, the domestic details. And the love story, of course. There’s that.
With my passion for the books firmly entrenched, you can imagine how excited I was to see the tv series.
But because of this guy…
I spent most of the last two episodes with a pillow over my face. What I learned from watching the series, was that reading something is not at all the same thing as seeing something. I knew what was going to happen, of course, but when it did happen, I felt completely unprepared. That Jack Randall. What a sadistic monster. I really struggled with those Wentworth Prison scenes, more than I’ve struggled with any other tv series or movie I’ve seen. A round of applause for the actors.. but oh, gosh. It was horrible.
Because I know these books and these characters so well, seeing them on screen feels a bit surreal, a bit too real. I can’t imagine how Diana Gabaldon feels.
So that’s what I’ve been watching lately.. I can’t wait for Season Two (and neither can my husband).