Dear Vanity Fair,
I may be the lone voice of reason in the entire Outlander Fandom, but I offer you my support in regards to the recent Outlander review by Joanna Robinson 'Does The New Outlander Series Have What It Takes To Be More Than A Bodice-Ripper?' that has gone more virile than a Scotsman in a see-through kilt. Or is that viral? Nevertheless, I am offering my 2 phased-out Canadian cents worth to the discussion.
I for one agree 100% with Joanna Robinson (may I call her JoRo?) and would ask your undecided readers to not judge her article based on the rabid frothing slathered upon the comments pages of various papers and forums that actually require rabies shots after having read them.
Let’s look at the facts, which will dispel all criticisms of your well-respected writer/journalist who is a professional and hardly one to toss up an opinion piece based on shallow research and one-liner catchphrases plucked from an online generator.
First of all, Outlander is INDEED a bodice ripper! Why deny it? The definition (that I did not make up but found on a probably legit website) states: “Bodice rippers are strictly formulaic and the plot usually involves a vulnerable heroine faced with a richer and more powerful male character, whom she initially dislikes. It is virtually obligatory for the cover picture to show the swooning, ample-bosomed heroine.”
Each point is spot-on Outlander! It is so formulaic that it is schlepped solely as a romance. Unless you find it in the historical fiction section of your library…or shelved in the fantasy, sci-fi, gay and lesbian, and/or mystery and thriller sections as well, but the point I am trying to make here is that it is absolutely formulaic!
And there is no heroine as vulnerable as the wimpy Claire Beauchamp: does she fend off a pack of wolves outside Wentworth Prison by herself? Well yea, but only for a few hours until she has a big hairy Scotsman help her …and she only kills one wolf herself! And her reputation as being fearless, headstrong, independent and a highly intelligent doctor/nurse is hardly evidence of her fortitude and self-reliance, as they are simply band-aid traits that cover her need for a burly he-man to help her survive. It is that obvious to anyone with eyes.
And the fact that she seems to like the young damaged warrior (Jamie) she treats upon their first meeting does not cover the fact that she dislikes the position she finds herself in and therefore, by association, she dislikes Jamie, the man who soon afterwards, lustfully rips her bodice to shreds…well long strips actually that he then braids into macramé pot holders that he uses when he eventually bakes haggis for his men at Lollybroch. It is important to remember facts so one may debate with at least a modicum of credibility. That much I have learned from JoRo.
And as far as the Outlander book covers go, well, the colorful pictures of a topless and buxom Scarlet O’Hara swooning into the hairy chested and mustachioed Rhett Butler solidifies the series as a trashy pseudo-pornographic set that would make Charlie Sheen blush.
Next, I especially concur with the ‘50 Shades of Plaid’ reference. After all plaid is the color of the …no wait, plaid is a cloth and tartan is the color…but nevertheless, the point is that there are at least 50 shades of various clan kilts in the story and it had to be said. Gratuitous kilt scenes riddle the books and show, and when Frodo rips his off and slides into the hallway playing the air guitar while his parents are away…well, shenanigans the likes of which Mount Doom has never seen ensues. That is 50 shades of risky business my friends.
Finally, let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? What everyone knows, but only JoRo had the balls big enough to say, is that men do not like watching love stories. No real man will sit through a TV series geared towards princesses who are waiting for their prince, shivering and alone, all vulnerable-like in their ice palaces singing about how they should all just let it go. The seven little people working in the diamond mine and whistling while they work may be a bit endearing, but JoRo is right to say that the poison apple and true love's kiss is simply far too politically incorrect and may only serve to anger the environmentalists and Apple Pickers of America who will suffer for this insult. I may be paraphrasing.
Bottom line: A well-researched opinion piece is a gem and since one cannot just grab scenes from mid-air and treat them like they are fact, one should always just read and learn from the pros like JoRo. They can be trusted. No credible magazine would Fair well otherwise. I hope my letter helps anyone who needed the facts straight up.
I have a headache now and must rest.
Na Noo Na Noo.