Droughtlander, I Missed Ya!

I am looking forward to Droughtlander.

  1.  I am looking forward to Droughtlander because the idea of having almost unfettered contact points (via Twitter and Instagram) to the actors, writers, producers and production team is so astonishing, and then using that access weekly to vilify them, to bitch at them, to complain to them, to tell them they are wrong just floors me.
  2. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because the writers are artists in their own right… not transcriptionists. They are ADAPTING an overwhelmingly bulky story into another medium and they have every right to add their own flavor. I know I couldn’t do it better, and you couldn’t either.
  3. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because I tire of hearing “that wasn’t in the book, stick to the books, the author knows best” AND “Murtagh shouldn’t die; he should marry Jocasta;”  “I miss the antics of Rupert and Angus;” “OMG, why do they skip all the conversation and only have action–I don’t care about battles,” AND “why is it all just talking, so boring!”  Diametrically opposed, bros. (Pro tip–They are NOT writing it for YOU; your giving a Hamilton to STARZ five months a year is not a contractual obligation they make the show YOU want.)
  4. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because now that another season can be viewed AS A WHOLE, I think that upon rewatching, maybe people will view those things that didn’t make sense in the short-term (57-minute story) and were derided as a waste of screen time will be seen as prescient and well-crafted; now that the ‘tale is told.’
  5. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because the constant “I hope the writers wake up and write what I want to see from the books, or they will lose viewers” is OLD. They are professional story-tellers. They are not writing purposefully bad episodes and sneaking them past multiple layers of editor$ and director$ and producer$ to magically appear on your TV, awaiting your pronouncement it was done wrong. They just aren’t, ok?
  6. I’m looking forward to a respite from the constant bickering over something having happened on page 754 but showing up in episode 4 instead episode 10.
  7.  I am looking forward to a year where there isn’t a weekly “this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, I hate this episode, I hate this season, I hate this actor” and yet!  Here I am watching it (at midnight!) so that I can bitch and whine and whine and bitch.
  8. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because I will not have to comment for a year– “It was one 2 minute scene of a  57 minute episode of a 684 minute season of a 1000 page book of a ~ 9000 page series of 10 novels that haven’t been finished yet!”
  9. I will not have to hear about “that one book quote that touched my heart so deeply, that made me swoon and that I tell everyone they should read the book for, was not represented properly, at the right time, by the wrong person or not at all” (I knew going in “my” favorite scene this season wouldn’t make the cut… But I can still go back and read the scene and laugh!)
  10.  I am looking forward to Droughtlander because yes, I hate Sam’s wig and I mostly hate it because they have done just everything else visual perfectly, and I truly can’t see what the reason for his look is. I will hold out hope that in season 5 he finally wears his hair like EVERY OTHER MALE IN THE SHOW over the age of 15–good guy, bad guy and whether it suits them.
  11. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because I am of the generation that had to remember not to make plans on Thursday nights if I  wanted to watch 22 episodes of a half-hour sitcom that I learned about when the TV Guide showed up. I got to watch the reruns over the summer one more time, and then it disappeared from my world. I can watch season 1-4 on an endless loop 24/7 till the new season. (and I just may!)
  12. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because during Droughtlander, I’m going to go to Scotland! This spring a trip to Ireland, Scotland and Wales is being planned– with friends I have made VIA Outlander! What a special way to spend some of my Droughtlander!   

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    My first Droughtlander meme.

  13. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because it means that Diana Gabaldon’s next book is getting closer to publication, and hopefully there wont be things for people to complain about in that! (she’s the SOURCE!)
  14. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because we will all be together in the misery that is Droughtlander, and misery loves company, and we on these fan pages will eventually tire of bitching, and find things to talk about and we will forge new layers of friendship while suffering, together.
  15. I am looking forward to Droughtlander so we don’t have to discuss whether time given to beauty shots– the vistas and locations that Diana WRITES pages and pages about–is wasted time. (It’s not. It’s a VISUAL medium.)  TV an aural medium, and the risky choices of music ALSO tell a story; a story of time travelers, and of how multi-layered our lives and our story and the history of this country is and how often, we only see the bits we want to see. These are also things expressed in paragraphs and pages of the book.
  16. And you know what? I agree we don’t NEED to see another instance of Claire playing doctor, eating up those precious minutes of screen time… but the thing is, Dr. Claire Is ALL OVER THE BOOKS. *(if Diana WRITES another eyeball-oriented medical situation in BEES, however,  I’m  gonna throw the  book! <VBG>)
  17. I am looking forward to Droughtlander because it could have been a feature length movie instead, and if you think they changed things for episodic TV…. Ron and Co have been amazing. As my husband said when I was fretting about the books being ruined, back at the beginning, “Trust Ron. He is a world builder.”
  18. I am looking forward to Droughtlander, because this too shall pass.

I found Outlander in 2003 because I went to the library and always looked for the thickest book I could find. I stayed for the life of these characters and for the show.

I show up to work every day because I have to go there; I don’t want to go to work, but they pay me. I cannot imagine spending my midnights every Saturday doing something that I know is going to piss me off. Unless I was being paid, I can’t imagine spending so much of my time watching and then going onto fan pages and complaining.  If I knew I was going to getso aggravated by what I saw on a TV show, I’d stop watching or wait for the DVD and a snow day binge. If I constantly came away from the show disappointed and let down, I would stop giving it my psychic energy.

I have stopped reading books that everyone raves about because I tried and tried and couldn’t find joy in them. I close them and put them away. Same with TV shows. (Mrs. Maisel?) Sometimes, it is just a bad fit. I don’t have to watch the TV show –I’m not being paid.  I don’t have to be in any group-I’m not doing paid. I have left groups because I do not like the vibe. Nobody is forcing me to stay in a group.

But I can not understand anyone doing that to themselves. Getting worked up to the point of trolling the cast and crew on Twitter, feeling they have the right and obligation to make sure they are as loud and rude about their displeasure to everyone who will listen.

There is a really simple solution:

Turn off the TV and open up the book again;  it’s gonna be a LONG DROUGHTLANDER!

(if you would like to add to my piggy bank for this wonderful, once in a lifetime trip to Scotland, Ireland and Wales, please consider purchasing one of my photos! Follow this hyperlink and please, pass it on!)20170503-dandy

Adaptations— A primer

ADAPT: to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation

: to change (something) so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose

: to change (a movie, book, play, etc.) so that it can be presented in another form

So, this book I love is becoming a TV series tonight (not a movie, not a mini-series, but a full on, 16 episode first season series!) I have had the pleasure of reading the books for over a decade,  seeing the first episode during the last week, and conversing via social media for  the past year with author, costumer and actors…. and you know what?

THEY are right and you may be wrong.

Outlander, the first of at last count an eight big-book series, (with a number of smaller works that go along with them) written by Diana Gabaldon, premieres as a TV show on Starz tonight.  The things that are IMPORTANT will be there. Possibly in a different order. (Patience, young grasshopper!) I have faith in this, because Ron D. Moore tells us his job as show runner is to not mess up his wife Terry’s favorite book.

The things that CAN be done will be done, and things that are important will stay. And if they aren’t still there, well maybe we are the ones who have created something in our heads that isn’t there. Seriously.

   

10559752_10152584443924246_6176897968434202756_n<—-Important bit. Included. (The text actually is NOT from the first episode, but the LOOK, so he can tell Claire this much later in the books, had to be in the first episode. )

As Ansel Adams said, There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.

I would think that this is at least as true in the written word. When those words are then translated by hundreds of hard working actors, directors, screenwriters, costumers and set designers, the number of voices and visions might possibly deafen.

Each of us brings to any work of art, indeed, to any aspect of life, the sum total of all of our experiences. Either in the creating of said work, or in the consuming of it. That we have all had different life experiences doesn’t seem odd, and accordingly, our reading of words on a page must be influenced by different things. 

That doesn’t mean that any interpretation on screen is WRONG. It just may be different than what YOU brought to the reading of it and what you took from it.

After a year of having the supreme honor of hovering about the edges of this creative endeavor—following Twitter and Facebook conversations with writers and costumers and actors alike, I have to say that I think they’ve got it in hand. Trust them.

In the 8,000+ pages where he lives, the character Jamie has commented a number of times on his wife Claire’s substantial bottom.  That doesn’t actually mean that Claire’s rear aspect is overly large; indeed it could be read, as I did, as simple pillow-talk and playful behavior between Jamie and Claire. It also has absolutely no importance to the plot. For example, said plump ass never gets stuck in a doorway, blocking access for some thief in the night, which then causes a different outcome. If the big booty in question was required for the story, I’d be sorry to see them not get it right. (If you read the actual physical description of Claire, she is supposed to be about 130 lbs., and shorter than the actress portraying her. Diana Gabaldon put the height issue to bed quickly by suggesting that the only option was to find a less perfect actress or cut Cait’s feet off…)  Perhaps Jamie is simply a fan of Sir Mix-a-Lot?

As it is, I have to say that the ass, as shown, is a lovely round thing and how dare we as viewers denigrate an actor who is willing to bare all for the story? (Odd, isn’t it, to be admiring my ‘friend’ Cait’s backside, huh? I can’t imagine how I will be feeling when I get to see my other ‘friend’ Sam’s ass;– we have been assured he has a fine one, by the author Herself!)

Similarly, Claire’s eye color, a great device in storytelling, didn’t actually accomplish anything other than being a way of description. At no point does the heroine get caught because someone noticed her odd eye color and realized she was skulking about where she didn’t belong, thereby changing the story. Diana writes long books. Gorgeous, evocative description is obviously a part. And the camera is now going to create for us proof of how wonderfully deep and complex Claire may be, Caitrona Balfe’s eye color and butt size be damned.outlander-sam-heughan-caitriona-balfe-tobias-menzies However, Claire-hair WILL stay, and I think that a fine thing and a character of it’s own.

 

8,000 pages, give or take depending on your reading device, and the story isn’t finished. We, the long-time readers, can not continue to nit-pick every utterance or camera angle or choice made while ADAPTING the written word for the visual medium of TV. We are talking about taking one type of art and turning it into another type of art.10382772_10203709921660693_259376560995244149_n

There have to be changes. The medium requires it—We have to be adaptable as well.

It is entirely possible some scene that to you is incredibly important, because of what you brought to the reading of it, may be cut. It is going to happen. What we have to be thankful for is that the over all shape of the story stays. That the intent and love of the story remains intact. We can hope that many more people fall in love with these characters and that that the entire cast and crew remains committed to making a quality product.

We need to adapt because there are 25 million readers who have 25 million life stories, 25 million visions of Jamie, or of the size of Lallybroch or the size of Murtagh in relation to Dougal, or who think Tobias Menzies doesn’t have Frank’s smile.

That for all these years, YOU have considered Jamie Fraser to be the size of Hercules with a Ronald Mc Donald wig on his head in no way makes the color red they came up with for his hair incorrect. If his hair isn’t long enough for your vision, then adjust your vision. This is the character, Jamie Fraser, played by the actor, Sam Heughan.

Filming is almost finished for the first season, so stop complaining, will you? Jamie will be imbued with Sam as much as Sam will be imbued with Jamie.  (By the numbers, Sam is an inch shorter and a few pounds shy of the actual book description, your fantasy man notwithstanding.)

But we’ve already had that Conversation , haven’t we?      Ad infinitum.

There have been some absolutely wonderful reviews of Outlander so far….  Here is Rotten Tomatoes, which catalogs reviews.

Yes, books are different than TV and movies, and usually, the book is better.  And that will probably be the case, overall, here. But I am watching this as a companion to the books, not as a replacement. I can keep in my book world the images I have created and STILL enjoy the visual ADAPTATION immensely.

PS. Yes, young Roger IS in the manse. We just don’t SEE him in the first episode. Did you SEE how big that house is? He’s a tiny boy asleep on a chair, for goodness sake!  Dinna fash, aye?

COMMENTS welcome!!!!

pps, and I am editing as I re-read…..sorry about spelling errors! Dang Auto-correct strikes again!

Interesting reading about the costuming.

A nice review, episode 106, about Adaptation.