WHY THIS BLOG?

I AM PARCA'S CHOSEN:
Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. I deal with the odd serious issue but for the most part, my posts are just some cheeky fun, reviews of favorite shows, and true stories that will make you laugh out loud (or run screaming...I don't know you well enough to predict your behavior). You'll find satire with the odd parody tossed in....and most definitely a generous helping of hyperbole, with a dollop of facetiousness.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

OUTLANDER STARZ: THE ULTIMATE FANFIC SERIES


Can a cable TV series be considered fan fiction?
  
I was under the impression that 'fanfic' (fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction) was only for the written word, but I was wrong. After trying to understand why I was so unhappy with how Ron Moore and his stable of writers were adapting Outlander on Starz it hit me like a candlestick to BJR’s head: they were creating fanfic!


                                                       It was an epiphany!

                           

My apologies to Diana Gabaldon, who has clearly stated that she hates fanfic but is an adviser to the show *yes, she advises but has said she has NO control…much like the thousands of women with raging hormones who screamed like the front row at a Beatles' concert at the sight of Jamie’s hand full of penis in the pond scene. She will obviously disagree with me but maybe, just maybe, she does agree deep down inside, where she secretly sticks pins in her Voodoo Ron Doll *which is just a modified Barry Gibb doll from the BeeGees Collection...in a kilt.



  
It all makes sense now. And with that new understanding, I can appreciate the changes and A-D-A-P-T-A-T-I-O-N (when frustrated with everyone elses obvious stupidity for not thinking like you, capitalize and hyphenate) and not resent them.

I am very grateful for the revelation.

In trusting that Starz would retain the story’s soul, I had felt irrevocably betrayed.

As many have so rightly pointed out, the books are massive and cannot logically be expected to be reproduced verbatim on film. Impossible. So, all one could reasonably hope for was to have a condensed version that kept the heart, and character’s personalities, intact.
 
And that is where it lost me. 

Sure, time constraints and budgets take their toll, but what reason could there be for changing the characters so much that they were unrecognizable? We fans can forgive a lot of cutting, twisting and melding as long as the main characters remain consistent and true with their book counterparts.

Let me use Harry Potter for an example: in the books, I love Harry and Dumbledore but hate Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew. When I saw the movies, a lot was changed (JK Rowling, like our beloved Diana Gabaldon types titanic tomes), but after I watched the shows I still loved Harry and Dumbledore and I still hated Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew. In the Outlander books, I LOVE Jamie, admire Claire and am indifferent to Frank....but with the Starz adaptation, I am indifferent to Jamie, dislike Claire and LOVE Frank. *see my piece Franklander for more details on that!

Ya see where I’m heading here?

Some things you simply cannot change or the adaptation becomes a mutilation.
 

I bowed out of the show’s audience, unfinished popcorn left on the seat, with mounds of Kleenex, soggy with tears of disappointment littering the floor. The loss of Jamie&Claire on the screen after waiting for so many years weighed heavy on my heart but I consoled myself with knowing that all was AOK in my shrine of Outlander books on my special shelf. They were safe there (but only because I moved my Game of Thrones collection to another room…goddamn GRRM kills anything within his reach!)
  
*NOTE: GoT is an example of a great adaptation. Yes, HBO has changed a LOT in the story (fat ass books that match JK and Diana’s in poundage; loved them all) and pissed off many a fan but seriously, for me, if I can still hate that little prick Joffrey, love Ned and Tyrion, despise Tywin and Little Finger, feel hopeful for sweet Jon and fear for Arya and Sanza (and I do) then the story is still true to its roots. Bravo David Benioff and DB Weiss!


SO, with wizened eyes, I dusted off my remote and watched Episodes 13 and 14 last night. My new-found insight into FanficJamie and FanficClaire shed a bright light on the entire series and I loved them! Gone were my needy, annoying desires for a book-similar character portrayals and within-a-mile story connection! 

I even (almost, sorta, kinda) enjoyed Claire's Vaudeville Act and instead of throwing a chair at the TV because of any protectiveness I felt towards the Andrew Sisters legacy...




                            ....I simply thought 'fanfic' and all was well again in the world.



 Here is a partial list of Ron's characters in his story:

Claire, a beautiful, tall slender Army nurse from 1945 who has the small perky breasts and wee sexy bum of a Victoria’s Secret Underwear Model and has a penchant for having any man she agrees to marry (3 so far) munching on her cheesecake, comes to Scotland on Re-Honeymoon with her husband Frank.
 
                                                *courtesy of Pragheza
 

Claire somehow falls through time whilst picking flowers at a Stonehenge-y kind of place and ends up in 1743 where she ends up saving and marrying a 23 year old virgin highlander named Jamie (whom she teaches that fucking doesn’t need to include a saddle and a feeding bag tied to ones ears) despite that fact that back in 1945, the OTHER man she loves and had crazygoodneverstopsex with is devastated and shattered to an emotional pulp.

Frank is a decent and handsome man with a fondness for cheesecake, who spent years in some mysterious MI6 spy-corner of the War Office but is thoughtful, loving, protective and MADLY in love with his wife. He fights to save Claire and refuses to believe she has betrayed him (but she did) and is inevitably crushed to the aforementioned pulp.
 



Jamie is a good lad who eagerly engages in as much sex as possible with the enthusiasm of a kid with a new toy. He wants to be a grown up man, but acts like he is 15 most of the time and is browbeaten fairly regularly by his new wife, who teaches him that make-up sex requires a knife to the throat and tweezers for wood splinters on ones back.

                

A few secondary characters: 

Dougal both loves his wife and wishes her dead (like most husbands, I imagine) and becomes famous for his love of corn (preferably 'ground').                       
                             
               

Murtagh is a tragic hero who has heart-wrenching hidden depths to his character that are crushed like a boot to the head as his hidden dancing ‘talents’ see daylight.
 
                              

Rupert and Angus: two sidekicks who add hilarity to the show, like an 18thCentury Abbott and Costello…until they turn into two chickenshit jerks who are too scared to save their friend Jamie from torture and death...
                        

...at the hands of the Grand Poobah of All Psychotic Bastards, Black Jack Randall *who remains curiously untouched by Ron’s imagination and remains as hated and vile in his fanfic as the original story.
 

LegHair (aka Laoghaire) is a malicious, devious love starved teenager, obsessed with Jamie, who plans on killing Claire somehow so she can get her claws on him (after all, he DID play with her boobs by the lake and had to think hard about no cheating on his wife. A green light if ever there was one!)
                                                                    

Father Bain is an evil priest who can’t stay out of a scene and milks every minute he can get. I believe he will be reincarnated in the future as Benny Hinn.
              


"I Saw Geillis Fly" Guy: an 'added character' because...well...DG’s books don’t have enough bloody characters.
               

Do you see anything 'Outlandery' from the books in that list? No? Exactly! That I what makes fanfic so wonderful! It’s so…differliar*! (*both different and familiar at the same time...and yes, I can make up words if I like

And speaking of 'made up', anything goes with fanfic! We could see purple monkeys riding skateboards alongside the stampeding cows at Wentworth next week and it would fine. In fact, I am curious as hell to see what hijinks that spunky Claire comes up with in lieu of the wolf scene that I hear was cut when Ron wanted the wolves to dress like the Cartwrights on Bonanza and they refused then quit.
                             

Ah well. I think it was a genius idea. WTF do wolves know anyway?

The much awaited/dreaded Wentworth Torture/Rape episode (15) is next but I am not worried. With the freedom from story logic that fanfic allows, we just may end up with BJR and Jamie co-joined permanently and forced to join a roving band of circus performers, ultimately becoming their main attraction: 'The Amazing BJR: Black Jamie Randall!
 *if Starz needs more writers, I am obviously interested:

                                           

 
                                  Here's a quicky reference chart I made:  
                             click/tap (ctrl) and the plus sign( +) together to enlarge:





So, bottom line, the old complaints that called Outlander 'Ronlander' are quiet unfounded and the series must be viewed as the Ultimate Fanfic to 'get it'.  
*or if you listen to Ron's Podcasts because he is also a trendsetter: all books in the future may require producer/director monologues to be fully understood.

I have re-heated my popcorn, swept the littered floor and am sitting back to enjoy the best damn FANAPTATION of a book on television today! #Fanaptation!
 
Whoever said Moore is Less is just wrong...

...oops…that was me who said that. 

Nevermind. 


 

8 comments:

  1. WHAT? I don't get it. It is an 'adaptation' and that is indeed what it is. Why aren't we happy that we get to enjoy it? So it doesn't follow the book to the tee, what fun would that be? I'm just happy that I get to see it come to life! I wished everyone would just stop complaining! GEESH!

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    1. You DID read my blog, right? The part where I say 'we' are NOT enjoying it? And that it is NOT an adaptation but a mutilation? I think if everyone liked the same things, life would be dull indeed and one person's 'complaining' is another person's 'expressing an opinion'. And foe the record, I think following the book would be a whole shitload of fun. Otherwise, call it by another title and be honest with fans about its bastardization. Call it Outlander Make Over! *thanks for commenting though...we cannot all think alike. :)

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  2. To say that it's not an adaptation makes me think you don't really understand what an adaptation is. And that's ok. Not enjoying it, also ok. Puzzling is why you think the cast and crew and Diana herself are interested in hearing about why you dislike everything about their hard work. Also puzzling: why you want to administrate a fan group for a show you don't like.
    Personally, when I dislike something, I stop watching/reading etc. I'm crazy like that.

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    1. We seem to differ in opinion on the adaptation and that's okay...it takes all kinds...but I am not sure what you mean by Diana and the cast and crew comment. IF you are referring to my tweets on their Twitter account, then I actually don't care if they read them or not...I am just gaining the exposure of their audience...people like you, for example. I thought that was common knowledge and rather simple concept. People who tweet celebrities rarely are actually READ by the celeb...so really, they tweet the celebs followers. As far as being admin on the largest Outlander forum on FB, if you would have taken the time to read our description, we are a BOOK and show forum and one does not have to love both mediums to be a part of the group...or an admin on it. I have a funny feeling you are puzzled a lot in your life. I mean really...a LOT.
      PS: and if you stop reading things you dislike...why are you reading my blogs? Maybe you are crazy...your word, not mine.

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  3. Thank you! I've been watching the Starz "adaptation," and I often find myself annoyed. I was challenged to figure out exactly what it was that made me so unhappy with the series. This has been enlightening. Again, thanks!

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    1. Happy to see a like-minded soul! But we are not alone...there a LOT, if the views, comments etc...on our FB forum is anything to go by! Thanks for the comment...

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  4. **I was emailed a great comment and have permission to post it here.

    FROM: CassieJune on Nov 26/15

    Hi Denise! I was prowling around your blog the other day and read your "fanfic" post. I wanted to thank you for that. That concept actually makes the tv series much more enjoyable for me. In my experience, fanfic can be very good. It can even enhance my experience of a story I love. But I always expect there to be some problems -- characterizations slightly off or a key plot line interpreted differently -- and I just have to ignore in order to enjoy the fanfic, knowing that I know the "real" story and characters. When I think of the tv show this way, tada, I can enjoy all the beauty and not fash so much about what's missing. Thanks again!!!

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    1. Cheers CassieJune! Many thanks for this great comment and for the permission to post it. I usually dont post emailed comments...too much hassle and it seems a bit braggie, but yours was perfect so I had to share. Glad you enjoyed the piece so much... :)

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I really do appreciate you reading and perhaps sharing my blog pieces and hoped you enjoyed them. Leave a comment if you like and I will reply asap. *NOTE: I have strong opinions and will gladly respond to respectful debate or disagreement, but too many people use blogs as a platform for their insanity and hate, so be aware that my moderator will not allow Haters to spread their hate and I personally only see comments, good or bad, that are not rude.