Watch one of the most entertaining fantasy series on Netflix right now
It took me a global pandemic to get carried away. Like a lot of people, I first gave it up because I thought it was a romantic series and it’s just not my type of thing.
But, once I finally gave in to the pressure, it didn’t take long for me to discover that Outlander isn’t a romance. What makes it interesting is that it doesn’t fit perfectly into any genre box.
The show begins right after the end of WWII. British Army Nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is on vacation with her husband in the Highlands of Scotland, but is accidentally thrown back into the year 1743 while walking through an ancient stone circle. Fairly quickly, she meets a group of Scottish soldiers including the handsome Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).
Yes, more often than not the story – along with many of the show’s steamy sex scenes – is told through Claire’s eyes. And yes, Jamie, billed as the “King of Men,” is the kind of guy who has probably made many women around the world set unrealistic expectations for their own husbands and boyfriends.
Meanwhile, much of the plot takes place in 18th-century Scotland, so there are corsets and kilts galore. You get the literal “bodice tear” romance romance is known for, plus the easy access that comes from men wearing kilts and nothing underneath.
But I swear it’s not romance.
Most of the time, Outlander is pure fun to get away from it all. You get time travel, swordplay, and well-documented depictions of historical figures and events. On top of that, everything is shot so beautifully, mostly in Scotland, that it will make you want to hop on a plane and go for a munro hike, or at least wrap yourself in a plaid and open a bottle. of Heughan’s Sassenach Whiskey while you wait for COVID travel restrictions.
But sometimes it is very, very dark. True to the popular Diana Gabaldon series of books that the series is based on, there is a lot of sexual assault and the series often doesn’t spare viewers from an explicit portrayal.
That’s not to say this show doesn’t go over the top sometimes – although it never reaches the cheesy technicolor levels that a show like Bridgerton does. But the key plot events stem from ridiculously bad decisions made by the main characters, and some dialogue will have you laughing at inappropriate times.
As a result, Outlander falters on the edge of premium television, but doesn’t quite cross the line. Its quality stems from the solid performances of its leading roles, the depth of the characters, the attention to historical detail, the top notch cinematography, and the ability of its writers to (generally) cut Gabaldon’s rather lengthy books. to their most interesting nuggets.
At its heart, Outlander is the story of two people reunited by fate and how they persist over the years – some of them come apart – in a historical context that begins a few years before the failure of the Scottish Uprising of 1745 and continued through the American Revolution.
And, to keep things interesting, especially when it comes to costumes and music, there are few 20th century time jumps along the way.
There are five seasons to keep you busy right now. Production of the sixth was delayed thanks to COVID, resulting in an extra-long “droughtlander,” as fans like to call the already large gaps between seasons. But it is currently scheduled to air on Starz in “early 2022”. Season 7 production is also slated to begin next year.
And if you can’t wait to see what happens next, you can still read the books. There are currently eight, with a ninth coming in November. Be careful, although the first book is really excellent, they are all over 1000 pages long and some of the last ones tend to drag out a bit, especially when the plot shifts to the supporting characters.
You can find the first four seasons of Outlander on Netflix. But for the most recent season, you will either need to subscribe to Starz or buy or rent the episodes from another streaming service like.
And subscribing to Starz can be asking a lot, given that it doesn’t offer much else to get you excited about except for, a fun adventure from a Scottish travel show created by Heughan and Outlander actor Graham McTavish.
That said, you have four seasons of plaid worn all over the place, stripteases involving endless layers of clothing, countless wigs of sometimes dubious quality, an epically portrayed Battle of Culloden, and endless shots of the Highlands covered in heather to pass before you have to think about it.
And by then, you’ll probably be just as sucked into the Outlander as I am.