I watched the first half of Starz’s Outlander with interest and also wrote my reviews for each episode on Popcorn Entertainment. However, after cooling off for quite a few months, I have decided not to continue with the series. Are you daft, lass? (I hear the Scottish accents questioning my sanity.) Well, perhaps, but here is why.
Having read the book, with large portions being skimmed, I did not enjoy the story as much as others. The main reason for my disenchantment is the violence and sadistic behavior portrayed in the book and that which will continue to be portrayed on screen.
There is a vast difference between Starz cable and Masterpiece Theater. Cable goes for the shock factor, explicit sexual scenes, and language that is unspoken on mainstream television. Perhaps had Masterpiece did Outlander, it would not have been as popular. I will admit that the cast and setting of Outlander is well done, but it’s still not enough to keep me paying extra for Starz cable through Comcast.
After having watched the first four episodes of Poldark (sneaking a peek before it comes in June on Masterpiece in the United States), I am reminded of the quality of good television. As much as I liked the beginning premise of Outlander, I don’t feel compelled to continue to watch episodes of Jamie rescuing Claire, Claire rescuing Jamie, and Black Jack Randall’s psychopathic behavior. For me personally, it leaves unwanted images in my mind. I’m still trying to erase the beating of Jamie tied to a post with blood oozing from every pore. I also don’t need to see Claire’s breasts or Jamie’s rear end to find entertainment on the screen.
On the other hand, I have found Poldark to be a wonderful series even without graphic gore and sex. It’s a heartwarming and extremely well produced remake of the original 1970 series. Aidan Turner is England’s heartthrob at the moment. This Redcoat is worth the watch. The story is tender and romantic without explicit images.
Nevertheless, it’s a matter of personal preference and what some viewers can stomach and some cannot. I do not judge those of you who have fallen for Outlander by any means. Whether it’s a Scot or Recoat that floats your boat, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s my English ancestry that draws me to Poldark. All I know, is that I feel empowered after an episode of Poldark rather than drained after an episode of Outlander.
UPDATE: 5/13/15. Entertainment Online posted an article today warning Outlander fans about what is to come. No doubt it is the horrific sadistic act against Jamie perpetrated by Black Jack Randall. It appears they are showing it all. Sorry, but I don’t want that imagine burned into my memory for the remainder of my life. Starz is hailed as bold and brave to film graphic rape scenes and sodomy? No thank you.
UPDATE: 4/11/16. I have decided to watch Season 2 since most of the objectionable material is done. To read my reviews, don’t forget to subscribe!