Tag: outlander (Page 1 of 5)

Outlander Jamie and Claire in bed.

Like ‘Outlander?’ Try These Romantic TV Shows

If you love Outlander, these romantic TV shows, with or without nudie scenes, will get you through Droughtlander.

Recently I had a conversation with a casual fan of Outlander (I count anyone who hasn’t read the books as “casual”) about how much she liked the show for its romantic appeal. Sure, she loved the history and the action, as well as the beautiful locations in Scotland, but it’s the incredible relationship between Claire and Jamie Fraser that kept her watching. However, she, and millions of other Outlander fans, get very frustrated during Droughtlander, when the show is on hiatus. Waiting for new episodes is painful!

To help her get through the sans Outlander period, I recommended watching other romantic TV shows. I sent her a quick email with a list of romantic TV shows she could stream or download, and then I thought, maybe there are other Outlander fans suffering from the same Droughtlander pain. So, I offer a list of romantic TV shows to watch if you’re missing Outlander, some of which are mini-series.

Poldark

Poldark

Ross Poldark comes home to Cornwall, England after fighting in the Revolutionary War. The property he inherited from his dead father is in shambles. The woman he was to marry is now married to his cousin. He faces challenges in a failing economy to get his farm productive again, so he can take care of his tenants and either win back the woman he loves, or find another to love.

Outlander factors: Filming locations in the United Kingdom; takes place in the 18th Century.

Cast connections: Aidan Turner (pictured above) played Kili in The Hobbit with Graham McTavish, who plays Dougal on Outlander.

Reign

Reign

Reign follows Mary Stuart’s story as she becomes Mary, Queen of Scots. Reign isn’t about historical accuracy as much as it is the drama surrounding Mary’s rise to power, and her tragic end. Because Mary, and everyone else at the time, was so young, it’s generally billed as a teen drama. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the intrigue and romance.

Outlander factors: History of Scotland; filming locations in Scotland.

Cast connections: Craig Parker, who plays Lord Narcisse, starred in Spartacus: War of the Damned with Manu Bennett, who played Azog in The Hobbit, with Graham McTavish, who plays Dougal on Outlander.

New Worlds

New Worlds

Charles II has just been restored to the throne in England. On the other side of the Atlantic, colonists are working to stake their claim on the land by battling American Indians. The revolution is on the horizon. New Worlds follows Beth, Hope, Abe and Ned in and out of relationships while they’re struggling with the realities of changing politics. While there’s a good bit of violence, there’s also a lot of romance between the four main cast members.

Outlander factors: History of the United Kingdom; filming locations in the United Kingdom.

Cast connections: None, but Jamie Dornan (second from left, above) stars in Fifty Shades of Grey, which includes Rachel Skarsten, who stars in Reign.

Middlemarch

Middlemarch

In a fictional English town called Middlemarch, Dr. Lydgate wants to establish a hospital. Dorothea Brooke is promised to marry Rev. Edward Casaubon, who is less than an ideal match. The industrial revolution is coming, but many of Middlemarch’s residents are desperately holding onto the old ways.  If you enjoy a good story about unrequited romance, this is the mini-series for you.

Outlander factors: Takes place in the 18th Century; filming locations in the United Kingdom.

Cast connections: None, but Jonathan Firth who plays Fred Vincy starred in the Highlander TV series in 1997.

Rome

Rome

Although Rome has nothing to do with Jacobites or World War II, there are similarities to OutlanderRome is about Julius Caesar, his family and his political struggles, as well as his adopted successor, Octavian Augustus. Rome depicts daily life, as well as the tension between the classes, how they worshiped, and of course, how they loved.

Outlander factors: Historical fiction; examination of a transitional time in an empire; strong thread of spirituality.

Cast connections: Tobias Menzies, who stars as Marcus Junius Brutus, plays Frank Randall / Black Jack Randall in Outlander.

Shogun

Shogun

An English sailor, John Blackthorne, finds himself wrecked in Japan in the 16 Century. He arrives in the middle of a war and must not only prove himself to his hosts, but choose a side and learn to fight like a Samurai. Of course, there is a woman he falls in love with, but who is forbidden. Shogun aired in 1980 and completely captured my pre-pubescent imagination.

Outlander factors: Historical fiction; fish out of water scenario; love between two people from different countries and culture.

Cast connections: None, but John Rhys-Davies, who plays Vasco Rodrigues in Shogun, played Gimli, a dwarf, in the Lord of the Rings movies, like Graham McTavish, who plays Dougal McKenzie in Outlander, played in The Hobbit movies.

I hope one or more of these romantic TV shows gets you through Droughtlander!

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Missing Outlander? Try these romantic TV shows.

Outlander Yule Log

Where to Find Christmas Yule Log on TV

Looking for a TV Christmas Yule Log on DVD? Scroll to the bottom of this article. We’ve got some suggestions from Amazon.

Last year was the first year that yule logs pinged on my radar. What’s a TV yule log? It’s when a network or channel airs a looping video of a cozy fire, usually crackling in a fireplace replete with holiday decor. It’s a fun way to add some virtual heat to your holiday gatherings. Until last year, I had only seen DVDs that played a variety of yule logs. Then The Hub announced it would be airing a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic yule log for the entire day of Christmas. I thought it was a cute idea, and from time to time, my children and I would check in with it.

This year, I’ve discovered several channels that will be airing yule logs for you to enjoy.

WHAT: Outlander Yule Log

Perhaps the best yule log you could possibly tune into is the Outlander yule log that is part of the 25 Days of #OutlanderOfferings. In past years, on Christmas Day, Outlander fans (and anyone who enjoys all things Scottish) cuddled up in front of a roaring Scottish hearth, courtesy of Starz’ first-ever yule log broadcast. The yule log usually begins with a countdown clock ticking down to the Outlander marathon (exclusive extended versions!). The cozy scene was filmed on location at Lallybroch, the Fraser family home, and fans can revel in the traditional holiday celebration set to music from award-winning Outlander composer Bear McCreary.

You can also show the Outlander yule log on your computer. Click here. The Outlander yule log online lasts an hour and a half!

WHERE TO WATCH

  • On STARZ – December 25th
  • Starz.com – December 15th – January 1st
  • Starz Play – December 22nd – January 2nd
  • On Demand (Traditional) – Available December 22nd-January 1st
  • On Demand (Expanded) – Available December 22nd-January 1st*Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH, CENTURYLINK

WHAT: Darth Vader Burning

WHERE TO WATCH: BenjaminApple YouTube

Five hours of Darth Vader (after redeeming himself and dying in Return of the Jedi) burning on a pyre. Merry Christmas! Go to https://youtu.be/PVJzibVS2YM

WHAT: Hallmark Channel

WHERE TO WATCH: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

WHAT: Animated Yule Log

WHERE TO WATCH: ChannelFrederator on YouTube

This is a long video clip showing a variety of animated yule logs. It doesn’t have the same mesmerizing ability of live-action, looping videos, but it will certainly start a conversation. Go to http://youtu.be/f_HhbH8ESNY

WHAT: Cable / On Demand Yule Logs

WHERE TO WATCH:

These cable and TV providers have specific channels On Demand that offer a variety of yule logs, some with music, others with clips from movies. Be sure to check with your own provider.

  • Xfinity
  • Cox Communications
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Bright House Networks
  • Cablevision
  • Bresnan
  • RCN
  • Metrocast

WHAT: Nick Offerman’s Yule Log

WHERE TO WATCH: My Tales of Whisky Official on YouTube

Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) sits silently in an armchair next to a crackling fire. For 45 minutes. For ages 21 and older because he does occasionally sip whisky. Go to https://youtu.be/LS-ErOKpO4E


Where to Find a Christmas Yule Log on TV

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Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall and Sam Heughan as Jamie in 'Outlander' Season 2

‘Outlander’ Season 2 Wish List UPDATED

Like millions of other fans, I have my own Outlander Season 2 wish list of scenes that I remember fondly from the books. In the run-up to the second season, we’re being swamped with pictures of sumptuous gowns, velvety waistcoats, manicured gardens, and gilded decor. Fans who didn’t read the books may be wondering how Claire and Jamie can leap from the rustic Scottish countryside to fashionable Paris.

If you’ll recall, at the end of Season 1, Claire and Jamie were sailing from Scotland to France, escaping Jamie’s “criminal” past, and looking to the future, which includes a newborn babe. Claire is pregnant, even when she thought she was barren. But how do these two, seemingly penniless spouses, wind up living like royalty in Paris?

MILD SPOILERS FOR TV-ONLY FANS

Jamie has a cousin, Jared Fraser, who is a very successful wine merchant. He invites Claire and Jamie to live with him, and gives Jamie a high-level job in his business. Jamie’s business position puts him at some of the trendiest tables in Paris. He and Claire’s mission, to stop the impending second Rising of the Scots against the English, also forces them to mingle with the wealthy and titled. Hence, the gorgeous ads showing Claire and Jamie in rich finery.

See also: Did the Outlander TV series faithfully rep the books?

I’ve spoken to lots of fans of the books who had a very difficult time slogging through Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the Outlander series. I confess, jumping back and forth between two timelines (18th Century France and 1960s Scotland) was jarring. Add to that the disorientation of living with Claire and Jamie in an unfamiliar environment, and Dragonfly in Amber can be confusing.

However, the payoff at the end of the book is worth pushing through every tedious dinner party. And several of the most beloved Outlander characters from future installments are introduced in Dragonfly in Amber. Let’s run down an Outlander Season 2 wish list of scenes I’d like to see, in no particular order.

Updated: November 23, 2016

Let’s check in to see if my favorite scenes from the books made it into Outlander Season 2.

BIG SPOILERS FOR TV-ONLY FANS 

BIG ONES. I MEAN IT.

Cold Shower

My favorite scene in Dragonfly in Amber takes place in Claire and Jamie’s bedroom. No, it’s not that. Jamie spent the night carousing with Bonnie Prince Charlie, which included spending most of the night at a brothel. Just as Claire is forgiving Jamie for partying with whores, he strips down to get in the bath and she sees bite marks on his thighs. After he climbs into the bath, thinking he has smoothed things over with his wife, Claire dumps a bucket of cold water on his head.

It’s my favorite scene because it’s one of the first time the two of them are not on the same page. It’s also such a commonplace argument between a wife and a husband — jealousy, the husband partying while the pregnant wife is at home — that I find it endearing. Instead of fighting off Redcoats, they’re wrestling with what it’s like to be married.

Update: Yes! The scene was much shortened, and Claire didn’t expect Jamie too closely, but the bath scene was there! Poor Jamie. Er, right?

Blue Light Special

If you’ve read the books, you know Claire suffers a miscarriage after watching Jamie duel with Black Jack Randall. She winds up at the very hospital where she has been volunteering. She’s in a bad way, until Master Raymond, a mysterious apothecary who she has befriended, comes to her aid. In a fevered state, her memories are fuzzy, but one of her memories is of a blue light coming from Master Raymond’s hands, and then her womb, as he heals her.

Dominique Pinon as Master Raymond in 'Outlander' Season 2

Dominique Pinon as Master Raymond in ‘Outlander’ Season 2

This scene is on my Outlander Season 2 wish list for two reasons. First, Claire is saved. She begins to heal. Second, it reveals that Master Raymond is more than just an apothecary, and he has secrets.

Update: Yes! In fact, the “Faith” episode is incredibly powerful, thanks in part to the writing, but mostly because of Caitriona Balfe’s wonderful performance. She managed not to be too melodramatic, but still conveyed the absolute horror of miscarriage. Plus, it was filmed so Master Raymond didn’t appear to be super creepy.

No Garden of Eden

Jamie is put into prison for duelling with Jack Randall. Claire sacrifices a great deal to get him out. One of the most amazing scenes in the book is when they make-up in the garden at the house where she has been staying. Jamie finds her, and the two talk. It is not, however, an easy conversation. They do not throw themselves at each other and immediately forgive all. They discuss the miscarriage, the duel, the Rising.

Claire and Jamie in 'Outlander' Season 2

Caitriona Balfe as Claire and Sam Heughan as Jamie in ‘Outlander’ Season 2

I like this scene because it wasn’t easy. So many times in a marriage you must come together after a rift, whether you want to or not. Even if all you take is the first step toward reconciliation, it is better than none. You don’t have to completely forgive the other, but you must at least begin to.

Update: They had this difficult conversation, but again, like most TV shows adapted from books, the scene wasn’t nearly as long and tortuous as it was in the books.

It Ain’t Wicked

Claire finds herself entangled in the King’s court, in order to help Jamie get out of prison for dueling. One of her nastiest adversaries, Comte St. Germain, manipulates the King and others into bringing Claire to a scary, late-night reckoning, accusing her of being the White Witch. She is pitted against the Comte in a do or die situation… and comes out triumphant.

Stanley Webber as Comte St. Germain in 'Outlander' Season 2

Stanley Webber as Comte St. Germain in ‘Outlander’ Season 2

I like this scene for the same reason probably everyone does: The Comte dies and Claire escapes. I can’t stand that damn Comte! He’s evil! Also, after this scene, men are much more fearful of her. She becomes more powerful because of it.

Update: Oh, yes! This was one scene that actually played better on TV than in the book!

First Impressions

Lord John Grey is certainly one of the most beloved characters from the books. In fact, Diana Gabaldon wrote several companion novellas starring John Grey. He is certainly one of my favorites.

He is introduced just before the Battle of Prestonpans. He sees and hears Claire at the center of the Scots encampment, and mistakenly thinks she has been kidnapped. At only 16 years-old, he attempts to rescue her. Jamie, however, not only captures him, but deceives him. Jamie lets him think Claire really is a captive, going so far as to strip her to the waist in front of all the men.Outlander Store

This scene is on my Outlander Season 2 wish list because there is so much at stake and about three different storylines are playing out. 1) Jamie and Claire are heading into what they know will be an important battle. And they are still trying to carry out their mission to avoid the Battle of Culloden. 2) Jamie and Claire are still working out their differences. Jamie’s show of being her captor puts them at odds even more. Not to mention the fact that the men can’t look at her quite the same after. The whole scenario provides a lot of humor. 3) Lord John Grey is struggling with a couple of things. Not only does he feel defeated because he’s been captured, he finds himself attracted to Jamie. On top of that, he’s humiliated when he discovers Claire is Jamie’s wife.

Update: Hm, yes, the scene was included, but it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the one in the book. Lord John Grey’s part was almost brief and not nearly as foreboding as it should have been.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Well, not so much breaking up, as saying good-bye to the love of your life, knowing you’ll never see him or her again, and that one of you is headed toward certain death.

At the end of Dragonfly in Amber — the painful, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking end — Jamie sends Claire back through the stones, back to the future. They decide Claire and their unborn child will have not only a better chance at survival in the future, but also a better quality of life. The Redcoats are bearing down on them. They both know how the Battle of Culloden will end. So Claire leaves.

Before she leaves, however, we are treated to one of the most passionate scenes in the all the books. The two of them — how should I put this? —  get about as carnal as a man and woman can, up against a stone wall, while soldiers are storming up the hill. On top of that, they use a dagger to mark each other with letter-shaped scars, to show that they will forever be owned by each other.

If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.

What’s your favorite scene from Dragonfly in Amber? Let me know in the comments below.

Update: Oh, yes. Of course, the scene was included. But thanks to the ridiculous back and forth flashbacks, the entire Culloden sequence was robbed of the gravitas and powerfully tragic nature it should have had. This scene was much, much better in the book, for its exquisite pain.

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My wish list for Outlander Season 2 - The scenes from the books I really want to see!

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