A lot of people have been looking forward to Starz’s adaptation of “Outlander” for a very long time. And a lot of those people are women. But fellas, don’t judge this show by its book cover.
The truth is that “Outlander” is not just for the ladies. In fact, it’s more “Mad Men” than “Sex and the City” by a long shot. All you have to do is give it a chance and you’ll discover “Outlander” has plenty for everyone to enjoy.
And let’s be honest, a lot of guys out there are going to be forced to watch it anyway. You might as well enjoy yourselves, so here are seven things to look forward to in “Outlander.”
It has time travel
No one will classify “Outlander” as a sci-fi show, but it certainly has fantastical elements. For example: time travel.
When protagonist Claire gets thrown back in time by a mysterious, Stonehenge-like monument, she has to adjust to life in the 18th century. Hijinks ensue. Claire won’t be jumping back and forth between eras, but there are other surprises to look forward to as well.
‘Black Jack’ Randall is a brutal villain
If you thought the redcoats in “The Patriot” were bad, just wait until you meet “Black Jack” Randall. The ancestor of Claire’s modern-day (well, 1945) husband, this baddie is introduced early on in “Outlander.”
You won’t see the full extent of his dastardliness until much later, but from the moment he’s introduced, Black Jack is wonderfully detestable. That’s thanks mainly to the incredibly evil way in which Tobias Menzies portrays him. There’s a scene in a later episode where he literally tells a story for around 20 minutes, and it’s amazing. Who knew “Game of Thrones'” Edmure Tully had it in him?
The eye candy is not just for the ladies
If you’ve heard of “Outlander” before then you’ve probably heard what a dream boat Claire’s main love interest, Jamie Fraser, is. Claire takes an immediate interest in him when she arrives in 1743, and it’s no secret why (the kilt definitely helps).
But your girlfriend/wife/mother isn’t the only one who will be swooning when “Outlander” comes on. Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) is a looker herself, and it’s not just the guys who show a little skin now and then. Then there’s the redhead who gets introduced in episode 2. Enough said?
It’s full of gruesome violence
From opening scenes that portray Claire’s time as a field medic during World War II to her exploits as a healer in the 18th century, “Outlander” doesn’t shy away from the realities of the battlefield.
Those realities were pretty brutal back in 1945, but they were even worse in 1743, when the bulk of the show is set. Just wait until Claire needs to help amputate a guy’s arm with an antique hacksaw.
History buffs will love it
“Outlander” may have time travel, but that’s pretty much where the sci-fi ends and the historical fiction begins. Think of Claire as your hot, strong-willed window into another era (an era crawling with buff guys in kilts, but still).
The series’ portrayal of 18th-century Scotland and the clans’ struggles against English sovereignty are portrayed with faithfulness and great detail. And this is an era that doesn’t get explored all that often in fiction, so history buffs should appreciate it all the more.
Just think of Claire as the female Don Draper of 18th-century Scotland
You’ll probably enjoy “Outlander” more if you imagine Clarie as the Don Draper of 18th-century Scotland. Because obviously every man secretly wants to be Don Draper.
The characters do have some similarities. Don Draper is a womanizer, and Claire, with her dual love interests, can certainly be called a “manizer.” They’ve both been thrust into situations that test their abilities to adapt; Claire, into the past, and Don, into domesticity. And they both love to drink, though neither seems to be able to keep it together after one too many.
You’ll finally understand what she’s been raving about all these years
If nothing else, watching “Outlander” will finally help you understand what the women in your life have been raving about all this time. You’ll know who “Leg-Hair” (aka Laoghaire) is, you’ll be able to participate in Frank vs. Jamie arguments, and you might even pick up a little Gaelic along the way.
At the very least you’ll learn what a “Sassenach” is, and you won’t even have to read an 800-page book to find out.