Earlier this week, Vanity Faira posted an article with the headline “Does the New Outlander Series Have What It Takes to Be More than Just a Bodice-Ripper?b”
In the piece itself, journalist Joanna Robinson says that no, it does not, and writes that “in order to become a true hit, Outlander, a steamy, time-traveling romp through Scotland, is going to have to find a way to appeal to more than just your dear old mum. In other words, it can’t just be Fifty Shades of Plaid.”
Annoyed? You're not alone.
The article goes on to mention that the most recent installment of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander book series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Let's think about that discrepancy for a moment.
If the Outlander series were only appealing to “your dear old mum,” it sure as heck wouldn't have hit the top spot on the New York Times list. Robinson says that the book series appeals to “a largely female readership who will pre-order each installment months in advance,” but even if that's true, there have to be a substantial amount of males buying the books as well for them to consistently hit #1. And even breaking the readers down by gender in this case appears to just be another way for her to insult the series' audience.
Anyway. Moving on.
She also points out that the show is “obviously being marketed toward women and that, I think, is a huge mistake.” Because women are “already in the bag for this one” because of the “stereotypical love triangle” and “and a wee bit of blood on our hero Jamie.” She brings up the obvious comparison to Game of Thrones, which people originally conjectured wouldn't appeal to females, because a fantasy series about dynasties, kingdoms, dragons, complicated relationships, and strong women wasn't thought to appeal to women.
No. Of course not. Oh, wait...
Again, moving on.
It's fine if the journalist thinks that Outlander, the series, won't convert people who haven't read the books into fans. But to disparage the book series' fans and the television series because she thinks the book series and now the television series are just for women is both offensive and ignorant. The real question should have simply been, “Will the Outlander Series Appeal to More Than Its Book Fans?”
What would you say in response to this article?
(For all of H&H's Outlander coverage in one handy place, visit our Outlander Collection page. And check back for weekly episode recaps coming your way very soon!)
a: We used a 'donotlink' link so your clicking through won't count for their click numbers.
b: Bodice-ripper is an outdated pejorative term meant to convey disdain toward an entire genre.