Not sure what Nielsen would make of my TV viewing habits. It all started with The Merry Mail Man and Romper Room and has somehow devolved into Penny Dreadful and Outlander. Yes, my shows have darkened over the decades, but they’re just the fix I need after a day’s barrage of business tasks and breaking news.

Take Outlander for example. This smoldering romance/drama has castles and horses and swords (oh, my). There’s nothing like flipping the switch from my office to another time and place (as Claire has managed to do in Outlander).

Outlander takes me all the way from Type A to Type B. From the opening tune (the only one on TV both upbeat and understandable) to the last frame that’s either a drunken brawl or steamy sex, this is one addicting drama that takes my mind off tweets and emails and puts it on Tartan kilts and shiny swords.

What’s not to like about beautiful and brainy Claire Beauchamp Randall, who’s in the right spot at the right time to travel from 1947 to 1743 Scotland and smack into the arms of handsome kilt-wearing clan-man Jamie Fraser, straight off the cover of a romance paperback? With his molten gaze and red-hot curls, Jamie is one hot Highlander. From “Grrrr!” to “You’re tearing my guts out, Claire,” Jamie goes from steely to sensitive in a flash. Talk about taking me away…they even do part of each show in Gaelic, with ZERO subtitles. I’m probably fluent by now.

In addition to romance, there are blood-drenched battles between the redcoats and the clansmen as the Jacobites try to restore the Stuarts and Catholicism to the thrones of Scotland and England, with every detail meticulously mapped out by set designers. And the post-show one-on-ones with Executive Producer Ronald. D. Moore ice the cake.

So, grab a glass of Laphroaig and a bowl of Haggis (or just the whiskey) and cheer slàinte to this sizzling series. If you’re like me and feel a bit untethered after a long day at the office, followed by endless news stories featuring nukes, fires or hurricanes, Outlander may be just the mooring you need.

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