When Outlander debuted on Starz a month ago (with 5 million multiplatform viewers, it turns out, which is a record for the network), I described the pilot as something akin to one of those stuffy British dramas my wife loves, plus an element of soft-core porn. It was that latter element that — not to be a male stereotype — kept me more intrigued by a show I otherwise would have had little interest in. Seeing a naked Caitriona Balfe ravished on a table was a nice entry point into the period drama.
But since that opening episode, there’s been quite a bit of pining, and a lot of eye-fucking, and certainly some of those period costumes are unexpectedly flattering for both the female and male form, but the steamy, throw-your-naked-selves-at-each-other sex scenes haven’t really materialized yet.
I was promised a soft-core Harlequin romance with time travel, damnit! And there’s been no more time travel, and the scenes from the covers of romance novels aren’t there, either. I mean, I hate to be a male stereotype, but where’s all the throbbing and the gasping and the gentle caressing and Please-Rex-Take-Me-On-This-Picnic-Blanket-On-An-Uncomfortable-Gravel-Road business? That’s why I tuned in, dammit. For the bodice ripping.
No one has ripped a goddamn bodice yet! But my God, Claire won’t shut up about getting back to those rocks. We’re five episodes in, and though no one is sneaking out behind the elderberry bush to shred some corset, we’ve heard Claire talk about returning — and failing to return — to the damn rocks 47 times an episode. It ain’t happening, lady. Let it lie. Between you and me, your husband was kind of a bore, anyway. This Jamie guy, on the other hand? He looks like a fella that knows his way around a hoop skirt and under petticoat, if you know I mean?
Oh sure, the stuff we learn about plants and medicines is swell (though, The Knick is far more interesting in that regard), and some of the MacKenzie men are interesting enough characters, I guess, and yes, the way that Claire stands her ground in the presense of dominating men is certainly fun to watch.
But you know what’d be even more fun to watch? Jamie rip through Claire’s tight-laces with his teeth and slowly pulling that chemise off over her thigh-high boots while she claws at his scarred back, and then watching two people who are clearly attracted to each other bang like fucking bunnies.
Bring back the pleasure back to the guilty pleasure. Is that really too much to ask?