Episode 1, Sassenach
Starz, “Sampling” date: 2 August, 2014
Premiering on Starz Saturday, 9 August, 2014
I have been waiting 18 years for OUTLANDER to be made into some sort of visual entertainment: either a film or TV program. I was excited last year to find out that a series on Starz was in the offing. I watched, but did not obsessively follow, the progress of the production, casting and the Starz OUTLANDER website.
Back, at the time people would spend time casting the movie with Mel Gibson and Cate Blanchette or Emma Thompson. But these days while Cate could still pull it off, Mel’s a bit more likely to end up as one of Jamie’s older uncles. For Jamie is a very young man at the time OUTLANDER begins.
When they announced an August 9 premiere date I put it on my calendar and then I read about the August 2 “sampling” Starz offered to the world free. The idea being that you will immediately sign up for Starz after seeing the show.
And, you know what? You just might.
I did not watch without trepidation. After the debacle that TRUE BLOOD became and the mangling of Kelley Armstrong’s BITTEN (gah!) I have learned not to expect much in adaptations.
These people had it right. As the producer says in one of the promotional videos, and I paraphrase, there are a lot of people who love these books; we love these books. And the love for the books, respect for the story, the audience and the author is evident in every aspect of this highly detailed and quality production.
Now that Mel Gibson wasn’t going to be Jamie, who could they find to be him? Who could possibly fill the boots of this paragon of a Highland warrior?
It was a matter of grave concern. I can tell you that what little we see of Jamie in the first episode helps me believe Sam Heughan was a good call for the part. Catriona Balfe also seems to suit the role, or the role suits her. He’s not a huge man as Highlanders are so often described, but he is strong and quite handsome. Cariona Balfe has a “whiskey” voice that really makes the character come to life.
It’s all quite well acted. Frank/Black Jack are not seen much here in the first episode and where Frank does appear, it is clear the scene is really about Claire. As well done as any BBC or A & E tellevision program.
The photography and cinematography are fabulous and the opening credits are beautiful as was the opening song in the first episode.
And, except for a rainstorm I think may not have happened in the book and that minor events occur not exactly as they do in the book. O can say it is much as I remember the book. Granted I haven’t read it in a while, but the gist of it is there. It certainly didn’t change anything so major as to create an entirely different story line as happened over and over in TRUE BLOOD. I loved it, and my husband did too!
MAY BE THE LAST TIME
HBO Airdate 8/3/2014
At the end of the last episode Eric, Pam and Mr. Gus find Amber cured.
We open with her refusing to help. They tie her to a cot, she refuses to help; says she isn;t Sarah, but Numi. (New Me, get it?) She says she is good and the cure. Eric hallucinates she is Sarah and stakes her.
Eric, Sookie and Jessica discuss Bill’s situation. Andy and Holly find Adilyn’s phone in the fort and call Jessica to ask if she can feel Adilyn. Meanwhile creepy Violet brings Wade and Adilyn to her super creepy BDSM pleasure spot. She shows them all her kinky sex toys — some ancient. She tells the kids that when she was their age she fv©ked her brother all the time too. Could these kids be any dumber?
Arlene has a seemingly real sex dream about James’ friend Keith. She wakes up just before she achieves release.
Pam and Eric are arguing about whether he should have killed Amber. He said it was a vision of Sarah tied up and he couldn’t stop himself. Pam says it isn’t about killing her anymore. Mr. Gus comes in and offers them a deal to capture her and exploit her blood for 49% of a business venture in return for a vampire’s testimonial. At first he refuses but then with the offer says yes. Mr. Gus says his word is oak and they will have the cooperation of the Japanese Goverment’s intelligence organizations. He asks why should he trust Eric. Eric says he;ss just have to won’t he.
Sookie and Jess put Bill to bed. Sookie tells Jess to get some rest and convinces her to lie down with Bill. Jess says that Sookie refuses to accept this but what is she going to do? Sookie says she is going to find a miracle for Bill.
Bill is dreaming a flashback to 1855 when he is in the barn with his father. His father tells him he is going to marry the new neighbor’s daughter, Caroline. He reveals he is dying and, unwillingly, Bill concedes.
Hoyt is back for Maxine’s death. He has a girlfriend, Bridget with him. He goes to Merlotte’s, now Bellefleur’s. It is empty since the Hep-V Vampires’ attacked. She welcomes him and seats them. Condolences are exchanged. Hoyt says an Officer Stackhouse called. Arlene is confused but doesn’t ask Hoyt. She calls Jason who, cleaning up after Violet’s rampage, says he is on his way.
Jason comes in and Bridget makes eyes at him. THey all “introduce” themselves. Jason says he will go over to the bar and wait for them. They insist that he join them.
Outside SOokies the Dwarf, Doctor Ludwig (Maenad attack season three?) gets out and SOokie asks her to look at Bill. They go over and she forces Bill to wake up. THey discuss why he has such a fast acting form. She says there was another incident of infected fae blood. It may be llineage related but when Lludwig finds out who Sookie is related to Dr. Ludwig says I am outta her and leaves.
Hoyt is tearfully looking at Maxine;s draped body with Bridget. Hoyt says he should have been there. She says she wouldn’t want that and Hoyt says she would want hm to feel bad. Bridget asks Jason to talk to Hoyt – he needs to talk to someone who knew her. Jason explains, sort of how she was killed and that they “got the guy” who of course, they did not get since it was Violet.
Sookie calls Niall to help her and while the wind picks up nothing happens. But when she gets to her house he s there looking through her cupboards and asks for spaghetti. She says it is important. Niall says he is always watching and it skeeves her out. She asks if he knew she was a carrier and if so why he let her infect him. Niall says he does like Bill for her. She begs him to help.
Sarah pulls up to the old Light of Day camp. She starts to walk to the building but hear the voices of the past and hallucinates Jason telling her Eric is coming and she will die tonight. As she runs around in a tizzy the Japanese satellites pick up her location.
Sam is at Bellefleurs talking to Arlene and doing shots. He tells her about Nichole’s ultimatum. She says it’s been obvious Sam came to Bon Temps after running away from something. He has to ask if he goes with Nichole would he be running from or to something. ANd would he be happy in Bon Temps without them.
Andy and Holly are at Wade’s father’s hunting camp where they think the kid’s might be hiding. Andy breaks down and says he can’t keep the people he loves safe. Holly promises she knows it will be okay.
Sookie and Niall are walking to Bill’s, seeing the house he stops to channel nature. THey see the miracle of Caroline giving birth to Bill’s oldest daughter. He says she is looking for a miracle: Love, life and even death are miracles. And, that magic can’t help Bill. She “thanks” him for the “life lesson” and asks him to leave. He does.
We come to a small black girl who is getting home from school. She looks out her window to see Lafayette and Lettie Mae digging holes in the yard. She calls out to her mother in alarm.
Arlene is at the bar drinking alone. Keith actually does come in to her. She says she thought he only would know when she was in danger. He says her pain is ke danger. She says he knows she is positive so they can;t have sex. He says the let’s just dance, and they do.
At Casa de Creepy Violet wakes up and goes into where Adilyn and Wade are. Adilyn says they didn’t use her stuff. She says they are going to use it now. She flings Wade aside and grabs Adilyn.
Pam and Eric over sleep. They think that Mr. Gus has left them behind, but when they go out he is waiting for them.
Sookie runs out of her house in a white sundress. She goes over to Bill’s and says she isn’t leaving. They kiss.
Sarah is hiding at the Light of Day Institute. She is chanting that she only slept with two men. She sees Steve and the guru, and the governor’s head. Steve laughs and says what a liar she is. The Guru agrees. Then Jason comes in too and says she is going to die. They hector her. She hears ATVs and vehicles arriving. Steve urges her to die a Christian, the guru says she should die a Buddhist. She chooses neither – she chooses herself. SHE is the cure, she is the Messiah. Eric, Pam and Mr. Gus get out of the car. Pam and Eric do their weird silent communication thing.
Sookie and Bill are in front of the fire making love in a repeat of the first time. He snicks out his fangs but of course, he can’t risk biting her.
You can see a more general synopsis here: http://www.hbo.com/#/true-blood/episodes/7/77-may-be-the-last-time/synopsis.html
THE MASTERS OF SEX:
Season 2, Episode 4 Dirty Jobs
Showtime Airdate: 3 August, 2014
Virginia is dreaming that Masters is telling her she isn’t qualified. She wakes up in the hotel room with him. She is reacting to the dream and acts coolly towards him. They go to get the files from her trunk. He wants her to keep them and put them in order. She refuses because it is not her job, and tells him to get her job back.
Before that as they come back, Langham is at the hotel after seeing his kids. He sees Bill and Virginia leaving and tells Virginia the next day. She says they are meeting at the hotel for the study because they really can;t meet elsewhere.
He also tells Dr. DePaul who now considers Virginia her firend and confidant. She is offended that Virginia hasn’t confided her relationship to her. Her old professor, who she wants to take on her work comes to visit. Virginia asks him to consider Dr. DePaul for the Williams prize. He says he was impressed and leaves. Angry with Virginia who has refused to confide in her, she gives the man her study for his new research center in Miami.
Libby’s and Bill’s son have lice. It is discovered while LIbby has the girls over, including Bill’s new boss’ wife, Mrs. Greathouse, that the baby has lice. The black nanny-maid is considered the culprit and she is ordered to go home and wash her hair with nit shampoo, and all her brothers as well. The next day she has not done it and Libby does it for her, even after the Doctor says it is unlikely that the maid’s hair could be the culprit.
Betty’s husband learns Betty is sterile and when he goes to pay his bill learns Betty knew all along. Later at home he is angry and she is sorry. He asks why she didn;t tell him and she says because she knew he would not marry her, since they met in church. He says they had not met in church but that when he was younger he was her john and he was upset that he would not see her again. When she went to church and they found each other it was fate.
Bill’s boss wants to observe the study in session and after one session brings all the male doctors on staff in with popcorn and Chinese food. Bill ends up losing his temper and has a fight, losing his job. Greathouse’s wife calls Libby and she and Bill have a fight. Their relationship is rapidly deteriorating.
At the end, Bill goes to the segregated hospital for people of color. He says his partner and he are glad to be there, but I didn’t see Virginia at the table.
At this point the extraneous characters of season 1 are all gone except for Langham.
My painting class is keeping me busy all day and I am exhausted at night.