Outlander has forced me to consider my own value if thrown into 18th-century Scotland:

  • Me: History was one of my majors! I should be good at this!
  • Brawny Highlanders: And what can you tell us about the upcoming decades of eighteen-century Scotland?
  • Me: ... are we discounting the things I have learned from actually reading Outlander? that case do you want to know about next decade's Seven Years' War or causes of the American Revolution?
  • Brawny Highlanders: Nah, we're more interested in Scottish revolution.
  • Me: ...Well, I know all the words to "Bonnie Prince Charlie"... well, most of the words... well, the chorus and the first verse... and the tune! I know many tunes! Many, many songs new to you, including every word to a sung-through musical about a student uprising in France that won't happen for almost a century!
  • Brawny Highlanders: And you can sing?
  • Me: ...I make no promises about the quality of my vocals, but, hey, I have some value! Entertainment value!
  • Brawny Highlanders: So you actually play music?
  • Me: Yes, if there's a piano or guitar handy? ...Ukulele?
  • Brawny Highlanders: ...
  • Me: .. Right, yeah, those aren't exactly around yet... all right, what have we got in the piano/guitar family? Harpsichord or clavichord, lute or cittern? Yes? Okay! ...anyway, here's a very approximate version of Wonderwall...
  • Brawny Highlanders: What's this "it" they're all trying to throw back?
  • Me: ...maybe some Mumford & Sons. I feel like this is a Mumford kind of crowd. ...Except I do not have my sheet music or chord book, so... lemme try to plunk this out...
  • Brawny Highlanders: Meanwhile, the best-looking one of us is bleeding; I don't suppose you have any kind of useful medical knowledge?
  • Me: ...Usually I just apply Neosporin liberally. ... boiling water, alcohol on wounds... leeches are bad for you?
  • Brawny Highlanders: How are you at horseback riding?
  • Me: ...are we counting ponies at parties I was too young to remember?
  • Brawny Highlanders: ...Do you at least cook?
  • Me: Yes... usually with boxes containing brownie mix... I've heard banana dacquiris tend to go over well, historically... not that I have a recipe, but I can wing it... Oh. Would this be a good time to invent the chicken wing?
  • Brawny Highlanders: Not sure what you mean, since chickens already have wings, but what about any knowledge of herbs? Helpful engineering tips, or chemistry, anything from the future (*not that you've said anything about being from the future*) that we can usefully apply?
  • Me: If I could google some explicit instruction-- I'm really pretty good at googling--
  • Brawny Highlanders: Och, now, we're all good Catholic boys here...
  • Me: Whoa, no worries, I know all about 18th-century values! I wrote graduate papers on the 18th-century novel! Who wants to talk about Moll Flanders and Pamela? ...I'd rather not ever reread them, since there are so many books I like better-
  • Brawny Highlanders: There are?
  • Me: ... I did say I had entertainment value, did I not? Let me tell you about a boy called Harry Potter, who found out one day he was a wizard--
  • Brawny Highlanders: Witchcraft??
  • Me: ...Never mind, let me tell you about the Star Wars. Though there is also sort of-- we'll come back to the Star Wars. Let me tell you a story I know very well, about five American colonists, who live in New York and drink coffee out of giant-sized cups...

Reasons you should be watching Outlander


To my film friends: The cinematography is amaze.

To my literary friends: It’s a TV show with a real voice and a purpose.

To my co-workers: Scotland is really pretty, I guess. And history.

To my dude nerd friends: Ron D. Moore, obvi. 

To my lady nerd friends: Claire is the hero we’ve been waiting for. 

To my BFFs: I need you to see Jamie. See him and find me one. Do it.