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Thursday, March 12, 2015

#Droughtlander -- The Final Days



"Fans who coined #Droughtlander deserve case of whiskey," tweets Lost Girl showrunner Emily Andras. "Brilliant! What women want. More Outlander."

"The seething anticipation among many millions of women viewers is about...the return of Outlander," writes John Doyle for the Globe and Mail. "It comes back in the United States on Starz on April 4 and in Canada on Showcase on April 5. There is a term for what is happening now. It’s 'Droughtlander.'

Starz chief executive officer Chris Albrecht, who used to run HBO, had declared, 'There’s a lack of female-skewing programs in the premium space.' And Outlander was the answer.

The series is now adored for the naturalness and air of authenticity of those [sex] scenes."

The dam has sprung a leak between film and television shot from a male gaze for the male gaze, and shows meant for a female audience.

Not only have Hollywood actresses diverted attention towards everyday sexism at last month's Oscar's with the #AskHerMore campaign, not to mention Patricia Arquette's fantastic call for pay equity during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress -- now women are responding to a TV series which manages to include action-adventure with a love story that resonates because it dares to show emotional vulnerability as well as a female character who exhibits sexual desire.

The series takes an unflinching look at the good old days, where life could be brutal. One might think that would drive the female viewers away -- yet it's that very honesty that is at the heart of the female gaze. The violence in Outlander is always seen to be cruel and is not glamorized. That's one difference between male and female gaze.

In Hollywood, money talks. The strong viewing numbers for Outlander have made the first cracks in the dam holding back stories for women from being made in the first place. It's very easy to say there's no audience for female-gaze film and TV when there is none to be had.

Outlander has changed all of that.

To tide you over, here's a preview trailer for the second half of season 1, airing in three weeks.     




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