Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Finding pop culture pleasures to help you deal with Droughtlander

The second season of Outlander had it's ninety minute finale this past weekend, making fans eager to see what lies ahead for next year. Fortunately, the show has been renewed for two more seasons, giving us plenty of Claire and Jamie adventures to come.

Having finished Dragonfly in Amber just before the last episode, I can safely say that they managed to fit in everything that was necessary to set up season three just right. However, the waiting period between seasons can be hard on fans(even it does give you plenty of time to read the next book in Diana Gabaldon's series) and many call it "Droughtlander". Well, I feel your pain, friends and to help you over this rough pop culture patch, here's a small list of suggestions for your Droughtlander needs:

ROB ROY: This film version of this legendary Scotsman came out in the same year as Braveheart and frankly, I prefer Rob Roy over that epic any day of the week.  Everything an Outlander fan would want is here; gorgeous scenery, honorable men, strong women(Jessica Lange is amazing as Mary McGregor) and hissable villians.

It also helps that we have a slew of great actors on board, with Liam Neeson, Eric Stoltz, Brian Cox and Tim Roth, who was Oscar nominated for his role as Archibald Cunningham, the vicious lackey to the corrupt Marquess of Montrose(played to the hilt by John Hurt). A true point in it's favor is the well developed story that balances highland honor with court politics, making this a must-see during Droughtlander:

THE WHITE QUEEN: This earlier Starz miniseries is based upon a series of books by beloved historical fiction author Philippa Gregory, who chose to showcase England's War of the Roses through the viewpoint of the women involved.

While it is all about England, there are plenty of court intrigues and power struggles that mirror some of the Parisian troubles that Jamie and Claire dealt with in S2, not to mention a bit of magic used by the title monarch to help determine her future and those of her loved ones.

The actresses involved here are wonderful, with one of my favorites being Faye Marsay as Anne Neville, who wound marrying Richard III and Amanda  Hale as the incredibly intense Margaret Beaufort, mother of future ruler Henry the VIII. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel(called The White Princess) which is in production now. If you haven't seen The White Queen, you are in for a royal treat:

THE OTHER QUEEN: Philippa Gregory did write one novel about Mary, Queen of Scots, and it focuses on her imprisonment as the "guest" of George Talbot and his wife, Bess of Hardwicke.

That informal house arrest did not come without struggles as Mary made repeated attempts to escape and use what influence she gained over Talbot to maintain a lifestyle that eventually bankrupted him. Bess, meanwhile, was less than thrilled to have such a difficult guest on hand, especially one that flirted with her husband.

Gregory does paint quite the picture of such unusual times and highlights the women of those days as doing their best to deal with what life has handed to them, for better or worse. It may not be completely Scottish but The Other Queen displays the troubles of those who aspired to that particular throne rather well:

FINDING FRASER: The leading lady of K.C. Dryer's novel set in modern times is Emma Sheridan, who is about to turn thirty and has so far not found a man who is as good as Jamie Fraser.

 Being a devoted fan of the Outlander books, Emma decides that maybe she would have better luck following in the footsteps of Claire Randall Fraser by going to Scotland to check out the places mentioned in the novels. While she does create a blog to chronicle her adventures, Emma soon discovers that there's more to explore than meets the eyes.

This book sounds like a lot of fun and I plan to read it sometime soon. Even Diana Gabaldon herself is pleased with this charming tribute to her popular hero. I suspect that Finding Fraser is meant to be to Outlander fans what Austenland was to Jane Austen admirers, a way to blend fictional romance with reality in the best sense:

So, I hope some of these books and films aid you in your quest to remain patient until this wave of Droughtlander is over. Patience may be a virtue yet it does help to find some enjoyable company to make that time fly by all the better:

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