Monday, June 1, 2015

Outlander vs. Game Of Thrones (On Rape & Nudity)

Hey People,

I always wait to release finale not because I'm lazy (although that's a good portion of it), but because I like to see others' reactions and who knows, you might find more information out like The Good Wife. However, Outlander started a huge debate. Maybe I shouldn't say debate, but discussion. So instead of writing about what happened in the finale, which I could sum up in 4 short sentences (Jamie was raped. Claire helped him move passed it. Claire announces she pregnant. Jame and Claire are moving to France and plan to stop the future from happening.), I rather talk about rape. Yes, I know I already talked about it before with Game of Thrones, but this time it's different. This time it was on Outlander and it started the discussion of are we seeing too much rape on TV.

I'm not going to talk about Outlander or Game of Thrones just yet. Instead, I want to talk about a show that I just watched the first time ever this past season. This show has been on for several seasons and the only reason I watched it was because it was a crossover episode. That's right I'm talking about Law & Order: Special Victim Unit. I never knew what it was about, I just knew that it was a procedural and I'm more of a serial girl and so I stayed away. Chicago Fire has been having a lot of crossovers so I watched SVU's and that's how I found out what's so special about this unit. They deal with sex crimes. During the episode I cried because the shit was sad and I really can't comprehend how this show has last so long because I don't know how people can deal with these sexual cases all the time. Are people becoming numb to sexual crimes?

It's one thing to say a character has been raped, but it's entirely another to show the actual rape. I read a comment about Outlander's finale on how there was no need to show the rape because you can understand and feel the scene without seeing it. This was my response to the person:

I disagree. While I agree with you that people are becoming numb, I don't think Outlander applies in this case. There's a reason why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. While you can understand when a character says they were raped that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to feel it. Outlander made you feel it. They forced it upon you while watching and as hard as it was to watch, you had no choice but to feel.
While I watched, I was hoping they wouldn't show it, but of course they did and now that I think about it, I don't think I would feel as strongly as I do now if it was just said. However, I will probably never watch that episode again because it was just too much for me.

This person mentioned that they haven't watched the episode and claims they will probably never watch it, but I suggest that person and anyone who hasn't seen it should see it because maybe that's why we're overlooking or in this case what the original poster suggests becoming numb to rape in television shows. I think Outlander and Game of Thrones did it correctly. I think rape should be shown for the horrific act it is instead of it being said because the act is far worse than the claim of the act. Now in SVU's defense, they deal from the police perspective and therefore there's no need to be shown because the detectives only deal with the victims after the assault takes place and of course, SVU isn't on cable, so SVU can't show as much as Outlander or Game of Thrones even if they wanted to.

So back to the original question, are we seeing too much rape on TV? Yes, we are and I'm not just referring to GoT. Rape plots are being used too easily and it shouldn't be. The reason why GoT is feeling the pressure is because I don't know any other show that has used rape more. I'm not part of the group that is against Sansa's new story. I never read the books, so this is the only story that I know. However, reading comments and talking with friends is how I came to understand this wasn't how it happened in the books. I understand why some would hate what happened to Sansa and why even some of them quit. Sansa was already mentally abused by Joffery and just when you thought she would be safe, the writers thought they should combine characters and let Sansa be raped as well. And on top of that, this isn't the first time a character has been raped on the show. So how many more rapes do I have to sit through? By my count, this is the 3rd of the 5 seasons (and I'm only including the main characters, there are way more if I include the others). But that's not even what bothers me the most. It's the fact that, so far, none of these rapes had any lasting effects. You don't just get over being raped, but the writers on GoT write like you do. We still don't know what will happen to Sansa so maybe I'll be proven wrong, and therefore, I take back my words, but until that time, Game of Thrones will still feel the pressure. While I applaud GoT for showing the rape acts, I take back my applaud for not following through with the lasting effects of rapes.

Now Outlander spent its entire last episode dedicated to its rape scene. It was a lot and some even claim they won't return because of it, which is fine by me because as long as I can keep watching I say sayonara. However, there were some comments that had issues with how fast Jamie got over his rape. I have been informed by book readers that this will still affect him, so he won't just get over it like they do on GoT. I also noticed some people having a timeline issue asking how can Claire be pregnant. Time is different in the show than in the books (and so is the setting apparently) so the looking and saving of Jamie must have been shorter in the show for her to be pregnant. There really is no other explanation.

Lastly, I want to talk about the nudity of these 2 shows. One these shows does it correctly, while the other not so much. Can you guess which one? Alright, I'll tell you or how about I let the executive producer tell you provided by TVLine:

Outlander has gotten a lot of press for being one of the few series willing to show full frontal male nudity. What was behind the choice to do it in this episode?
That was mostly just decisions you make [during editing]. I remember not really caring one way or the other what I saw… It was OK in certain moments, and then if I saw their penis in this other shot, it might distract me. It might be like, “Oh, look, they’re showing it!” [Laughs] And that’s just not the right idea.
I think we only left one cut in there that’s full frontal of just Tobias [Menzies]. It’s the one where he gets up and walks away. It’s not really about anything else happening in that moment. It’s a quiet moment. He’s literally just getting out of bed, and he’s walking across the room. It wasn’t taking you out of the scene, if that makes sense. There were other points where you just decide, “No, if I use that angle, I’m not even listening any more.” You’re just kind of going, “Wow, look.” That was the wrong note to sound in those scenes.
That's how every show should approach nudity. Don't do it to get a reaction from people, do it for the art. Sometimes GoT does it well like when Dany is alive with dragons after being engulfed in flames. She's naked because her clothes are burned, but it speaks volumes when Emilia Clarke decided not to do nude scenes anymore. Did it take away from the show? Not at all, I didn't even notice until I read a comment about it. But then you have scenes like last week where one of the Sand Snakes starts exposing herself (the whole scene was pointless to be honest since she gave Bronn the antidote anyway), you start thinking maybe GoT is doing this just to make their nudity quota. Like really, what was the point of their discussion of if she was pretty? Smh Game of Thrones.

So what have we learned? In the case of Outlander v Game of Thrones, Outlander does it better. Game of Thrones needs to revamp their show or it'll just alienate its fan base even more like The Mary Sue.

Luv ya,

P.S. My feelings on the Outlander finale:

It took me awhile to gather my thoughts after I watched. Hell, I was still crying afterwards. Like I said before, I was stunned. But before I dived into this episode let me say this was Sam Heughan's episode. He has my vote for best actor in any award he wants. All he has to do is turn this episode in and he should win. Tobias Menzies is still incredible. He really made me hate his character. Like I really hated Black Jack and there has been a debate online on whether Black Jack is the most diabolical character on TV. He makes me say Ramsey who? I started a poll 2 weeks ago about which scene was worse the jail scene in Outlander or the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. Over 80% of you said the Red Wedding, but I wonder if I held off until this episode aired if people would have changed their mind. It was gruesome. I saw a man break to the point that he wished death. Not going to lie to you folks, I was a bit depressed after watching, but I still can't wait for next season.

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