12 Cable Shows That TCA Convinced Us to Watch

12 Cable Shows That TCA Convinced

'Broad City,' 'Faking It,' 'Black Sails' among new entrants worth checking out

The Television Critics Assn. press tour can be a long slog. But for TV geeks it has something of a noble purpose — to promote the best and brightest coming from the major networks. These days the nets rely as much as the buzz that shows create among the assembled journos as they do on the coverage of the panels.

Here are a dozen cable programs that intrigued during the first three days of gabfest at Pasadena’s Langham Huntington hotel:

1. OWN’s docudrama series on Lindsay Lohan looks compelling and ridiculous, which is addiction in a nutshell. Oprah tries, once again, to save this little red-headed bird with a broken wing and a criminal record. Lindsay is selfish, self-absorbed and suffering from a devastating disease. Will she finally find the strength to turn her life around and embrace the road to sobriety? Maybe we’ll find out in “Lohan,” premiering March 9.

2. “The Normal Heart” (HBO). Ryan Murphy joked that he took out a second mortgage on his house to buy the rights to Larry Kramer’s award-winning play about the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. And by the looks of things, it paid off. With Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons starring in the TV movie, bowing in May, “Heart” stands to make an impression unlike anything on the small screen since “And the Band Played On.”

3. A & E’s “Those Who Kill.” Coming off the dark and gritty “Hit and Miss,” in which she played a pre-op transsexual murderer-for-hire, Chloe Sevigny is now a homicide detective in Pittsburgh who tracks down serial killers. Based on a Danish crime series. Another one. Because the Scandinavians do creepy and bleak like none other. Which is funny considering Denmark was voted happiest country in the world. March 3

4. “Broad City” (Comedy Central) From exec producers Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer and Amy Poehler. Two 20-somethings (played by clearly older-than-20-somethings Jacobson and Glazer) navigate their way through life in NYC. Based on their hit web series, this scripted 10-show skein–featuring guest stars like “SNL’s” Fred Armisen and Amy Sedaris—-shares in the ribald tradition of “Girls” but reflects youth in a way that appears even more uproarious — and achingly real. Jacobson and Glazer are just a big, glorious, hot mess. Jan. 22.

5. IFC’s “The Spoils of Babylon.” This over-the-top parody starring Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig looks like the funniest riff on nightmare soaps since “Fresno.” Premiered Jan. 9

6. Lifetime is celebrating its 30th anniversary in February with a slate of fresh shows, most notably “Flowers in the Attic,” a TV movie adaptation of the V.C. Andrews cult classic with an incest plot that drove kids in the 80’s to snatch this book from their parents’ shelves and read it under their bedsheets. (Sequel already in the works). Between “August: Osage County” and this, incest is obviously the new vampire. Jan. 18

7. MTV’s “Faking It.” Two girls pretend to be lesbians to gain popularity at a Texas high school. Looks cute and fun and will undoubtedly appeal to teens eager to see something that flips gay stereotyping on its head. “Faking it” might just finally put a “positive” spin on being openly gay and send an encouraging message to teens. April 22

8. Turner’s “The Last Ship.” In the new drama series from Michael Bay, most of the world is destroyed in an apocalypse, but everybody aboard this lone Navy ship survives and must now confront the reality of their existence. Coming off his success as “Dr. McSteamy” on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Eric Danes, as the ship’s captain, is sure to generate legions of female fans, but the show is sure to draw in anyone interested in a different kind of dystopian drama where the survivors are pretty much stuck on the high seas. Summer

9. “Black Sails” (Starz). This new Michael Bay production tracks pirates on the high seas. For pirate enthusiasts. Because pirates are the new on-trend criminals. Think: “Captain Phillips” meets “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets the Wild West. Premieres Jan. 25

10. “Outlander” (Starz). This new series is based on the internationally bestselling novels by Diana Gabaldon that bored middle-age housewives have been going absolutely bananas over. It’s set in the 1700’s, involves time travel and sexy period-piece costumes, and its Harlequin Romance-esque plot is sure to fuel breathy playground chatter for the next year. 3rd quarter

11. “Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond.” This four-part mini-series on BBC America stars Dominic Cooper as Ian Fleming, the rogue World War II-era spy whose autobiographical novels inspired James Bond. Filled with suspense, intrigue and stunning visuals of high society London as it’s being ravaged by war — there’s a love scene where bombs are going off that’ll leave you gasping — “Fleming” is a veritable smallscreen candy shoppe for 007 enthusiasts. Jan. 29

12. And from the we’ll-stick-with-it department: “Girls” (HBO). Just renewed for a fourth season, the third season of Lena Dunham’s love letter to dysfunctional young adulthood promises more nudity, explosive emotional meltdowns and messy relationships both platonic and romantic. While the series seems to have polarized its audience, Dunham and exec producer Judd Apatow are focused on exploring in realistic fashion the untidy underbelly of twentysomething existence in New York City. “If you’re not into me that’s your problem,” told Dunham to a heckler of late. We’re into her. Season three premieres Jan. 12

Pictured: Comedy Central’s “Broad City”

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  1. cbc says:

    Ms. Saval would probably need a dictionary to get through an Outlander book. Making snarky insulting comments about people who actually read is not very professional.

  2. TJ says:

    I too am and ‘Outlander’ fan, and while I have to admit to being middle-aged (what’s wrong with being middle-aged???), I’m certainly not a bored housewife. On the contrary, I am a busy careerwoman. While I think negatively stereotyping women, middle-aged women, and women who are housewives in one felled swoop was an extremely stupid and poorly thought out move, in all fairness to the author of this mindless piece of pop-journalism, of course she hasn’t read the book. She’s not writing about the book; she’s writing about the TV show. And so far if anyone does aGoogle search on ‘Outlander,’ all one sees are articles about droves of nutty fans that “want to lick” the main male character (thanks to n out of context quote of the author). The writer of this article is probably just resentful of the fact that she’s never going to get a Pulizter for writing TV show blurbs.
    (Forgive any typos, for some reason I can’t see what I’m writing after the first 5 lines. Weird.)

  3. EL says:

    You apparently have not read the Outlander books. Such a shame to judge something that you obviously know nothing about. You know what they say about assuming… Go educate yourself.

  4. nancy courtney says:

    I have been a fan since the first book came out.I try and get any new friends to read them if they have not already.I am middle aged now but not board and not a house wife and one of the biggest fans I know is a BIG 6″7 325lbs male truck driver.I am a truck driver and it has passed many a long wait at a shippers or delivery.The audio has passed many a mile a long with King,Austen,Homer ,with the hundreds if not thousands more.When my friend started to read the last novel we had cell phone bills that became astronomical with the calls back and forth.His wife is not a fan she likes the romance crap.In a word do your homework little know nothing reporter..

  5. Bored Housewifemyass says:

    I have my PhD in Industrial Chemistry and teach full time at a local university…..I would back off that “bored middle-aged housewives” comment.
    …but I’ll forgive you…. If you read the first book.

  6. Patricia Kuralt says:

    Malina, It’s obvious that you haven’t read Outlander. That damages your credibility as a writer, critic, or whatever you’re supposed to be. If you’d read it, you’d know that it defies being categorized as any 1 type of book … and the fan base is legion, women and men of all ages. I’ve been reading the Outlander series for the 20 years that it’s been in existence. Nothing lasts that long if it’s not really, really good!

  7. sireesanwar says:

    In regards to Outlander you shouldn’t write about something you are ignorant of. Many of the fans I know are of various ages, occupations and walks of life. While romance is part of the story it is nothing like a Harlequin romance.

    Yes, the woman who love Outlander love the hero, Jamie; but there is more to the story than a dashing hero. Jamie is a man who seeks to do the right thing, protect his family, friends and the men and women under his Lairdhip and command.

    And while it is always nice to have a great hero, many woman love this story because the heroine is a strong confident woman that struggles and triumphs. Not only is Claire smart and capable but she breaks social standards becoming a doctor when most women were simply housewives and the idea of a woman doctor was virtually unheard of.

    Maybe you should consider reading the book and see exactly why the fans view the characters in such high regard, though admittedly it is the continuation of the story (further books) that continues to give proof and insight into the rich characters Gabaldon has provided for her fans.

  8. Eddie says:

    As a journalist myself (in fact editor for 10 years) I fail to see how Outlander has made it on to your ‘must see’ list. You’ve been convinced to watch, but clearly have no appreciation for what you have determined the plot to be.
    Similarly Black Sails is for ‘pirate enthusiasts’ are you one? (No I’m not a Starz fan or subscriber, I’m in the UK.)
    I don’t understand. Did your editor ask you to put this on your list and this is your ‘revenge’ – an ill-researched, dismissive and misogynistic article? Just professionally surprised this has been passed.

  9. Ms. Saval, you have clearly made some foolish and unprofessional comments regarding the Outlander fan base. That is indisputable. I’m waiting now to see if you approach this situation you created with maturity and hopefully some professional integrity. In other words, an acknowledgement and an apology would not go amiss.
    Variety, do you even care that your employee, Ms. Malina Saval, is using your media voice to minimalize and demean women, and that she is failing to meet even the most basic standards of adequate, let alone good journalism? Or am I over-estimating your sense of professional responsibility? I’d like an answer please, a public one. Thank you.

    • marze513 says:

      I agree Donna! I’ve been waiting, and watching, this article and comments to it. From all that I’ve seen, the ONLY thing Ms Saval has done is make a FURTHER snarky comment via Twitter! Way to Go!! *smh*. I don’t think Variety has commented on the traffic created to it either…..and I was, I believe, the 12th commenter, then again at the 399 mark…LOL…I keep wondering WHEN Variety or Saval are going to reply…maybe NEXT week??

  10. Marlena says:

    Ms. Saval comments regarding the Outlander books, television production and fans were insulting to say the least. For an article that was supposed to convince people to watch the shows she was reviewing she did a very poor job relaying that message. Her article came off as being written by someone who was assigned a piece she didn’t really want to write so she put very little effort into writing it. In the process she managed to insult a fandom some 20 million strong. Her response on Twitter was to compare herself to Salman Rushdie after he wrote the Satanic Verses rather than to own up to her mistakes and apologize for her insults and derrogotory attitude. By the way Ms. Saval, you are no Salman Rushdie!

    You would think that someone who writes for an magazine with an international readership that she would be able to handle criticism. Then again judging by the total lack of comments on any of her other articles perhaps she’s never had feedback because no one actually reads her drivel.

  11. Really? says:

    Someone linked me to this as an example of fandom exploding with insanity and it didn’t disappoint. Hey, I read Outlander and guess what – I didn’t like it. I found it by turns trashy and tedious. And let’s face it, the plot of the book is ‘1940s woman goes back in time, has lots of explicit sex with hunky 18th century Highlander.’ Not exactly War and Peace material here. I mean, the novel barely has any overarching plot – it’s a picaresque sex romp with a bunch of research thrown in and hugely problematic gender attitudes on top.

    Also – you guys calling for the writer’s resignation and waxing poetic about how this is the most amazing book ever written makes me wonder about both your priorities (at worst, she’s committed a mild insult against a fictional work!) and puzzle as to what other books you’ve read to declare this is the pinnacle of human achievement. And going on and on makes you look a bit crazy. Gabaldon lovers = cult is not an impression you want to give.

    • marze513 says:

      Actually…”Really?” ….I don’t want the wrtier fired. I want her APOLOGY!! and most of the fans who commented on here….male, female, of various ages and backrounds..MANY of whom are educated professionals, DESERVE it. You don’t like the book? ok. However from your description, I doubt highly you’ve even read it. “Picturesque sex romp?” ” problematic” gender attitudes?? …I’ll resort to ” WHATEVER”…..*smh*…..

    • EmskaM says:

      Many have said it already (including myself) but this outpouring of indignation is not about Outlander nearly as much as it is about the content of Malina Saval’s words. They are derogatory toward woman, there’s no denying it. Not only do you not even address the affront, but you perpetuate it. Do you know what society has done to woman throughout the ages? Accused us of insanity as a means of squelching our intelligence, social standing, and self-worth. It’s time for that to stop. I find you’re statement above to be as offensive as Saval’s (unless of course you are her, in which case, I’ll “Really?” right back at ya), if not more so. It’s easy for people to dismiss opposition by declaring their opponent an unsound adversary, it’s a lot harder to learn from debate.
      I will also say that your description of Outlander leaves me wondering if you actually did read the book, or at least finish it. Fine if you don’t like it, I didn’t like War and Peace, but this is a bit over the top and largely inaccurate. “Hardly has any overarching plot” it’s an eight book series, the plot is hugely complex (but perhaps that’s the problem). I only bring this up because this review feels like nothing but a defense mechanism. As does your need to explain how you got here. This profiler wonders with some certainty … Melina?

    • Mitzi Smith says:

      Really? you as well as Ms. Saval are missing the point, please let me phrase it in words that apparently both of you can understand. The fans are not upset because of the review about the book, the fans are upset because of the words USED in the review “Middle Aged Bored Housewife’s”. Better yet let me explain it to you, what Ms. Saval posted was unethical and discriminating against women all over the world, so as a FAN and in the words as a professional in an Attorney’s office open up your dictionary next time before you write, type or speak your review and words. Better yet let me help you with the definition of discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
      “victims of racial discrimination”
      synonyms: prejudice, bias, bigotry, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, unfairness, inequity, favoritism, one-sidedness, partisanship. Enough said.

    • Hannah says:

      You didn’t like the book. That’s fine. I personally adore the book, but each to their own opinions. That is the point. The author of the article clearly hadn’t read the book or done her research. She had no valid opinions for demeaning the audience of the book which is 20 million strong. The book is not for everyone, absolutely. We are not raging against people who don’t like the books. We are angry because there was no thought or research put into the Outlander comments.

    • szhooper says:

      Nice try Malina and company …… but still doesn’t negate the fact that NO research was done to form the comments and the tweet just exacerbated a REALLY bad decision on your part …

    • Kat says:

      Way to troll, Really?.

    • Debbie Hatfield says:

      Mild insult against a fictional work? Really, “Really?”. No, Ms. Saval used words meant to be derogatory/stereotyping toward the group of middle age woman. Her words were not directed at the book they were directed toward who she determined to be READERS of the book and her words were derogatory. Period.

    • Micki says:

      Oh cool! You didn’t like Outlander. No really that’s cool. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you did a good job of backing it up. However, that is our point. Ms Saval gave an opinion with no reasoning when she was supposed to deliver an accurate report with perhaps 5 minutes worth of reasonable simple research. She did not do this and this is our arguement. Even if Ms Saval didn’t like the book or upcoming series but put some effort into an accurate report she would have 1 negative comment much less 490.

      • Micki says:

        Btw…what do you think gender attitudes were in the 1800’s? I feel the books are fairly accurate on this point but still some very strong women characters.

  12. Di says:

    This is less about a fanbase and more about you not doing your research (and still getting paid) and then playing martyr on Twitter. It’s ok to not like Outlander, plenty of folks don’t –but at least they know what they’re reading. I’ve always thought Variety was legit but now everything I read here is suspect. Well, that’ll learn me!

  13. Catherine Ferguson says:

    Yes, another Outlander response.

    But my question for you is, why should I believe any of the information about the other shows in your article if your research (or lack there of) for this particular paragraph is so off base. Really, Harlequin romance, nothing against Harlequin but they’re just not my thing.

    And I don’t understand, are you trying to get people interested in the shows listed in this article or deter them from seeing them.

  14. I wish there was a way to “like” so many of the responses to Ms. Saval’s drivel. There are so many wonderful examples that disprove her mischaracterization of Dr. Gabaldon’s fans. Rock on, ladies & gents! You are awesome in every way that Ms. Saval will never understand.

  15. Corey says:

    And I see Ms. Saval finally acknowledged the overwhelming response from the Outlander fan base…with a snarky little Tweet comparing the Outlander fans with an Islamic fatwa. The whole ridiculous mess could have been very easily avoided if she’d simply done her homework before giving Outlander such a ridiculously Harlequin-esque review. I hope you realize, Ms. Snippy Variety Associate Editor, that this is doing NOTHING to convince anyone of your ability to be professional or unbiased. Way to be an adult.

  16. Well, since I started reading the Outlander series in high school, I was neither “bored, a housewife, nor middle-aged” (and remain so, although encroaching on middle-aged soon). The novels are incredibly well-written, clocking in at a minimum of 800 pages each (compared to the paltry Harlequin 200 max?). They are also well-researched and written by a woman with a Ph.D. in Biology. The plot itself is too vast to be categorized by “romance”, not to mention insulted by being called “Harlequin” which is code for “pulp bodice-ripper”. As someone with two masters degrees in education, and one who reads over 100 books annually, believe me when I say you are incredibly misguided and ill-researched. Additionally, comparing insulted Outlander fans to Salman Rushdie-esque murderous fanatics on Twitter is cowardly and inflammatory. If you had done some research rather than regurgitating nonsense, you might have found out that Diana Gabaldon has one of the most highly educated readership bases in the world. Poor judgement on your part to anger an international fan base of over 20 million people, although you might think yourself clever for angering enough people to actually get some readership on what is otherwise a trite, repetitive, and unoriginal article.

  17. Erica says:

    I was a college student who competed in triathlons for fun when I first fell in love with the Outlander series. I also had a hot personal trainer boyfriend. I hope like the rest of us you get down with the sickness. The love sickness. For Outlander.

  18. Melissa says:

    Wow what a bunch of ridiculous uneducated nonsense. If the author actually picked up the Outlander series, one would discover that it is literature. No romance or harlequin novel I have ever seen is over 1,000 pages long. Thanks for using your position as a journalist to continue to misinform the public.

  19. Marta says:

    I guess you thought you were being witty when you characterized Outlander fans as bored, middle-aged housewives. You don’t know squat about the books, the series, or the fans. And it wasn’t particularly witty. Being a smartass is no substitute for being a good reporter.

  20. Alix says:

    I belong to a large on-line book group for fans of Gabaldon’s writing. The list has an international membership. Our members (fans of the series you mock) come in all ages – college students to 80 year-old grandmothers. They are housewives, teachers, nurses, geologists, herbalists, designers, translators, writers…do you get my drift?? Many of us have been reading and discussing the series for the last decade and a half – intelligent discussion of such “Harlequinesque” topics as the effects of rape; “granny cues” and “alternative medicine”; the theory of time travel and the Mobius strip; various psychological profiles; history; the geological profile of the Scottish highlands, Haiti and the Outer Banks; the Rule of Three; Residual energies; Lewis Carroll, Dorothy Sayers, Poe….
    ….you don’t get that kind of discussion from anything Harlequin ever published.

  21. Vic says:

    Another so called “journalist” (I use that term very loosely) does not do the research before their article is published and we are surprised????? I do believe that if she can pigeonhole all of us as “bored house wives”, we can certainly pigeonhole her as another lazy quasi-journalist who does not do their job with regards to research. I am not a housewife, although I would be proud to be one since my mother was one and I do look up to her. I went to college, I started reading the Outlander books when I was young, I have hosted my own TV show on PBS, and I have written 3 books and illustrated another. Bored? Hardly! I LOVE history and research…..both of which are in abundance in this series of books. I agree with another comment listed here, which is maybe she should stick to writing about things she has researched, which I think is exactly what a good journalist should do. She could take lessons from Diana Gabaldon!

  22. Micki says:

    I find it interesting that Ms Saval reviewed 12 shows and ALL of the current 481 comments are about Outlander. She openned a can of worms didn’t she. She owes Outlander, Dr. Gabaldon and her fans a HUGH appology, if she still works for Variety that is. What I would like to see Ms Saval do is read Outlander then write an article about it. If she still thinks it’s a cheap romance novel and can prove her case, more power to her. Until then, don’t write about things you know nothing of.

  23. Nikole says:

    I began reading the Outlander series many years ago. I have been a housewife during that time (not a bored one). I also was a student, earned a degree in History/Geography and then earned my teaching certification. The amount of research that Dr Diana Gabaldon put into the series is astounding. Perhaps 5 minutes of research by the writer of this article may have done her some good. She would then know that the basis of the novels is not merely “romance”. Booksellers cannot decide how to classify the books (romance, sci-fi, historical fiction, etc.) so I am not sure how you can so tidily sum it up as Harlequin Romance-esque. You would also know that talks of turning the series into a movie or mini-series has been well thought out and is being handled in a way to please both the author and the devoted readers who know these characters best.

    Before insulting an author, middle aged women, housewives, fans of the books, and other assorted readers who do not fit neatly into your stereotypes, I suggest actually picking up Outlander and reading it. I know that since it is easily 3 times the size of a Harlequin Romance, which is what you seem to be familiar with reading, it may seem daunting at first. I promise you though, if you give it a shot, you will be sucked into a world of time travel, mystery, love (not all of the romantic sort), war, intrigue, history and much more.

  24. Nellie Pelletier says:

    Classifying #10 (Outlander) as an “Harlequin Romance-esque” plot is inaccurate in a couple of key areas.

    1. Length. The average Harlequin is 250-350 pages, small paperback size. My full size hardback copy of Outlander is 627. Outlander is the shortest book in the series. A couple of the books in full size hardback top out at over 1000 pages.

    2. Reading level. My guess is that the reading level of Harlequins are a lower reading level. Off the top of my head I would guess the target is 5th or 6th grade, but I am not sure. I am sure that many of the following words would not likely be in them: fridstool, appendage, timorous, pustulant, viscera, modicum, immolate, freshets, smist, depredations, demilune, resinous, perfervid, panegyric, tussocks, fecund. Each novel by Gabaldon is an opportunity to broaden ones vocabulary. (A couple of her characters have very complex vocabularies.)

    3. Complexity. The concurring story lines in one Outlander book will exceed the number of characters in a typical romance novel.

    4. As a final note, I would like to state that I do not wish to disparage Harlequins. They are a different genre and I have read many in my days. They are fabulous escape reading that many, many people enjoy immensely. That alone makes them valid reading material. However, books by Diana Gabaldon do NOT in any stretch of the imagination fit into that definition. Which is what the writer of this article attempted to do. While many people may read this book as a cross over from the romance genre these books offer so much more than what is thought of as Romance.

    I suggest that the writer of this article go to her library and borrow this book. While her kids are watching The Muppets she can be begin her own grand adventure with Jamie and Claire.

    On a final note, she did not sound at all convinced that this series was anything she was interested in seeing. So I’m not sure why she included it in her list.

  25. Cheryl Davenport says:

    Awesome and great comments/remarks I’ve read so far in reference to the huge insult to all of us, and couldn’t agree with them more!!! The “rabid dogs” apparently will NOT be called off, lol!. All I have to say is “Jesus H Roosevelt Christ!” And of course, “bless your heart”, Malina Saval……

  26. Dia Kline says:

    How unfortunate that the writer has chosen to publicly display his uneducated synopsis for “Outlander” and that Variety has chosen to print an incorrect and inaccurate “review.”

    If you’ve ever read Alexandre Dumas you’d recognize the similarities between his historically charged, action packed, love centric epic novels and the work of Diana Gabaldon. Doesn’t a well written hero and heroine mean the author is a good writer? Doesn’t a transportive novel mean the author has done her job? To compare these books to a bodice ripping Harlequin novel is beyond insulting to the author and to her audience.

    We know the truth. We read because we are passionate and educated. And we will watch the TV show dispite the fullness of our lives.

    Get real Variety and don’t cross JAMMF. You have no idea!

  27. Gayle Eden says:

    Found this link via facebook. How does one who knows nothing of the book-turned-series, or the massive scope of “romance” genre, the sub genres, or if it is plot, sub plot, end up writing a blurb in Variety? We’d have to research the term (bored housewife) see 1960’s and 70’s… Like bodice ripper-whatever lazy reporting/researcher decides is more condescending in describing whatever entertains women, or has a bit of romance in it. The only thing that surprised me was that a female used it. 200 years ago we would be sent away for our silly, emotional, excitable choices–God forbid you read a naughty book! You’d need a hysterectomy. (see hysterical)
    Men would have their clubs-mistresses-erotic art-literature-movies-porn-whatever, whilst females must be calm,not bother our pretty heads about things. Don’t-become overly excited, you’ll need smelling salts or bed rest.
    I honestly can’t decide if it makes me laugh, that we’re actually (defending) whatever we enjoy in entertainment, or sad, that we haven’t moved past the 1950″s-1800’s.
    Whatever term given to a movie with “relationships” It must be derided,scoffed at. It must be all fluff- and no substance-chick flicks, romance-oh so very low-brow.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to the largest group of book buyers (romance readers) who, by the way, read a wide range of genres, and aren’t likely bored at all… They will like and enjoy what they like. :) Others, will be elitist- and remain ignorant of what the genre encompasses, by choice. Because, how else can you take/mock, choice/power, enjoyment, from those inferior women (housewife or not?) who dare become like the male sex with their choices/hobbies and interest. Dear me, they are actually free people, making free choices, reading whatever is to their taste. It must be those uneducated masses of reproducers!
    Oh, come on. Stop being intimidated by fulfilled, satisfied, working wives or home wives who are certainly not bored. We won’t force you to be as happy as we are. It’s not cool to not be jaded and cynical, and discuss all those literary works that are so depressing you want jump off a high building…So not chic/hip to like romance and happily ever after. (The thing 99% of people hope for) And at the end of the dollar your opinion matters what, to these consumers?

    I doubt any husband I know would turn down movie night w the wife *wink* I can’t believe the term (bored housewife) is even still around. Thankfully, most readers and movie goers ignore the ignorant enjoy what they want.

  28. David M. says:

    This article is categorized as news (see URL), and yet, the author appears to have not done her research. As a middle aged, non-bored, male, software engineer, I take a little offense at being told that I am a bored housewife. Your so called blurb on the upcoming Outlander show clearly indicates you know nothing of the books or the upcoming show. Setting aside the offensive nature of the blurb, as a piece of “Variety News”, how is it that you fail to mention that the show is being helmed by none other than Ronald D. Moore? How is it that you fail to mention the authenticity for which they are striving in the production? How is it that you fail to mention anything that would actually draw an unfamiliar viewer to the show? Based on your offensive comments regarding the demographic, not to mention the plot (I highly doubt you read the book), I would say that you have an agenda against the show for some reason. That is what they call bias, and it has no place in a news article, even one that is in Variety.

    I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed Outlander the novel, and I am very much looking forward to seeing Ron Moore’s interpretation of it.

  29. Mrs. Julien says:

    That’s a lot of sexism in one compact Outlander comment. Heaven forfend, anyone should enjoy written or filmed entertainment based on specious logic and fantasy elements. We’d best be vigilant or the next thing you know, they’ll incorporate dragons or humans with godlike powers acquired through faulty experiments.

  30. Lori says:

    Good news, Malina! Outlander e-book is on sale for only $1.99! Amazon or B&N, probably other booksellers. Because they know that once you read one of Dr. Gabaldon’s brilliant books, you’ll be clamoring for the others. Happy reading!

  31. Connie Weaver says:

    #10. Seriously? What an ignorant review. “Breathy playground chatter” – did you think that was cute? Consider today the day hundreds of people did you a favor, by inviting you to actually read the Outlander novels.

  32. Cam says:

    wow way to offend the millions of people who have read the Outlander books. It’s just plain sexist to refer to the fans of the book as bored middle-age housewives. It’s downright condescending even though most of the readers aren’t anything like your stereotype.

  33. Natalia says:

    Outlander, a book for middle-age housewives? Well, dear Variety, you’ve just offended thousands and thousands of series fans who are in their early twenties. Oh, and if Outlander has such a “Harlequin Romance-esque plot” why are you convinced to watch it in the first place? Isn’t this beyond your level???

  34. Aubrey says:

    Oh dear. You just lumped outlander in with the atrocity that is 50 shades in a way. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

  35. Tina Bowling says:

    While I agree with most of what the Outlander series fans have said (I too am one), I disagree that Malina should be fired (right away). Instead, I propose that Malina should read each book and write a synopis (not opinion) of each one. I also propose that she watch the series and provide feedback. I started the series while I was in my 20’s and now, in my 40’s, I enjoy the books just as much. I am looking forward to the upcoming television series. Malina, as you have probably noticed with the outpouring of comments that Outlander fans will stand up for Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander books. We will not take negative, uninformative reviews and let them slide. We are a strong, educated group of people consisting of all ages and gender. You have definitely brought attention to Variety but not in a good way. The only reason I even saw this review is because an Outlander group brought it to my attention. I am not one to post often, but in this situation, how could I not?

  36. Stephanie says:

    My goodness! I am starting to feel quite sorry for you !
    First you compare Diana Gabaldon s fantastic books to romance novels
    Second you insult thousands of hard working, intelligent women world wide!
    Thirdly you clearly have done no research !
    Oops !!! We all learn by our mistakes !!

  37. Kristin M. says:

    Your comments on Starz’ Outlander were tasteless and irresponsible at best. Shame on you for your poor choice of words and low-brow journalism. My interest in literature doesn’t include anything that is even remotely “harlequin romance-esque” in nature. Dr. Gabaldon’s fan-base are comprised of people from all walks of life, including different socioeconomic, religious, and political backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, and age ranges. My husband was bemused by your “bored, middle aged housewife” comment (does that demographic even exist?), since he’s, well, a dude, and thoroughly enjoyed the first novel. Our love of Scotland (including its culture, people, history, etc.), was well ingrained before I discovered the Outlander series, and even tho’ we’d visited there for an extended time, I learned even MORE facts regarding the second Jacobite uprising through Ms. Gabaldon’s meticulous historical research.

    Your little blurb actually may dissuade prospective viewers from watching, rather than draw them in, as the title of your article suggests. I expected better reporting from Variety. You may rest assured I won’t be reading anything more from you, or the magazine, in the future.

  38. Outlander Fans Forever! says:

    I can’t say it better than this poster did, so I’m just going to repost this since it’s gotten buried. EmskaM I hope you don’t mind. Outlander slander (hehe) is bad enough, but there’s a bigger issue and she covers it beautifully.

    EmskaM says:
    January 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    Alright, Melina, here’s the thing. I’m not even going to touch the journalistic failure you took a leaping nosedive into here – I think everyone else has clearly covered it and I have every certainty that the project will prove you nothing but ignorant when aired (and hopefully, on your part, read). However, I do want to address the blatant disrespect and rampant anti-feminist sentiment shared through your “review”. You must be a woman of some success to be writing for Variety. It saddens and horrifies me that any woman, much less an educated and assumedly worldly one would find it conscionable to degrade her sex in such a manor. To perpetuate a negative stigma of housewives? It’s shameful. I am not yet 30, single, and a workaholic; but my mother was a house wife. She, along with millions and millions of women around the world dedicated their lives to the hardest job our world charges – taking care of those living in it. And here you paint this choice/calling as somehow “lesser”. You insinuate that housewives are nothing but gossipy nitwits – strengthening the horrific stereotype that women who care for children and community must not be able to think beyond the end of their noses. Must not care to educate themselves, to bring art into their lives, or even to discuss matters of worth. Do you not see? Here you have taken a step in demoralizing your sex. I think it is a safe assumption that you, like myself, have not chosen a life that is “home-bound” (for lack of a less confining sounding phrase). Another assumption, perhaps you have not had enough experience to show you that our way is not the only way – and certainly not the most selfless or the most enlightened. Two challenges: first, go out into the world, meet some of these women you have verbally subjugated – second, read Outlander. Hopefully, these two things will help you to understand what being a capable and worthy woman is all about. I hope, in the end, that you’ll learn to speak proudly of those who offer their afternoons to their children. To kids who deal with so much in this world but are blessedly still able to focus on whether their favorite swing is free even for just a few hours. These kids should see the world supporting these women, not demeaning them. It’s so easy to fall into the entertainment well of “shock value” and “edginess”. Challenge number three: Be a capable and worthy woman who can see beyond the dazzle of attention, and offer something of substance.

    Karen says:
    January 13, 2014 at 5:28 am
    Hear hear!!

    Jery says:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm
    This! Eloquent and on point.

    Catherine says:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm
    “I hope, in the end, that you’ll learn to speak proudly of those who offer their afternoons to their children”
    Well spoken.

    underdog08 says:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm
    Thank you, EmskaM.

    Linda C says:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm

  39. Melody says:

    RE: Outlander

    Wow, Ms. Saval,
    Rarely have I seen that level of ignorance and condescension in such a small paragraph.
    I don’t have much to add, everyone has pretty much summed it up. “Harlequin” it is not, and “bored housewives” is beyond comment. You really missed the boat here. I feel bad for your research abilities. I have to say I am not surprised. This day and age of internet reporting is showing a glaring lack of talent for the art.

  40. Andrea S says:

    After reading a post on the Outlader Stores Facebook page I just HAD to come over here and see what all the fuss was about and excuse me but rude much?….you can just smell the condescension oozing from this woman….The Outlander series is an epic tale with elements that appeal to all different kinds of PEOPLE not just women and in no way comes even close to comparing to a Harlequin romance….that is DGs life’s work, which she has invested so much in, the amount of research alone is mind boggling much less having put together a story so beautifully and eloquently with unforgettable characters….she has a damn lot to be proud of, which is far more than this catty “journalist” can claim….Pulitzer prize winner material you are not Ms Saval….grrrr now if y’all will excuse me I have to go untwist my 30 something, single mother, always working, never bored panties

  41. Your comments on Starz’ Outlander unleashed a bit of disgust amongst all of us readers who are excited for this wonderful story to come to life on our screens.

    I first read Outlander 10 years ago and yet I’m still not a housewife, middle-aged, or bored. Comparing this to a Harlequin romance is just plain ignorance. I can only assume you’ve never read a Harlequin or Outlander (not even a single chapter, or the Cliff notes?) to think they’re similar. They’re not, and I know this because I’ve read both and Harlequin is not to my liking.

    It’s a shame to shove this new show into a category where it doesn’t belong. It’s awful and inaccurate reviews like this that can make or break a show.

    Your ignorance could cost people jobs, the fans a wonderful adaption, and your own integrity.

  42. Beth J says:

    I am not convinced that YOU were convinced to watch. I certainly hope Variety paid you well for this little filler piece. I did notice that last night on twitter, you were bemoaning the fact that all the cool kids were at the good parties, while you were at home with your kids. Are YOU the bored housewife? Does it make you feel better to denigrate other women? Good luck with your writing career. I feel you may need it! Oh, and Variety, since you allowed this to be published, I am sure you won’t miss the 25 million consumers worldwide that now feel your publication is a joke!

  43. Ashli Foster says:

    Wow, what could I possibly add? Seems like the 450+ comments have pretty well summed it up…. DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE PRINTING ANYTHING! I think that lesson would have been covered in “Journalism 101” maybe you missed that class?

  44. Bored middle-aged housewives? Hmmmm…middle-aged I might be (although when I discovered the wonderful Outlander series and went bananas for it, I was far from middle-aged!) And I’ve NEVER been a housewife because I’ve been too busy running a finance company. But, honey, the place where you’ve got it really wrong is with the word “bored.” it’s impossible to be bored with a series like Outlander running around in our imaginations. At approximately 6000 pages on my Kindle (and more in some print versions) the entire series leaves no time for boredom. There’s time travel, romance and so much adventure that you get worn out just reading it sometimes! Perhaps you should try reading the series before you put it (and the fans) down.

  45. Amy Spencer says:

    Perhaps you should read Outlander before dismissing it…and not talk down to the large fan base that exists, dismissing us. It is exquisitetly written. Your dismissal of both the book and its readers is nothing short of ignorant.

  46. Sarah says:

    I got such a kick out of reading all the Outlander comments. What a hornet’s nest you stubbled into honey. Now we know from your snide comments that you are a jealous want to be stay at home mom / housewife. We learned so much about your failed attempt at being a screenwriter and we can all plainly see you are also a failed journalist. Hopefully by now there are enough comments to warrant your boss to take a look at the amount of time you actually put into researching this piece. I bet it was all of 5 minutes. You are an over paid, lazy or I should say bored, failure.

  47. Dear Reporter: the next time you feel the need to report on an upcoming show how about taking a few minutes or weeks to get some better information and while you’re at it it might not be such a good idea to offend and insult the prospective audience by calling them bored housewives… Many of us are professional people and those of us ” bored housewives ” probably work harder every day than you do sitting on your bum deciding on what to put your bored words to…. Really! Be a more proffesional person yourself … A little tact goes miles down the road ….

  48. Vic says:

    You obviously have no idea what your talking about Malina…wow!

  49. Anne says:

    Wow, Miss Malina, I doubt you weren’t aware about what an avalanche your ignorant comment on Starz’ Outlander would cause.

    “10. “Outlander” (Starz). This new series is based on the internationally bestselling novels by Diana Gabaldon that bored middle-age housewives have been going absolutely bananas over. It’s set in the 1700′s, involves time travel and sexy period-piece costumes, and its Harlequin Romance-esque plot is sure to fuel breathy playground chatter for the next year. 3rd quarter” You must have read not one single line of ANY of the books in this series or why is it that you wrote such nonsense.

    I’m not really a housewife (like someone before me already said, I’m married to my husband, a human, and not to a house). Middle-aged? Hmm… depends on how you define middle-aged. Bored? Never! My son who is not anywhere near middle-age yet, even caught the Outlander bug from me and let me tell you, he’s a very well educated, well-read MALE who doesn’t even have the time to get bored.

    You should do a better research on what you’re writing about the next time … IF there is a next time for you. If I was your boss I’d downgrade you to sorting the mail in your office and leave the writing stuff to those who know how to do it. My advice: Read, READ the Outlander books by the amazing author Diana Gabaldon, even if it’s only the first one, just to get an impression on what they are like, that they are NOTHING like the Harlekin novels. Well, if you’re able to read, that is.

  50. Dorothy Hammond says:

    I hate Harlequin novels. I’m on my 4th reread of the Outlander series. There is more substance in them than in any hundred typical romance novels. I’m embarrassed to even mention the word “romance” in connection with the Outlander books. Have you even read them? I’ve learned about history, medicine, geography, relationships, and much more.

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