Outlander Teaser Kiss

Are you watching “Outlander” on Starz? I haven’t read the series by Diana Gabaldon but after watching the first few episodes I added the first book into my hold queue at the library (44 and counting).

The preview for next week’s episode of “Outlander” ended with this tease. I made a gif for your viewing pleasure.

Outlander Teaser Kiss

His smile at the end is everything.

The trailer edit is perfect. It built to this intense moment (“IT’S ALL … BEEN LEADING … TO THIS”) and as Jamie leans in for the kiss Claire stops it with a question. And he smiles.

His breath is gorgeous here. I’m a sucker for the quiet space when a performer breathes. It pulls me right into the intimacy of that moment.

If you have a good example of breath in prose, I’d love to hear it.

Rejected by Hannah Horvath

"Free Snacks" Girls
“Free Snacks” Girls, Season 3

Last night’s dream picked up where last night’s episode of Girls (“Free Snacks”) left off.  Except I was one of the Girls, so naturally I was hanging out and being Special. They were all younger than I was, but they knew my story (jumping the career ship to live the dream) and they were all my besties. Lena Dunham was herself (writer, actor, producer, director) instead of the character Hannah; I know this because the conversations in my dream were way more interesting than they are on the show.

Suddenly my age comes up and I’m a little thrown because I’m sure they’ve all known. I mean we’ve talked about it a million times. It’s an important part of my story. And then they erupt. Lena is mortified. OMG! She can’t hang out with someone as old as I am. She literally pushes me out of her apartment, an apartment that we share. She’s grossed out, appalled, embarrassed. I have cooties. Can age be contagious? I don’t get it. Not only am I surprised that they are surprised but I don’t understand what the big deal is. “I’m only 32!” I am shouting at the door over and over and then muttering to myself as I pout my way down the sidewalk to find comfort with my friend Ryan. “I’m only 32.”

I wake up and the first thing I do is giggle. I am 43. I am only 43. Ouch.

In last night’s episode of Girls Hannah has her first successful day as a sell-out. At first she’s energized by the compliments and the free snacks and being talent adjacent — she’s in the advertorial writing group at GQ. Hannah falls through the trap door, hitting the dungeon floor with a THUD that shakes off the fog of security, making her realize that this place is going to suck the Special right out of her.

Me? Instead of falling through a trap door, I took a leisurely and scenic ride on an escalator with excellent companions. I wanted to make a living doing something that was interesting. I must have figured that my path would reveal itself, my opportunities to CREATE would appear. And they did! Those opportunities did appear. And I did create. And I had a great ride on that escalator. Every once in a while I would be in a situation, though, where I’d be in the presence of a storyteller (a TV writer, a filmmaker, an actor) and the daydreamer in me would scream:  THAT SHOULD BE ME. And maybe I would be motivated for a second. Maybe I’d dust off one of my books on writing. Maybe I would start a story. And maybe I’d even stay with that story for weeks or months. But I would always drift away again, back into the routines of living, which were deadline-driven and time-consuming. But the nagging only got louder as I descended farther away from my dream, and I finally had to call my own bluff: Go all in or Let it go.

Obviously that episode of Girls set something off in me. Shame for wasting so much time? That exists. But my unconscious did me a favor with the “32”. I just turned 32 when I started working at MTV News, and although I did feel “old” already because many of the folks I worked with were younger, I had such a good time working there, I learned a lot, and I made good friends. That was my life and I enjoyed it. Maybe the part of my dream that is more significant is that I was shoved out of this group of 20-somethings.  I’ve already lived that. I don’t get a do-over. Create from where I am now.

Because here I am now with an entire day, week, month, year in front of me to write. My gift to me. And I’m only 43.

‘The Fall’ and Jamie Dornan

I just finished watching the first season of “The Fall” on Netflix (only 5 episodes) and I’m obsessing. Or, more honestly, I’m obsessing on the effect of Jamie Dornan.

fall jamie dornan reveal

When Dornan first appeared I thought “Who is this guy? He looks familiar. Must. IMDB. Now.” I learned he hasn’t been in anything else that I’ve seen (though I’ll now be checking out “Once Upon a Time”), but he was recently cast as the new Christian Grey. He reminds me of Henry Cavill, or at least my response to Henry Cavill the first time I saw him on “The Tudors.” Kind of.

SPOILER ALERT

Did I mention Dornan’s character Paul is a serial killer? He stalks women and murders them in their homes. As an audience we know how we’re supposed to feel about Paul: he’s depraved and dangerous — he’s a sick misogynistic sociopath. But at the same time that I was repulsed and afraid I was also being seduced. That is some seriously tricky business and exactly why I am obsessing about the actor and the storytelling.

I’m mesmerized, like the women in “The Fall,” and I can’t help but think of a predator in the wild that mesmerizes their prey. Paul’s good looks have that effect on women. They notice him, he gives them a quick taste of attention, nothing more than eye contact and maybe a hint of a smile, and the women want him. They want him to want them. They feel a little reckless and drop their guard. The story doesn’t linger in these moments, but there are enough to begin to feel the burden of all of this desire — they all want him to be something for them. And he gives the women just enough to control them.

The relationship he has with his wife is dominated by the everyday grind (the kids, the job, the to-do lists) and he’s coming up a bit short. Sally doesn’t look like any of his victims. She is blond and as tall as he is. She isn’t a beauty the way that he is. But she’s strong, smart, and loving and she empathizes with others pain — maybe that is what attracted Paul to Sally, maybe she was a solid candidate for a sociopath to mimic. One thing that struck me was that he appears to stay sexually faithful to Sally, even in his alter-world as a serial killer he doesn’t have intercourse with his victims, though it’s clearly sexual domination. It made me wonder what being “faithful” to Sally means to him. Does it define him as honorable in the same way as he defines himself a protector of children.

The babysitter storyline is exceptional. She is infatuated and more reckless than any of the adult women who desire him, which makes her character unpredictable, posing the most danger to the things that matter to him. She doesn’t know what she has to lose, only what she desires. The 15-year-old throws herself at him, surrenders everything. She is in over her head, but she doesn’t recognize consequences yet. When she pulls his photos off the fridge, I couldn’t help but smile: the predator is now being stalked by someone who has nothing to lose. Ultimately he seizes control and subdues her by giving her just enough of what she wants — he confesses his desire for her. He calls her bluff. He shuts her bedroom door and peels off his jacket as he moves towards her, saying “I don’t trust myself now.” At this moment she recognizes that it may be more than she’s bargained for and she’s (finally) afraid. He holds her and confesses his desire and the need to stay away from each other. Done deal.

Now Dornan is set to play Christian Grey, a misogynistic sociopathic character all about control, dominance, and deriving pleasure from causing women pain. Sound familiar? Minus the murder. Will Christian be as mesmerizing or feel as dangerous as Paul? I’m anxious to see how Dornan will play Christian different than Paul, and how director Sam Taylor-Wood will involve the audience in the seduction, the temptation, the risk and reward.