I got caught up on Outlander last night and I'm glad I did. The characters are all still unimaginatively written--except maybe for Dougal, I guess since he's unattractive he's allowed to have rough edges--but it has one thing Game of Thrones doesn't have and that's attention to the peasantry.
The fifth episode, the newest, has a long segment where Claire joins some peasant women in pressing wool. The episode also focuses on a tax gathering, how sometimes peasants handed in livestock in place of money for taxes, and it shows how a rebellion might have rallied people to its cause with Dougal grandstanding in taverns and passing around collection plates.
It's like watching a nice re-enactment. Alongside this there's still the incredible landscape and some costumes that are fantastic in both senses of the word--here's what the village apothecary wears:
And, like Claire, she has a whole different ensemble every episode. Just some couture for mixing crude potions over kettles in the thatched cottage.
Claire, of course, has great clothes, too. Often things to make the best of the actress' extraordinarily long neck--there's this sort of Disney villain matriarch thing from the third episode:
And my favourite is probably this one from the fourth episode:
The ribbon around her neck ties in a nice big bow at the back:
This show is definitely easy on the eyes. Just imagine if the characters were interesting, too. So far the only thing that's interesting about Claire is that she's an experienced nurse. The writers ought to have asked themselves, if they put this experienced nurse in a modern setting, would it still be worth watching the show? A medical drama needs more from a nurse or doctor than experience, of course.
Her love interest, Jaime, I've recently read was inspired by Jaime from Doctor Who, the Second Doctor's longest companion. Here's another question the writers ought to ask themselves--how often was Doctor Who about the fact that Jaime is a nice guy? Or was he simply given opportunities to demonstrate the fact that he's a nice guy because there were other, genuinely interesting stories he was involved in?