Despite all the Condescension and Insults, I Still Won’t Watch ‘Wentworth’.

A few days ago, I wrote a blog saying I would not watch the ‘Wentworth’ episode of Outlander.  I prefaced it by saying it was not my usual zany, wacky blog.  Many of you were supportive saying you felt the same way.  Many of you were supportive to those like me but said even though it would be upsetting, you were going to watch it anyway.

Many of you were the opposite of supportive calling me a ‘hand ringer’, ‘pearl clutcher’, ‘granny’ and ‘disloyal’ to name a few.  I was told I was in a ‘panic mode’ and that it was ‘just a tv show’, and it was ‘only acting’.  Note: The majority of my life’s work was in television and professional (Broadway level) theatre so I. know. it’s. acting.

People who can’t handle it, go ahead and express yourselves.  But make sure to duck when you get the bible thrown at you like several people have as part of their lecture about why we should watch.   And, don’t tell me I’ll bring down a TV network (I’m one woman with a blog for heavens’ sake) and don’t tell me it’s my duty to watch it because it’s not.

Most of us don’t know really know each other on Twitter. We hide behind our best photos, funniest one-liners, our zingiest of zingers.  But when we feel strongly about a subject, such as ‘Wentworth’, the real people behind those facades come out.  And frankly, some of those people have not been nice.

There are many viewers who do not want to watch ‘Wentworth’.  You don’t know their back story, and I don’t know their back story.  What I do know is that it’s their right not to watch it and it’s their right to talk about not watching it.  And no, it won’t bring Starz to their knees, and no they won’t cancel the show.

I happen to love the book ‘Outlander’.  And I adore the tv show ‘Outlander’ and all those involved.  It’s brilliant.  The book has been one of my favorites for over 20 years and I’ve read and re-read many times. But guess what, in all those years I read the ‘Wentworth’ part only once until this past week, when I re-read it again.  It’s horrible.  What happens to him. is. horrible.  I don’t see any reason why I should watch it.  Just like I know everything that was done to the victims of Charles Manson because I read about it once.  But I see no reason to look at the pictures.  Because. I. Can’t. Handle. It.

So, don’t tell me what’s wrong with me and that I need to man up. Don’t condescend to me and call me names.  You have no idea what my back story is, just as I have no idea about yours.

I will still support ‘Outlander’. I will still think Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are two of the best actors I’ve seen in my lifetime and I’m forever grateful to them for bringing Claire and Jamie so perfectly to the screen.  I’m indebted to Ron Moore and his entire brilliant team. But I am NOT going to watch ‘Wentworth’ and all the condescension and misspelled insults in the world won’t change my mind.


  • Laurie
    Posted May 15, 2015 8:18 pm 0Likes

    I agree with you completely. Everyone has the right to choose if they want to watch it or not. No one should be made to feel bad about their choices. I plan to watch but that doesn’t mean I think any less of you because you aren’t. I really hate when people hide behind social media (anonomous or not) and feel it is okay to say hateful things.

  • Nancy
    Posted May 15, 2015 8:23 pm 0Likes

    I have always enjoyed your blog posts about Outlander. We seem to share the same sense of humor, and there won’t be much humor in the next episode. It’s too bad some people have to get personal and nasty and insulting. Don’t let the haters get you down. Since when is it okay for a stranger to tell someone how they should feel or act?? Not acceptable. That’s bullying in my book.

    • Melissa B
      Posted May 15, 2015 9:37 pm 0Likes

      Thank you Nancy! I try to be positive and I normally process things in a silly/funny way and I will in upcoming blogs. But you’re right, they were bullying and I don’t have to tolerate it. Thank you for writing! ???

  • rynawolfe
    Posted May 15, 2015 9:01 pm 0Likes

    I commented on your last post and I hope I didn’t come across as negative. I did my own blog, not so much on the show itself, but on how the fans are and should be treating each other. I am one of the people that needs to see this – not because I’m ‘IN’ to rape or torture, but because this, THIS event, so shapes who Jamie is and becomes. It’s pivotal. It’s horrible and it sucks – but this is what happened. The series, while based in the books, is it’s own entity – so I want to see Sam and Tobias and Cait and the STELLAR award performances I know they all gave here. I’m not judging anyone for NOT wanting to watch it – I hope I’ll get the same consideration for going the other way.

    • Melissa B
      Posted May 15, 2015 9:34 pm 0Likes

      No you didn’t Beth. If you were mean, your comment wouldn’t be visible on the page. I’m not perfect and I’ve made my share if mistakes, but I try never to be deliberately mean or hurt anyone. Life is too short. As far as their performances go, I know they will be incredible, how could they not be? But I already know what happens, so I don’t need to see it too. Thanks for writing ?

  • Auntie Lamb
    Posted May 15, 2015 9:13 pm 0Likes

    What Laurie said (and said well).

    Also, I believe that a downside of a particularly rabid group is that the group can devolve into negative behavior at the wink of an eye or with minimal stimuli. Specifically, and sadly, I have seen this particular fan group (many emboldened by the cover of anonymity) do that on a number of occasions and for reasons that run the gamut from the trivial to the serious to the patently irrelevant. And as bad as these issues have been leading up to this episode, I fear that they will only intensify once the episode airs and people start responding to actual depictions. I would call on Herself to rally the troops to Choose Civility; but I believe 1) She’s already done that; 2) many of the worst offenders have never read the books and feel no allegiance to their author; and 3) some of the others act like they are so far gone that no one could influence them (last phrase deliberately lifted from Jamie’s words to Jenny about Black Jack).

    These episodes will exist on many platforms long into the future. Perhaps some day, with the advice of supportive friends, or after reading written summaries, you may be able to view selected portions of them. Or Not.

    Regardless, Melissa, I respect your choices, both to opt out of viewing and (even more) to write about it. Given what I said above, I see those as courageous acts and admire you for it.

    But remember: Come get me when it’s time to call out the Granny-Bashers!


    • Melissa B
      Posted May 15, 2015 9:42 pm 0Likes

      Thank you for your support Auntie. I agree it’s the anonymity and the mob mentality that causes fans to grab their pitch forks. And honey, I won’t forget ya when I go after the granny bashers. I’m keeping a list. ?

  • eakins69
    Posted May 15, 2015 9:57 pm 0Likes

    I can’t believe that people are actually attacking you and calling you names. How ridiculous is that. Don’t we have a choice? My choice is to watch it. That is MY choice. YOUR choice is NOT to watch it. You know what happens, even if the tv version might not be exactly like the book. It is your choice to skip it, just as it is my choice to watch it. I don’t understand the hateful nature of people’s responses.


  • Connie Sandlin (@Yr_Obt_Svt)
    Posted May 15, 2015 10:25 pm 0Likes

    I’ve got your back, chica! You are entitled to do what you want! MWAH!

  • OSuzyQuilts
    Posted May 15, 2015 11:24 pm 0Likes

    I think we all know our own limits to violence and to filter out what is too much for us is a normal human thing. There’s so much more blood and guts and gore in regular television, movies and even video games than there was when I was a kid, maybe people are desensitized to it the younger they are. I know it’s only a show, but I also know I can remember scenes in a bad way for my own healthy psyche, and I can have bad dreams from watching stuff that goes over my limit. Still, I want to see this show, and I’m hoping it isn’t too much for me.

    I just don’t understand how people can be so judgmental about something that’s’ such a personal taste and choice! Why can’t they see that it’s similar to “I like chocolate cake but not the chocolate volcano fudge covered cake.” Does that warrant snide comments and bullying remarks? Will I be called a wuss if I don’t like Brussels sprouts? Gee sh, sometimes people need to MTOB.

  • dot65jean
    Posted May 15, 2015 11:50 pm 0Likes

    I agree with you 100%! I love the books and have loved the visual presentation of this story, but I am not sure I can “watch” such brutality and inhumane treatment of one human being to another! I have given this decision much thought over the past week and even before that, knowing what is in the book. The lashing was hard enough to watch in the first half of season 1. When devastating things happen to good people, I find it very difficult to understand. Do not feel alson, Melissa. You are not alone in your hesitation to watch these next two episodes. I don’t know if I can “watch” what I found so very difficult to read! It is for each one of us to decide whether we do or do not watch these two episodes. You have my support, dear one. I love your commentaries each week. This is a free country and our decisions belong to each of us.

  • SleepChicks (@SleepChicks)
    Posted May 16, 2015 12:06 am 0Likes

    Sorry to hear you’ve been harassed. Not nice.

  • Peigi
    Posted May 16, 2015 12:12 am 0Likes

    I just can’t fathom the bullying – disagree: fine. We are all the richer for listening to each other. But insults etc: never! Such actions reflect on them, not you.
    I thoroughly enjoy your writing and especially admire you for being true to yourself, no matter what. Isn’t that what Outlander is all about??

  • Cat
    Posted May 16, 2015 1:14 am 0Likes

    Twitter is where people go to be opinionated and or outraged about everything. Why someone’s choice to respectfully not watch something is reason for name calling and insults is beyond my understanding, but it seems normal for Twitter interactions. It’s the mentality of “if someone does something or thinks something differently than I do it must mean one of us is wrong so I have to defend myself by attacking them and attacking first” coupled with anonymity and unfortunately at times a mob mentality and wildfire speed. I support your decision to not watch the Wentworth episodes. I support those who don’t watch Outlander at all, who don’t want to and those who don’t want to read the books, and I don’t need their reasons! I support freedom of choice in TV/movie viewing preferences and book choices!!!

  • Sandra
    Posted May 16, 2015 2:25 am 0Likes

    Wow this is unbelievable, I have to wonder how these bullies are even fans of the show. What I love about Jamie and Claire is what they stand for; honesty, respect, integrity, compassion…and the list goes on. The opposite to what this mob is portraying, I don’t get it … maybe they more relate to Black Jack?
    I myself still haven’t decided if I’ll watch this episode, reading it was heartbreaking enough and I don’t need the images in my head. I may watch it in conjunction with the final episode, maybe.
    I love your blogs and your humour, please don’t let these sad people get you down. x

    • Mary Ann
      Posted May 16, 2015 12:22 pm 0Likes

      Totally agree with your comments about Jamie and Claire. No room here for bullies.

  • masksforallreasons
    Posted May 16, 2015 3:00 am 0Likes

    You go girl. I will be watching the episode for my own reasons, but my remote has a mute button, a recall button (which will be set to a comedy channel) and if I need to leave the room, an off switch. We all should know our limits and boundaries. It’s our right and privilege as humans to make our own decisions without criticism.

  • Kathy Redd
    Posted May 16, 2015 3:16 am 0Likes

    When I first read Outlander I was loving it and then I came to Wentworth! I threw the book down! I was so mad at DG! Why did she go so far!!!!! I’ve read all her books and I enjoyed them for the most part but I’m still mad about Wentworth and I still don’t understand why it had to go quite that far!

  • Auntie Lamb
    Posted May 16, 2015 5:14 am 0Likes

    Stay away, Melissa. Very tough stuff; surprisingly true to the book in most respects.

  • Denise
    Posted May 16, 2015 8:01 am 0Likes

    Hi Melissa, I too am sorry you have been harassed for your own legitimate choice. I guess some people don’t get the concept of CHOICE and think they can dictate to and judge others for theirs *rolling my eyes* . Who are these people with the mob mentality? (I don’t really want to know.) I for one will be watching the Wentworth episode, how much of it exactly I’m not sure! I’ll find out at the time.

  • Mary Ann
    Posted May 16, 2015 12:20 pm 0Likes

    Kudos to you Melissa. It’s never okay to attack people either physically or verbally. I will be watching tonight’s episode…my choice, just as you have made your choice. Sending you love and support as a fellow Outlander fan. No need to defend your decision to me.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted May 16, 2015 1:49 pm 0Likes

    This is the first time I think I’ve read your blog, and now I’d like to follow you. Please know there are people, like myself, who support your decision as it IS YOUR decision. My goodness. I am truly surprised at the negativity that is coming out about all this and can’t help but think it was never Diana’s (or Ron’s) intention. I love the Outlander books but agree that as many times as I’ve re-read the first book (and all the others), I’ve only read the Wentworth scenes twice. It’s just too much for me. I’ve wondered why Diana wrote it and have been pleased to read some of her interviews and facebook entries describing her motivations. I’m not an author so I don’t know what it’s like to tear apart a character (a favorite character) and put him back together, slowly, over several books, but as a reader the resurrection of Jamie has been a story I just cannot put down. Hope to read more of your thoughts about this wonderful tv and book series. Take care of yourself.

  • Vida L. Avery, PhD
    Posted May 17, 2015 7:51 pm 0Likes

    I can’t believe you are having to defend not watching the episode, especially when you know what happened. That is your prerogative not to watch, if you don’t want to watch. People who hide behind their computers and send out insults are cowards. Bravo for taking a stand and holding to it!

    • Melissa B
      Posted May 17, 2015 7:57 pm 0Likes

      Hi Vida, I did take a stand, but in the end I decided to watch the amount that I could tolerate. Hid behind pillow, volume low and/or off. Got through it. Nobody’s bullying comments changed my mind, I just needed to see how much I could get through. Thank you for writing. 🙂

      • Vida L. Avery, PhD
        Posted May 17, 2015 8:06 pm 0Likes

        You’re most welcome. And, that’s fine too – your decision to watch. I watched it too . . . excellent acting and execution, but really hard to view!

  • Bobbi
    Posted May 17, 2015 10:01 pm 0Likes

    Although I will be disappointed to miss your recap of the Wentworth episode, after having watched (at times through my hands while clutching my husbands arm) I completely understand why you refused to watch the episode. This episode is not for everyone. Unfortunately, social media can be a rewarding adventure with some occasional, ugly turns through the ghetto. People are opinionated and it is worth the effort to ignore those who are giving you a difficult time. They’re giving you their unsolicited advice because they like what you write and feel a sense of loss without your weekly wit. Their emotional attachment causes inappropriate behavior that they don’t realize should be spared for their bathroom mirror episodes, not public comment. Keep doing what you do and sharing when you can. Those of us with less of a reactive attachment disorder will understand and wait for your next post.

  • Kristin_Texas
    Posted May 18, 2015 2:02 am 0Likes

    I don’t have Starz this time around, so I haven’t seen any of this season. Looking on the bright side – of a really, really l-o-n-g Droughtlander – reading people’s comments has sort of “prepared” me for when I do FINALLY see these episodes… especially the last two.

    I completely understand your feelings. I have a really, really difficult time with violence in anything. I can’t even watch the news. Some people are just more empathetic than others. They feel things a little bit deeper, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    As for the harassers…. they sound like whiny high schoolers in some juvenile fan club/clique. Lol! And who cares if not every Outlander fan watches each episode as it airs? There are still the dvd’s when they’re released, and it’s absolute nonsense for anyone to think a handful of people not watching just 1 or 2 episodes is going to bring this series to a standstill. That kind of talk really exhibits a lack of… well, thinking. It’s so absurd to think that about a series that was given the green light for a second season after only 1 episode aired.

    I think I’ll be doing as you did. I’ll only watch what I can personally handle.

  • szoomski
    Posted May 18, 2015 4:01 am 0Likes

    For the life of me, I can’t understand people getting upset with you for being honest and saying what you feel! It’s your blog! I understand how you felt, and someday I hope you will watch Wentworth. It is ghastly but demonstrates Jamie and Claire’s love for each other just like in the book. I cried. But God bless you! Here’s a few (((hugs))). Those sons a bitches need to take a chill pill! Don’t let this stop you from sharing your writing with open minded friends who love you just the way you are and respect your feelings.

  • LCPrincess
    Posted May 18, 2015 8:57 am 0Likes

    Melissa, I am so sorry that people jumped on you and called you names. What is this, elementary school? I know a lot of people who didn’t watch and I respect their decision. Who is to tell someone what to do, how to feel? Ridiculous. I am glad that you did watch some of it, though. I felt it was such a pivotal episode in shaping Jamie for the future. I think the next episode will be worse because Jamie will probably be having flashbacks and it will be much more graphic that what we even saw in Ep. 15. I don’t know if I can watch those! I thank you for putting up a blog because I would have missed you had you not! ((9Hugs)))

  • Beverly
    Posted June 28, 2016 3:53 pm 0Likes

    I agree. I’m enjoying all the rest of it, but I can’t watch Wentworth. Reading it was bad enough.

  • Chrissie
    Posted August 12, 2016 10:42 pm 0Likes

    It’s totally unbelievable to be insulted and abused because you couldn’t watch that episode ! I still can’t believe it even after reading the above. I watched it once and found it so traumatic and upsetting that I never rewatch it when I rewatch the series. I run thru the really nasty parts – almost the entire episode – on extra fast speed so I can’t tell what’s happening. I haven’t read the book with that in it either. I really need to tear myself away from your blog as its morning but it’s cold and wintery today ( probabably because it is winter here ). I was just musing about pour Tobias too – he gets to play one of the most horrid vile men ever and also one of the luckless boring men ever in the same series.

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