Musings on Highlander: The Series

Ok, ok. I’ll say it… My name is Allison Sattgast and I’m a Highlander-a-holic. What can I say? Is it my fault that Adrian Paul is hot? But seriously, I have found Highlander fascinating. It inspires me to ask myself hard questions about morality, about purpose, about life and death.

Perhaps the biggest thing I have gotten out of Highlander: the Series are the questions ‘What am I doing with my life?’ and ‘Would I live differently if I were cut off from the normal cycle of life in middle class America?’ People who literally live for thousands of years as unaging adults may not be likely, but the questions they raise are quite real. It’s so easy in life to fall into the pattern of the culture around you and its rhythms.

Birth, start school, graduate, go to college, get a degree, find a career and a spouse and start a family, go to work 9-5, take occasional vacations, save up and retire, die. It doesn’t seem so bad, but the culture fills in the holes between with things that we might not choose if we stopped to think about whether we want them or not.

Yet we are so steeped in it that it’s hard to see past it even when you try. The characters of Highlander move obliquely through the world, and there is a whiff of something alien about them. They’ve lost their script.

They train students (apprentices, really, often living with or near them for years). They don’t mind dropping everything for a while to do something else when they have to, or put a thousand miles on a pair of hiking boots when they need to get away. They think differently about time, people, and life.

And of course they fight to the death with swords. That too.

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