"Outlander" can't come back soon enough. The time-traveling Starz historical romance returns on April 4, just in time to remind us of how much we've been missing all things Scottish. With the six-month mid-season hiatus (not to mention the retirement from late-night of Craig Ferguson in December), TV has been a tartan-free zone for too long.
Like protagonist Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a stranger to both Scotland and to the 18th Century, "Outlander" viewers can learn a lot about the Scots -- the complex feudal politics of the old clan system, the rural folkways, and the age-old pagan legends. Is it all accurate? Probably not, but then, movie and TV audiences have spend decades watching portrayals of the Scottish that are little more than collections of stereotypes.
Still, among the kilts and bagpipes and rolled Rs, some Scottish characters have transcended stereotype -- or at least played with it in a humorous way -- to earn a place in pop culture history. Here they are, the heroes and villains, the good and the plaid.