Under the Dome (season 1)

It must be nice being Stephen King: surely by now with his literary success and all the loyalties he’s made from the movie adaptations, he is rolling in such crazy amounts of dough that he no longer has to give two fucks about even a fuck. I guess this kind of lazzair fair attitude is why something like “Under the Dome” (both the novel and television series) exists: because it is the point where King said “fuck it”, sold out, and decided to make a quick buck on a (lackluster) greatest hits collection of his most memorable literary moments (which somehow manages to be dull, boring, and just contrived).

The television series based off of King’s tome of a book is, in King’s own words, something being the director and producer’s own baby; meaning, it is as different from the book as can be allowed without fans mutinying. Translation: stretch it out as long as possible, to make as much money as possible, until it is only loosely associated with whatever material King wrote. Considering the concept of King’s book this may not be a bad thing but for anyone that appreciates quality in television… not so much.

While much about the show is enjoyable nothing is particularly notable. While there are a lot of twists which come suddenly and which serve to make sure things never stay settled too long, most of the dialogue is weak; two teenagers of the opposite sex together? Intimacy and sex references, texting references! A trapped priest? God is the answer!… and so on. The characters are used in predictable ways with predictable results. Considering the unusual setting these people are in (trapped underneath an impenetrable dome) this is an unforgivable transgression. Now this gets better near the end of the season, where things heat up and the characters warm up to their fellow man’s behavior, but until this point, it is just a series of loosely connected facepalm moments laced with coincidence. Together with the grinding lines which come from the cast’s mouths, I found most of the season only likeable in a culminating sense; each episode brings something new in development which will result in something worthwhile.

However, the season ends with a major cliffhanger. The intensity is sky high when it cuts out and everything is in flux. With no definite idea of even what happened the audience feels like they spent nine hours viewing a prologue. What you came to see, in other words, is missing and the creators give no more explanation than “watch the next episode, sucker!” This attitude is not surprising since it has been the attitude of the studio to stretch it out as much as humanly possible. So if this is something quickly hashed out to make bucks, which would make the mostly terribly acting more comprehendible, any audience needs to ask themselves this: is it worth it? Do you want to slog through a series made only to reap a buck, with predictable lines, music, acting, and situations? Do you want to get through it simply to try and find that gem of a moment? If you enjoyed the book then maybe you have more incentive than me but for everyone else… I wonder.


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