When I got to work this morning, everyone it seemed was talking about the CBS TV series of Stephen King’s Under the Dome that I gave an opinionated “review” of in my previous post. I also read a “professional” review that gave it a better shake than I did. That got me thinking… Did I “Disrespect the Dome?” Have I become so inured that I was failing to perceive something that others were enjoying?
After some thought, I have decided: No, the pilot of the Dome really did suck.
First, most of the people I work with, sad to say, probably haven’t read an actual book in a long time, and those that have probably have not read a lot of King, let alone the novel this series is based off of. This of course means that they are “new” to this story so the mystery is fresh to them. But more importantly, all they have to judge it by is other shows of this type and are judging strictly by the plot points. Fairly typical if worn-out material for King, but it is not your standard tv fare. Keep in mind the only thing vaguely similar they may have seen would be a show like Lost, and many of them I’m sure never saw any of that.
For me it was not the story being told, but the way it was told where the pilot REALLY failed — it did not deliver any believable and engaging drama. I have watched other shows where I knew what was going to happen and was still kept interested. For that matter the some what cheesy made for TV mini-series of King’s The Stand I enjoyed as a whole, and I even re-watched it recently on Netflix. Let’s face it, Under the Dome was a HUGE novel; King’s largest I believe. And while I wasn’t as enthralled as his previous works I still found myself wanting to turn the next page again and again. In the TV show of course you can’t get that internal monologue that King does so well, so all you get are those plot points. Lots of shows can deliver those plot points and still keep me interested. This show did not.
As far as the professional “critics” reviews go, all I can say is they are paid to talk and talk about something and so have to find something to say. So I don’t put a lot of weight behind their analysis. My “review” though is not really a review at all but my own personal opinion, which I air to my readership of none. So I guess I can’t disrespect the critics either.
Anyway, after all this. While I still stick by my thumbs down for Under the Dome, I decided that I ought to watch another couple shows just to give it the old, “three strikes and you’re out” chance. We’ll see…