Under the Dome TV Series Review

If Stephen King novels don’t translate well into movies in the theater then they definitely do not work as made-for-TV movies / mini-series either. Two of the best novels ever written, ever, not just by King but by anyone, were The Stand and It. Anyone who has only seen the TV movies of these and never read the books is laughing their guts out right now. They were hands down the worst thing to come to TV since Heil Honey I'm Home.

But watching the trailers for the new 13-episode TV mini-series Under the Dome (based on King’s novel of the same title), I started thinking “hmmmmm. Maybe. Just maybe they’ve got something here.” You may recall, but probably don’t, that I reviewed this book when it first came out. I rated it 4 stars and have reread it once since then despite being well over 1000 pages long. My only addition to that review would be to say that it’s stood the test of time. A must read.

But somehow, during the chaos that is my life (work, 5 kids, wife, house, etc.), I completely forgot all about this series coming out. It wasn’t until we were looking to stream something at Amazon Prime that I saw that the “Pilot” episode of Under the Dome was available for free streaming. We clicked on it, watched it and the response from both me and my wife was “When’s the next one showing?”

I instantly started “reviewing” it in my head and decided my two favorite things about it are the casting of Dean Norris from Breaking Bad and Jeff Fahey from Lost.

So two awesome characters from two of my favorite TV series of all time are in this TV series. Might as well declare it a major success right now. But we won’t. I’m better than that. There is good casting throughout the production. No Molly Ringwald or Tim Curry this time around.

One problem with any TV adaptation of King’s novels is there is no gore. King's books might as well be written in human blood on pelts of dead children they are so gory but you just can’t get away with that on TV. Well let me tell ya, they do pretty good. The rest of this paragraph contains the only spoilers and it’s not that much spoilage. Skip to next paragraph if you’re a purest. One of the first things you see is a cow chopped in half long ways when the dome comes down. It’s back-half then slides off the dome reminiscent of Ghost Ship, 13 Ghosts and Resident Evil. Not bad, not bad. Add in severed limbs falling from the sky and the good stuff is just starting with this show.

We watched the second episode and it was even better than the pilot. They’re sticking pretty true to the source material which is something you know I like. The acting is good. There is plenty in the book to keep you entertained for the nearly 9 hours you will see over 13 episodes. I highly recommend you watch this. Call it a “summer fling” if you need an excuse.

So far that series gets 4 stars, I’m hopeful that will only improve as the plot develops over the coming weeks!!!

Well then we watched episode 3 and I've done some more research and things they are a changing. In simple terms, episode 3 was boring. Also, what would have been a stretch for 13 episodes is going to be nauseatingly bad over several seasons which is what CBS is now contemplating (forget the summer fling, they're trying to force a ring on my finger - those rat bastards). Lost was successful because they kept the mystery going and added to it in every episode and during the time you're trying to figure everything out you fell in love with the characters and actually started giving a crap what happens to them. The same for the short-lived Jericho (may CBS rot in hell forever for cancelling it...twice, but they'll probably keep this train-wreck dome thing going forever).

The problem is they seem to think we're should like these characters and have completely forgotten the dome covering the town. Seriously, it's been 3 days now since this thing happened and most of the town is going on ... business as usual. Teens are partying it up, moms are walking their babies to the park, it just looks like normal small-town USA and "Oh well there is that dome up there but we try not to think about it too much". Small spoiler but not that bad. There is a factory in this town that has pretty deep basements and nobody thought to go down into those basements to look to see if there's a way out under the dome until a teenage girl (who has been chained to a bed in a locked fallout shelter since the day the dome came) thought to tell her captor "Hey maybe you should go look there."

And since you don't know these people and don't care about them when one of them dies, you don't care. They have to tell you "Oh don't worry about that guy who just died, but this one dying, wow, that was brutal and you should be torn up over it". So enough. Throw this onto the trash heap with the other King TV shows (IT, The Stand, etc.). As they say in the book (and TV show) "Stars are falling". And so it is with my rating of this show. 1 Star is all it gets.


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