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A Stephen King Miniseries, It's 1995 All Over Again! "Under the Dome" Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | May 7, 2013 | Comments ()


underthedome_artwork.jpg

I read Stephen King's The Stand when I was thirteen years old, a paperback with so many miles on it that it had crossed the threshold from well-worn to disintegrating. The pages no longer held to the binding and would scatter in an explosion of musty leaves if fingers slipped while thumbing for purchase. I would meticulously reorder the pages and go through one by one to ensure that not a one was upside down or missing. I got it at a library book sale and it was in such bad shape that the volunteer perched next to the cash box, who was coasting on a bibliophile contact high from glancing at each book, gave it to me for free instead of charging me the quarter.

You can interpolate then the burning excitement I cultivated leading up to the miniseries interpretation of the novel, especially in those days before the Internet could strangle anticipation in its crib. You can also then interpolate the burning disappointment of watching those episodes on borrowed VHS tapes smuggled home to watch before my parents got home.

And because CBS is on the leading trend of things that might have been relevant twenty years ago, they're the ones with the miniseries event of summer 2013, Stephen King's Under the Dome:

Well I guess they didn't need to bring in Molly Ringwald and Gary Sinise to destroy fantastic characters, since the writing more or less did that for them.

Several thoughts come to mind. First, this was the only Stephen King book I never finished. I'll leave it at that as others have written at length of the problems with the book specifically and King more generally in his recent career. So it's sort of mystifying to me why anyone would bother adapting this particular book, other than the fact that at face value the set-up is creative and interesting.

Second, to be fair, while All Along the Watchtower is vastly overused, this is perhaps the only time that it's lyrics have been so literally appropriate.

Third, there was yet another rumor that a Dark Tower adaptation is now possibly ending up over on Netflix. I put no stock in this rumor, but news about the Tower tweaks my ears like a dog to a whistle, so I thought I'd put it out there for you.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • luthien26

    WHERE'S THE CORGI?!?

  • Know who is an excellent writer? Stephen's wife Tabitha. She's written a handful of books and I can't recommend them highly enough.

  • anatomycoloringbook

    I recently re-read The Stand and noticed that there was some problematic representations of people of color and women. The last time I read it was in my late teens, before college and I guess I didn't notice. Mother Abigale really bothers me especially, as a "Magical Negro" type. All the main characters are white and mostly male. The only female main character is Frannie only seems interested in Stan and her pregnancy. I still liked the story, but I was troubled with the way King wrote women and people of color. I can't read a King book without being aware of this now.

  • me

    You should probably avoid Bag of Bones

  • me

    I very much enjoyed Under the Dome, but I will admit the journey was much more fun than the destination. That is to say the end, not so good, story, yes so good. I'm excited for any King adaptation, even if they turn out to be cheese festivals like the Langoliers, train wrecks like the Golden Years or masterpieces like Shawshank. What made Under the Dome stand out was the not at all veiled or subtle references to the W Bush / Cheney administration. I'll be interested to see if that comes out at all.

  • emmelemm

    I feel like that's true for most of the overly-long Stephen King books. The journey is usually pretty good and then the end just... yeah.

  • I used to freaking love his mini-series growing up. My whole family would get together and watch them for a week. The Stand was my fav.

  • ViciousTrollop

    I haven't read the book but due to the music in the trailer I must assume they're all Cylons. Frakkin' toasters!

  • space_oddity

    Brain K Vaughn has writing duties on this miniseries, which leaves me cautiously optimistic.

  • The_Ghost_of_Bo_Crowder

    I must have started and never finished about half a dozen Stephen King books. Don't know what it is but his stuff just doesn't "grip" me.

  • The biggest issue I have with Stephen King is that he doesn't translate his own stuff well for the screen. Think of all those 90's ABC mini series that he had screenwriting credits on. Woof. I believe he wrote Maximum Overdrive too, which is both undeniably awesome and awful at the same time.

    I haven't read Under the Dome, but if he had anything to do with the screenplay I'd be cautious.

    Also, I still maintain that the only way to do right by The Dark Tower is to go animated, and I'm not a guy who usually likes animation (Archer being the exception).

  • Parker Jammstein

    He directed Maximum Overdrive too and admitted he was hopped up on cocaine the entire time. So there's that.

  • DeltaJuliet

    Archer is ALWAYS the exception.

  • Parker Jammstein

    Jeff Fahey!

    And let's be real, the best parts of The Stand were deaf Rob Lowe, Faggerbakke and Trashcan Man.

  • M-O-O-N! That spells NEBRASKA!

  • I thought the book wasn't as bad as some say, I enjoyed it well enough but I understand the negative reviews of it as well. But on a different note, this preview frustrates me as there are multiple people touching the dome in it. If I recall, there was a big electric charge or something if you touched it and that was quite a big part of the whole story. Why I care, I don't know. I won't be watching this mini-series, but it always bugs me when they change important details in adaptations.

  • BiblioGlow

    I think the charge was small enough that it only killed you if you had a pacemaker or other similar device. I seem to remember a scene where families gathered on both sides of the dome and were able to hold their hands up to it as long as they didn't have any medical issues.

  • Kala

    I forgot about that detail, which is important in that it results in a number of deaths. Honestly, I'm sad that this will be on CBS. I enjoyed it enough that in my fantasy-world, Darabont would be doing this for HBO. There are so many INCREDIBLY dark events in that book (especially the rogue deputies and the single mom), that the writers would have had no choice but to rewrite many portions of the book. Unfortunately, many of those rewrites will probably be for the worse.

  • Russell Duckett

    Stephen King is one of if not the greatest American writer(s). Under the Dome is a excellent book. We are all adults here and we are not all going to like the same things. But to take shots at this great writer and his hard work is a shame.

  • Dragonchild

    People like this make it hard to tell the difference between humans and replicants. As a blade runner, this only makes my job harder.

  • okayflint

    Heh

    Ending was terrible and it could have been 500 pages shorter.

    peace out!

  • So because he wrote some good books (and a great one on the art and process of writing), he should be above criticism for all time? I find that more insulting to him as a writer than I do honest opinions of people who admittedly have liked his other work. And Hawthorne, Poe, Twain, Hemingway, O'Connor, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Cather, Steinbeck, and many others might like a word with you regarding greatest American writer status. It is a completely subjective designation.

  • Jean S

    I thought the book was interesting until it got to the end. Then, it went off the deep end and left me totally annoyed and kind of angry.

    Re: The Tower series...I'm restarting them, on audiobook this time, in anticipation of the series/movies being released sometime before I die. Which means, they've got at least 40 years - I hope - to complete this project.

  • Kala

    I was so absorbed in the novel that I devoured the book in a matter of days. And then that crazy ending happened. Sigh. It wasn't as shitty of an ending as, say, Cell (that was the book that made me 'break up' with Steven for years), but it was still left me scratching my head.

    Aside from the ending, my biggest complaint was all of the "fist-bumps" he had in the novel. I have no idea where he got it from, but people were fucking fist-bumping each other every few pages. First the kids did it, then all of the good guys started doing it. It felt like an obvious and awkward attempt at bridging the generation gap.

  • okayflint

    *fist bump*

  • Professor Sara

    Ugh, Cell. Such a great start and then ... psychic floating zombies?

  • SchmidtUltra

    Simpsons did it.

  • Brooke the Replicant

    You missed nothing with the ending. It was another signature King "Make a complete 180 and fly way out there , completely insane, pretty damned stupid and frustrating" ending.

  • Jakesalterego

    I feel like the ending was the only thing I enjoyed, as it was so bizarre that it circled around and became as reasonable an ending as any other. What I hate, hate, hate was just how re-hashed all of his characters are. And how he can't moderate his dialogue for different generations to save his life. Those children were not children, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

  • Brooke the Replicant

    His "generational" characters just seem so...poorly written, cliched and flat. The "Old curmudgeon" in an SK book will always be the same, as will the "Wise child", "Seductress" and the "Antihero protagonist."

    I miss the days of The Shining.

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