Monday, July 8, 2013

Under The Dome: An Initial (Unfavorable) Reaction

I posted briefly about this on Twitter last week, but I felt it needed at least a brief post of its own.  This is for anyone who's read OR watched (or both) Stephen King's Under the Dome!
I do like that this mirrors the cover art so closely!
So readers (and watchers)...what do you think of the TV miniseries so far?  (I fully promise that I will manage this discussion without any spoilers!)  This question is coming from someone who absolutely adored the book, so I guess I should say that up front.

After the first episode, I was intrigued.  Several things had changed from the book, but it was early enough in the story that I wanted to see where the producers were going with it.  However, by the end of the second episode, they were starting to lose me.  The changes, I think, are having too much effect on the feel of the story as a whole.  A lot of this is character driven.

First and foremost: Barbie (Dale Barbara) and his new background story.  In the book, Barbie didn't kill anyone before the dome dropped, and certainly not Julia's husband--because Julia didn't HAVE a husband in the book.  This completely changes Barbie's persona in the miniseries.  He's much more macho-mysterious-outlaw on TV, which I guess plays better for viewers than the mysterious-but-actually-a-pretty-decent-guy thing he has going on in the book.  Anyway, it's clear they want every female character on the show (and viewer?) to find him bangable, so I guess mission accomplished, Hollywood.

My other character issue (so far) is with Junior.  They took so much horror out of his story!  Without giving anything away--his book character is much more menacing than anything they've portrayed on TV up to this point.  And it seems like they aren't going to work in a lot of his actions that they've already skipped over.  On TV, I feel like he just comes off as the overly-creepy boyfriend, but in the book, he is much more than that.  I really hope they amp this up.
The fact that this meme even exists says a lot.
The problem is, I'm not sure if I'll stick around to find out.  The third episode airs tonight, and I'm debating if it's worth my time to watch.  I'm just feeling so mehhhhhhhhhh about it so far...though there is a part of me that's curious to see what they do with the ending.

What say you, readers/viewers?  How do you like the miniseries so far?  Should I keep watching, or better spend my time watching House of Cards (new addiction!)  And if you read the book, how do you think it's stacking up?

18 comments:

  1. I haven't had TV so haven't watched this, but I was wondering what your take on it was since you loved the book so much! Hey and third times the charm, right? Maybe worth one more episode?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point...I probably will try just ONE more. Two feels like I'm quitting too early. But three will be the decider!

      Delete
  2. The changes are driving me CRAZY. Some of them make sense because they'll let the story play out longer for television I suppose? Some (like Barbie killing someone??!!) I'm not a fan of at all.

    I'm going to keep watching, for now. If only so I can say THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I love to smugly say that when I've read and watched something!! Ha!! :) I think I was also poisoned by my reaction to The Stand miniseries from many years back. I had to DNF it, it was so bad...I was afraid the same would happen here and so far I'm feeling similarly.

      Delete
  3. I haven't read or watched (yet) but I hate when things are changed too much between book and screen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my pet peeves!! I am thinking about doing tomorrow's Top 10 Tuesday so I can rant about it some more. haha.

      Delete
  4. Hi Kelly,

    Great post. I'd been wanting to write one for a couple weeks - even before the series started, but as usual I kept putting it off...

    I'm lukewarm on the miniseries so far. I don't watch a lot of television, so I don't mind investing a few more hours on this...

    I don't like the changes to the Barbie character, and - like you - I'm holding out hope they amp things up with Junior a little bit. Well, a lot I guess. :-)

    I haven't even heard of House of Cards. What's the premise for that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. House of Cards is a new show starring Kevin Spacey, available only via Netflix...it's like West Wing meets Mad Men (that's how my husband describes it). Really stellar writing and Kevin Spacey does an awesome job. I am hooked!!

      Delete
  5. I haven't read this or seen the show, but I bet the changes are frustrating! TV series are the best opportunity for filmmakers to "get it right" when adapting a book for the screen; they have enough screen-time to make an accurate portrayal of the book, so it must be irritating when they make huge changes. Sorry it's been a disappointment so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's what I was hoping...more screen time = better adaptation, especially because the book is sooooo long. It's crazy that they still feel the need to cut so much out!

      Delete
  6. I actually haven't read this or seen it, but whaaaaaat? A character who didn't kill anyone murdered a character who doesn't exist? Why would you make that change? Plus, I feel like that book is massive enough that there ought to be a large enough cast already. Why add people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO true. The cast of characters that King creates doesn't leave a need for more people!

      Delete
  7. So I skipped last night. I kind of wanted to watch, but found something better to do. I am,however, thinking of getting it on DVD when it comes out. Maybe it'll flow better (if I can ignore the changes) if I watch more at once.

    Off topic, but related: Bag of Bones is my favorite novel by Stephen King. I absolutely hated the miniseries A&E did. It could've been so much more. The Stand miniseries was a fail for me too (even if I do own it on DVD).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I skipped it too, though I may still watch it On Demand later this week. Haven't read Bag of Bones yet or seen the series, but The Stand miniseries was a TOTAL disappointment for me. I had to DNF it, it was so awful.

      Delete
  8. We started House of Cards but my husband hasn't gotten hooked. He likes a main character with some soul and moral uprightness (however deeply buried) but so far we haven't seen any of those in HoC except for the alcoholic brother of the PM! I was so frustrated with the book Under the Dome's ending that I never recommended anyone to read it and didn't even consider trying to watch the mini-series. Waiting for Game of Thrones and next Downton Abbey, I guess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, there are not a lot of high morals in House of Cards...haha! It's like a much, much seedier version of The West Wing. At least those politicians had some conscience...:)

      Oh Downton Abbey...I'm waiting for that to come back too! I heard a rumor it may start in the US at the same time as the UK this year, but I'm not sure if that's true.

      Delete
  9. I've not read the book, although for the moment I enjoy the TV series (minus Junior.)

    From what you've said I would much rather read the book than keep watching; Barbie killing Julia's husband didn't make much sense to me and Junior just sounds like he needs a good psychiatrist to sort his issues, rather than him being truly twisted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, now I'm glad I'm getting an opinion from someone who has watched the series but not read the book re: Junior. I was afraid my assessment of him sounded off for people who haven't read the book, but it seems that you agree he's not all that menacing!

      Delete

 
Imagination Designs