Last spring I was so excited to see a blurb on TV that one of my favorite books of all time, Under the Dome, written by Stephen King, was now going to be what I thought was to be a mini-series based on the book. Actually it turned out to be a series now 3 shows into the 2nd season. I had previously heard it was going to be on Showtime and was surprised when I initially saw the commercial on CBS. Thinking to myself they may have a hard time showing all the grit involved in the book on network TV when it occurred to me that I had been watching Hannibal (my favorite new show...sorry Under The Dome) on NBC and it was awesome with a lot of grit so it didn't seem so far fetched that CBS could handle it. I was very excited! Of course, I never expected everything in the book to be spot on but I did expect it to resemble the book. Most screenplays do make changes to books as they become necessary to express people's thoughts through voice so I was looking forward to comparing the two. I mean after all the book is a lot of material at 1074 pages and I was wondering what they could possible leave out and still make it great. It was such a gruesome story, how could they get it all into a mini series on one of the networks. I couldn't wait to see it. I guess I expected something in the realm of Harper's Island which had been a summer mini-series a few years ago or Stephen's other epic novel, The Stand, which I thought ABC did a pretty good job with on the TV screen years ago. Anyway, it had been awhile since I read the book so to prepare myself I anxiously got out my copy and decided to read it again so I would be hip to the storyline and be ready to catch those differences. I read it every minute I could and finished in about 3 weeks. To my chagrin, what a waste of time that was!
The few things the show and the book have in common are the folks' names, the name of the town and the dome coming down with references to pink stars falling. I had to watch the first episode 3 times just to figure out who the people were supposed to be. I kept saying, what the hell, what the hell, what the hell!! The most irritating was the characters had become different people with the same name. One of the main characters, who was in almost every chapter and became a hero, was now outside the dome, with no wife, no kids, no dog and held a different job. What? You say, how did that happen? That was my first question! Well, that's only the beginning. People are no longer the age they are supposed to be, people who were good are not as good as they should be and people who were trash are now upstanding citizens, people are alive who should be dead and people are dead who should be alive, people are different races and some have a different sexual orientation, they have different jobs and some are now from out of town when they were supposed to have been raised there and some were not in the book at all and ones that were are not. Yikes! I was not happy! The Christian radio station is even now playing rock and roll and being a rock and roller this should have pleased me greatly but only irritated me all the more. And then there's the missing heroine dogs, where are they? I hope someone is feeding the one dog in the show because he hasn't been seen for awhile. Also, quite frankly Big Jim is just not as big and mean as he should be and why is he not driving a Hummer? And although you may think Junior is pretty crazy in the show, he's not quite crazy enough.
As the story unfolded it became apparent that this show was not based on the book at all but based on the name of the book and the idea of a dome coming down over a town somewhere with talk of pink stars. It doesn't appear to even be set in Maine. Of course there are small references to the book but not many. I am not the only one who was a bit pissed over the whole thing. I mean really, I don't see why, when they had such a great story to begin with, they felt the need to change everything. We all know the reason though. Money to be made! Much more money to be made on a network series that appeals to all than a true to the story mini-series or movie and that's the reason in a nutshell if you ask me. There were so many complaints from lovers of the book Stephen King wrote an open letter to his readers which you can read here. Ok, so I understand where he's coming from but it still doesn't keep me from wanting to give him a good smack across the back of the head :o) Hopefully, Showtime or some other entity will do an actual version of the book and not some extremely loose, apparently anything goes, adaption like CBS has done. A girl can always hope!
You can get the scoop, the digital book or audiobook....Audiobook - Under the Dome - Stephen King
Ok, now that my bitch session is over (I could go on and on and on) it's onto my thoughts on the show.....
First off I do love the show! I mean how could you not. When the dome came down it split a cow in two and it slid slowly down the dome. Now that was cool! There was also a truck which crashed into the dome that was pretty awesome. After that it's been non-stop action and suspense. Loads of back stabbing, unrequited love, power struggles, jealousy, explosions, street fighting, fires, murder, kidnapping, revealed secrets and mysteries galore, and let's not forget the pink stars. It is a big budget action packed thrill-a-minute show being produced by Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and many others with a top notch cast. Stephen even wrote the first episode of this season and had a bit part at the diner. I am enjoying every minute of it. Dwight Yoakam joined the cast last Monday and he's one of my favorites. He even did a chorus of Who'll Stop The Rain while laying in a jail cell for kidnapping the new bitch in town. She ended up throwing a bowl of acid rain on him when she got away. I'm sure Junior will be unlocking that cell door next week so you can bet I'll be tuned in to see what he does next. Actually I can't wait to see what everyone does next because in Chester's Mill apparently anything can happen. It's a sure thing I will be there as long as the dome stays down!
Photos source here
Under the Dome: A Novel - Stephen King