Under the Dome: Episode 1

So, tonight in Australia, the first episode of Under the Dome aired. Those of you who know me even remotely well know how close Stephen King’s epic novel is to my heart. Tonight, my heart was broken. If you are concerned about not watching the show before you read the book, stop stressing. Seriously. They have taken character names, vague character traits, and a general theme, and have changed everything. I’m too emotionally invested in the book to judge whether it’s a good show–I’m completely compromised. But as an Under the Dome tragic, I will struggle to watch the rest of the season. Let’s look at the reasons why.

(Disclaimer: this is full of spoilers)

THE PLOT

The book is called Under the Dome. The show is called Under the Dome. It’s safe to say that the overarching plot hasn’t changed. But the smaller, darker sub-plots that made the book so wonderful don’t appear to have been factored in to the show. ‘Shit Tonile, chill out!’ I hear you say. ‘It’s only the first episode, lady.’ But those who have read the book will know that crucial plot points and character developments are revealed early to foreshadow the mayhem to come. To explain my problems further, I’m going to go through on a key-character basis.

THE CHARACTERS

I’m sorry, but you’re all too good-looking. Dale Barbara… WHAT?

You are outrageous. Shows like Breaking BadThe Walking Dead, and even The Big Bang Theory have shown audiences that you don’t need to be supermodel-handsome to be a popular character. I don’t want to deny my fellow ladies some eye candy, but this just doesn’t seem like a good fit. Also, lol, WHY WERE YOU BURYING SOMEONE? You’re supposed to be the good guy, the ‘guy in the wrong place at the wrong time’. The underdog. The one we like (not just because you’re pretty). You’re stupid. Also, why was Joe McClatchey with you when the plane crashed? Raaaaandom.

Like father, like son? Like, no. Big Jim literally cannot be Junior’s father. I mean, look at them.

It’s like accepting the fact that Ben McKenzie was the age of a high school student in The OC. It’s just not okay. Also, Big Jim seems alright, thus far. In the book, he was a numero-uno cockhead from the outset. You can see that he has hardcore assholery inside of him, but it seems to be slowly boiling away rather than overflowing uncontrollably. Junior is absurd. His character is obviously messed up, but his issues pale in comparison to the Junior on the page. Fictional Junior’s crazy built slowly, and the more deranged he became, the creepier it was. Screen Junior lacks any discernible sense of motivation. I did love the ‘*whistle* I’m talking to you, dumbass.’ Such a tough guy, Junior! It’s good to see he’s as stupid as he was in the book, though. Telling Angie where you’re keeping her hostage? Smart move, pal.

LOL Dodie Sanders works for Phil Bushey? Umm FYI we’re not supposed to know that Phil Bushey is the DJ. And they appear to have just taken random character names from the book and assigned them to any old person. OH and people can’t hear through the dome. That’s new. Julia Shumway (where is her dog?) is married? Woah! But it’s awkward because Barbie (who is a killer now) was burying her husband at the beginning of the episode. Don’t remember reading that pa…. Oh. Wait. That’s right.

Linda Everitt looks like she’s about twelve years old. And her husband works at the hospital, not the fire department. And he was under the dome when it came down on paper LOL so seeya, awesome character that was Rusty Everett. And fictional Duke Perkins didn’t know a damn thing about the propane, but he had suspicions about what Rennie was up to. Now he looks like a wanker, part of Big Jim’s circle, and I don’t actually know how to handle it.

I don’t know how to handle any of this. Basically, I should just stick to the words on the page. This would have worked better as a movie.

The pink stars are falling in lines. And so are my tears.

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13 comments

      1. Well, it makes me mad because it deserves to be so much better. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t much like it.

  1. I was also very let down by the show. The book is one of the best books I have ver read and you are right in saying they have deviated too much from the book. Rusty should be in the dome, he is awesome. And what’s with the lesbian couple with the adopted daughter, that’s a new one. Disappointed to say the least, but I suppose to live up to the book it would have had to have been pretty stellar

    1. *hugs* so disappointing. Now that I’ve slept on it, I don’t feel any less angry. But, honestly, my biggest gripe thus far is having Rusty outside. He is so important to what makes the book great, and I’m nervous now for what the rest of the season holds.

  2. I’m with you. I knew there would be changes, and I thought I had braced myself for them, but… a lot of these changes seem to be completely random and unnecessary. If SK’s story needed such a hackjob, then why did millions of people buy and read his book? There’s no reason to change SO much at the literal outset of the story. There was nothing wrong with his story to begin with. =/

    1. MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. The trailer suggested there would be big changes, but I never expected this. Some key things that may appear minor (e.g. Rusty being outside the dome) to people who haven’t read the book are critical to those who have–the story won’t be the same without him.

  3. I’m so glad I’m not the only one, I was going back and forth between heartbroken and irritated the whole hour! I will probably continue to watch as well….

    1. I totally will keep watching, even if only for more snarky and ranty posts like this. I need to know what happens now.

  4. Sigh, I haven’t watched it yet but now I’m wondering if I should bother. Sometimes I worry that the small-town thing that King does so well doesn’t translate properly on screen, because much like Game of Thrones, if there’s too many characters people get confused, whereas it’s much easier to follow in a book. Ahhh who am I kidding, I’ll watch this anyway.

    1. Hmm… if you’re a King fan/fan of the book, I think you should. The actual premise is great and I hope that it’s just going to take an episode or two for it to really hit the right stride. I’m very, very nervous though.

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