Friday, September 20, 2013

Under the Dumb: A Review

Because Star Trek: Into Darkness and Elysium were not punishment enough, I wound up watching the so-called "miniseries" Under the Dome on CBS. And yes, I want 12 hours of my life back.

For those of you who were fortunate to miss out, the show shares the same premise as Stephen King's novel, where a mysterious dome traps an entire town of people on the New England coast. But from what I've heard (I have not read the book myself), the series bears little resemblance to the book outside of the premise.

Where the hell do I begin?

I know these Stephen King miniseries are never really that good. The last one I tuned in to watch on TV was Red Rose--a haunted house story that kept telling you it wasn't a haunted house story. I also caught bits of that ABC version of The Shinning, which only proved that Stanley Kubrick knew his shit. The acting is always sub par, even when you have talented actors on the set, the special effects are cheesy (though Dome's isn't noticeably bad), and script writing is just meh.   

Honestly, I don't know why I stuck with the show. It's dumb. Stupid, dumb, bash-your-brains-in soap opera garbage. What was supposed to be an interesting situation, what happens when a you're trapped with your neighbors in a glass case?, becomes in episodic soap opera, where characters behave like morons to drag this nonexistent plot out. It wasn't until the fourth episode that we finally get some chaos. You would think people would freak out a lot sooner, right? I guess everyone was on Valium, 'cause they certainly act like it.

The way the series pads itself, is that one event happens in a forty-five minute duration. So there's a fire in one episode, military trying to blow the dome, a birth/death in another, a short lil' water war, fight club ripoff...and maybe some other stuff, but I honestly can't remember.

I don't know if it's worth mentioning the cast of characters, because they really don't do much, except for the scheming politician, "Big Jim" Rennie, who doesn't want the dome to come down, because it'd mean he'd lose his power grip on the town. I kind of wanted to be invested in Junior's character, because he appeared to be the most dynamic, being a psychopath who locks up his girlfriend, yet trying to do good by the town. But damn, is he thick. His dad, Big Jim, not only is condescending to him, but also kicked him out of the house for shooting a criminal. Yet, Junior continues to trust and obey his father. Why???

But the Dumbass Award goes to Deputy Linda Esquivel. This woman, despite all the times that Barbie helped her out in keeping law & order, and discovering that Big Jim was the ringleader of this propane-drug deal, listens to Big Jim's lies instead of interrogating Barbie for the supposed crimes he's committed. I don't even recall her talking to Barbie, one-on-one, because gee, it might clear things up. Oh, and I just love it when she stares all vacant-eyed at the gallows that Big Jim ordered the town to build. Holy shit, you're just going to let Big Jim execute a man without a trial by jury??? With cops like you, who needs criminals.   

The only storyline that has a grain of interesting in it, is the one that involves four teenagers and an egg inside a mini-dome. It's the only element that seems to progress, but like everything else, goes nowhere. The final episode, the one where people expected some sort of reveal about the dome, gives us nothing but a cryptic message. Tune in next season, right? Bullshit.

Aside from this show being based off of Stephen King's novel, I think the only advantage it had, was that it aired during the summer, when your only alternatives are re-runs and reality TV. I'm ninety-nine percent certain that if this show had aired during the Fall, competing with true entertainment like Person of Interest or NCIS, it's ratings would've sucked. But as a result of its "success"--taking a look at IMDb's reviews might say otherwise--it's going to be renewed for a second season.

I'm with others in saying, "I'm done." You can keep your dome, I'm going to go watch American Horror Story.


  1. Besides Person of Interest, I can't stand CBS shows -- the way they're filmed is sub-par itself. I gave the DOME pilot a shot, but it soon became clear the storyline wouldn't be following the book (which rocked). I won't be catching up once it hits Netflix. Speaking of... Walking Dead season 4 should be streaming soon!

    1. Heh, I've never gotten into The Walking Dead. The game, however, from Telltale is awesome. I generally don't watch much TV. The only shows I (sorta) keep up with are Person of Interest, Big Bang and Mike & Molly. Looking forward to the new season of American Horror Story, tho.

  2. There are days when I'm glad I don't watch TV. This is one of them.