Story Synopsis: An invisible force field descends upon a small town in the northeastern part of the United States.
Stephen King was inspired to write Under the Dome when he wandered into a theater and watched The Simpsons Movie after huffing paint and yelling at park benches on a cool Tuesday evening. Calm down, Stephen King nerds, I know that he started writing a manuscript on this idea before that movie and that I made all that up, but the important thing is who gives a sh*t? The book wasn't good and King dumped just about every cliché into 1,074 pages of murdered trees. Guess how excited I was when a television show was announced? Kinda, sorta!
I looked into it more and it looked like Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man, LOST) was writing and developing the series for CBS. Y: The Last Man is my favorite series of comics of all time. I'm not one of those neckbeards that hang out and read comics, but the idea behind it made me order it and binge read it over a weekend. So, if the guy behind that was behind this, it can't be that bad, could it?
Even though I read the book three years ago, I basically finished everyone's sentences in the story and remembered how truly terrible the characters were. All of the motivations and cheesiness of small town life as written by someone who just witnessed it on television was there. The police chief who seems good but has corrupt underpinnings, the seemingly good local businessman who is probably a huge criminal, the local waitress and the emo stalker on and off boyfriend, and the classic mysterious out-of-towner who has an impossible attraction to someone in town he can't be with. Don't leave! I almost walked away from my laptop just writing that, but I digress, it gets worse.
An invisible dome falls on to the city (Simpsons did it!), and all boring breaks loose. The majority of anything cool happens in the first episode. An invisible dome? What could happen? Stuff crashes into it, gets cut in half, and people on both sides stare at eachother like 70 percent of those mouth breathing stares in the Twilight series.
Text message conversation with my Dad 10 minutes in:
Dad - "You watching that Dome show?"
Me - "Yeah..."
Dad - "What put it there."
Me - "Guess."
Dad - "(Correct answer)?"
We then talked about how the pool is filled up and ready for swimming. Dramatic stuff, guys and gals. It's not that the show was bad, no, it's just that it was typical CBS bad. It had the formulaic go through the motions of storytelling where unless you have never read a book, watched a movie, read a comic, or anything else, you were used to your Grandpa telling you a story and forgetting where he was at while Golf is muted in the distance. You know where it was all going, what all the characters were going to do in this episode and the next, and no surprises will ever creep up on you.
Now, I'm not saying there weren't good things to take away from this hour of television. I'm not that hard to win over. For example: Under the Dome went to commercial and showed an extended preview of Pacific Rim. That movie looks like Transformers, but with a writer and director who know that you're not supposed to stick the Q-tip all the way in past the resistance. Also, there was a sweet storm here in the Metro-Detroit area, so I opened my front door and looked at lightning. I also spaced out and thought about what would happen if they brought back Kickin Kiwi Lime Kool-Aid. That stuff was my drink.
Early on in the show I was really trying to understand how Brian K. Vaughn wrote this. It was like watching Burt Reynolds stand in the corner of a bar because he was too nervous to talk to any women there, and he was the designated driver that night. That is the high esteem I have for Vaughn. I'm going to just go ahead and blame CBS for probably fumbling a project that could have been made somewhat watchable on a Saturday morning when my DVR needs to be cleared.
Final judgment: Watch another new show on Monday nights like (scans listings) Teen Wolf? That's a show? Pull it together, America.
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