Monday, 12 September 2016

Under the Dome, Season 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and chums (Amazon Instant Video) | review

An invisible force field materialises around and over a small town, trapping everyone inside its dome, and keeping everyone else out. There are immediate tragedies as trucks, cars and aircraft smash into it, and one poor cow gets sliced in two. (And oh how sick you get of seeing it get bisected, since the shot is included in every subsequent “Previously…”) Some of the town’s most prominent citizens have been up to no good, albeit in a way that leaves it with enough propane to keep the lights on, and that makes it necessary for strong-arm debt collector Barbie to get more involved in keeping the town safe than he’d like. That’s made all the more awkward by him getting into a relationship with the wife of one of his previous customers. Others trapped inside include a pair of teenagers who begin to have dome-given visions, another girl with a dangerously obsessive boyfriend, and that boyfriend’s father, Big Jim, the rock on which the town relies. Can the people of this town survive each other long enough to survive the dome? Possibly not, given the townsfolks’ peculiar habit of declaring their intentions to go to the police to the very people they suspect of foul play. The viewer’s hands will frequently be thrown in the air in disbelief. Overall, this was a disappointment. I hadn’t read the Stephen King novel on which it is based, but there are few adaptations of his work I haven’t enjoyed – this comes in at the lower end of those. The mysteries of the dome provide a few jaw-dropping moments, but they’re wedded to crime and corruption stories from a third-rate Justified imitation. If this hadn’t been renewed, the ending of the season would have been an incredible letdown. (Spoiler: the dome changes colour. Well, there’s more to it that that, you find out in season two, but not a lot.) It’s at its best showing how fragile our grip on life can be, especially for those who need medical support, at its worst when it forgets that its better-hearted characters would be sure to tell each what they know about the killers and maniacs hiding in plain sight. It’s not awful, but there is lots of room in the dome for improvement. Stephen Theaker ***

No comments:

Post a comment