*Warning: this review is NOT spoilerfree!
I am a very avid TV show watcher. I follow an average of 3 shows at any given time, sometimes juggling more, but there`s usually at least one or two. For the past weeks it`s been a bit less, what with a lot of my favourite shows being on hiatus and not returning until, oh, next year. Christmas this year if I`m very lucky.
Luckily, there`s always something being aired, gotta entertain the masses somehow after all. And the last couple of months it was CBS`s hit show Under the Dome. As yet another show based on a Stephen King novel, I had my doubts at first. After all, Stephen King adaptations have a bit of a bad reputation, thanks to numerous failed attempts.
And to be completely honest, I kept a lot of those doubts for the first several episodes. In fact, I kept them throughout the whole season. Some things just made go “what the flying f***”, and not always in a good way.
Other things bothered me too. The stereotypical characters, to begin with. A latino police officer with a slightly rough voice? The big burly silent (and hot) stranger with a mysterious past? The big man in charge but with questionable business that needs to be kept a Secret at all cost? Tvtropes.com would have a field day with this show.
Still, I did watch the entire season, sometimes with several episodes in one day. So they must be doing something good, right? Right.
One of those things they did very well was what the whole show is about: how does a society behave and/or fall apart when completely cut off? What happens when the police force is almost non-existent, there is no government, no municipal leaders, no religious leaders? How do people behave in a situation like that? That`s the most interesting part of the show: seeing how the people respond. You can see how more and more people struggle and then lose the battle. They go insane, or start keeping everything to themselves. They start shooting other people, or themselves. There`s looting, fighting, people trying to keep the peace and people using the mayhem for their own good. Time seems to pass differently suddenly, two weeks passing as if it`s several months. It`s a very interesting situation, and one I definitely prefer seeing played out on TV instead of witnessing first hand.
The Dome itself functioned as a character in itself, which I did like. It can communicate (or at least tries), it can get angry or happy, it demands things of characters. Still, that same Dome – or specifically how other characters treated the Dome – did annoy me. It was one of those typical American-TV-things, where people can apparently only talk about/to it with wide eyes and Serious Voices and be all dramatic. Especially Angie had that tendency, but then, if there`s a character I didn`t much like it`s Angie.
All in all, I thought this was a very interesting concept, and it`s been adapted for television quite well (which I say not having read the book, I should add). While there are things that might annoy me, I do think I`ll watch the next season next year. Even if just because I want to see how often Junior is going to be manipulated into switching sides next year. (No really, did anyone keep track of that this season? I`d love to see some actual data.)
(currently watching: Firefly (rewatch), Kagi no Kakatta Heya)