a nerdy girl’s introduction to under the dome
What’s it all about?
The small town Chester’s Mill is a classic example of the American country life. It’s large enough to have a diner, police station and fire brigade but small enough not to have a 7-Eleven. The city is governed by James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie, its Second Selectman. Few people oppose him but he may be challenged when Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara (Mike Vogel) rolls into town. He is introduced when we see him burying a man he was supposed to demand money from. In spite of his murky background he is the hero of this story in the true spirit of Stephen King. On his way out of town he is stopped by an extraordinary event. An invisible barrier stops anything that tries to make it beyond the city border. In addition to losing all contact with the outside world, the small town has lost electricity, telephone lines and they are at the mercy of each other. Strange things start to happen Under the Dome.
Why you should watch it
Stephen King wrote the novel that the series is based on. I have read this book myself and if a small part of the story can be captured in the thirteen episodes of the tv-adaptation then it may still be worth watching. King is excellent at capturing the nature of the contemporary human and he kills his characters with the right amount of gore and drama. The concept of trapping people in an isolated environment has been popular ever since Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Characters are forced to their limit and the reader or viewer watches like a kid with a magnifying glass held over an anthill.
What else to watch
Other productions based on Stephen King novels include Carrie and The Shining. Both are contemporary for their time. They are examples of the way Stephen King tells a story. He has mastered the art of making a horror story, however impossible, make sense to the reader. Under the Dome may have a very strange story but King’s knowledge of human nature makes the reader forget this. If this sounds interesting then his books or other film adaptations may be worth watching. In spite of these productions gore and horror they do tell human stories, although not as well as the books. Previously mentioned Lord of the Flies has also been adapted to the big screen. This film, along with titles such as Sunshine, can be good alternatives if it is the isolation that you find interesting. They both show people cut off from society, one by ocean and one by space. In the case that none of these seem interesting, and it is the dome you want, then you can always watch The Simpsons Movie.
What Nerdy Girl thought:
Under the Dome scored 13.1 million viewers on its premièring night so it is clear that I am not the only one excited about this series. It seems well produced but I could not help but become increasingly sceptical about the changes from the book. All adaptations from books have to be altered somewhat and it’s always hard for people like myself to deal with this. There are some parts that I can live without. I fear that some of the more interesting parts of the book may have gone missing. The reason for these parts being interesting is that they are the more politically challenging parts and that may also be the reason for their disappearance. In spite of the series seeming to be a tamer version of the book it seems like Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King, along with other producers, have managed to capture some of the wonderful plot twists in the book. Fingers crossed that this series turns out as good as I expect it to be.