Thursday, August 13, 2015

Under the Dome or What the Hell?

You know I like the word geek because you can fit it to any other word and make it sound cool. It doesn’t mean that “I love reading” sounds lame. But when you present yourself as a reading geek it certainly takes you to another level.
So, as you’ve already got it, I am a true reading geek. And I have all the necessary things to hold that title: clear book weight, a waterproof book cover bath bag and a handmade reading nook. And also I’m a Stephen King’s fan.


To tell the truth, when I heard that there would be a TV show “Under the Dome”, I hadn’t covered the book yet and that wasn’t my priority. First, I decided to watch the series and understand all the fuss around it. And I did.
After the first season, I wasn’t impressed and all this egg thing kind of perplexed me. That was the time when I started a book. As a result, the novel was fabulous as always and the TV show made me quite angry. Finally, my next step was watching the second season of the series. And it went totally wrong. I mean guys, have you opened the book? I’ve got the feeling that the directors only took the names of the characters and the motive of the dome.
The whole deep point of this novel is the power that drives people towards committing horrible things. However, the directors of the TV show considered that the pink stars falling nonsense and the four hands security that must kill Big Jim would be much more interesting. But that’s their call.


The first difference between the book and the show that has struck me much is “Big Jim” Rennie. In the novel it is the most vicious character that wants to transform the dome appearance into his benefit. He encourages the panic, makes people scared and arranges riots and clashes to sabotage the order in the city and all this is done to turn people into the flock of sheep. He doesn’t care about anything (even about his son), he sees only the perspective of taking over the power and ruling. The perfect villain. But what do we see in the show? Although Big Jim is a bad guy, has a meth laboratory, tries to kill Barbie, he also worries about Junior, suffers when his wife dies (who is killed, by the way, by Rennie in the book) and, most importantly, has guilty consciousness. I know that it may draw more attention to the character and people will feel with him maintaining hope that Big Jim will change. But it rarely happens in real life.


The next thing that is greatly different in the book is Junior. The novel says that Junior is a crazy sociopath with a brain tumor who kills two girls and keeps their corpses in the basement. He hates Barbie and by all means tries to mess with him. But in the show he has a kind of relationship with Angie (one of the killed girls in the book) and is very jealous. In due course he changes and has a noble will to help people affected by the dome. Oh, really?


Dale 'Barbie' Barbara is also one of the protagonists that has a controversial character. On the screen he is depicted as a forced-by-the-consequences “criminal” who killed Julia Shumway’s husband and is involved in some shady affairs with debt collection. He is one of the good guys in Chester’s Mill and tries to help the citizens to cope with the dome issues. Well, the book tells us more about his military past, says that he lives in Chester’s Mill for a while and works as a cook in the Sweetbriar Rose. It doesn’t mention anything about his criminal involvement. And I truly don’t understand the reason why this has been added to the show. Maybe to tag more sympathy to the “bad” boy who returns to the good side or more drama to the relationships with Julia, who knows.


Well, I can chew over all the mismatches for a long time. You know, these changes in the TV show really disappoint me. Phil Bushey, the meth cook by the book, is a popular radio DJ? Are you kidding me? And according to the novel the dome doesn’t contract or cause the North Pole. I’ll just stop before I start boiling over the egg thing and the crazy attempts to breed a virus. From pigs. By the school teacher. Genius.



All I want to say is that the TV show has missed all the main points of the novel: bad people very seldom become better; important facts, that can save everybody, don’t always appear on time and the evil triumphs over the good much more often than vice versa. The dome is created to show how people change when they are boxed in. Stephen King wrote a letter to his fans saying that “If the solution to the mystery were the same on TV as in the book, everyone would know it in short order, which would spoil a lot of the fun (besides, plenty of readers didn’t like my solution, anyway). By the same token, it would spoil things if you guys knew the arcs of the characters in advance.” I agree with him at some point but the fact that he was forced to write this letter says it all. Apparently, I’m not the only one who doesn’t like the pink stars falling thing.
I didn’t keep on watching the series because I’m not ready for the new “Easter eggs” the directors have prepared for us. I know that the TV show is not the book but Stephen King’s fans put it on the first place in their watching list simply because it’s done on the motives of their favorite author’s book. And what do they eventually get?
But it’s only my opinion.

And what is yours?