Why Do I Waste My Time Watching Under The Dome?

This week I’m going to discuss television shows/movies that I watched a long time ago (in some cases a real long time ago) yet never got around to discussing on the blog. Better late than never, right?

To start the catch up, I thought I’d talk about Under The Dome. I have talked about this show in the past (and not in the most flattering of terms, as you can see here) but now that I’m working my way through the second season, I thought this was the perfect time to bring up my hatred for UTD up again. Enjoy!

Alex 

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Please does anybody know the answer to the question I pose in the title? I honestly don’t have a clue. It can’t be because I love the book; that loyalty surely disappeared by the time I finished season one. And it can’t be because I think it is good; neither you or I should be so ridiculous to even suggest that. So what is it? There must be a reason why, despite my immense dislike for everything this show stands for, I continue to persevere with it. Even though I think it the show is terrible, I am half way through season two (it may be over on T.V. but I recorded them as I wasn’t in the country when it started) and I won’t stop watching until the ending credits on the finale. Hell, I probably won’t even finish there; Under The Dome will be in its thirtieth season and I’ll still be sitting on the couch, the only idiot who hadn’t switched over.

Ugh. It is inexplicable. Really, I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t even talk about UTD without ranting about it.  The writing, the acting and the characters (a combination of both bad actors and bad writers I suppose, but nevertheless worth including here) are just horrible. It would take me hours to list all the flaws in the show.

If you’re thinking I’m being overdramatic, I’m really not (okay I probably am but lets run with it). There is so much wrong with this show. If it isn’t a bad plot or plot device, it is awful dialogue ruining the scene.  If it isn’t horrific character logic, it is somehow even more horrific story/’dome’ logic (in the series, the dome is essentially a character too…a really dumb character).

I just cannot stress how bad Under The Dome is.  If an episode isn’t clichéd/unoriginal (which it is around 90% of the time) it is stupid beyond words. I watch it and feel my own IQ slipping.

And yet I keep going with it! The only reason I can come up with is that the show has ventured so far from the book, I feel I have to watch it to see what they do next.  Don’t confuse this for storyline immersion however, as I spend most of the episode deriding the sheer idiocy of, well, literally anything that happens. I reckon there is bigger chance of me being gripped by a late night shopping channel show than there is of being absorbed by Under The Dome  (“only one minute to buy one of the last 342 Multi-Purpose Towel Blankets!”).

Urgh. In one episode I even cheered a character/actress that I have never liked simply because she was momentarily unpredictable; a depressingly rare trait for the characters in this show. I don’t even know what else to say about it. I just have to laugh because if I don’t, I’ll end up crying about what could have been.

That is the worse thing about this abject monstrosity. Under The Dome had so much potential. It really did. I won’t harp on about the book here (because I’ve done that so much in the past already) but it was, genuinely, unbelievably good. One of the best books I’ve ever read.  This is why the show annoys me so much. I cannot for the life of me fathom how it doesn’t even contain a tiny fraction of the novel’s greatness. They (I’ll get onto the they in the next paragraph) have completely ruined the opportunity to make Under The Dome the best show on television. I should be talking about a masterpiece here…and I’m not. What a joke.

*sigh*

In the interest of fairness, I would like to state I do realize that just because I think a novel is awesome doesn’t mean a T.V. adaptation will automatically be good as well. Regardless of who is working on it, there will always be issues. In the case of Under The Dome, I can understand it would be very difficult to copy everything perfectly. For example, there are certain elements of the book that would be too dark for most networks to include (except for HBO perhaps). The audience might not even like it. And it would be a hugely expensive project to follow the novel accurately; replicating a whole town’s worth of people each with their own background and story would be a massive undertaking.

Even with an unlimited budget, that would be hard to do. Over a hundred people in a book nearly a thousand pages long…could you imagine trying to include every detail included in Under The Dome? If I compare it to Peter Jackson and the Lord Of The Ring/The Hobbit films, I can sympathize somewhat with the writers; no matter how much Jackson included in that trilogy, there was always going to be more that he missed out or didn’t explore in detail. It was impossible for him to please everybody. Under The Dome effectively had the same problem.

Still…they could have made it work! Stephen King and Steven Spielberg both work on Under The Dome! The two Steves! How can the dialogue and story be so bad? Lost was made up on the spot yet it had some fantastic arcs and character depth. Sure it wasn’t flawless but it was still a very good show. UTD has plenty of great source material so why isn’t it at least hitting a similar level to Lost? Why are all the characters so one-dimensional and predictable? And why is the dome a sentient being? Who thought that was a good idea? You’d think a huge invisible dome that has mood swings would be the worst thing on the show, yet everything else is so unconvincing and stupid it doesn’t even make the top 3 of terribleness.

It is just sad, people. I watch this show and simultaneously mourn it.

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Sidenote:

Frank Darabont, who directed The Walking Dead, also directed three of Stephen King’s works; Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist.

The Mist is about a group of people trapped in a supermarket by a dangerous fog. Like UTD‘s…dome, the fog is merely a device used to create a situation where the various sides of humanity emerge. Darabont nailed these characters in The Mist. I can’t help but think about how much better things could have been if he’d worked on Under The Dome. Not only does Darabont respect King’s work, he is very good at creating deep characters which is exactly what UTD needs. I reckon his version (if it existed) would be one I could truly love and invest in.

Naturally I assume his commitments to The Walking Dead probably kiboshed any potential involvement. But one can dream, right?

An expanded sidenote:

Hang on a second. If you think about all the criticism TWD gets for having too much dialogue and not enough zombie fighting (I like the show but I get the argument; it’s what we want yet not what we want), and how in comparison, UTD has no character development but lots of drama…wouldn’t it have worked out if the writers et all had switched projects? Just think about how awesome it would have been if that had happened!

Ugh. Why didn’t it happen? In an alternative universe people are watching two of the best shows ever, while we settle for one terrible show and another that flits from amazing to disappointing depending on who you ask. That’s nowhere near as good. We’re missing out on greatness!

*sigh*

Okay, I’m done now. Thanks for reading.

Alex

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