(NOTE: This blog post topic is brought to you by Marie: “Least favourite book to movie adaptation”. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to pretend that movie and TV series are the same thing.)
I started reading Stephen King’s Under the Dome after having watched the first few episodes of the TV series. It wasn’t that the TV series was bad—apart from the fact that Julia Shumway and Barbie were super-irritating—but the book dragged me in and swept me away. After that, going back to the series was frustrating and I eventually gave it up.
There may be spoilers below for the book.
So what was so terrible about the series? Hard to say—perhaps without the book, it would have kept me hooked. But if you thought that moving picture is worth tens of thousands of words, you are mistaken. First, there is Stephen King’s writing. In the book, though the cool slicing of the cow in half doesn’t happen, the disaster is so much more palpable; watching it seemed like they were doing things just for the spectacle of it.
Also, the characters. Julia Shumway was dolled up in the series, making her a younger woman, mostly to make her budding romance with Dale Barbara more palatable for sexist idiots. The relationship between them in the book was much more interesting.
I could go on and on, but the TV series was needlessly stretched and spiced up to prolong it, whereas the book is a tightly told, albeit massive, story. As far as I recall, the events in the book happened in the span of a few days or so, and there was something about smoke and heat being trapped inside the dome, slowly killing everyone. Thus, the tension was intense as well. Very few people survived. In all honesty, I can’t say how the series turned out, but even watching just one season made it clear that they were going to milk various inane storylines for all they were worth.
To reiterate, I’ll take the book any day, thank you.