Under the Dome

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Under the Dome Review: Another Death, Bacon and Milk

by at . Comments

After such a strong premiere and concept, Under the Dome has followed it up with two disappointing hours.

I gave the series the benefit of the doubt with the slow development in the second episode. I hoped that once we were introduced to the characters and community dynamics that the story of the dome and its effect on the town would pick up.

Instead, "Manhunt" continued on a path that almost entirely ignored that the dome even existed. The Chester Mills residents went about their lives as usual with a few inconveniences.

Can They Work Together?

They went for walks through town. The teens were partying it up at the skate park and then at Joe's house. The biggest complaint about resources was that bacon was going to run out. Why aren't the townspeople more concerned about the Dome? Shouldn't they be activating some sort of emergency preparedness plan? As much as Big Jim wants to be seen as a leader, he is failing. He should be putting together a task force to account for the town's resources, not demeaning his son and covering up his secrets.

After the fire that took out Duke's house and Freddy's killing, the folks showed up at the Sheriff's Office to make sure Paul would pay for what he did. Why aren't they demanding answers about the Dome, itself? It's only been three days, but with all that has happened it's surprising that Junior is the only one looking for a way out. And, he's only doing it out of some deranged belief that getting away from the Dome will make Angie's love for him return.

The mysteries behind Barbie, Big Jim and the Reverend, and Angie's kidnapping aren't what I was expecting to be the core of the show. Those stories  could be told on any small town series and aren't unique to a closed society situation. I was drawn to Under the Dome to see how a society would adapt to living within a fish bowl with limited resources and no ability to leave. There should at least be a better balance between the two.

In "Manhunt," we didn't learn anything new about the Dome. It was already known that it penetrated the ground, so the blockage of the tunnel was no surprise. And, the flashlight battery exploding only confirmed how and why Duke died when he touched the Dome. One benefit of the Dome was that the search team knew that Paul couldn't leave the town.

On the personal side, Big Jim revealed his motivation and true self to Barbie through his high school football story. After hating to be called "Big Jim," he seems to embrace it now. While he hated to be ridiculed with the name as a teenager, it didn't prevent him from bullying his own son. His use of "Junior" clearly affects his son just as much as "Big Jim" did previously. And, his comment "Let the grownups do their jobs. Drink your milk, Junior." was extremely demeaning.

Even when Jim apologized to Linda and made her Sheriff he had a snide tone to his words. He's a criminal, a bully, selfish, and overall appears to be a pretty awful man. Will he be able to put all that aside and step up and be an effective leader for Chester's Mill? At this point, that seems unlikely. Though, I'm not sure that either Barbie, Julia, or even Linda will fill that role either.

At first, I thought Barbie and Julia would partner up and be a strong force for the town. Now that Junior has put doubts in her mind and she found the mysterious map marked with a "PB" I'm not sure. And, the DJ, Phil, seems to be involved somehow. Do they know each other? Barbie definitely didn't want Phil to see him and Julia noticed that as well. Out of all the mysteries, I'm most intrigued by Barbie and why he was in Chester's Mill in the first place.

Lastly, I have to mention Joe and Norrie's episode. It was freaky when they each had a seizure and recited the same phrase, but their simultaneous seizures was super freaky. While Angie's "lost love" for Junior is undoubtedly unrelated to the Dome, the seizures are certainly connected. When Joe and Norrie touched hands, they created a spark and immediately fell to the ground.  The spark could explain the seizures, but that definitely doesn't explain them both repeating "Pink stars are falling." in unison. Scary!

I had high hopes for this series and haven't given that up ... yet. It's still early in the season and with each episode covering one day under the dome, the slow pace is expected. Going forward, I'd like to see more of the immediate ramifications of the Dome and the town preparing for the long term. The mysteries will reveal themselves slowly, but they shouldn't dominant the story.

What are you enjoying most about the show? Should Julia trust Barbie? What is going on with the seizures?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.9 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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"Under" is missing any sense of tension and panic that surely would accompany any event such as a town being completely isolated. The writing and plotting are awful. For example, why are there no scenes outside the dome as officials try to figure this out. It is ridiculous to watch scenes of soldiers ignoring residents. The show really should have a dual plot and not just one involving a calm town soap opera where there would be panic and some energy. Also, why do all important town- wide announcements take place in the diner with a dozen people when there is a functioning radio station? As I said the writing is ruining a show with a fine concept.

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I can't stand it! They used the title and basic premise of the novel, plus the characters are named the same, but it is a disaster!Terrible!

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Hate to say it folks, but this series is stinko! The characters are plastic...the script could not be more mundane...the setting is crummy (rural Maine???)...and at least someone from Maine could have been hired to say something with a down East accent! If this is the kind of offerings network TV can make, it is no wonder that premium channels are eclipsing it. I was hoping for much better, but I would have settled for better. This it is not.

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This show seems to be written for a teenage audience.
Considering both shows are based on Stephen King novels "Under the Dome" is a far cry from "Haven".

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What flashlight exploded? The pacemaker exploding was significant--yikes!!

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I just have to say that I was totally entertained--it's not supposed to be rocket science. I just got the book!! I like all the characters. Hated the cow scene--too graphic for me...

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The worst writing and acting. Our son sat down and watched the latest episode with us. He really had a good laugh while watching the scenes with the teenagers. He just kept saying, " who talks like that". We were all rolling our eyes. Like my husband said, " another showwhere nothing ever happens". Didn't watch the episode all the way through.

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If a clear dome fell over my town, I would be a lot more excited than this dreary bunch is. I quit it mid-way through the second episode, tried the third and didn't make it even THAT far.

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Just dreadful. I tried to watch it but couldn't keep my attention on the show it was so bad. I wanted so badly to like it...I really did.

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Once again bringing a Stephen King novel to television has produced a dud. I was not a major fan of the book Under the Dome, (I found it to wordy), but even at its worst point the book outshined the T.V. Series. The "Actors" are horrible, they remind me of a bad High School production. I dont know what they were thinking. Maybe the producer, director, and actors all failed to READ THE BOOK! I just pray that Stephen King does not allow them to slaughter "The Dark Tower" like they have done to The Dome.

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