Alright kiddos, The Mist Season 1 Episode 1 wasted precious time.
I would have expanded on that comment, but I'm not quite sure how to do it. Time was wasted. We met some people, many of them without names. The good news? Most of the nameless died off quickly. Except Cowgirl. She's still nameless and in action.
The mist rolled in before we got to know much about anyone, most certainly before any of them became in the least bit interesting. Eve Copeland is the closest thing we have to a hero, and she's the most despised person in town.
Well, Eve would be the most despised in town if not for the mist. The mist did the one thing to ensure it will never find redemption. It killed Rufus. The mist might think it's fighting the good fight for nature, but it killed a beautiful German Shepherd. All bets are off MIST. Screw you. You're on your own.
So here's the thing. It might sound like I'm not taking The Mist seriously, and I'm not. But I am in that I love schlocky horror. Schlock, or cheese if you will, will not be denied. And as much as I hoped The Mist might be more than cheesy good fun, it's not, and that's OK, too.
Because the sheer entertainment value of The Mist appears promising. I had a blast just writing the recap, so I hope you read it. I was worrying as I didn't hear names for the characters, but then I realized if there aren't names, I'm not meant to have them. I was right.
I didn't need to know curly blonde policeman dude's name with a giant bug fetish (as if we don't all have a giant bug fetish), who went as far as to try to continue taking a selfie after he found a giant bug crawling on his neck after the mist had rolled into town.
I mean, if ever a man deserved to suffer through the next what was probably 20 minutes or so "show time" with the bugs keeping him alive and terrorized, it was him!
And it's hard not to wonder why the irony of Eve losing her job for teaching sex education only to have her daughter possibly raped that evening. OR for daughter Alex not to thank her for trying so hard to protect her from jerks like Jay (or just Jay's friends) for 16 years since she did inevitably wind up soiled.
Not to mention the other irony (if that's the right word) of Alex then petulantly whining about her mother being known around town as the former town slut and assuring her mother she'd never be the same, when in fact, she was just the night before if the guys have anything to say about it.
How stupid is that girl? Does she not know how rumors get started?
Cowgirl (called such because of how the cows recoiled in horror upon the fight in the barn when she pierced the man with the pitchfork) had a whopper of a secret she was keeping, one that kept her from her mother's funeral (I'm making an ass out of you and me, yes).
How cruel was the jackass who bought her mom's house? He was talking about the "old lady's" daughter as if it didn't occur to him Cowgirl might be that daughter. That guy easily looked 60. Who was he to be calling her mom "the old lady" just because she was born in 1955? Good God.
Cowgirl wasn't the sharpest criminal in the shed, either. She buried all that money and a passport under, what, half an inch of dirt in that shed?
Old, nasty dude should have kicked it up with his boots before then just moving around crap inside.
She talked tough but didn't have a platform. She had done nothing to earn Kevin's trust, for example, other than hold the gun and have good aim. In that particular situation, I suppose that's as good a reason to proclaim trust as any other.
Even Adrian, Alex's androgynous BFF wasn't worth championing. It was hard to tell if he was really on Alex's side or jealous of her because she got the guy who Adrian was crushing on earlier. Part of me thought he might have been the one who took Alex's virginity.
After all, he made sure to point out to Alex that he's just as into girls as guys because he's into personality. That should be a winsome trait, but Adrian and Alex are such a mess, even their friendship didn't seem on the up and up. Surely the mist will change that, right?
The way he slammed Cowgirl, who wasn't in the least bit pleasant herself, was also weird. Nothing about his experience with her led to his calling her a bitch. If anything, they seemed kindred spirits.
When watching the trailer, I would have expected neighbor Natalie to be a pretty dour bird. What a delightful surprise that although far greener than I'd ever dream of being myself, she wasn't at all overbearing and rude about it like some.
Sure, she suggested biking to the football game would be the key to her lending a hand for the Copeland's yard (that was a pretty far drive for a casual bike ride), but she didn't scoff when they blew her off.
She mentioned the toads to her husband and went to town to look up information on past occurrences, but it wasn't any different than me scouring Google for things I want to know. She didn't seem like a pain in the neck.
Of course, now she's seen her husband blown away in the mist, and her attitude might change. If she thinks they're under attack, we might be in for a completely different Natalie, and that's a shame. She could have been fun in a different light. Well, any light. Is there light in the mist?
If Natalie and Hubby's trip into the mist is any indication of a normal day in the mist, then it seems like things move around. Hubby was speaking as if they walked where they normally did, but the route had changed.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you think the mist was playing on people's bad habits or fears or something? Eric's mother had her jaw eaten off right after mouthing off in the mall. Police dude was taken by bugs, and we saw his nightmares on display well before that.
There's a lot more to the mist than its frightening ability to disorient those within it, that's for sure.
I wish there had been a little more time to develop the characters outside of their stereotypical roles, but perhaps the mist is meant to so shake their foundation that getting to know them on that level would have been as useless as learning the dead characters names.
Either way, it's not going to deter from my enjoyment. Whether the series will surprise me with deeper meaning or retain its high-octane schlock value, I'm up for either. They're both on my agenda for summertime viewing. How about yours?
Let me know how you watched the premiere and on which side of the schlockometer you hope the series falls as it continues!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.