Under the Dome is a television series based on a Stephen King story. Many adaptations of King’s writing are a clear improvement (The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me)… alongside a score of forgettable failures (Cujo, The Stand, etc). I think his writing lends itself well to re-interpretations, as King frequently conceives outstanding concepts with gripping introductions that often peter out or degenerate into craziness; essentially, his conclusions often don’t live up to his beginnings.
As a television series – and one that may, potentially, stretch for years – CBS’s Under the Dome need only adopt the book’s beginning. And what a beginning it is: the pilot is not only content to strand a small town under an inexplicable, cow-disecting transparent dome, but introduces a host of subplots – an obsessive boyfriend stranding his girlfriend underground, a drifter with a violent, ambiguous past, a stranded teenager experiencing seizures and possibly visions – that will undoubtedly unfold as the series progresses. The sheer number of questions and characters left me intrigued, but not fully engaged; the show has potential, but I’m hopeful it doesn’t take long to flesh out characters and more coherent plotlines rather than simply posing questions. I’m reserving judgment for now.