×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Under the Dome (Week 2)

Aside from enough references to propane to make “King of the Hill” proud, “Under the Dome’s” second week brought to mind “Lost” — and not in a good way.

CBS made only one episode of the series available in advance, which was enough to provoke mostly positive reviews and pretty spectacular ratings, especially for June. Personally, my review cited the program’s potential but kept one foot on the floor, primarily because of past disappointments involving Stephen King miniseries adaptations that started well but didn’t have enough of a payoff.

The second hour, unfortunately, found the show dropping vague clues about the nature of what might be responsible for sequestering the town of Chester’s Mill from the rest of the world (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched), hinting at a conspiracy involving the town mayor (Dean Norris), among others. For those who haven’t bothered with King’s novel, it wasn’t enough to advance the ball, and several of the show’s other serialized elements are beginning to look a trifle problematic.

For starters, the whole “Pretty girl locked in the basement by crazed ex-boyfriend” subplot feels as if it’s been lifted from an entirely different show. In theory, “Dome” ought to explore what happens to the residents of a seemingly idyllic community when they’re isolated — along the same lines as the classic “The Twilight Zone” episode “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.” 

At this point, the series appears to be about that to a degree (the old-fashioned bucket brigade to put out a fire underscored the notion of folks working together), but with about four other shows of varying quality living under its big tent simultaneously.

Hanging around for the summer might still be worthwhile if this really were a closed-ended miniseries, but CBS is leaving the door open to turn this into a continuing franchise. Writer-producer Brian K. Vaughan has talked about viewing the concept as “an ongoing series” and harboring “long-term plans for this,” but as with a lot of limited series, this really might be a case where less is more.

Of course, having started out so high ratings-wise, “Under the Dome” would have to plummet a long way to reach the point where, in business terms, CBS wouldn’t be tempted to bring it back. But then again, NBC was proclaiming “Smash” an “unqualified success” after its first season, and look how that turned out.

So while hour two didn’t completely squander the sense of mystery the premiere established, it did plant seeds of doubt regarding whether “Under the Dome” really has legs. And if the creative merit follows the path goes of many earlier King TV adaptations, it will be interesting if viewers do what the residents of Chester’s Mill can’t — namely, start heading for the exits.

Under the Dome (Week 2)

More TV

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

  • ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game in

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game Will Pitch Players Into the Action

    “Peaky Blinders” fans will be able to join the gang – virtually – in a new VR game that will allow players to interact with characters from the hit series. Start-up immersive studio Maze Theory teamed with the show’s producers and is making the game, which will launch in 2020. Artificial intelligence technology means characters [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO's 'Deadwood: The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'Deadwood: The Movie' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the trailer for the “Deadwood” film, and CNN announced a premiere date for “Apollo 11.”  DATES The documentary “Apollo 11” from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller will premiere on CNN Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Using only archival sources, the film captures NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. FIRST [...]

  • shannon ryan

    Shannon Ryan Joins Disney TV, ABC as Marketing Chief

    Former Fox Television chief marketing officer Shannon Ryan has been tapped as the new president of marketing for ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios. The announcement was made by Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, and Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, to whom she will report. Rumours had been circling for a while [...]

  • Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce Writers

    Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce First Class of Writers and Mentors for TV Incubator

    Rideback, Dan Lin’s production company, and MRC have announced the inaugural class of writers and mentors for their TV incubator.  The new TV writers residency program, which was launched in February, offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a group of writers who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their [...]

  • CBS Viacom

    CBS and Viacom Move Closer to Merger Talks

    The CBS Corp. board of directors is moving closer to initiating acquisition discussions with Viacom, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The move has been expected for months, although there may still be obstacles on the road to a reunion for the two sides of the Redstone media empire. Price could still be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content