Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Are You Watching "Under the Dome"?

I was excited when I read the preview reviews about a new summer tv programme called "Under the Dome".  The reviews I read said it is intelligent,  better than the average summer evening tv filler fare.  The reviews encouraged me that perhaps I would have a summer series to enjoy.

Weeeelllll.......maybe.....maybe not so much......hmmmm.....

The first episode had several character and plot hooks to reel me in so that was good.  The special effects of a cow supposedly sliced in half when the huge dome plunked itself down over the town and countryside of Chester's Mill, not so realistic, but a small detail big deal.

This week I watched the second episode and all ready the series is losing its appeal.  The reaction of the trapped townspeople seems over the top on one hand, and inappropriately laid back on the other.....I mean, for all the fear and emotions shown on one hand, does it really take a teenager working with a buddy to start using his math and science abilities in trying to decipher the chemical make up of the dome? Are they seriously the only ones who realize that knowing more about its make up could help the people eventually succeed in blasting through it, or find ways to be able to communicate with those outside?  Other than the 2 teens, there seems to be little interest on the part of any of the adult characters on truly discovering how they could work on getting themselves free of this situation.  Apparently they are sufficiently happy to  moan and groan and protect their own secrets and personal interests, leaving their rescue completely in the hands of government military troops posted on the other side of the dome.  One fellow decided to get his big tractor and attempt to dig out underneath the dome. He was stopped because there is some sort of negative reaction between the dome and the mechanical/electronic machines inside, but how this could also negate the idea of people without heart pacemakers picking up shovels and giving it a go was not explained.

When a house caught fire the fellow with the tractor was told to bulldoze it instead of digging a trench around it first to prevent the flames from spreading.  I was asked to believe that the flames from a fully engulfed bungalow sitting on tinder dry grass with a field behind it could be stopped by an inadequately put together bucket brigade,  a couple of garden hoses and low water pressure.  Bulldozing it without a trench seemed foolhardy to me, yet, miraculously the entire fire was out in a matter of a couple of minutes despite the inadequate attempts to contain it. And the propane tank explosion that accompanied the fire didn't cause any real damage to the surrounding area either?  Wha...???

Even the fear reactions seem atypical to me.  

Part of the problem, I think, is that the actors in such dramas of course know that they are going to be acting out a scenario like this.  They know before the dome lands that the dome is going to land.  They have time in advance to decide how they are going to react to the situation, how they will utilize the characters and the lines written by the writers who of course also know the plot from beginning to end. TV dramas, movies and the like seem to be degenerating into a private conversation between the writers, director and actors, all of them forgetting that every detail and nuance has to be explained to the audience, who are not there for the read-throughs and rehearsals. The ability to portray totally honest and spontaneous human reactions to unexpected events in the lives of the characters seems to be lost these days.

So I will give the series one more week and see if it is possible for it to become any hokier than it all ready is, or if it will redeem itself after an episode that was so full of holes in plot and character development it could compete with swiss cheese.

Are you watching it too? What do you think?

Oh, and by the way, it possible for there to be some sort of pot or pan or toilet paper or cloth available onset from the props department in order to allow for the kidnapped girl character trapped in the underground bunker to use the bathroom while she is down there? She is being fed, so....ya' know....stuff happens.....a detail I know, but hey I did notice,  so I'm just sayin'........


chris e. said...

I am watching Under the Dome too but I am really enjoying, partially because it is so schlocky!
It's taking me right back to the 80's when 3 of us would get together every week to watch/groan through and diss another episode of Dynasty. I just wish I had company for watching Under the Dome.
This is a weather-dependent series for me. If it's too hot or mosquito infested or too cold outside, then a series like this serves its purpose. Otherwise...

Susan said...

Well, I am going to give it one more week. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for schlocky when the reviews initially sounded so much like reviews of a dramatic serial. If I look at it as schlocky before I watch next week's episode then maybe I will enjoy it more.