IHAO on ... Stephen King's The Stand Miniseries

How?  How can this be this bad?!  HOW?!


So Stephen King is one of the greatest writers of all time, and certainly our current age.  His technical skill and ability to create plot, suspense, and use voice are all unparalleled.  Sure, there are some very specific tropes that King has in his own writing, but that doesn't diminish his technical skills.  He actually wrote the screenplay for this miniseries, too.

On top of that, let's look at the list of great/notable actors that are in this series: Gary Sinese, Matt Frewer, Molly Ringwald, Miguel Ferrer, Rob Lowe, Laura San Giacomo, Ossie Davis, Shawnee Smith, Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Starfish).  I mean, that is a lot of really good actors (other than Molly Ringwald).



This miniseries has one really entertaining episode, and slowly becomes boring, crazy, and ....  Ok, hold on.  I can explain this better.  Let's do plot for a moment.  A superflu created by the American government gets out somehow, and because of a man and his family running from it, it spreads across the country, maybe the world, and kills probably 99% of the populace.  Some, though, are inexplicably immune.  These people, the Dreamers, all start having dreams.  Either dreams of a lovely old black woman Mother Abigal in Nebraska beckoning them there or of Randall Flagg, a devil in denim surrounded by fire.  And the people pick sides, and in some cases are picked specifically by Mother Abigall and Randall Flagg.  We have a world, filled with rotting corpses, power going off, and a strange psychic vision making people pick sides for a war.

Ok, got those themes?  Post-apocalypse, war, very non-subtle religious overtones, horror.  Ok.

This miniseries is lacking in war, horror, and post-apocalypse-ness.  It is just non-subtle religious overtones and every now again some non-threatening dead bodies.  Now, the first episode actually works.  People dying, people getting fed up with the disease killing people, rioting, rape, murder, so on, so on, that all works.  It is thrilling and interesting.  And from that point forward the whole thing becomes just utter garbage.

Characters are two-dimensional at best, broad brushstrokes of an adjective at worst.  Dialogue is stilted.  We never see anything happening on screen, just people talking about things that happened previously or elsewhere.  And eventually we have the plot rear its head, and it doesn't make any sense.  Character motivations are completely senseless, and ... ugh.  This was chore on top of it all because each episode is film length.

Don't watch this.  Watch something else.  Avoid this.  That's the end.  Blech.

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