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Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Under the Dome?

Hey, maybe summer doesn't suck anymore! CBS is taking a chance on Under the Dome, a short-season summer series that actually has a script. The network has also been heavily marketing the project, hoping that a cable-length series might become an easy way stall the summer ratings slump. But can a sci-fi show be the answer? And more importantly, is it worth watching? I've seen the pilot episode and I'm here to help you answer that question and more so that you'll know whether Under the Dome is right for you or if the only time you need to waste on the show is the time you'll spend reading this silly article. (Note: I have not read the book, so I can not make any comparisons!)


Under the Dome... is this like a support group for bald guys?

No! it's CBS's attempt at making summer network television not entirely worthless. It's a small-town drama with science-fiction splashes, and it's just a bit beyond CBS's comfort zone. In Under the Dome, the tiny 'burb of Chester's Mill finds itself cut off from the rest of the world when an impenetrable half-sphere-shaped force field plops down around it. While those on the outside try to find their way in, those on the inside fall into the expected panic of having their world turned into a gigantic terrarium.


Who created it, what's it based on, and who's in it

Bringing Under the Dome to television is Brian K. Vaughn, the comic-book and television writer behind Y: The Last Man, a handful of Lost episodes, and a bunch of Marvel and DC Comics books. It's based on a 2009 novel by some guy named Stephen King. Under the Dome has attracted an eclectic cast, including Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Jeff Fahey (Lost), Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight), Mike Vogel (The Help), and Natalie Martinez (CSI: NY).


When does Under the Dome begin?

Da dome dropz June 24 at 10pm on CBS. It's been given a 13-episode first season, and since it airs in the summer, the likelihood of this getting canceled during its season is nil, so watch without worry. Under the Dome has also been called a miniseries by even the smartest of people (me!), but it's seen as a potential recurring summer series for CBS.


Who is Under the Dome trying to please?

Stephen King fans, mostly. That is to say, those who like an intriguing Twilight Zone-ish concept and a whole bunch of clearly defined characters, but who don't care for straining their brain too much. The pilot moves forward like a page-turning beach read. There's no need to slow down the story to build up relationships; it just moves on to the next plot point. But don't be fooled by the fact that Under the Dome is on CBS. The project was originally set up at Showtime and some of the goriness (limbs will be lost!) carried over, though it's not that bloody and I wouldn't expect it to last. You can watch this with your Nana!


What works well about Under the Dome?

WHERE DID THE DOME COME FROM!?!?! That question is easily enough to get you through a couple episodes. But what impressed me about the pilot was its efficiency. The premiere doesn't waste much time at all as early, dome-induced panic bounces around from character to character, and each person is boiled down to their essence. Like a crowd-pleasing popcorn flick, there's nothing subtle about Under the Dome, and the show uses that to its advantage. It just go, go, goes. And if you like seeing trucks crash into invisible walls or cows standing in the wrong place when a dome comes down, you'll dig some of the effects (thought I'd expect them to slow down after the pilot. I mean, things stop crashing into the dome, right?).



Where are the cracks in the Dome?

Again, Under the Dome is only here to entertain you, not to enlighten you. So while everything is in place, it all feels a little thin. The dialogue's a little hammy, the acting's a little bland at times, and the attention to detail's a little lacking. Some of the storylines veer toward odd places awfully quickly, too. How do some of these characters have time for nonsense when there's a FRICKING GIANT IMPENETRABLE DOME OVER THEIR HEADS? 


So... should I watch it? 

Yeahhhhhhhhhh! First of all, there's nothing else on, so let's all watch this together. Second of all, it gets off to a good start and looks like it could be exactly the kind of summer entertainment TV needs more of. Third of all, we need to ensure that summer shows like this one get good ratings so that we don't end up with Celebrity Bocce Party or Zero Gravity Dating every time it gets hot outside. But really, Under the Dome is definitely fun enough on its own. (Plus I'll be reviewing it weekly and don't want to be talking to myself.)


I can't read! Can I see a preview in moving pictures!?!?

Well if you can't read how will you know what the heading of this section even says? Anyway, here's the trailer, Einsten.


What beverage do you suggest I pair with my Under the Dome viewing?

Take some rum, various fruit juices, some fresh squeezed lime, and a few cans of Sprite, then mix them all together in a large, deep punch bowl. After the flavors are married, place the punch bowl upside down over your head and then shout "Look at me! I'm under the dome!" Or beer.


Under the Dome premieres Monday, June 24 at 10pm on CBS. I will also be writing up episodic reviews of the series, so just watch it, okay?






Comments (189)
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People love to hate this show but they really love it, so they failed in the hating so... they really love it I was going somewhere with this. Watch it! You either love it or hate it( think I said that already) if you hate it you will get a good laugh outta it!
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Natalie Martinez and Rachelle Lefevre are in this... so I would have watch this thing even if Surette said it sucks balls harder than "Revolution"!
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This has "Cancelled" all over it!
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Im really looking forward to it, they are airing it hours after the us here in Australia on channel 10
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"Stephen King fans, mostly. That is to say, those who like an intriguing Twilight Zone-ish concept and a whole bunch of clearly defined characters, but who don't care for straining their brain too much."

I resent this, but am eagerly anticipating the show nonetheless.
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With Cassie Blake and young Sam Winchester in it, I'm definitely watching it.
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I'll give it a watch but I'm not holding my breath though
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I'll probably watch it, but it will probably be a DVR show.
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I'll definitely watch a few episodes. There's nothing else to watch anyway!
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Well, there's Breaking Bad (and maybe Dexter) but I surely will have a peak at the Dome... Tho, I'm afraid it might be another Falling Skies: like just enough to keep us coming back but never really getting anywhere...
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I'd watch a show about a support group for bald guys though
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lol
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Loved the Book, actually it was my favorite Novel of King behind The Stand. I'm glad your Review is positive. What I'm worried about is the ending. I hope they create a new one and leave it with just 1 Season.
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Put in a sentence the names Stephen King (tak...tak-a-lak) and Fahey (Looooooooooost!!!) and that is all I need to know.
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I couldn't agree more, you just can't go wrong with Lapidus.
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YES ABSOLUTELY.
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Even if its really good, I hope its just a 1 off. I think it would be fun for summer to offer more short term series that can really tell a good story, but has a start and end. I think mysteries would do well in this. I'm not saying all summer shows should be one offs, but I feel a special summer shows would attract more viewers and cost less to start over each year.
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it is not a reality show so I am IN. plus I like scifi so..
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Yeah I'll be watching. The plot looks intriguing.
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I'l be watching as a huge Stephen King fan and hope it does well.
Reminds me (a little) of another summer show a few years back Persons Unknown, which never came back for a second season - still a little upset about that.
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Hey! I live in Uncle Milton's Ant Farm! :(
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The book is dark, there is violence, dead and killing. Without saying much, there is a George Orwell 1984 "don´t trust anyone" thing about the whole story. I don´t think the TV show is going to show much of all this, I do hope so, but for what I read, it will be a light version of the book. Still, Dean Norris should be enough reason to watch this since he has a mayor part, in a different role than Hank in Breaking Bad.
But I can not see how this book can extend into a second season without turning into a soap opera Under the Dome. This should definitely be just a Miniserie.
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I'm really itching to spoiler the ending, having read the boooook. Not even gonna hint at it though, just going to express my appreciation for this review: Awesome review, man, very funny read.
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Umm...I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this question...wait, don't tell me, it's at the tip of my fingers...

"Yes"? That's the correct answer, right? Yeah, that must be it. It can't be "no", and "maybe" seems unlikely. So, where's my damn prize?!
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This looks like CBS's attempt at Haven, particularly since this could be more than just a mini-series. In fact Haven already had a dome story.
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was Haven written before Stephen King's novel that this is based off of?
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Haven tends to draw from a number of King stories.
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Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow look like the two best new shows! :D
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I'm a huge Stephen King fan. That being said, his books rarely translate well into Network TV shows. King is too dark and twisted for that. Most of the time, it ends up being cheesy and unrealistic. They need to be done on a Premium channel and I wish Showtime had kept it.

I'll still watch, because I hope that it will be good. After the mess that was Bag of Bones, I don't know what this will turn into.
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My feeling is that so much of King's stories happen in people's heads that it doesn't translate well visually.
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I watched the TV version of The Dead Zone, and enjoyed that. But it felt like it had someone in charge, it was driving towards something, and had a cast that mixed things up. This King novel-based show just seems like it's going through the motions and nobody is really trying to go for anything. As such, and based on the negatives presented here, I'm passing. HOW WILL ALL THE FARTS ESCAPE?!?
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Yeah, The Dead Zone TV version was decent. I'm betting--from the previews I've seen--that they will fix a lot of it. What was it 3500 pages?
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Definitely watching Tim! Already looking forward to your weekly reviews!!
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reminds me of Jericho :)
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If Under the Dome is successful, you can bet next year NBC will come out with a show called Cube about people trapped in a cube.
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It's been done as a movie and, I think, a sequel.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
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Actually there are three cube movies: Cube, Cube 2 Hypercube & Cube Zero (a prequel). All pretty cool!
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Let's hope so! That would be a fun show ;)
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I wouldn't take that bet, you're probably right...
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Ummmm.....YES! Why would anyone spend precious minutes to read this article to arrive at that conclusion?
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dont know what all the buzz is about
i think nothing of Stephen King as in tv!
i think Stephen King is like lifetime tv
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Brian K Vaughn should get a better introduction then that!
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I'll be watching this for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I'll watch at least the pilot. If it's entertaining, maybe i'll stick with it.

And not just to answer the question you posed in option nr. 2 of the poll :D
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I have never read Stephen King. But I am still inclined to give this a try. I enjoyed even Haven's craziness, probably because of the small town factor, so I have hopes for "Under the dome". Bring it on!
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Yeah, the got Haven right...
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I'm skipping it. Mostly because of the last half of the book. All of those set ups went no where because of the 'thing that happens'. ;)
Also they better change why the dome is there. It made me almost throw the book when I got to that part.
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I honestly can't remember why the dome is there, or that thing that happens, so perhaps the miniseries will jog my memory--and if it doesn't, that's okay too...
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It's very '90's Outer Limits'.
I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read the book.
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I'll totally watch this show for some halfway decent summer viewing, but I almost chose no simply because, well, fart jokes are always funny.
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I've read every single Stephen King story I could get my hands on and this is certainly not in a class with his best stuff--The Stand, It, The Green Mile, Misery and the like. So this one may or may not be any good. It starts out great but then gets all tangled up within itself, and the ending isn't very good because it doesn't really resolve anything. I'm pretty sure there was no explanation of what caused it all in the first place. So if they're going to do it right they need to change this or maybe even just leave it open for more. I don't know how much SK has to do with Haven, but it's a pretty good show...
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One of Kings best works was turned into one of the worst movies of all time The Running Man. However that would be an awesome mini-series if done right. The Long Walk could probably be made into 6 episodes and it could potentially be awesome as well. Now that I think about it Id really love to see The Stand done with a budget and some real creative strength behind it, and if they cant do that at least give me Eyes of The Dragon.

In other thoughts, why do Dean Koontz books never make it to screen with the rare exception or two. Odd Thomas FTW.
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Dean has some good ones, Watchers, Strangers, Lightning and a few more. But I think he's not as popular as King...
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It depends how the set it up... knowing or not knowing where the dome is coming from might not be vital for the show... And some mystery unknown reason can be better than a really really silly last minute explanation, don´t you think?
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Thanks for the spoiler warning (hope they will solve it differently).
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Me too...
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I'll be there with you, Tim. Really looking forward to it now just about everything has gone off-season.
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If you people didn't marathon all the good stuff, you wouldn't be in this mess. I have lots of good stuff to go and I'm good for the summer. The trick is, take on more stuff than you actually have time for--there's a lot of good stuff out there...
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Uhh... Where did I say anything about binge-watching everything that's ever aired that was deemed semi-decent? I've got plenty of things I can watch, but all of them are previously-aired, so there won't be any discussion threads like this going on. Under the Dome fills that currently-airing slot, along with Venture Bros and a handful of others that aren't the insanely popular shows.
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Been rewatching a lot of Doctor Who lately...
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Hell yeah I'm expecting it since they announced it.
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dare I mention the Simpsons movies ? I hope this is so good that when they make a movie out of it , I'll go and PAY to watch it like an idiot,....
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A plausible storyline with the possibility of a decrease in reality television. I give this a thumbs up.
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Rereading the book right now!!
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Why, are you a masochist?
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How will all the farts escape... though one.
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thats how they defeat the dome. a huge build up of farts over 12 episodes and then in episode 13 someone lights a match and BOOM!....end of series
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Somebody read the book, obviously! (Actually, this might be an improvement on King's actual ending...just sayin'...)
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This comment made up my day. I can't stop laughing :D
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You know GC, that would be better than the book, and that's just sad...
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well i hate reality tv as well. but you folks should also know that they don't always follow the book. sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it's a bad thing. the film of thinner that's a rarity where i loved the film more than the book. really cause i liked the ending better
in the film instead of the book. and i loved the book.
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Yeah, the film was way better than I expected--with Joe Mantegna...
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I liked the book up until the end. I suspect this will be entertaining until the last episode or two for most people.
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Yeah, it doesn't start to suck until you're a few hundred pages in and then you expect it to get back to as good as it began, but it never does. Perhaps the guy doing the miniseries knows this and will fix it. One can hope...
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I'll watch. It's that time of the year where my viewing plate is pretty empty, and its got science fiction elements so I'm in. Also, I'd watch any scripted television drama in existence as long as it meant keeping the aforementioned Celebrity Bocce Party off the air. Don't give the networks bad ideas Tim!
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i haven't gotten around to reading the book but saying that from my observations from talking to people and reading people thoughts about the book some love it and say it's one of his best novels. my brother loved it. while others hate it. so it goes in either direction. when Cell Came out i heard nothing but bad things about it. but even though that's another one i haven't gotten around to read it. i also hear good things about it as well now.

honestly i am curious how they are going to do the show. i believe the book takes place in i believe a week. the show if they are smart won't be taking place in a week. and i hope it's a big hit. and i hope it's good too.
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few options & it's stephen king.
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I saw Man of Steel and I'm sure it's better than that...
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oooh nooo I had some hopes for this new superman...
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Been debating about seeing it after the last disaster that was was Superman Returns very reluctant.
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It's better than Superman Returns, just barely. But it would have to be. Rips-off The Avengers big time, but The Avengers did it better.
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I'll take choice #4 "yes, because there's obviously few other options."
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