Monday, July 1, 2013

'Under the Dome' Review - 1.02 The Fire

        On the newest episode of CBS' Under the Dome, the residents of Chester's Mill face the uncertainty of life in the dome as panic is heightened when a house goes up in flames and their fire department is outside of the dome.

        Under the Dome premiered with 13.5 million viewers (more when Live+ data is added in) and was the number one summer debut for a new series since 2007 and the biggest for a new drama in summer since 1992. While the series' first episode was filled with dramatic stakes and special effects, the second episode is largely structured as setting up the rules of the dome and spreading out the knowledge amongst the cast. A second episode is typically a showcase for how a series will operate on a week-to-week basis. It also gives the show a chance to breathe. It no longer has to be extreme high stakes at all times. Now it can be a more thought-provoking piece as each of the characters hone in on the uncertainty of what living under the dome actually means. Second episodes are incredibly difficult to write for any serialized series and Under the Dome unfortunately doesn't not wholly second in its effort. It often continues to focus on the more shakier elements first exhibited in the pilot. Junior's creepy/hammy actions are still the weakest part of the series and I still have no clue why the traveling moms are doing in this show. It's definitely not enough to stray me away from watching the series but my concerns over longevity are still growing.
        Right now, civilization is still basically operating under the same rules - people are still going to their jobs and paying for the things they want in the gas station. Panic was aplenty in the opening hour of this series but here it seems like most people just don't care how dire their situation actually is. Only lying on the edges is the smallest amount of uproar and pandemonium. It starts simply by a teenager stealing a candy bar from the gas station. But is soon amplified by a panicked police officer. He is seeing society diminish much quicker than it appears to be and is stockpiling weapons and making paranoid demonstrations after the town gathers to collectively help put out a fire. His actions should allow the show's characters to become divided and offer up some internal conflict amongst themselves. Once those lines are drawn, I should be able to become more attached to each of these characters and not just see them as largely a collection of traits.
        I know the show's producers want to limit themselves to the story's revolving around the people trapped inside the dome. However, why wouldn't the army immediately outside the barrier want to communicate with the people inside. For instance, when they're trying to see if water can come through and Joe and his friend wander by, why don't they ask them if they got any of the water? Seeing as how the army or the government didn't create the dome, should there be more concern amongst them about trying to help the town encapsulated by it?