Monday, July 15, 2013

'Under the Dome' Review - 1.04 Outbreak

        On the newest episode of CBS' Under the Dome, the people of Chester's Mill fall into a state of panic as an outbreak of meningitis strikes their community, threatening their already depleted medical supplies; and Julia continues to search for answers into her husband's disappearance.

        The biggest issue with Under the Dome to date has been a very scattered narrative that doesn't have the drive, focus or engagement to offer a comprehensive universe. The fourth episode did its best to alleviate these issues - and it was definitely the most comprehensive hour since the pilot. But still their remains a distinct lack of excitement and intrigue that keeps me engaged throughout the hour. When the episode, I should be wanting to see the next one right away. And here, I simply do not have that feeling. I'm now just watching to see if the show will become something better than it is at this point.
        A lot of the blame for these issues falls on the individual characters and how they've been drawn and the stories each of them are in. Basically, I have no investment in any of them because they are all too bland. I do not care about Linda. So the moment where another town citizen sacrifices her life in order for Linda to live mostly falls flat. I do not care about Julia or Barbie. Their confrontation over her husband is very informative but not exciting. They are suppose to have this connection that's been festering over these first four episodes and yet when she demands that he leave her house I feel nothing. I do not care about Junior. I actually quite despise him. He is asked to give a sweeping speech here to rally the town folk to cooperate with the quarantine - similar to the material frequently given to his father. But unlike Dean Norris, the young Alexander Koch simply cannot deliver the performance of a multi-layered character. Carolyn and Alice have been empty characters because they weren't asked to do anything in the first three episodes. Now, they were influentially to the plot. The ending with the insulin did stick but they still are coming across as bland characters.
        Because I'm not overly invested in this world I have no idea if I should continue on with this series. And due to that reason alone, I've come to the consensus to stop doing weekly reviews. If the show gets better in a couple weeks, then I will absolutely come back to offer up my opinions. But right now, it feels like I'm just offering up the same hollow opinion of a blank and bland series. When I could be writing up something more insightful on the vast plethora of other original material being offered this summer.