Stephen King again

A lot of Stephen King material ends up on the small screen. Some of it is miniseries adaptations of his novels. Some of it is original material for miniseries. In either case, generally get this band of people pitting their weaknesses against some Manifestation Of Pointless Evil. While there are exceptions, miniseries Stephen King tends to repeat the weaknesses of his more repetitive novels without capturing the truly strong aspects of his work, the internal dialogue.

TNT is going a different route with their current King miniseries, Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Instead of adapting a novel, this is a series of one-hour episodes adaptating various King short stories. Short stories is where King throws his concepts rather than worrying about the pathed tale of struggle against the Dark Evil Thingy. This is a good idea. And they’re throwing better production value at this than the last couple of major network King works I’ve seen.

I’ve watched three of the episodes so far, and they all treat the work with respect and artistic intent. That doesn’t mean that they’re all good; the Lovecraft-inspired episodes merely replaces King’s idea of Dark Evil Thingy with Lovecraft, but merely finding that there is Dark Evil out there isn’t that interesting to me. But the tale of the assassin facing attacking to soldiers? Nicely played out, and clearly not cheaply made. And theone where William H. Macy plays a hardboiled detective and a writer (a very King-like writer, but that’s not uncommon in King work) is nicely put together, and features a fun performance to watch.

If you like imaginative short stories, this’n is worth checking out.

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Published in: on July 28, 2006 at 12:50 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. I hae often wondered why Stephen King’s work seems to be heading for the small screen rather than the big screen. I wonder if people are getting tired of the over-the-top storylines, or if it’s simply easier to deal with TV execs than it is with movie producers.

  2. A lot of King is at best difficult to transfer to either screen, becaue it’s internal in nature. It’s more about what the characters is thinking than whate the character is doing. The miniseries pace at least gives the inernal the time to be expressed.
    The sort of horror he does is not the slasher horror which pulls in the teens. There hasn’t been a real hit for him on the big screen since Green Mile… and the non-hits haven’t been critical successes that I can recall. Even some of his TV adaptations seem to get dumped.
    But all it takes is the write director to come at one of his stories with the right vision. That’s when you get a Stand By Me, that’s when you get a Shawshuank redemption.


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