UNDER THE DOME Inexplicably Renewed For Second Season Of Hate-Watching

Peter Martin, Managing Editor

The CBS television network has renewed Under the Dome for a second season, according to Deadline. Stephen King, whose 2009 novel serves as source material for the series, will write the first episode of Season 2.

The first five episodes have demonstrated amply that things can go from bad to worse rather quickly in broadcast television. King's sprawling novel postulated that a huge, transparent dome of unknown origin cut off a small town in New England from the outside world, allowing good to battle evil for more than a thousand pages. In November 2012, CBS ordered 13 episodes of the series and announced plans to make it a summer television event. The network has not featured original content during this time period in the past, so it was seen as a grand experiment.

Ratings have been very good for the series since its debut on June 24, actually increasing from week to week. The problem is that, so far, the show features insipid characters and a narrative that goes absolutely nowhere, wasting the potentially fascinating premise. As I tweeted at the time:


Things got worse from there, a steep decline, first into mediocrity, then into outright stupidity. The only reward I've had from watching the show is reading the brilliant, incisive recaps by the great Grady Hendrix at Tor.com. His latest review captured my frustration:

We all start out full of optimism, thinking that this episode is finally going to be the one that changes things, and then suddenly the credits are rolling and nothing has changed at all.

There are some people who try crack once or twice and realize that it's whack and they never go back. There are others who stick with it no matter how bad it gets. They're addicted, which is how I'm starting to feel. But not "addicted" in the "This-crack-is-so-great-I-can't-wait-to-get-more" positive sense of the word, but more in the "Oh-god-I-can't-stop-because-I-keep-getting-promised-this-is-going-to-get-better" sense of the word. The mechanism of Under the Dome addiction is easy to understand: at the end of each episode there's a "Scenes from Next Week" clip that promises a lot of stuff is going to go down next time. Look, it's raining inside the dome! People are rioting over food like they should have been doing three episodes ago! Dean Norris is making Intensity Face! But we should all know by now that while those things will happen in the most clichéd and meaningless manner possible, none of them will actually change anything.

This also explains how the series, touted as a summer experiment, the network's version of "Must See Event TV," can be returning for another season, and another after that, and another, ad infinitum.

So, hate-watchers rejoice! We did it! There will be more to hate next summer, if we live that long. In the meantime, the series continues to torture us every Monday evening on CBS, and then again every Friday on Amazon Prime, until the end of time and/or this season's run.

Around the Internet:
  • craig

    If you feel trapped and forced to hate-watch this awful TV show because you just have to find out how the dome work before you stop, remember that this is a mediocre book as well. In other words, you can find out how it all works and you don't have to be milked for another year or more before you find out the disappointing so called "twist" of the show.

    I did not read the book (thanks God), but inadvertently read a TV show review that gave out the ending of the book without any spoiler alert. But like I said before, it's not much of a spoiler either, because it is so moronic and unoriginal that you will feel cheated. (I am now convinced that Stephen King is a mediocre writer, definitely overrated, and the few good books were lucky accidents.)

    PS: Junior is the worst character I have ever read or watched. Also, it is hard to criticize the bad acting because the material is so bad that you just want to kill them all (except perhaps for Colin Ford, playing Joe McAlister.

    PS: SPOILER ALERT BELLOW. DO NOT READ BEYOND HERE IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE TWIST TO THE ENDING OF THE BOOK.

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    SPOILER ALERT: LAST CHANCE TO LOOK AWAY.

    The dome was sent by aliens to mess around with the townspeople, driving most of them to kill each other before the dome is lifted, but not before the aliens fire burns even more of them via a massive explosion. Like I said, mind numbing stupid and meaningless.

  • the_phantom_typist

    You my friend are the dumbest dumbass to come around. Seriously, you pass judgement on a book you havent read, and then use that as a basis to hate the story? I could do the same with game of thrones? but i dont. Under the dome as a book is a whole lot better than the tv show. just because the tv pilot of a book (in which stephen king acknowledges that there was significant change within the whole storyline.
    all i am saying is that if we judge books by their tv series, there would be a whole lot of people that would miss out on amazing books

  • craig

    You missed the whole point AND you have the argument backwards. My point was that if you are a hate-watcher like me, and you cannot stop watching just because you need to know the ending, then you can find out the ending without watching the whole series. I did not post to "pass judgement on a book" based on the TV show, as you seem to erroneously come to understand.

    You also mistakenly got the argument in reverse. I did not hate the book and then use that as the basis to hate the story. I hated the story in the TV show because I watched 10 episodes of it, and I hated the story in the book based on plot summary and book reviews from multiple book review sites. That is what book reviews are, so that you don't spend hours before finding it to be lacking. You misunderstood it backwards, and you don't even seem to be aware of it as you call someone else "dumbest dumbass."

    If you had focused your attention, I started by stating that I did not read the book because reading it before posting was not necessary for the purpose of my post. To help you focus this time, the purpose was: how-to-stop-hate-watching, and NOT how-to-review-a-book-by-it's-tv-show. The later is your imaginary misunderstanding (were you mentally blocked because you were so offended that someone did not post something nice about books you find "amazing"?)

    Also, saying that the book was not as bad as the TV show is not much of an endorsement for the book. The kindest review I read was that it was a light summer book not requiring much mental exertion. But multiple reviews generally agreed that this is mediocre book, even for a Stephen King book. In the movie industry, where I work, it is general knowledge that Stephen King is mostly good for cheap made-for-TV-movies only. (You can always count on Stephen King to let TV significantly change his books to make himself a few bucks, even at the cost of artistic integrity. At least be a honest sell-out, and don't pass on all the blame if the TV show sucks.)

    So I do not think I am the "dumbest dumbass." The post was addressed to hate-watchers who wanted out, and not to someone who take offense to imagined criticism of mediocre books only they find "amazing."

  • the_phantom_typist

    I was just wondering what review sites you were looking on. If you could list some of them, at least give that some credibility. and imagined criticism? My dear lad, just look at your own first post and try not to find criticism of the book?

    Amazon: 4/5 stars from customer review (http://www.amazon.com/Under-Do...
    goodreads: 3.88/5 http://www.goodreads.com/book/...
    The Bookscore: 8.2/10 http://thebookscore.net/review...
    Barnes and Noble: 4/5
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...
    Need I go on?

    I also think that you my dear friend have the plot and the ending all wrong to be honest. Stephen King himself has commented in a statement directly addressing the plot differences between the book and the show. He comments:

    'If the solution to the mystery were the same on TV as in the book, everyone would know it in short order, which would spoil a lot of the fun (besides, plenty of readers didn’t like my solution, anyway).'

    So if you want a source link for that I will gladly give it to you, however it's right there with the use of a simple tool called Google, or probably any other search provider too (yes even Bing). If you haven't bridged the gap yet, what I am trying to say is that the TV show is vastly different to the book.

    I must admit, my first comment/argument was hastily put together as I was on my phone which was excruciating. and I further add, it was somewhat juvenile and it did not fully explain what I wanted to explain. What I WAS trying to say though is exactly what you wrote, you were judging the book off the Television series (which is far different).

    Addressing your comment about Stephen kings novels turning into a TV movie, I must somewhat agree, there has been Night Shift and now Under the Dome. However, there has been great movies that have come from of his books to the silver screen. Most recently, The Mist was a good horror, while IT was amazing (until that ending... what was he thinking). (I am not even going to mention Cujo in there as that was a somewhat mediocre movie). While those are the first to spring to mind, there are two more that you have probably forgotten. firstly, Shawshank Redemption was highly acclaimed and an extremely satisfying Hollywood movie, while The Green Mile was another hit. So I am questioning which movie industry you work in.

    So, now with the severe plot changes, the ending is not the mediocre ending that you so graciously presented but something completely different. So I guess you are stuck watching it till the end. Lucky for you.

  • This show is straight up terrible but I can't pull myself. I admit I am also addicted and will probably continue to watch it until the season finale :/

  • lbj

    Agreed. Top to bottom it's horrible. High-school level acting, procedural problem of the week, terrible characters...but then again, why am I not surprised. Never underestimate the shitty tastes of the general population.

  • Bos

    Actually i don't find this show so bad...
    Episode 1 was great, then eps 2 and 3 were a letdown, and i was about to lose interest, but then ep 4 and 5 actually got plot, chara development, action...so now i'm appealed again.

    I will just wait untile the END on this season to call a show "good" or "bad". It's nonsense to judge it now.
    I suggest you guys and everyone to do the same.

  • Kurt

    I thought it was the journey not the destination? Audiences can only tolerated being pissed on for so long, even if the ending is gangbusters.

  • thecrimsoncurse

    should have made this from "girls" by the luna brothers/ much better story about a small town trapped in a bubble/ haha

  • Simon de Bruyn

    Or Bio Dome.

  • John Wills

    Twitch news is getting shittier by the day

  • We aim to please.

  • 'l'

    so you delete posts now?? didnt expect that from you guys.

  • We haven't deleted anything. May have been flagged by Disqus.

  • 'l'

    i cant imagine disqus flagging the word "s"u"c"k"s... i shouldnt have even wasted my time commenting on this show. its terribad

  • Neither can I, honestly, but none of us canned it.

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