Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Mysteries of Under the Dome

After my second DVR crash since March, I found myself scurrying around, trying to recover the 200+ recordings I lost.  Amongst those so inconveniently deleted was CBS’s new science fiction drama, Under the Dome.

When we were finally ready to sit down and watch Under the Dome, we couldn’t find the first episode.  The pilot wasn’t available for viewing on the CBS website, or via OnDemand, prompting us to try something we’d never done before—watch TV via our Amazon Prime account.  For free.  Yeah, I was a happy camper…

Anyway, what would happen if we were cut off from the world?  If we couldn’t leave our city or county lines?  If we were imprisoned by an impenetrable barrier?

Based on the science fiction novel by Stephen King, Under the Dome follows the residents of Chester’s Mill after they are cut off from the world by an invisible, impenetrable barrier—a dome.  Will they uncover the truth in time to save their small town?

Let’s talk about this “wall” for a second… This “wall” sliced a cow in half, which was not at all appetizing to watch while eating dinner.  And for about a span of three to five minutes, although it felt longer, the cameras kept showing the darn cow.  Yuck.  Trust me.

But back to the story…

Not knowing whether or not this is an act of terror, or an act of God, the town’s people scurry around, trying to make heads or tails out of the situation.  And when government agencies show up on the outside, wearing full-on Hazmat Gear, those trapped know that something is terribly wrong.

Recognizing that something has them “stuck in a fish bowl,” the mayor hops on a public radio access channel and instructs all vehicles to stop moving, but not before a couple of cars crash into the invisible “wall.”  A few witnesses even watch as a small prop plane smashes into what appears to be nothing up in the sky and burst into flames.

Completely dumbfounded, friends and family, separated by the “wall,” stare at each other… scream at each other.  But nothing carries across the electrical field.  The only way we know it’s electrical is because it’s shocking to the touch and even prompted someone with a pace maker’s chest to explode.

As one can imagine, some panic, others keep calmer heads and hope to plan an escape, while others just go plain bonkers.

The new horror/mystery series stars: Mike Vogel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre circa 2003), Rachelle Lefevre (the Twilight saga), Colin Ford (Supernatural), Natalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7 and CSI: NY), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle), Aisha Hinds (Detroit 1-8-7, True Blood, and Cult), and many other familiar faces in recurring roles (like Jeff Fahey from Lost).

Bottom line?  At the end of the pilot, I was ready to watch another episode.  In addition to the dome, there were a ton of characters to get to know better, and even a few mysteries with the townsfolk (like the stockpiling of propane, a kidnapping, a murder, etc).  But my guy was ready to watch the Falling Skies season finale, so Under the Dome had to wait.

We still haven’t gotten back to it, but I want to.  It definitely left me wanting more.  For that reason, I must award the new CBS sci-fi drama with the JFTV rating.  Perhaps after we catch a few more episodes, the ranking will rise…

Have you watched Under the Dome?  How do you feel it ranks compared to the other Stephen King made-for-TV adaptations, series, and/or movies?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Television’s Summer Standouts

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  We still have The Bridge (FX) set to premiere this week, a few shows about camp life (Camp, an upcoming NBC dramedy, and Summer Camp, a new USA reality series), and The Vineyard (ABC Family) later this month… but out of the series that have already aired, which ones do you consider to be summer standouts?

Crossing Lines (NBC)

Devious Maids (Lifetime)

Graceland (USA)

King & Maxwell (TNT)

Mistresses (ABC)

Motive (ABC)

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Siberia (NBC)

Under the Dome (CBS)

Whodunnit? (ABC)

For me, Siberia, Ray Donovan, and Whodunnit? are my summer standouts.

Siberia because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen on television before.  And not in a good way.  By definition, the show might not fall under the classification of a standout, but it does stand out. Let’s just say it’s a scripted reality program (yeah, might as well call it a drama) with Blair Witch-like cinematography.  Yet, I keep watching…

Ray Donovan because Liev Schreiber is hot.  Ray is a family man; he’s a successful business man (he’s a Hollywood “fixer); he’s a man of few words; and most importantly, he’s not one to cross.  Seriously, hurt his family (either physically or verbally), and just see what happens.  This new Showtime series reminds me a lot of Scandal… meets The Sopranos.

And Whodunnit? because I can’t figure it out.  It may be a corny-murder-mystery-reality series, but I simply can’t figure it out.  I have my suspects… but “the killer” has already proven me wrong once.  Will he/she again?

Your turn… what are your Summer Standouts?  Or Stand Outs?  I’d love to hear from you!