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CBS premiered the first episode of Brian K. Vaughan's TV adaptation of Stephen King's Under the Dome last night, introducing us to the residents of Chester's Mill, a small town that's suddenly and mysteriously encapsulated by a giant dome, confining all residents and guests inside. Beyond the thrilling moment when the dome dropped down, the episode also introduced a number of characters to the story, and based on the preview, it looks like the mayhem is only just beginning.
I should say up front that, while I've read Stephen King's Under the Dome, my interest in covering CBS' new series is less about nitpicking the changes in the adaptation as it is in looking at this series for what it is, an exciting new TV drama with a dome full of potential for great character story. With that in mind, the changes are worth noting, but in the interest of avoiding spoilers for non-book-readers, we'll save those for later. For everyone else, consider this breakdown a book-spoiler-free look at the series premiere, for those who have actually seen the series premiere.
Small town dramas have always found a niche within the TV realm. From Gilmore Girls to period dramas like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the intrigue of a place where everyone knows one another and is in each otherís business frequently gives viewers a warm and nostalgic view into small town America. Under the Dome, on the other hand, takes this notion and spins it on its head, presenting circumstances that allow for a faster pace and plenty of action, as well as a world thatís brimming with betrayal, seediness, and secrets.