3 Wishes for Under the Dome Season 2 (Besides, Of Course, 'Don't Bore Us')

Under the Dome Season 2

I’ve been hesitant to write about Under the Dome Season 2 in large part because its freshman run robbed my life of more hours that I would have liked.

Because although some peers seem to be reflecting on the series with an “Emperor’s new clothes” appreciation, I remember starting one recap with the line, “Well, that was a whole lotta silly.” I believe I am not alone when I say that I felt like we and the people of Chester’s Mill were trapped inside that dome with dwindling foodstuffs but, worse, few compelling storylines. (This is where I note that nearly half of TVLine readers polled gave the season finale a grade of D or F.)

Dare I say, one of Season 1’s more clever moments was my titling a recap “Labor Day Barbie Qs.”

The show started off well enough, mind you — I can’t take that away from it. And lord/monarch knows, viewers turned up for this event/limited/unlimited series. But as we brace for Season 2 (premiering tonight at 10/9c, on CBS), here are my hopes for what’s ahead.

TRY TO REMEMBER…. | Continuity during Season 1 was in as short supply as potable water. For example, there was the MOAB that laid waste to the land outside the dome, yet afterward we pretty much always saw an untouched countryside through the transparent barrier. Or, remember when Norrie’s widowed mother vanished for multiple episodes with little explanation? And then there were the willy-nilly relationships, where one week Big Jim and Junior were mortal enemies, and the next a warmly bonding father/son. (And then… adversaries again.) And let us not forget how quickly Angie forgave Junior for keeping her prisoner, shackled, in a bomb shelter. Because he’s misunderstood. Heck, the townsfolk couldn’t even agree on one pronunciation of “propane.”

TRUTH IN CONSEQUENCES | As I oft mused during Season 1, why were the kids the only ones trying to crack the mystery of the Dome? Because make no mistake, if a mysterious supernatural barrier traps me in my small town, I’m hungry for answers, no matter what demo I fall into. Why was the fleeting water crisis (which was only introduced to set up Big Jim as a villain) nearly the only acknowledgement that resources were growing precious in Chester’s Mill? Why was everyone freely driving around in their cars as if they had happened to buy a full tank from the one, mayyyybe two filling stations a tiny burg like this might have, just before the Dome arrived?

THE FRIGHT STUFF | Under the Dome famously is based on the Stephen King novel, and King himself penned (and cameoes in) the Season 2 premiere — so it’s got that going for it. And yet so much of Season 1 was simply not scary, nor suspenseful, nor even unsettling. What could have been at least an episodes-long exploration of how people cope whilst cooped up inside a mysterious dome, their access to world cut off, instead spent only a bit of time on the “Everyone becomes looters!” notion before asking us to “fear” who might die next because they got in the way of Natalie Zea’s drug-dealing business…?! (And now, based on Season 2 promos, we are to “fear” flying charcoal grills?)

DON’T BORE US | We who consume TV love the idea of the networks giving summer programming a swift kick in the pants. But I challenge anyone wearing dome-colored glasses to claim it was one-quarter as compelling as the “event series” revival of 24. Through Dome‘s first 13 episodes, any “answers” have come in the form of coded riddles (Monarchs! Pink stars! Green clovers!) delivered by, apparently, aliens — which as a result sounded like so much We Got an Unexpected Season 2 wheel-spinning. We want to love summer TV because it’s good, not just because it’s new.

What are your hopes, wishes and dreams for Under the Dome Season 2?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. My theory is that the dome was put over the city either by aliens or by people from the future to save the town form a cataclysm that’ll raze the rest of the world.

  2. StephonJS says:

    just kill off Linda and i’ll be happy

  3. Rick Katze says:

    The problem with the show is that it was designed as a finite run telling a story. Apparently the ratings took off and they decided to add another season.

    Unfortunately they did not think it out and wound up with a mish-mash of events, most of which do not make logical sense.

    I’m not optimistic for the second season.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I think the real issue with the show is very few of the characters reacted in a believable manner to what was happening. Matt is correct that the teenage kids where the only ones really interested in figuring out what the heck was going on with the dome. If you figure that each episode is a day or so, the show could last for 5 seasons (65 days) but the real problem is lack of compelling characters.

  4. LK says:

    I wish they had stuck closer to the original book… which was much more compelling and suspenseful than anything they did in season one. Hope they dont milk this out for another season, shows like this need a finite life span so they can tell a full story and not stretch things out.

    • SK says:

      Agreed! Really enjoyed the book. So excited for this and then the news that it received a second scene and things went downhill from there. Checking out the premiere since it’s written by Stephen King.

  5. Missy Kelly says:

    You are so right. By episode 8 it struck me that under the dome suffers from what so many Stephen King tv endeavors suffer. Stephen King there’s rarely ever a satisfying ending. Wouldn’t mind if the “dome” had been the mini it was advertised as but a second season is more who cares and less why care.

  6. Kal El says:

    I don’t even bother to try to watch something like that, maybe, just maybe, I’ll watch the season premiere to see if Mr. King was capable of making a better script.

    But new summer shows on CBS (or other big networks) can’t never be good, they already struggle to meet decency (often ridicously failing) in the fall/winter. In the summer they don’t even try.

    Look at Extant, lol. I read a cast interview, they didn’t even bother to explain the main actors what was the title about.

    • johnhelvete says:

      If I was one of the actors in Extant, I would have taken the time to look up the word in the dictionary and than have a discussion with the guy who created the show about the meaning of the title in relation to the story that he is trying to tell. I do admit it seemed like a mistake for the PR people not to have the actors prepped for the question about the meaning of Extant, but the actors should be embarrassed that they themselves did not take the time to find out the meaning of the word. I believe Halle Berry was the only one that had a legit answer.

      • Sokratis lakrindis says:

        If you were a cast member in that show I’m sure you’d realise that 1. The show probably wasn’t called extant when you signed up and 2. That you were too busy filming and learning your lines to go look up what it means. I mean isn’t that why you hired your assistant ?

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  8. TvPeong says:

    I agree with you Matt. I wanted to love the show, but it quickly got confusing and boring. I thought that it would have been better (tighter) as a 1 season show that had a conclusion. But what we got was a hot mess (and not the good Mistresses hot mess).

    My hope
    – coherent story lines
    – proper/reasonable resolution
    – better explanations for why more and more people are showing up from nowhere in a closed environment. (It was beginning to remind me of Gilligan’s island, except that was a comedy and Under the Dome is not)
    – More drama and suspense

  9. James says:

    Please don’t say ‘whilst’.

  10. Kate says:

    I totally agree. I have to make this weird Sophie’s Choice between which I watch live (this or Teen Wolf) and I usually let this win because CBS commercial are far less annoying and also more appropriately spaced than MTV’s. I can only hope that with some combination of Fargo, True Detective and maybe sitting down and watching American Horror Story (because this show is crazy) or maybe just noting how the Americans set up a mystery that drove the story the whole season but didn’t take it over and the end result had more of an effect on our characters than expected that the showrunners learned something of how to establish a compelling if even crazy storyline. Heck, Teen Wolf, as much as we complained about Season 3A, I have rewatched it and the story actually does hold together (oddly, 3B, a much better season, doesn’t) but you can have a crazy mythology and you can have continuity problems and you can leave questions unanswered if you commit.

  11. Dewey says:

    Loved the book. Watched until the episode of the water crisis and the next episode where Big Jim was driving a motorboat across a lake. The show lost all credibility and the writers are just creating points of friction between the characters for dramatic purposes instead of having an actual plot.

    What happens at the last episode? Will the characters learn the propane tanks exploded and they were all killed as a rewrite to LOST?

  12. Overthinking says:

    Yup this show shouldn’t have been dragged into a second season. I am willing to overlook all things that didn’t make sense given the alien spin in the storyline but I am with the writer as to why 90% of the Chester Mill population are not(did not) questioning all the weird stuff that happened. Wonder if the dome put them in a trance and brainwashed them (I see you Linda).

    I will give the show another chance but will not be watching it live. Will have to read recaps/reviews before I invest 42~ minutes to watch any episodes of the show.

    • Cookie says:

      I’m with u!! I will DVR it and then read the recaps before watching. I wish the writers keep the momentum up with each episode. If the dome came down it should have covered little suburbs also. I need the story to have meat to it. Junior was a sadistic freak in the book and they toned him down on the show,big mistake. I wish big Jim hadn’t killed the radio chick,I so wanted her to find out some info on that CB radio!! Also why couldn’t one person be a real alien among the town,now that would have been interesting.

  13. Dude says:

    Having read the book, I just can’t watch this series. What was so interesting about the book was that it was a study of how people cope under high stress and how this whole situation basically brings out the worst in everybody and a lot of that has been left in the series in favour of silly teen sci-fi hijinx and two dimensional villains.

  14. This series is basically why you don’t renew a series based on the first five episodes….

  15. Ross says:

    Just so you know, the book (not that the show is ANYTHING AT ALL like the book, because it isn’t) isn’t scary. It’s more scifi than horror. Not everything King writes is scary.

  16. R.O.B. says:

    Good points. I might add that three of the young actors – the two that keep having seizures and junior – are TERRIBLE actors. Especially the boy with the pink stars seizures. He reads every line like a freshman starring in hist first high school play. And they are all central to the story.

  17. DebLG says:

    I was so disappointed in the last season. I thought it was a mini series with a beginning and ending then toward the end found out there was to be a season two. Very disappointing. Hate to admit though, I’ll be watching. it’s cheesy, corny summer fluff. I hope it proves to be compelling summer fare instead though.

  18. kirads09 says:

    I am loving the book!! So much more interesting than the series. That is my one big beef. A little departure when adapting is somewhat expected. But there are just TOO many HUGE differences between the series and the book. My biggest wish is that King was writing the whole TV series to convey his story as intended. I will tune in, but with a slightly jaded sense of it.

  19. Matthew Weber says:

    If they would have just followed the book, it would have been so much better. They changed EVERYTHING, and not in a good way. Never finished season one.

  20. Tracytv says:

    Slow moving n pretty boring. I went from episode 2 to the last two episodes n felt like I didn’t miss anything Lol!

  21. Pia says:

    That was four wishes.

  22. Cyndi says:

    My hope for season 2 is that it flops and CBS learns that they should have left well enough alone! What could have been a somewhat enjoyable 1 season show should NOT have been given a 2nd season and ended on a cliffhanger. I’m out for season 2.

  23. Jermey says:

    I was really excited for this show when it was announced because I’m a big fan of the book. I stopped watching after 3 episodes because it was so boring.

  24. LV Sunny says:

    I totally agree with you, Matt. I was on board for the first few episodes and then was just simply bored. I wasn’t even going to bother with this season until I heard that King penned the first episode.

  25. Daniel says:

    Have you seen the premiere, Matt? If so, could you tell us what you thought of the episode?

  26. Pat says:

    I just read an article on this and Stephen King said that since there is now a Season 2, he knew the TV adaptation would have to be expanded from the original book. He likes the idea of extending this creepy tale. He also said that this will be a tremendous opportunity to dig deeper into the characters and see where they came from. These are all his words. I never read the book but I did watch Season 1. I will DVR the premier tonight of Season 2 and I will have to wait and see how it goes.

  27. M3rc Nate says:

    Kill off the entire cast…burn down the sets….cancel the show….invent a machine that can implant a thought in my head so when you invent a time machine and i go back to before the show aired, and i havent seen it yet, the first machine implanted the thought of “DONT WATCH UNDER THE DOME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!” in my head, so i will skip it, and never see it.

    Frak this show. Garbage. Bad acting, bad writing, bad plots/stories, bad everything. Its a sign of a bad show when the dream of viewers is to go into the show like its reality, with a machete, and butcher all of the bad actors/lame-annoying characters etc. Which is like half the cast.

  28. Ugh says:

    Can we add: please stop making the female sheriff (whose name I have already forgotten) such an idiot? She was tricked by Big Jim at pretty much every turn, and even when it was obvious to everyone that Barbie didn’t shoot anyone, she just stood by. Stop making her look like a fool.

  29. Helena says:

    I really enjoy watching Under The Dome and I do wish & hope that you bring out more series soon.