Stephen King never changes his mind about his takes on movie and TV adaptions of his books, but one weird TV adaptation made him reconsider his initial opinion. From expressing how much he loves Frank Darabont’s Shawshank Redemption to blatantly criticizing Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Stephen King has always been unapologetically confident about his opinions on TV and movie adaptations of his books. While he does not blindly give away positive reviews to movies and shows based on his books, he always explains why he enjoyed or hated a certain adaptation.


For instance, he has lauded Brian De Palma’s Carrie for its ingeniously satirical depiction of high-school life and also appreciated lower-budget adaptations of his work like Cujo. Although some of his opinions on films like The Shining may have gone against the grain, he has, time and again, even agreed with audiences by being vocal about his disappointment surrounding movies like The Dark Tower. In all of these instances, regardless of whether his opinion matched that of the masses, the King of Horror stuck to his initial word. However, when it came to CBS’s Under the Dome, the author could not help but change his mind after initially liking it.

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Stephen King Liked Under The Dome – Until He Didn’t

Stephen King cameo in It Chapter 2

Along with Brian K. Vaughan, Jack Bender, Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider, and a few others, Stephen King served as the executive producer for Under the Dome. He also wrote the premiere episode of the show’s second season and made a cameo in it as well. In June 2013 (via his official website), he even acknowledged that even though the CBS show made considerable changes to the original book’s storyline, he “approved of them wholeheartedly.” However, his contentment with the Under the Dome adaptation did not last too long, and he ended up changing his mind when the show started heading in a strange direction.

Stephen King’s involvement with Under the Dome as its executive producer may have been one of the reasons why he was not too critical of the show’s changes in the beginning. Unfortunately, when the show’s storyline stopped showing any semblance of narrative consistency and direction in season 3, King could not hold himself back from calling it mediocre. “The first few episodes were great,” he said (via The New York Times). “But the thing was, what CBS wanted was basically meatloaf — nothing too challenging, something to just fill some hours.

Under The Dome’s Later Seasons Strayed Further From King’s Books

Two people navigating the dome in Under the Dome from either sides.

Although Under the Dome shared its foundational ideas with Stephen King’s original book, it was not precisely telling the same story. Owing to this, it started well and garnered favorable reviews in its first season, where it did not drift far from the essence of its source material. However, as it progressed with season 2, it got too ambitious with its sci-fi concepts and reached a narrative domain where it seemingly did not know where to end. Ultimately, Under the Dome had talented showrunner Brian K. Vaughan at its helm, but it never truly delivered on what it promised, and as Stephen King said, it “went off the rails [and] descended into complete mediocrity.

Sources: Stephen King, The New York Times

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