Stephen King's The Stand (2020)
CBS All Access has remade the Stephen King classic The Stand, first produced in 1994 about a super flu that wipes out most of humanity setting up the ultimate struggle between good and evil. And they have decided to air it during the darkest days of a real life pandemic.
Spoiler Level: Minor
The CBS All Access remake opens with military personnel and civilian volunteers clearing away the bodies of the rotting dead. This is where they choose to introduce Harold Lauder (Corin Nemec in the original). This Harold is less of a bookworm and more of a sociopath. We next see him 5 months earlier peeping through a hole in a fence at Frannie (the Molly Ringwold character).
From the first bit of dialogue the “fucks” start flying. I’ve said before I have no problem with coarse language unless it’s punctuating the majority of the dialogue from nearly every character. When that happens it breaks with reality of the way people talk. Many people actually don’t feel the need to use the word that much at all. So it sticks out like sore thumb.
In 1994 when Stephen King’s The Stand was made into a four part, eight hour mini series it wasn’t the worst King adaptation nor was it the best. The book is incredibly long but the mini series seemed longer. It had a good cast, most notably the very talented veteran actress Ruby Dee as Mother Abagail. Gary Sinise, though not my favorite actor in the world, did a fine, believable job as hero Stu Redman–one of the very few people who was immune to the virus which escapes a military base in California at the beginning of part one after a soldier escapes the base with his family not knowing he’d already been exposed. As he escapes, “Don’t Fear The Reaper” is heard from the soundtrack. The new version of The Stand begins differently, choosing not to tell the story linearly because, well, that’s what everybody does these days. When we first see Stu Redman he has already been in quarantine for 70 hours as doctors take as much blood from him as they can without killing him. James Marsden (X-Men’s Cyclops) plays Stu in this remake. He’s an actor I usually like but his performance here left me longing for Gary Sinise.
Then we get more flashbacks, short ones at first, then longer ones till we get to the guy escaping the military base. Not all of The Stand‘s characters are introduced in the first episode but the main characters who are there each hear Mother Abagail’s calling to come to Hemingford Home, Colorado, to her home in the middle of a big ass cornfield. The episode ends with a car passing someone on the road…antagonist Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgard). He will play an important part in the war between Good and Evil (hint: he’s not good).
"The End", the first episode of The Stand failed to grab me and pull me into the story the way the original did. I will watch the series through but probably without that anticipation for the next episode that you want all series to have.
Stephen King’s The Stand (2020): I’d Rather Walk
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Acting - 7/107/10
Music - 5/105/10
Production - 9/109/10
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