‘The Stand’ turns Stephen King’s epic e-book into what looks like a really lengthy sit



King’s epic story — which begins with a mysterious pandemic, forsaking the remnants of humanity at its finest and worst — can really feel robust to look at given present occasions within the early going, as individuals die and the social material breaks down.

The filmmakers comply with that introductory portion by leaping round in time, leaping forward to the brand new communities that sprout up in Boulder, Colorado and “New Vegas,” flashing again to flesh out members from the sprawling roster of characters.

The casting is, for probably the most half, fairly good, if a bit of tardy in showcasing extra marquee-worthy members. That features Whoopi Goldberg because the 100-plus-year-old Mom Abagail, the prophet main the forces of righteousness; and Alexander Skarsgard as Randall Flagg, a.ok.a. the Darkish Man, the personification of seductive sin, and maybe probably the most conspicuous improve over the earlier adaptation.

In the end, “The Stand” should wade by means of plenty of character beats to succeed in the meat of the plot, which hinges on the inevitable battle between these two assemblies of survivors.

At 9 hours (minus commercials, the eight-part unique ran about six on ABC), the format does permit for extra nuance and element, however not in a method that proves particularly additive. As is so usually true, simply growing the amount by 50% would not essentially profit the storytelling, both in its readability or financial system.

Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail in 'The Stand' (Robert Falconer/CBS)

Equally, the orgiastic decadence of New Vegas and brutality of a crumbling society might be depicted extra starkly in a streaming surroundings — it is the equal of an R-rated film versus PG-13 — a component of inventive license that does not make a major distinction.

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For individuals who loved the unique inclined to ask, “Why do I want this?,” the reply is fairly effectively “You do not,” apart from a promised new coda to the story written by King. (Six of the 9 chapters, which can debut weekly, had been made out there to critics.)

As for the aforementioned solid, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Jovan Odepo, Odessa Younger and Henry Zaga play the leaders of Mom Abagail’s nice-people council, with Amber Heard and Owen Teague because the fallen Nadine and Harold, respectively.

Produced beneath showrunner Benjamin Cavell (“SEAL Workforce”), there’s some gallows humor sprinkled amid the drama, equivalent to Harold’s buddy observing that Nadine “often is the hottest lady on Earth — I imply, left.”

Most just lately fueled by “It is” box-office success, King’s recognition as a supply for motion pictures and TV stays unabated, together with second bites at tales delivered to the display screen a number of many years in the past.

On the idea that every technology will get its personal model of King’s high titles, this one meets the fundamental requirements — relating the writer’s signature themes whereas allotting old school popcorn by way of a comparatively new-fangled medium. At 9 hours, although, it is laborious to flee the nagging sensation that “The Stand” is a protracted sit.

“The Stand” premieres Dec. 17 on CBS All Entry.



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