Monday, December 12, 2011

Bag of Bones part 1: Didja watch?

Seems pretty straightforward.
It ain't no Walking Dead. In an attempt to assuage my Sunday night horror jones, I tuned into the first night of the two-part miniseries based on Stephen King's Bag of Bones--a novel that narrativizes what truly terrifies me and most of my friends: writer's block. And that should have been my first clue that this King adaptation wasn't going to live up to The Stand.

Bag of Bones follows Mike Noonan, a best-selling writer who has recently lost his wife, and, for reasons that seem a little convoluted MUST WRITE A BESTSELLER IN LIKE A WEEK. So he goes to Dark Score Lake, where his wife was renovating their lake house and maybe having an affair. While there, Mike meets a cast of characters, both living and non, and communicates with his dead wife via some cowbells hanging on a moosehead in their living room. And I'll pause for everyone to think in their heads "more cowbell!"

Now, King is the master of the menacing mundane. He can take everyday objects--topiaries, shovels, cars--and render them utterly horrifying. Therefore, the cowbell thing isn't as ridiculous as it might seem. Also, Pierce Brosnan does pretty well externalizing inherently internal emotions: grief, frustration, paralysis, etc. Writer's block, though more than capable of producing creeping and pervasive dread, doesn't film all that well. Certainly not as well as, for instance, zombies. So sometimes he looks a little silly, like when he's rubbing his iPad on his face, but whatever, I'll buy it. King is less intolerable than most writers when writing about writers, so I'm with this part of the story.

I'm also sort of into these huge portraits hanging around the house, which I'm sure will turn out to be evil.

What is so far NOT working for me is the Game-of-Thrones-size cast of characters Noonan encounters in Dark Score. There is a young mother, her daughter who she saved from drowning at the hands of her husband, her evil father-in-law, a ghost of a drowned little girl, a ghost of a singer from the '30s (Anika Noni Rose, looking and sounding great and deserving better),

SO would be my Halloween costume if this had come out a few months ago.
a ghost of someone with a gaping head wound, and everyone Mike hounds about whether his wife was having an affair. It's a bit much to be getting on with in two hours. I'll tune in tonight, but mainly because of Brosnan, who, I have it on very good information, is even better looking in person. Therefore, I think he deserves our support.

So this, except more handsome.

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