The Stand: The End
January 1, 2021 8:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

When the "Captain Trips" flu epidemic wipes out more than 99% of the population, the remaining few immune to the disease, including Stu Redman, Frannie Goldsmith, and Harold Lauder, set out in search of other survivors, all the while, experiencing visions of the nurturing Mother Abagail and the menacing figure of The Dark Man. Air Date: Dec 16, 2020
posted by guiseroom (4 comments total)
The Stand is one of my favorite books, and I love the 1994 miniseries, and the audiobook, so I came into this with high expectations. Right off the bat though, the non-linear story structure leaves a lot to be desired. The Stand is one of those epics where scattered souls come together and we follow them along the way. It's a slow burn. The mood and tension set up in the flashbacks when the world is falling apart slams on the brakes when we jump back to Boulder. Especially jarring is the jump to pregnant Fran with Stu. The last scene of the show, which is the first scene of the book, is my favorite and would have made a great opening. I'm wondering if this is a case where they had to hack to story to bits in editing in order to reduce the pandemic stuff in light of covid.

That being said, there is a lot to like here. It looks great, and they really nailed the casting. The standout in the first episode is Owen Teague as Harold Lauder. However, I feel that the increased focus on Harold puts Franny in the backseat, and despite a strong performance from Odessa Young, it leaves a lot to be desired. So far her character is defined by the three men in her life: her deceased father, the annoying incel neighbor, and the way too old for her future beau.
posted by guiseroom at 9:49 AM on January 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Huh, the nonlinear story is the best part of this for me. We already have the book and we already have the 90s miniseries, so apart from adding generic r-rated-ness what would be the point of retelling the same story in the same way?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:35 AM on January 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I read the book some two decades ago and remember enjoying it very much. I liked this quite a bit.

Agreed on the complaints that Franny gets pretty much overlooked; she's not much of a character.

I liked the time-jumps, it worked without me remembering the structure of the book.

Every scene with Harold was excruciating in the best possible way and his speech at the end is a great character moment of him seeing a path to salvation and happiness and actively rejecting it.

J.K. Simmons is just effortlessly great in anything he shows up in, this being no exception.

I said before the show started, and I'm yet to be convinced; I would have loved to have seen the casting of The Dark Mann and Stu swapped around to play a little bit against type.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:48 AM on January 5, 2021

I'll save most of my comments for the books-included thread, but: wondering if the non-linear narrative is an attempt to circumvent the novel's notorious middle-of-the-book pacing problem? The book really sags when they all arrive at Boulder; King gets stuck in a rabbit-hole of how-to-reboot-a-democracy world-building for several hundred pages. Intermingling the Boulder stuff with the backstory flashbacks means you don't get all of it in one indigestible lump.

Simmons is a good Starkey but: extremely odd that they had him recite The Second Coming but edited out "the center cannot hold".

I'm not sure I'm convinced by incel Harold yet but I'll wait and see; if nothing else, glad to see the book's terrible fat-phobia is left behind.

I feel that the increased focus on Harold puts Franny in the backseat

Yeah, and that's maybe my overarching feeling on this so far: they are really galloping through the backstory and a lot of it feels quite telescoped. Any time someone coughs: dead within five minutes. Fran gets, what, a fifteen-second conversation with her father; in her next scene she's burying him.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:02 PM on May 14

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