The Stand: The Stand   Books Included 
January 1, 2021 9:51 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

After the world is in ruins, due to a man-made plague, a battle of Biblical proportions ensues between the survivors.
posted by guiseroom (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always wonder about the"biblical" element of stories like these. I mean what's supposed to be happening in non-Christian areas like India and China? Yeah, I know the answer is "They don't matter because the center of the world is in the US," bit I have to like the idea if during one if these overtly Christian apocalypses, the people of other religions were going "What the hell are those crazy Christias don't now?”
posted by happyroach at 2:04 PM on January 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've had the same wonders. Imagine someone in India dreaming of Mother Abigail and then trying to cross oceans and half the world to get to Nebraska, and then when they do arrive they've missed everything. The Stand really does play into America as the chosen land.

A much funnier alternative is that the virus only ravages North America and the rest of the world keeps chugging along.
posted by guiseroom at 3:06 PM on January 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

In the book, Flagg speculates that there may be someone like him overseas and that eventually he'll have to deal with them, but he's preoccupied with the Boulder community for the time being. The book also made it clear that the US government deliberately spread the virus overseas once it became clear that the outbreak couldn't be contained.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:35 PM on January 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

Is this good? I put it on my "to watch" list but I'm not sure if I'm actually going to get around to it. I enjoyed the original TV version, but my friend and I were suckers for pretty much anything that came on multiple VHS tapes back in the day.
posted by jordemort at 6:06 PM on January 1, 2021

Jordemort, I am enjoying this so far. I don’t like some of the liberties taken with the story, but the casting is excellent and the production values aren’t insanely cheap looking.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:10 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah I know, not exactly high praise, but I wasn’t terribly impressed with the trailer and my expectations were kept low. I realize now that I’m probably never going to see a prestige tv adaptation of The Stand and this version is what I should be happy with.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:05 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was disappointed that they changed the tunnel scene to a lackluster sewer scene but I really don't think they could have done a better job than the tunnel scene from the 1994 miniseries.
posted by guiseroom at 8:26 PM on January 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

The worst part is that it’s obvious that no one involved with this has ever stepped foot into Colorado, let alone Boulder.
posted by sideshow at 9:00 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

recently rewatched the 1994 miniseries, after exhausting the rest of the non-zombie infectious disease films in the ol' library (ok, some of the zombie ones too). it was pretty bad and yet told the story reasonably well all things considered. love me some trashcan man. appreciate some miguel ferrer. don't mind the sinise, ringwald & lowe. flagg, lauder & nadine all laughably bad.

i don't hate this one. marginally different approach to the story-telling. very good casting. probably can't go back to lowe's nick andros after henry zaga's tortured characterization. like adepo's larry underwood better than storke's. lauder is somewhat more ... dimensional, much less wooden than the prior dude though still not at all interesting. yes, the sewer-for-tunnel substitution was not great. no trashcan man yet.

the stand is deplorably u.s.-centric. i imagine very much the same story is playing out on other continents with appropriate avatars of good/evil, assuming survivors in those places. it has been long since i read the book, or any others of king's oeuvre. notwithstanding flagg's speculation about counterparts abroad, recounted by Halloween Jack, above, i feel as though king's ultimate cosmology -- as presented across the dark tower series -- winds up with the personified evils of it, the stand, the talisman etc all being avatars of... is it the red king? i see that it is "the crimson king," though wikipedia tells me those baddies are each different supernatural beings being driven by that evil archetype. meh: red-eyed spiders all the way down.

it is probably worth noting that the depicted manichaean struggle, while presented in garb easily accessible to a u.s.-ian christianish audience, does not depict the eschatological narrative from prophesies in the sacred texts of christians. (for that you need the left behind series, or something of similar ilk; i read those, but would not recommend it, either for literary entertainment or for prophetic exegesis. probably worth adding that the details of lahaye/jenkins's dispensational premillennialist eschatology aren't necessarily standard among nominal coreligionists, though more so since publication than before, probably.) here there is no tribulation, no antichrist, no second coming, no final judgment, no 1000-year reign of the saved (does that prize seem kinda petty to anybody else, in light of the sweep of history and received scientific cosmology, as it strikes me?). this, the stand, is just another ultimate battle of good versus evil, very much like every other ultimate battle of good versus evil, among the works of king and beyond, with vaguely christiany atmospherics.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:08 AM on January 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

sideshow Amusingly, having recently lived in Denver for a few years and having just rewatched the 1994 miniseries, I commented to my partner that in comparison, the 2020 version at least looks like someone's been in the vicinity of Boulder before.

Except for whoever decided to move Hemingford Home to Colorado, that is. I know corn grows in all 50 states and I have in fact seen corn growing in Colorado.... but it was for a Halloween zombie corn maze, and Colorado is otherwise not exactly known for its fields of corn.

I suppose the cornfield could be mystical, but really, all cornfields are mystical, and it's better if they're actual cornfields and not dream-only ones.
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:09 PM on January 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm really enjoying it so far. Looking forward to seeing what they do with Trashcan Man. And if they include that insane bit with the dude in the yellow car with the gun.
posted by h00py at 2:30 AM on January 3, 2021

sideshow Amusingly, having recently lived in Denver for a few years and having just rewatched the 1994 miniseries, I commented to my partner that in comparison, the 2020 version at least looks like someone's been in the vicinity of Boulder before.

I mean, I guess haven’t seen the 94 edition in a while. But unless they filmed in Miami-Dade County, not sure how they could get it worse.
posted by sideshow at 9:57 AM on January 3, 2021

And if they include that insane bit with the dude in the yellow car with the gun.

Sadly, the Kid didn't stay in the picture.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:16 AM on January 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

1994 miniseries was filmed in Utah, which is, as they say, at least adjacent to Colorado.
posted by seasparrow at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2021

Decided to put my reaction to the series overall here, since so much of it has to do with the book and the choices made about what to keep and what to leave out. Some of the changes made have to do with the changes in society in the forty-odd years since the original edition; King did change a few things in the book's subsequent printings, even before the complete and uncut edition, to keep it up to date, but even that last edition is about 30 years old or so. So, Glen Bateman vapes instead of smoking a pipe, and a lot of the Vegas scenes seem inspired by reality TV, i.e. the courtroom scene. Harold almost certainly was a redditor; an early-plague scene has him listening to someone ranting about government conspiracies on a podcast. The choice to have the narrative start with them already in Boulder and jumping back to each main character's journey through the events of the plague and moving west was an interesting one, as it broke up the familiar linear narrative and signified that they weren't going to just do the 1994 miniseries with different actors. The casting is mostly good (with one exception that I note below).

But not all of the changes were that great. Some characters got short shrift; the worst was probably the Trashcan Man, who was a major POV character in the book. King has always had an affection for loners and oddballs, even those with less-than-great personalities; Harold Lauder seems to be pretty closely based on King himself. (The nail that Harold stuck his story publication rejection letters on is something that King did when he was an aspiring author.) As scary and crazy as Trashy could be, there was also a lot of sympathy for him in the book, especially in the uncut edition where he has to deal with the terror and sexual assaults of the Kid. Here, he's just an ambulatory bag of overacting on the part of Ezra Miller. Nick Andros gets hardly any more. I realize that there's only so much that you can do when adapting a thousand-plus-page book, even over nine episodes, but I think that we could have done with one or two less open-air-orgy scenes and used the time to establish the friendship between Nick and Tom, to cite one example. And the pacing is weirdly uneven; some scenes seem to be taken from a much longer adaptation, and others are just kind of rushed through.

So, the book, as out of date as it is, is still the best option for this story. This wasn't as bad as the Dark Tower adaptation that made such a poor use of Idris Elba, but it wasn't great.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:32 PM on February 11, 2021 [5 favorites]

My main problem with the new show was the decision they made to abbreviate/sideline almost all of the Captain Trips period, as well as the long journey to Colorado. The new show focuses primarily on a well-established Colorado Free Zone, and even minimizes the challenges in getting that area up and running post-pandemic (outside of the body crew). For me, those were the most interesting parts of the book.

Also, Flagg's right-hand man went from conflicted but intelligent enabler to coke-snorting jester.

I can't believe I'm saying it, but the old miniseries was better in every way. Even cheesy old show Flagg was scarier than the rockabilly floater we got here. Shades of Val Kilmer in the bathroom. "I believe in you, Nadine. Always have." ELVIS FLOURISH "Always will." Ugh.
posted by joelhunt at 8:18 PM on February 12, 2021 [6 favorites]

The 1994 series had some schmaltz at the end which turned me way off - like, the ghost of Mother Abigail appearing in the hospital to say coochie-coo to Frannie's baby, and miraculously Joe can see her but no one else can. I appreciated that this didn't seem to have the same schmaltz quotient.

On the other hand, the 1994 series included a throwaway moment from the book that creeped me right the hell out - Stu is trying to escape from the CDC center and a doctor who's delirious with fever grabs him by the ankle and whispers "Come down here and eat chicken with me, beautiful, it's so dark...."

It contributes nothing to the plot, and Stu gets away within seconds; it's just a little throwaway thing. But it freaked me out when I read it, and I am grateful to the 1994 series for including it. And....unsurprised that this series didn't.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on February 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

« Older The Stand: Blank Page...   |  Five Bedrooms: Season One... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments