#UndertheDome is becoming its own 'jump the shark'-style idiom for a TV show that aims high but is restricted by a creative glass ceiling.
— Dan Owen (@danowen79) July 16, 2013
This tweet of mine is the only half-way sensible thing I can put together about Under the Dome's fourth episode—which, despite being a moderate improvement over last week's "Fire"—still hasn't done much to ameliorate my core complaints. Many of which are shared by writer Ken Levine, if you want to read his blog listing the conceptual problems UtD's being lax about tackling. The casting's killed this show for me, though. Occasionally something pretty cool or freaky happens (like those kids having joint seizures and babbling cryptic phrases like a Hybrid from Battlestar Galactica), but the actors are so wooden I can't summon any joy from it. Everything is coming across as bullshit, too, and I can smell the disappointing explanation for the Dome already.
UtD is just another post-Lost train wreck right now. I know Lost has its detractors (the worst being fans who didn't like the series ending*, so revised their whole opinion of the previous seasons), but it had good characters and knew how to evolve beyond a similar high concept idea. 'A group of people stuck on a mysterious island' isn't that dissimilar to 'a group of people stuck under a mysterious dome', let's be honest. UtD even has its own version of a Hatch, which the creepy teenager has locked his ex-girlfriend in.
Naturally, 10 million poor sods are still watching this, although ratings are falling every week. It will probably coast somewhere around 7 million soon, before a slight upswing for the finale. I bet it gets renewed, too, when much better shows struggled to get even half UtD's current audience and were axed by now. There's really no justice in US television.
Oh well, I'll leave you with this random thought: red-haired reporter Julia Shumway has the same last name as Gordon Shumway, aka ALF from the classic 1980s NBC TV series (see image below). That simply must be a clue to the Dome's extra-terrestrial origin, right?
15 July 2013 | CBS
* No, actually, the worst Lost fans are those who seriously think the mystery's overall explanation was "they were dead the whole time". Go back and watch it again, you people.