31 Days of Reviews: The Mist (Season 1)

Based on the story by Stephen King, this Spike TV adaptation focuses on the effects of a mysterious mist on a small town.

When I first heard that they were adapting The Mist for television, I was a bit skeptical. I’ll be up front when I say I’ve never read the source material. I’ve only seen the film adaptation from 2007, starring Thomas Jane. I do enjoy the film adaptation, but the subject matter is some pretty heavy stuff. How would that go over on a week by week basis?

This Spike TV adaptation stars Morgan Spector, Alyssa Sutherland, Danica Curcic, Frances Conroy, Okezie Morro, and Russell Posner. The first season (or limited series event) ran for 10 episodes from June 22nd to August 24th, 2017.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 11.01.10 PM

If you are unfamiliar with the general story of The Mist, it centers around a mysterious mist that infiltrates a small town, causing residents to run for cover or be killed by the phenomenon. While stuck together with limited supplies and paranoia setting in, society begins to break down in a number of ways.

The horror of the series comes partially from seeing what people will do to each other in situations like this, seeing the lengths people will go to. That’s also where the social commentary comes in. The rest of the horror comes from the mist itself and the creatures and dangers that come with it.

As I mentioned above, the subject matter in The Mist can get really heavy. This is why I was skeptical about seeing 10 separate episodes of it. One movie was pretty tough to stomach sometimes. Would there be any characters left that the audience actually liked by the end of a 10 episode series?

I will reiterate that I have not read the source material, so this review will not be able to dictate how good of an adaptation this TV series is to the book. I may make brief references to the film adaptation though.

To begin, this is a television show, and there are caveats that come with that. It focuses more on the relationships between the characters than the monsters in the mist. Part of that probably has to do with budget limitations. The other part is just about creating drama that can stretch through the episodes.

When you create drama like this, not everything is going to make sense. That’s one of my biggest problems here. Characters do things for seemingly no reason or make sudden, drastic changes in character to advance the plot forward. The creators expect you to just accept this and move along. You may find yourself shaking your head instead.

All things considered, the show does a decent job with the special effects. The way this show is shot is one of the most watchable parts for me. There’s just something alluring about it, even at times when you can tell the budget isn’t that great. They still manage to do a decent job with it all.

There are some pretty solid performances in the series. Frances Conroy is definitely a stand out, as she always is. Alyssa Sutherland manages to make her questionable dialogue seem realistic, despite being under utilized as the season progresses. Russell Posner puts on a realistic performance for his character. The show has its share of good performances.

At the same time, there are definitely characters that are useless to the overall plot of the story. There are characters that are call backs to the source material, but end up just being a cameo of sorts. Some of the characters are just there for a potential second season. It’s a mixed bag. Most of the elements of this show are mixed for me.

 If the idea of The Mist seems interesting to you, I would probably recommend the film adaptation over the television adaptation, simply because the story there is far more streamlined. 

 

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