Monday, February 22, 2016

The Bookish Binger: 11/22/63, The Rabbit Hole

I reviewed the book by Stephen King, after I saw the previews for the Hulu miniseries. I was impressed that James Franco was involved, along with JJ Abrams. I figured, at the very least, it would be entertaining, and the miniseries proves that it's not going to go on for 6 seasons (or with Abrams' track record, a good 2 seasons and miserable 2 seasons before cancelling).

Usually what I've done with TV shows is binge watch them after they all have come out, and break it up into a few posts before calling it quits. However, this time, since for the first time I'm actually watching it on schedule, I would post weekly of my reactions, feelings, comparisons between the book and the show, and my hopes for future episodes. 

What I found interesting about the book was the setup that led up to the real conflict of Epping finally thwarting the assassination of JFK. I really liked that King took his time to really sink the reader's teeth into the implications of time travel, and the disastrous outcomes of changing those events. It really foreshadowed what was to come later in the book. 

Now, when I was younger, I definitely was one to complain when movies or TV shows weren't exactly like the book and wondered why script writers didn't just work directly with the author to write something that mirrored the author's vision. Obviously, I understand now that some things can't work for TV, like King's prologue of 11/22/63 leading up to Epping leaving to save the Dunning Family. Unfortunately, it's what I liked most about the book and so for the first episode, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to that part. However, I am fully aware that if the writers just carbon copied the book into the first episode, it wouldn't be effective, and I would have still been disappointed. 

Removing myself from the book, I thought they did a good job of creating the spookiness that King so often has with his books and the theme of time always trying to right itself. The visuals of the car crashing into the telephone pole moments after Epping steps away from it is harrowing, and it conveys that time is a sentient being, and it will do anything to keep time, and its events, on track. In later episodes, due to the shock of the events in this one (the fire, the beetles, etc.), I wonder how they are going to up the ante of preventing Epping from stopping the assassination. 

My husband tells me that there has been some criticism over James Franco's performance as Jake Epping. Considering that 11/22/63 is told in first person, I feel like Franco is going to be at a disadvantage since as the reader, you put yourself as the main character. Watching someone else play Epping, maybe the viewer won't connect as well. I think he does a good job of acting bewildered and out of place, both in 2011 and when he travels back in time. I also liked the montages of Epping walking around in 1960, absolutely loving the time period. Epping in the book romanticizes the 1960s, and it definitely shows that this one does too. 

Epping in the book, makes a ton of stupid mistakes that come back later to bite him in the ass. However, it's over a period of time, so it comes off more realistic and believable. My only problem with this Epping, and it's not to the fault of Franco, is that I think the writers wanted him to make all the stupid moves in the first episode in order for them to bite him in later episodes. There is a ton of foreshadowing in the first episode, which seems rushed, but then again, the book was 800 pages and could afford to take it's time.  

I am anxious to see how they are going to portray the Dunning family murder, and if Jake will go back through the rabbit hole to see the changed outcome. I wish they hadn't killed of Templeton so quickly because there seemed to be some more story there, but maybe it'll right itself later on. 

There is another episode night, so check out my next post this week! 

No comments:

Post a Comment