I started watching Basic Instinct last night, because somehow I’ve never seen it before. I’m halfway through, and it’s really pretty good! I get why people liked it! And I’m not just talking about the one thing that you think I am talking about! Like, it’s a good, suspenseful, noir-y thriller. Why don’t they make those anymore? Is it simply because no one wants them or does it go deeper than that? (Sidenote: Basic Instinct opens with a pretty graphic sex scene, which instantaneously reminds you that movies don’t have sex scenes anymore. At least not like that. Why not? Do we hate sex now? What’s up, guys?) The point of all this is just to let you know that I was totally enjoying and engrossed in Basic Instinct, but I turned it off to watch Under the Dome. Because I’m a professional.
As I pointed out last week, I’m fully prepared for and expecting this show to fall apart and for all of its fun and exciting premises to have disappointing resolutions. But this is only episode 2, so you would think we would be safe. And we mostly are, but already the seams are starting to show. Like, Princess Merida goes into the radio station and she hears a short wave radio and she says “what is that?” and scary music plays. Why scary? Is this scary? Does Princess Merida go berzerker on dudes when she discovers a new short wave radio? (After she eavesdrops on the military band, she tells the DJ and the engineer that she is going on the air because the people need to know what she has just discovered and they tell her that she isn’t allowed to go on the air. Haha, why not? You are operating a college station in a city that is completely cut off from all human contact. And you’re just playing R&B songs. Let her go on the radio for two seconds.) Or, like, the nefarious priest/coroner/meth-head steals the propane bills and sets them on fire in a plastic trash can in Frank Lupidus’s office and then immediately gives it a clumsy kick into the curtains that sets the whole place ablaze and you’re kind of like, really? Did that dude really just do that? Also who even cares about the propane bills? If all of that propane is being stashed in town for untoward reasons, does it matter that someone has a bill for it taped to the bottom of their desk drawer? “Nevermind, guys, I know the propane is clearly being used for suspicious, criminal behavior that threatens to expose the less-than-idyllic underbelly of our bucolic town, but there’s no bill, so I think it’s OK.” But my favorite part of last night’s episode was the slow and dramatic reveal of a startling piece of information that made everyone lose their minds:
It turns out they are trapped…UNDER A DOME.
This happens on shows. Do you remember The Event? No, just kidding, no one does. But they did this on The Event, I remember. In the first or second episode, you learn that they’re aliens, and then in, like, the fourth episode this one main character discovers that they’re aliens, and we are supposed to be impressed or moved or excited by his discovery but it’s like, yeah, dude, WE BEEN HAD KNOWING ABOUT THE ALIENS ALREADY. Catch up! Princess Merida is like “the military keeps using the word ‘dome.'” Yeah, you know who else keeps using it? CBS. People in the diner are like, “dome? What does that mean?!” What do you think it means, sweetheart? It means “dome.” The dictionary defines “a dome” as “a dome.” It’s a dome. You are under a dome. That’s why the show is called Under A Dome. I knew that the show would not be as exciting from week to week as when cows were sliced in half and everyone had a secret, but come on.
Oh well, at least all of the police officers are dead except for the one police officer. Sometimes I worry that all hell isn’t even going to break loose!