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YMMV / The Langoliers

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  • California Doubling: Averted in the TV movie. LAX and Bangor International appear as themselves.
  • Ending Fatigue: A common criticism of the miniseries is the fact that after what seems like the logical climax of the story — the Langoliers showing up to eat everything — there's still 40 minutes left to go.
  • Fake American: In the miniseries, Dinah is portrayed by the decidedly English Kate Maberly.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • At one point, Toomy thinks of the man who was supposed to be watching out while Jesus prayed in the garden before he was arrested. If Toomy was raised to do nothing but work, where did he learn the Gospels from? An attitude of "LOVE IS NOT PART OF THE BIG PICTURE!" doesn't exactly gel with a Christian upbringing.
      • The phrase 'tough love' is frequently used to justify examples of malicious child abuse, and the tough love concept is pretty much the kernel of Christian belief. Toomy's dad is just not bothering to sugarcoat what he's doing. He definitely seems like he could be an Old Testament kind of guy.
      • Also, demanding that his son take rigorous Sunday-school lessons as a young child might have seemed to Toomy's father like a logical precursor to making him study extra-hard in school.
      • Basically, there are lots of people who call themselves "Christians." Some are in it for the message of love, forgiveness and charity, others more for the "eternal punishment for everyone who is Bad."
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    • If the Langoliers eat each world, but they don't eat the whole thing at once, where do they start every time that Bangor is further down the way?
    • Can you imagine what the FAA/NTSB report on this is going to look like? A plane vanishes from radar in the middle of the night and turns up back at the airport it started from, completely empty (except for luggage and personal effects - some of them very personal); and the few surviving passengers, who deplaned without being seen by anyone, tell a completely unbelievable story.
  • Ham and Cheese:
    • Bronson Pinchot knows exactly what kind of miniseries this is, and acts accordingly. Believe it or not, Balki is actually subtle next to Toomy.
    • Dean Stockwell contributes a performance that closely resembles a cross between William Shatner and Sir David Attenborough.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At one point, the mystery writer attempts to explain how time travel works and why it would be impossible to change or stop events, using the JFK assassination as an example. Years later, Stephen King writes 11/22/63, a novel about a time traveler attempting to do just that.
    • Doubles as an Actor Allusion: "One can't simply go back to November twenty-second, nighteen-sixty-three and stop the Kennedy assassination..." Shares his character's belief in the appropriate Quantum Leap episode where Sam tries to do just that (and fails).
  • Inferred Holocaust: No one ever seems to make a big deal out of the fact that 90% of the people on the plane were apparently vaporized at the beginning of the story. Justifiable, considering that there are bigger issues to deal with. Alternatively, as they were awake at the time, they may simply not have gone through the time rip with everyone else... and the plane. Oops...
    • Contemplated early in the novella by Brian the pilot, and later Jossed by the (third-person omniscient) narrator during the second transit: "Nick Hopewell ceased to exist." So did the people who were awake during the first transit.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Toomy is unstable and murderous but he does have a very good Freudian Excuse for his behavior.
  • Moral Event Horizon: As sad a character as Mr. Toomy is, what does he do to Dinah, the one person to show him compassion and attempt to help him? He kills her. It's little wonder Dinah then decides to get him killed too, though she is sorry about it.
  • Narm Charm:
    • "SCARING THE LITTLE GIRL?!" It's the voice-crack in the middle of "GIRL?!" that makes it so delightfully narmy. Not helped by the fact that he starts his next sentence with a very Jerry Lewis-esque "LADY..."
    • During that scene, when the camera cuts to one of the women on board trying to comfort Dinah, you can see Craig making funny hand movements.
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    • Also, Dean Stockwell's entire performance.
    • What does the horrifying noise of the approaching Langoliers sound like? "Rice Krispies after the milk has been poured in", apparently. Made even weirder after it's called a "horrible cereal noise".
    • The miniseries as a whole, really. It's spectacularly low-quality by the standards of a King adaptation, but not at all unenjoyable.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Kate Maberly (Dinah) would go on to play Glumdalclitch in the Gulliver's Travels miniseries and Wendy in Finding Neverland. She also appeared as Mary Lennox in the 1993 film adaptation of The Secret Garden.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The miniseries runs on Narm Charm and Ham and Cheese acting.
  • Special Effect Failure: It's a 1990s made-for-TV series, and didn't age well.
    • There is no other term that can possibly describe the presentation of the Langoliers in the mini-series. Even factoring in the novella's explanation (the Langoliers were only A Form You Are Comfortable With: they saw incomprehensible shapes almost like machinery until they thought of the motion of bouncing balls, at which point that's what was there), the visual end result looks utterly ridiculous, and boasts rather low-budget CGI to boot.
    • The time rip and CGI plane used for in-flight scenes range anywhere from "pretty hokey" to "startlingly fake".
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: With her short hair and gender-neutral clothing, it's hard to tell Dinah isn't male.


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