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YMMV / Under the Dome

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Both series and book

  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A common criticism against the book and series is that Stephen King merely ripped off The Simpsons Movie when Stephen King claims to have never even seen the movie and was only informed of the fact by his sister-in-law after he finished writing it. In actuality, stories about domed cities have been told for decades and Stephen King had originally come up with the idea in 1976. If those people leveling the accusation had bothered to actually read the book, they'd realize that it really isn't anything like the film anyway.
    • The Simpsons even referenced these criticisms in a 2010 episode. Mr. Burns threatens to trap Springfield under a dome, but when he's told it's been done before, he is surprised because he thought the idea came from King's book.
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    • Parodied in the third episode, where Joe's friend says people are streaming the Simpsons Movie continuously and calling it "prophetic".
    • Cartoon Network's MAD even pointed this out in their parody of the show:
    Homer: Hello, this has been done, it was the whole premise of The Simpsons Movie!

    The Series 

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Mostly-reviled officer Esquivel sacrifices herself to save Barbie's life in the season 2 premiere.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Granted, it may not have sunk in yet but aside from the single cop freaking out in the second episode, these people seem to be taking the fact they're trapped like spiders under a mug surprisingly well - this continues on through season 2, when the discovery of a way out of the dome doesn't lead to people screaming it in the streets and a stampede to get out.
    • Delayed Reaction: Until "Endless Thirst", when a full-on riot breaks out after the water tower is destroyed.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ben the stoner is proving quite popular among some reviewers.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dean Norris is part of a massive meth ring? Kind of ironic when you consider...
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Big Jim has certainly been a murderous bastard in the series, pretty much all of his victims deserved what they got to some extent. That, combined with his generally more sympathetic portrayal than in the book, keeps him from being too unlikeable. That is, up until he kills Dodee, whose only real crime was knowing too much about what Jim did. After that, any likability he might have had went right out the window. The crowning touch was him authorizing the building of a gallows. "Hang them higher than Haman", indeed.
    • Christine talking a woman into suicide and arranging for Barbie to kill a man in "Alaska".
  • Narm:
    • Junior's dead mother, Mrs. Rennie, has a studio full of terrible paintings that viewers are supposed to take seriously. As one reviewer put it, a drunk baby could do better.
    • Barbie and Julia's relationship can become this if you remember it's been going on for only three weeks (and after he killed her husband, yet portrayed as some kind of epic romance.
  • Seasonal Rot: Oh, it went downhill fast. The most popular online reviews of the series are entirely comedic, and nobody seemed to know why it kept getting renewed.
  • So Bad, It's Good: For some, this is the funniest comedy on CBS.
  • Squick: The cow sliced in half by the dome.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Look at Barbie's handprint remaining on the dome. Now look at the dome area surrounding the cow. Nice and clean, isn't it? Made all the more strange by how, in other scenes, we see tree limbs cut in half by the dome even though they aren't the focus of the scene.
    • The cow itself as well. It has nothing inside it but meat — no apparent skeleton or internal organs to speak of. Then again, given that this is network television, it's hard to imagine how they could've gotten away with more than just meat.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many changes to the characters are not well received by readers of the book, such as changing Barbie from a former Army captain and resident of Chester's Mill and a heroic figure into an outsider who also killed Julia Shumway's husband.
    • Some reviewers, however, have said that some of the character changes — particularly Big Jim and Junior being less in-your-face horrible — are for the better. Even Barbie's change makes him a more interesting character.
  • What an Idiot!: Despite having a radio station to co-ordinate their efforts, as well as having information from the outside world, it's only Julia demanding to issue news updates that stops the two DJ's from simply playing music as if nothing unusual is happening at all!
    • Hell, it seems like half the series is just the characters passing around the Idiot Ball. See Too Dumb to Live on the main tropes page.
    • Somewhat justified in the case of Joe. He's smart enough to figure out some of the mechanics of the Dome, the nature of Norrie and his seizures, in addition to discovering the Egg under the mini-dome in the precise centre of the dome; but is too afraid of how people would react to tell anyone about it.
    • And then, in Season 2, he completely ignores the fact that the way he's acting toward Melanie in front of Norrie is inappropriate as hell for a boy with a girlfriend already.
    • Linda doesn't bother informing everyone of Big Jim's crimes, relieving him of his position and throwing him in the nearest cell, but instead chooses to play second fiddle to him as he starts Putting on the Reich. Her actions during the Witch Hunt for Barbie make her seem even more idiotic, since she never bothers asking for any proof that he's guilty for the crimes Big Jim claims he committed!

    The Book 

  • All for Nothing: After all the manipulations and close calls, it's revealed that the town was a ticking time bomb all along thanks to meth-addict Chef Bushey. All of the meth lab and the propane was wired to explode and Chef was just waiting for the right moment to "start the apocalypse." No matter who came out on top in the town power struggle, the bomb was going to go off.
  • Complete Monster: Selectman James P. "Big Jim" Rennie is the ringmaster of a massive drug ring, apparently one of the biggest suppliers of meth in the whole country, and killed his wife—already suffering from terminal cancer—by smothering her with a pillow. To ensure that he remains absolute master of the town, he covers up the various murders and rapes committed by his son, Junior, and the gang of thugs he's commissioned as a police force. He kills several people who threatened to reveal to his subjects what kind of a monster he is; purposefully causes a riot over supplies just so he can claim a need for greater control; and frames the main protagonist, Dale Barbara, for everything that he and his gang has gotten away with. Then, because he had his gang steal huge amounts of propane—the only fuel source in tow— just so he could make more meth, he sets the stage for the massive explosion that consumes almost everything in the town, turning the atmosphere into little more than an assortment of poisonous gases, and then gets away with it, hiding away in a fallout shelter. He refuses to accept fault for anything that either he did or happened because of his decisions, even so far as to excuse his multiple murders as "sending them into the arms of Jesus", his faith allowing him to dismiss any of the multiple atrocities he does.
  • Ending Aversion: Hundreds of sympathetic townspeople being wiped out by a meth lab explosion in the final act can come across as a Diabolus ex Machina that sets up an imperfect climax.
  • Fetish Retardant: Two men ,Andy Sanders and Chef Bushey, kiss and profess their love for one another before dying in each other's arms. One is a skin-and-bones maniac in urine-stained frog pajama pants, the other is a middle-aged pharmacist. Both are tweaked out of their minds. And their last act is to blow up a barn full of gigantic tanks of propane. Still an oddly touching moment.
  • Squick: Junior Rennie's "girlfriends." Two girls he kills. Then he stuffs them in a pantry. And then has sex with their dead, decaying, dead, corpses. Repeatedly. And later on he makes plans to rescue two children for whom he feels love and responsibility to the same pantry. Just to keep them safe, obviously.
  • Take That!: Jim Rennie's name and policies make him a pretty obvious take on an evil Dick Cheney.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Not as strong as most examples, as the final act of the book is well-respected, but it still might have been interesting to see Andrea Grinnel's Hope Spot actually come to fruition, preventing the visitors day disaster, but perhaps causing a Civil War among the townspeople and there factions for the rest of the book.
  • The Woobie: Poor Ollie Dinsmore. By the end of the book his whole family is dead, from one accidental suicide and two quite purposeful ones. He even witnesses his brother's accidental suicide, and sees the aftermath of his mother's and father's.


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