I finally finished reading Stephen King's The Stand last night. I love me a good post-apocalyptic thriller and King didn't disappoint. If you're looking for a good read for the summer, I'd certainly recommend it. And, if you're like me, its going to take you all summer to read it. About half way through (my version was 1200 pages), I had to put it aside and read something else. It was just too much for me to take in all at once. If you don't know what its about... man-made plague wipes out most of the world's population and the few remaining survivors are caught up in a good vs evil battle of survival. Of course, there's more to it than that but essentially, that's what it boils down to. As an atheist, I don't buy into the whole God vs. Devil idea but it served its purpose in The Stand quite effectively I thought.
As I'd enjoyed the story so much, I was keen to check out the mini-series that was made based on the story back in the 90s. I had my own drama with the local library trying to get a copy and then when I did, one of the discs was missing. However, they finally had a usable copy for me yesterday and I settled in eagerly last night to start watching.
Where do I begin? The overall production quality was shit. Even for the 90s. This was terrible. And the casting? Molly Ringwald as Frannie? Are you kidding me? Did Stephen King actually approve this? Ok ok, I could maybe be ok with Gary Sinise as Stu Redman (barely) and Adam Storke as Larry Underwood was pretty darned close to what I envisioned from the book. And when I saw that Miguel Ferrar was playing Lloyd Henreid, I smiled. But Corey Nimic as Harold Lauder? Or...and this is the worst of all...Jamey Sheridan as Randall Flagg? The Dark Man, the Walking Dude himself. Oh no you didn't. Sadly, yes they did.
And then there's the story itself. Now, to be fair, I understand you can't include EVERYTHING in the book. That's fine but they left out sooooooo much in the first episode alone I found that I was only able to follow along because I'd read the book. If I hadn't read it, I would have been completely lost!
I'd really like to see this brought to the screen again. Not in a movie necessarily but think of a one season only series. HBO managed to capture most of the first book in series one of Game of Thrones and it was pretty darned amazing. Would it be so difficult to do something similar for The Stand? It certainly wouldn't cost as much and it would only be one season. Pretty please?! And if someone does, please don't fuck up the casting. Again.