‘Under The Dome’: Your Tongue-In-Cheek Guide To CBS’ Summer Flagship

Last year, I recapped all thirteen episodes of Under The Dome, something that started with joy as at least one character turned out to be interesting, and slowly turned to dismay as the plot meandered, and turned into contempt as the show bottomed out with a loathsome finale the producers tried to insist was our fault for not getting. So, with that in mind, here’s what new viewers need to know about Under The Dome.

Where does this titular dome land?

Chester’s Mill, ME, where apparently the state of Maine has rounded up every sociopath, drug addict, and moron and left them to die. Seriously, Chester’s Mill is so dysfunctional in this series it makes moving to Castle Rock seem like a good idea.

Who are our ostensible heroes?

First of all, there’s Truman, who appears to be the only dog in the entire town. Truman is just adorable. They won’t kill Truman because it’s network TV, and he’s just too cute to die.

The humans around him are a little less so. The ‘hero’ is Dale Barbara, better known as Barbie, a former local mob enforcer and former military guy who serves as the action hero, and who’s really good at kicking people in the face. Also part of our august crew is Julia, the incompetent reporter who is probably knocked way the hell up with Barbie’s child, which is awkward since Barbie accidentally killed her husband; three bratty teenagers who communicate with the Dome and mostly serve to interrupt plot momentum and tell us what we’ve already seen on screen; and maybe like two or three other people who will probably die in the season opener and won’t be missed.

We told you this town sucked.

Who are the bad guys?

More or less every other named character, deliberately or accidentally. Most notable are Big Jim…

Hey, that guy was on Breaking Bad!

Yes, Dean Norris is the name. Big Jim started off as a character doing the right things for the wrong reasons before going whackadoo because the show needed a second season to happen. He’s assisted by his son, Junior. Junior can best be explained by his decision to lock his girlfriend up in a bunker until she decided to love him again. In most shows, this would assure his brutal death; instead they spent the latter half of the season trying to “redeem” Junior by essentially making him sound even crazier.

There’s also Linda. Linda’s an idiot. Assume that when Linda appears, she’s about to do something stupid; you will never be led astray.

What’s behind this dome?

CBS desperately needing viewers for the summer. Joking aside, the show hasn’t made that clear. In the book it was a bunch of pubescent aliens finding humans starving to death funny, but in the show, who knows. There’s a lot of portentousness and hints that the dome is actually protecting Chester’s Mill from something worse, like the Children of the Corn sequels. But so far, it’s just been kind of sitting there, like the plot device it is.

I’m not going to stream the first season off of Amazon, how did it end?

The dome goes white right when they’re about to hang Barbie. Seriously. That’s it. Presumably the season premiere will pick up immediately afterwards, and give us an actual wrap-up for those events.

Will the second season improve?

Their best writer quit, so we’re not hopeful. But, hey, you can still drink and throw things at the screen, and if nothing else, it’s still better than Acronyms Solving Crime or whatever the hell CBS airs these days.