Thoughts & Essays

Quick thoughts on the first episode of ‘The Stand’

So we just caught the first episode of The Stand and there’s a handful of choices in this first episode that I’m not in love with.

I definitely don’t like Frannie’s suicide attempt. One of the things that stood out to me about her character in the book was the way she soldiered through her family’s deaths. Like, she was out of her mind with grief, but she was moving forward, burying her father, getting through the situation. She didn’t try to kill herself.

It was Harold who wasn’t coping well. Frannie actually stepped in to calm him down from a meltdown. So to flip the situation, have her attempt suicide and Harold save her? It’s just. Ug. Of course. Sure, have the creepy stalker save the girl, that’s never been done 10,000 times before. Lazy. Tired. Sexist.

Also, uh. How old is Frannie in this telling? Because Odessa Young is 22 and James Marsden is 47 and yeah, there was an age difference in the books, too, but goddamn, Hollywood, WTF. I seem to think in the book Frannie was mid-twenties, and Stu was – late thirties?

I don’t love the choice to jump around in the timeline, either. One of the best parts of the book was the morbid fascination of watching the world end. Jumping back and forth in the timeline steals all the power from that winding down of the world. The dread and inevitability of it all, watching the gears spring loose and people lose their minds.

Wasn’t super thrilled with the changes made to Stu’s storyline, too. Like, I get why they had to be made. Much of what happened in the book wouldn’t be at all possible now, what with the modernization of everything. It just takes a lot of the nightmare out of Stu’s time in the Vermont CDC base.

I absolutely loved the addition of Flagg being the one to hold the door open for Campion. That was an excellent touch. More of that sort of thing, please. I liked how the background noise of every crowd scene was full of sniffles, sneezes, and coughing. Also a nice touch.

Overall, this episode was like… a C+ or so? Especially for the first episode of a miniseries. Not a strong start. I’m hoping for a lot of improvement.