Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Did any of you watch the A&E mini-series Bag of Bones, which aired Sunday night and last night? It was based on the 1998 Stephen King novel and starred Pierce Brosnan. My wife and I watched it and I thought it was perfectly okay, but nothing spectacular. A solid "C", in other words. Maybe once it's on DVD with all the commercials taken out, it'll draw the viewer into the story a little more and at least deliver a "C+" experience.
The problem is, much of the great character stuff from the novel- the nuances of individual characters, the rich relationships between characters, the actual number of characters- was significantly reduced to allow the story to be told over two nights. And, as everyone knows, although King fans buy his books for the sensational plots, we often become primarily engaged by the great characters King creates (I wrote more about this "bait & switch" idea in my review of King's most recent novel, 11/22/63, a couple of posts back).
So, with all the great character work from the book reduced down to its, uh, bare bones, we were mostly left with just the creepy plot and a handful of scary jolts. And those were certainly enough to adequately entertain, but lost a little something with the reduced character investment on the part of viewers.
Still, though, a Stephen King adaptation is always fun to watch, and A&E's Bag of Bones was no exception. And if the production gets a few viewers to seek out the long, rich novel on which it was based (you can currently pick it up on Kindle for $7.99), it'll all work out in the end.