Lately I’ve been thinking about the quote of “The banality of evil,” which is typical of this world. Yet in some cases very obvious and atypical evil arises. André Linoge is that very clear evil, however his arrival in the very Stephen King island town of Little Tall wisks away the veneer of respectability the people of the island wish to present to others. Colm Feore is fantastic here, switching from creepy uncle to pure demonic entity, often in the same scene at a moment’s notice.
Tim Daly’s Mike (in what might be his best performance ever) offers up a sharp contrast and is the mini-series’ main character. He is as good and wholesome as Linoge is evil, although Linoge asserts that usually what he encounters is the worst of humanity. Mike challenges him however lacks the ability to understand what his nemesis understands: people can easily turn on one another, and do so very quickly. It’s a bleak take on human nature yet every so often people band together only to fall apart when cracks begin to form. The center cannot hold was a theme in The Stand, and it’s revisited here as well.
I cannot say more about the final episode, only that it offers a very depressing notion about one’s fellow neighbors. I liked the second episode the best out of the three, particularly since it had some good creepy moments. Debrah Farentino is also great as Mike’s wife, Molly, and King adaptation regular Jeffrey DeMunn shows up as well, playing the town manager who’s exactly the kind of sniveling authority figure you would expect in a show like this.
Despite some obviously dated and low budget special effects (this is a TV mini series after all), I really liked this one. It’s probably one of the best of the TV King mini-series, which is ironic since it’s and original work from King and not an adaptation. Maybe that’s why it’s so effective, containing most of King’s strengths and little of his work’s weaknesses. I wouldn’t mind a modern day take on it though, although I’d make it probably only two episodes honestly. Viewed finally thanks to Hulu.
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