I couldn’t help but feel just slightly disappointed by the premiere of “The Mist” (2017). It wasn’t bad … it just wasn’t as amazing as its trailer made it look. I’d rate it a 7 out of 10.
The first episode’s horror elements felt rote, rushed and cheesy. The pre-credits teaser was nearly campy. Director Adam Bernstein just isn’t Frank Darabont. (Curiously, each episode seems to be helmed by a different director.) And what seems like “The Mist’s” milquetoast main protagonist is played somewhat anemically by Morgan Spector.
Still, the show displays some promise. Instead of rushing straight into its otherworldly-monster MacGuffin, it goes to great lengths to set up some interesting human drama, and it mostly succeeds. Besides Spector’s ostensibly likable Dad, the characters felt fresh and interesting. (And regarding that human drama? I strongly suspect the individual accused of the crime here is not the actual perpetrator. That’s what the clues are telling me, anyway. It would be devilishly clever, I think, if his accuser turned out to be the one guilty.) “The Mist’s” attention to characters here is something of which I think Stephen King would approve.
The show also seems pretty ambitious. It places its diversity of characters in a number of locations throughout its small-town setting, and a couple are embroiled in some kind of interesting conflict even before the titular mist arrives. For just a single episode, it feels tightly plotted.
Anyway, if you’re curious about what the mist really is … there is an explanation in King’s source material — and I’m not talking about only the vague allusions in the novella of the same name. Die-hard King fans know it was further described in his “The Dark Tower” series. It’s been named as “todash space” by the denizens of one of King’s many worlds — it’s a monster-filled limbo that falls between myriad parallel universes: http://stephenking.wikia.com/wiki/Todash_space.