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Oranaiche

11.22.63

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EDITOR NOTE:

This topic replaces the old forum for this show which has been vaulted here:
http://forums.previously.tv/forum/2252-112263-v/

Original post:

I didn't love it. I could go on and on about the reasons why, but something that really stuck out to me was that they changed Harry Dunning's hometown to some random place in Kentucky instead of Derry, Maine. Derry is a pretty important (fictional) place in the Stephen King universe, and I was annoyed that it was left out altogether. On that same thread, in the book Jake went to Derry before going to Dallas, and I don't see why they needed to change that in the show. With eight full episodes, I doubt it was a time constraint problem. I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers, but I just preferred the timeline as it was written in the book. Granted in the book the portal went to September 1958, not 1960, but I think they could have still worked with that amount of time.

To answer an earlier poster's question, although the diner is not there to get back to the portal in the 1960's, in the book it is described as an "invisible staircase." Jake actually places a stone strategically the first time he goes back to make sure he can find the portal to get back to the future. The portal also doesn't let out on a busy street, but in an abandoned area by a mill where there aren't a ton of people around to see a time traveler materialize.

I'm really not sure how I feel about James Franco in this role yet. I'll give it a few more episodes, but I'm not sure I'm going to make it to the end.

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I'm one of the few who is not a Stephen King fan, since many of his ideas seem (to me) to be a hodgepodge of ideas from other writers. On the other hand I enjoy time travel tales and I'm willing to give this a chance, but then I wondered something. Would this be the rare case of a character actually having lived in the world and seen/read other time travel stories so they are at least aware of some of the hazards of time travel? It seems to me that I have yet to see a time travel movie where the adventuring character acknowledges that others have thought and explored the issues around time travel...no, they just blunder on backwards (or forwards) and seem oddly surprised that no good comes from their endeavor. Now I haven't seen every movie or read every story on the topic so I could well have missed one that integrated this idea. Maybe it is left out for good reason. Having seen/heard/read the potential risks of time travel (which is causing more harm than good) would one still go (short story if they don't).

Sound observation. This is actually touched on in the book, but from what I saw in the first episode will probably be left out of the show altogether. Jake goes back in time the first time to "run a test", if you will, to see how it affects the future. In the book the whole idea is that every time you go into the past you reset what you did in the past the last time, so he does his experiment knowing he can go into the past again to reset anything he might make worse.

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I wondered the same thing. I guess it was for security since at the time he was planning to stay the entire three years? I also missed what tipped off the secret service at the Kennedy VIP meet-and-greet after they initially let him in.

I thought one of them had talked to George de Mohrenschildt (offscreen) who told them that he did not invite anyone named Al Templeton. They could also have been keeping an eye on him after he said he needed to meet George de M. but never talked to him.

 

I too was curious why the timeline and locale had been changed re Harry's family. I guess it would have seemed like too much of a digression if he had tried to save them first, for those not familiar with the book?

 

Was the waitress in the 1960 diner the same woman who was sitting with Jake at the adult education graduation ceremony?

 

Well done, apart from the changes from the book. James Franco looked gorgeous in his 1960 suits!

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Do you guys think it is going to reset at all? With how quick things were going - he already went to Dallas, met Sarah (Sandy? I forget her name), etc., it seemed to me and my husband that they weren't going to do any resets at all. Which seems dumb - there's already so many things that went wrong that he could fix. The story just seems to be going forward so quickly that to me, it seems like they aren't doing any resets!

 

We liked it. Just didn't understand some of the changes from the book and I'm sure I don't even remember everything. Also don't get why they made Harry's family be in Kentucky and why they had to have us go to Dallas before anything. I know the book is kind of "slow-burning" so maybe the TV people felt it needed more action upfront.

Edited by BrittaBot

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Though I devour everything I can about the JFK assassination, Stephen King's novel was very much an exception. I have simply never enjoyed his writing. Which is funny because I have, more often than not, enjoyed film and TV adaptations of those very same novels.

You should, the book reads like a breeze. I tried getting into King with Under The Dome and it was one of the very few books in my life I put down and never finished. This one is my favorite book I've read in a long while.

Which brings me to this pilot. I was let down by it. My fault, I shouldn't have expected it to be as good as the book, or even compare it to the book - adaptations are different beasts after all. I just read the book 3-4 months ago so it is still fresh in my mind.

So far it's missing few things that I loved about the story the most.

1. Though past is pushing back, it is also harmonizing, tying a lot of random things together, making them not so random after all. I think that was the part of the story that made Jake stay to his task and not give up like he did at the end of the episode.

2. Charm of the relationships and smart and funny dialogues. Now that I still hope will come into place when he goes to teach in High School.

I wonder if he's gonna come back after he tries to save Dunning family, or will it be one straight shot at it.

I wish they spent a little bit more time showing how Jake is getting used to the 60s, loving it most of the time and being absolutely appalled with things like colored restroom. I get that they didn't really need Florida part, but jamming Derry and Florida in few scenes in hometown and then Dallas was a bit too unnecessarily rushed for me.

I get it, this was exposition. I'm not sure if it would have grabbed me if I hadn't read the book, but it didn't grab me, having read it. But book still has it's firm hold on me so it's all good.

I will stay with it, cause I'm interested in how they show his "sleuthing" and time and relationships in school, and I hope they spend more time on the world Jake came back to. It was the only letdown I had reading the book. I wanted more of "new history".

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I wouldn't have minded if the first episode didn't leap to Dallas right away. Some exploration and trial resets would have been interesting in and of themselves. Now it requires driving the entire length of the U.S. to return to the portal

Edited by lordonia

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Hi, everyone. I'm new to posting on the primetime series on this board, but I was happy to see this thread. I spent yesterday morning subscribing to Hulu and getting it synched in with our wide flatscreen television just so I could see this show as it began its streaming yesterday.

 

I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, but especially his later books rather than the stuff he wrote earlier in his career. I was blown away by Duma Key and have felt that it would have made a terrific miniseries - far better than The Dome, which while I didn't hate it, I think it's not one of his really good works, certainly not in the same league with some of his others, and 11.22.63, for me, was one of those. I loved the book and as a Dallas native, he was bang on about virtually every historical detail in this work. Some of his writing involving the period of time when Oswald was living in the mid-cities (for those not familiar with the Arlington-Irving area between Fort Worth and Dallas), along with '60s era Dallas itself, was incredibly detailed and painstaking in its accuracy. I was blown away (and most of the memories I have of that time were from the then-perspective of an elementary school kid). There are certain historic details that are so embedded in the Dallas-area itself, including some of its prominent people who played into the backdrop of actual events and those embellished later, and King was meticulous in so many aspects that it blew me away.

 

I was actually pretty impressed with the first episode. I wasn't sure what I thought about James Franco in the role of Jake, but after watching it last night, I thought he did a pretty creditable job. At least he seemed to get out of his own way, which is saying something. I'm looking forward to more.

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Do you guys think it is going to reset at all? With how quick things were going - he already went to Dallas, met Sarah (Sandy? I forget her name), etc., it seemed to me and my husband that they weren't going to do any resets at all. Which seems dumb - there's already so many things that went wrong that he could fix. The story just seems to be going forward so quickly that to me, it seems like they aren't doing any resets!

 

We liked it. Just didn't understand some of the changes from the book and I'm sure I don't even remember everything. Also don't get why they made Harry's family be in Kentucky and why they had to have us go to Dallas before anything. I know the book is kind of "slow-burning" so maybe the TV people felt it needed more action upfront.

Sadie. I wondered if the purse-losing lady was her but I wasn't sure.

I think the second episode will include a reset, in which Jake tries to save Harry's family.

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Yeah, purse-losing lady is Sadie, so the way Jake and her meet was totally changed up.  Plus, she's still with her abusive husband at the time of intro, so meh.

 

I would think there will be a reset or why have Al mention in in the first episode at all?

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You should, the book reads like a breeze. I tried getting into King with Under The Dome and it was one of the very few books in my life I put down and never finished. This one is my favorite book I've read in a long while.

 

I will sign off on this as well! My husband has read all of SK's books. I've read this one and Mr. Mercedes and the sequel. MM and sequel were fine books. I know what you mean about not being able to get into SK's writing. I have had a bit of that in the past. But I can say that 11.22.63 is honestly one of my favorite books that I have ever read. It is written really well, flows, and I ran through it. I honestly couldn't put it down!

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So I didn't originally post here but it looks like I got moved, lol. I guess I'll go ahead and add a few more things.

I really disliked the brief first trip into the past. They could have at least spent a few minutes on it. I absolutely loved the way that trip was written in the book, with Jake getting his first 1960's root beer and being stunned by how good it tasted. For me it set up his excitement for what he was considering embarking on. There was no excitement in the show IMO.

I also didn't like how they set up the Sadie thing in the first episode. It's way too soon, and just plain wrong having her living there with her husband. He's supposed to be several states away. I realize that by the time Jake comes back to Dallas and they meet again she'll be Sadie Dunhill, not Sadie Clayton, but the whole thing is supposed to be that she fled and moved across country to get away from her husband.

I hated the scene with the cockroaches. It's a much less sophisticated version of the past pushing back than was in the book. It's been about a year, maybe more, since I read it, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember anything as basic as getting swarmed by random bugs being in the book.

I guess I'm just disappointed because I'm such a big fan of King and also a fan of JJ Abrams. I didn't expect a completely accurate representation of the book, but I expected it to be better than this. It's only the first episode though so I'll give it some time. I really hope they do the ending right because if they do it has the potential to be beautiful. I was a blubbering mess when Jake met "old" Sadie. Honestly, it destroyed me, but only in the way that really good books can do.

Edited by Oranaiche
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So I didn't originally post here but it looks like I got moved, lol. I guess I'll go ahead and add a few more things.

I really disliked the brief first trip into the past. They could have at least spent a few minutes on it. I absolutely loved the way that trip was written in the book, with Jake getting his first 1960's root beer and being stunned by how good it tasted. For me it set up his excitement for what he was considering embarking on. There was no excitement in the show IMO.

I also didn't like how they set up the Sadie thing in the first episode. It's way too soon, and just plain wrong having her living there with her husband. He's supposed to be several states away. I realize that by the time Jake comes back to Dallas and they meet again she'll be Sadie Dunhill, not Sadie Clayton, but the whole thing is supposed to be that she fled and moved across country to get away from her husband.

I hated the scene with the cockroaches. It's a much less sophisticated version of the past pushing back than was in the book. It's been about a year, maybe more, since I read it, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember anything as basic as getting swarmed by random bugs being in the book.

I guess I'm just disappointed because I'm such a big fan of King and also a fan of JJ Abrams. I didn't expect a completely accurate representation of the book, but I expected it to be better than this. It's only the first episode though so I'll give it some time. I really hope they do the ending right because if they do it has the potential to be beautiful. I was a blubbering mess when Jake met "old" Sadie. Honestly, it destroyed me, but only in the way that really good books can do.

I agree on all points. Jake was excited, he became a fan of what he was set out to do, he agreed before Al died, not because he did.

I'm not sure how they will turn Sadie around. She lives in Dallas? in 1960? with her "broom" husband? Jake is going to go to teach soon, and after a semester I think will meet a new librarian Sadie, that moved there to run away from her husband. I guess it will be easier for past to push against her when Jake will try to see if Oswald was acting alone trying to shoot the general. But it will make everyone around her a lot more stupid and oblivious, because in the book everyone brushed off the possibility of Sadie's ex to come back. Only Jake saw it coming, because by then he saw how past harmonizes and he saw Harry Dunning thing all over again unfolding.

And you are right, past wasn't so "cheap" in it's tricks in the book, it was pretty clever in it's "naturalness". It's natural to get a nasty bug, it's natural for the road to be blocked by a tree, it's natural to get into a car accident, I can go on... but giant roaches swarming all over you... cheap cliché.

I also don't remember past ever pushing in the exact same way: how Al was able to coach Jake through getting to that CIA-DeMohrenschildt meeting.

I wish they left the story about a girl in the wheelchair, because her story and Dunning family story set up the whole dual philosophy of changing events for me.

Jake made a mistake of "becoming" a guardian angel first time around, but it seemed like Dunning family was better off with his meddling. The girl in the wheelchair... It showed (at least to me) that sometimes tragedy has to happen to make a person the best version of themselves.

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I agree on all points. Jake was excited, he became a fan of what he was set out to do, he agreed before Al died, not because he did.

I'm not sure how they will turn Sadie around. She lives in Dallas? in 1960? with her "broom" husband? Jake is going to go to teach soon, and after a semester I think will meet a new librarian Sadie, that moved there to run away from her husband. I guess it will be easier for past to push against her when Jake will try to see if Oswald was acting alone trying to shoot the general. But it will make everyone around her a lot more stupid and oblivious, because in the book everyone brushed off the possibility of Sadie's ex to come back. Only Jake saw it coming, because by then he saw how past harmonizes and he saw Harry Dunning thing all over again unfolding.

And you are right, past wasn't so "cheap" in it's tricks in the book, it was pretty clever in it's "naturalness". It's natural to get a nasty bug, it's natural for the road to be blocked by a tree, it's natural to get into a car accident, I can go on... but giant roaches swarming all over you... cheap cliché.

I also don't remember past ever pushing in the exact same way: how Al was able to coach Jake through getting to that CIA-DeMohrenschildt meeting.

I wish they left the story about a girl in the wheelchair, because her story and Dunning family story set up the whole dual philosophy of changing events for me.

Jake made a mistake of "becoming" a guardian angel first time around, but it seemed like Dunning family was better off with his meddling. The girl in the wheelchair... It showed (at least to me) that sometimes tragedy has to happen to make a person the best version of themselves.

Glad to see I'm not alone! I also missed the part about the girl in the wheelchair. That trip was when Jake really got a feel for living in the past and realized that he enjoyed it, but also how he wrapped his head around what he was doing and exactly how the past was going to push back when he attempts to stop the assassination. I think leaving it out is a misstep, but no one asked for my opinion. ;)

So far we haven't heard that the past is obdurate, it doesn't want to change. Wondering if Jake will say this at any point.

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I really like Stephen King, and I don't think there's ever been a faithful adaption of his books. I think of the movies as separate works, and enjoy them as such.

I haven't read this page's thread because I don't want to be spoiled, but I wanted to respond to this from the main episode thread. I think "The Stand" was the closest television/film adaptation I have ever seen of the books of Stephen King's that I've read (granted, I've not read any in years). The actors looked to me like who I envisioned when I read the book.

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The intro credit design is incredible with all the images and visualization of the lines of time is amazing. I originally thought the accompanying music was kind of cheesy but as I watched the visuals I liked it more and more.

 

I don't dislike James Franco, but he is definitely not how I imagined Jake. I guess I always pictured Jake as older and with a little more gravitas. Franco is more lighthearted seeming and there's a kind of not-unlikable smarminess to his take on the character. I think this would bother me more if they were being more rigid with the book. But, even just one episode in, they have already made so many changes to the way the story is going to play out, I am enjoying this Jake. Looking at it as a different way of telling a story that I really loved. And I REALLY loved it. I've read this book three times and recommend it to everyone I know. 

 

For a minute I was kind of upset thinking they were going to skip over a bunch of important stuff (the past harmonizes) because he went into the past without showing Al telling him that. Now I see what they are doing, I think they are going to intercut memories of that all-important conversation with Al throughout the series, which I think is great. Removes the need for overwrought main-character voice overs, and kind of gives Jake a partner in this whole process who can help with exposition. 

 

I'm in for the long haul for sure!

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I kept seeing Yannik Bisson as Jake, completely apart from his Murdoch character, just visually.

And I hope the dancing will be a part of the show cause in the book it was almost a character on its own and I liked that a lot.

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I kept seeing Yannik Bisson as Jake, completely apart from his Murdoch character, just visually.

And I hope the dancing will be a part of the show cause in the book it was almost a character on its own and I liked that a lot.

I was actually wondering about the dancing yesterday. I loved the part of the book where he met the two dancing teenagers and taught them the dance, was it the Lindy Hop? I can't quite remember. And then of course his dancing with Sadie. I hope they don't leave that all out.

ETA -- this article mentions a dance routine. I can't watch the video right now but definitely will later.

http://m.eonline.com/news/739976/11-22-63-stars-talk-dance-routines-time-travel-trying-to-look-cool-in-bad-pants

Edited by Oranaiche
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I kept seeing Yannik Bisson as Jake, completely apart from his Murdoch character, just visually.And I hope the dancing will be a part of the show cause in the book it was almost a character on its own and I liked that a lot.

OMG!!! Now I need to re-read & see Jake as Yannik (whom I love on Murdoch Mysteries & STRONGLY recommend to anyone here to check out on Hulu). Thank you for that! :-)

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I'm enjoying it, but I don't like the addition of various aspects of Jake's current life, I guess meant to make us think Jake was unhappy. In the book I believe he was already divorced for a couple of years, and I don't think there was any mention of today's students being uninterested in the material. Also he wasn't trying to get Harry a different job. I just think they could have used that time more wisely.

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It's been a really long time since I read the book, so I don't remember how Al went from being healthy and well-groomed when serving Jake coffee in the diner, at the beginning, to unkempt and ill during the same meal.  Can someone help me out?

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I started reading the book since so many people recommended it, but it's pissing me off that it doesn't follow the TV show! Heh. Guess I'll have to wait to read it until the series is over.

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It's been a really long time since I read the book, so I don't remember how Al went from being healthy and well-groomed when serving Jake coffee in the diner, at the beginning, to unkempt and ill during the same meal.  Can someone help me out?

Although only a couple of minutes passed for Jake, Al was away in the past for two years. During that time, he developed cancer.

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I think it didn't go like that. Al called Jake to come see him and Jake saw that he looked as though he had aged several years even though he had just seen him a few days ago.

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I think it didn't go like that. Al called Jake to come see him and Jake saw that he looked as though he had aged several years even though he had just seen him a few days ago.

Right, that was a change from the book to the TV show. In the book, Al calls Jake and Jake comments on his hoarse voice and hacking cough. When Jake sees him next, Al is obviously sick. The show condensed all this into one scene in the diner.

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I'm pretty sure the slaughterhouse scene was created for the show. In the book, Frank is more superficially jolly to everyone, including Jake. I'm wondering if the scene, like the cockroaches last week, was added because otherwise people would think there's not enough horror for a Stephen King show.

 

I don't recall the stern landlady (who could have been the grandma of King's Carrie) or her husband's war story either.

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I've got to say, I'm really impressed with how they're handling this. At first I was nervous they just wouldn't do the Harry story despite that great opening, but I liked that they moved it to after Jake got discouraged, and I suspect whatever's going on with Bartender Kid is going to put Jake back on the Kennedy trail instead of going home

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I'm really glad they cut the Derry stuff from the show. I understand that King fans like it, and I'm a King fan too, but I still thought it was gratuitous and the worst part of the book. It seemed like an endless scene that existed only to scream, "THESE ARE THE KIDS FROM 'IT,' GET IT, GET IT, GET IT, I WROTE THAT BOOK TOO, HEY, GET IT" A nice Easter egg for an already massive book, I guess, but it didn't have any impact on the novel's plot, did nothing to move the story forward and in a miniseries that has zero connection to IT it would be nonsensical. I actually kind of resented the book implication that Frank Dunning was only driven to kill by some supernatural force (Derry being creepy, or by IT, or whatever King was trying to imply). It somewhat diluted the horror of an abusive husband and father who is able to con everybody else with superficial charm.

 

My favorite parts of the book were Jake's daily life once he settled in Texas (first Jodie and then Dallas) but obviously that wouldn't make for very riveting TV. The worst parts IMO were the side trips to Derry and Florida, so I'm glad they seem to be skipping those. My guess is that they're using the bartender/Clara's brother as both a sidekick (which is smart, so Jake's journey is a little less solitary) and to force Jake back to Texas without resetting time.

 

As for Harry, he was originally injured in his father's attack, and that's why he was "slow"/impaired in Jake's timeline, so the hope is that he'll have a better chance at life now that he hasn't taken a hammer to the head in the attack that killed his family. 

Edited by Drapers4thWife
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Viewers in the "Eyes of Texas" thread have noted the "couple" vibe between Deke and Mimi. In the book, there is no secret that they were lovers. I can't recall if she was African American in the book. I didn't think she was. 

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I'm feeling a bit disappointed in this series. I loved the book so much that I feel like the series doesn't have the same impact. Maybe I expect too much. I'm going to stay with it but I really want to just re-read the book.

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I can't recall if she was African American in the book. I didn't think she was.

I don't think she was either and I feel like the relationship between her and Deke would've been extremely unlikely in a small Texas town at that time. (In fact, there are places in TX where it would probably still be extremely unlikely) Whatever, Mimi's characterization has been troublesome to me, especially the way she wears gloves all the time, even indoors. Is it because she mistakenly thought her disease was contagious? Is it some Jim Crow-ish weirdness that doesn't allow her to touch the same things her coworkers or the students touch? Is there something on her hands that she's hiding? I really wish the show would explain what the constant glove-wearing is all about because from a simple historical standpoint, I don't think it's correct.

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...in the book Jake went to Derry before going to Dallas, and I don't see why they needed to change that in the show. With eight full episodes,

 

I'm sure I know the reason, even though I don't like it. The reason: Hulu/the showrunners/the production executives are selling the show on the basis of it being about a guy who tries to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Plenty of people who never read the book are going to tune in, saying, "Cool! A show about a guy who tries to prevent the Kennedy assassination!" If you show them an Episode One in which Jake never goes to Dallas, most of those people are going to feel they've been jerked around, and won't show up for Episode Two.

 

Purely a business decision.

 

My take (having now watched the first three episodes): The show is so much "less than" the book in every way imaginable. But my wife never read the book, and she's enjoying the show, and so I'm enjoying it to the extent I can.

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They've now diverged enough that I'm not sure where they're going. I can't figure out what they're going to do with Bill. Knowing the book ending, it really doesn't matter, but right now, they have a "crazy" guy knowing exactly what's going to happen to JFK, he has presumably told hospital staff:so when it happens, won't they all be "um, weird thing here..." And now George knows someone thinks JFK is gonna be shot....

The beating is right on, and his timeline with Sadie, but I kind of wish he had to pull her out of a funk like in the book because it was a huge part of his decision at the end of the book. I understand why they have the YCM showing up when things go wrong to help explain the push back, but I don't like it.

The Cuban missile crisis was something that helped Sadie believe Jake, and was a huge deal (and I loved the way he described reactions) at the time, wish it had been left in.

TV Jake is a lot messier than book Jake was, it's kind of annoying. Maybe they're setting Bill up to be guy Marina married, though in long run guess won't matter. (Trying to be vagish so don't spoil people who read this who haven't read book)

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Finally binged the entire series. It wasn't something that I'll rewatch, but they didn't entirely destroy the story. 

 

Using Bill as an ongoing character so that Jake has someone to talk to about the surveillance was a good idea, but they executed it poorly. Jake treated him so miserably that it ended up destroying his character in this adaptation. It makes sense that they needed to dispense with the character before the climax, but they could have done so in much better fashion. One of the easiest would have been to have him shot during the Walker stake out. Either have the police see him skulking away from the woods and shoot him thinking that he was the shooter or have Oswald shoot him (leaving it ambiguous to the audience if Oswald was alone or not.) Then have Jake REACT to his damn death. Have his interaction with George be over the top because he thinks he might have killed Bill. In addition, they should have made it clear that Bill is one of the people he checks up on after he returns home. Sadie needed to be the main focus of the end scenes, but it was like he jumped out of the window and we were supposed to forget about him. Perhaps just let the screen focus for a moment or two on a list of people that Jake wants to check. Have Bill, Deke and a list of the students that he connected to at the school. (Could have been a cool moment for book readers as well, seeing how many of them we recognize.)

 

I'm not sure why they made the changes with the yellow card man. The fact that he kept trying to interfere with Jake meant that it didn't make sense for Al to think that he was not important. When he was tied to the rabbit hole itself, Al could reasonably think that he was just some drunk from the area. If he was following him around the whole time, he's obviously tied to the time travel. In addition, the book making it clear that Al and Jake were killing these people with the changes that they were making to the timeline gives a reason for him to allow Sadie to be even if the changes weren't causing earthquakes/destroying the timeline itself. I suppose they didn't want to leave the open thread that SK never tied up regarding who these men are and why they are trying to hold the timeline and changes in their head. Of course, they didn't tie up who the hell he was anyway, so they might as well have gone with the original. 

 

That leads to the problem with the ending. In the book, Jake has reasons to understand that he will almost certainly kill the new yellow card man and possibly destroy the universe if he tries to have the life that he wants. In the series, he's told that the YCM could never save his daughter, no matter what he did. He has seen, however, that he can make changes, he just didn't like the result. It's not set up that the reset is even problematic, let alone catastrophic, so there is no reason that he wouldn't try, at least once, to have the relationship. I wouldn't want to see a montage of all of the times that he tries to have the relationship and she dies, but him just walking away doesn't fit. I don't know if they were trying to keep the option for a second season open by not making it clear that massive changes to time can end reality, but they needed to have a better reason for Jake to sacrifice his desire to be with Sadie. 

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Using Bill as an ongoing character so that Jake has someone to talk to about the surveillance was a good idea, but they executed it poorly. Jake treated him so miserably that it ended up destroying his character in this adaptation. It makes sense that they needed to dispense with the character before the climax, but they could have done so in much better fashion. One of the easiest would have been to have him shot during the Walker stake out. Either have the police see him skulking away from the woods and shoot him thinking that he was the shooter or have Oswald shoot him (leaving it ambiguous to the audience if Oswald was alone or not.) Then have Jake REACT to his damn death. Have his interaction with George be over the top because he thinks he might have killed Bill. In addition, they should have made it clear that Bill is one of the people he checks up on after he returns home. Sadie needed to be the main focus of the end scenes, but it was like he jumped out of the window and we were supposed to forget about him. Perhaps just let the screen focus for a moment or two on a list of people that Jake wants to check. Have Bill, Deke and a list of the students that he connected to at the school. (Could have been a cool moment for book readers as well, seeing how many of them we recognize.)

 

Good point about Bill, and to piggy back off that- not having read the book myself- it was one of my pet peeves of this miniseries that they spun up some red herrings and then just sort of... left them. Bill being a big one, but you mention George Walker as well.  We had that ominous snippet after they scope out his house the day before his attempted shooting by Oswald, when we see Walker notice them... yet nothing came of that.  Nor their early Jack Ruby meeting, or a dozen other little moments of seemingly meaningful alterations of the timeline.  

 

Bill is the most glaring, because Jake treated him so shabbily that in the middle of the show, I was starting to root for Jake's failure.  I think your suggestions are dead on: the death of Bill needed to linger enough for an impact, or have some follow-up, since this was a guy who helped drive the bulk of the plot throughout the show, and gave three years of his own life for Jake's quixotic cause... before being unceremoniously dumped in a loony bin then left to hop out a window when Jake shows up to play more mind games with him.

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I will say the main thing I thought that was lacking from the series is Jake having any sort of crisis of faith. He comes from our time, so he knows that the country has its fault, but it didn't crumble after JFK's death. And after the umpteenth time the past tried to kill him and Sadie, would he not think, "Hmm, maybe fate does exist and it really wants JFK to die." You can understand Al's feelings because he was traumatized by the Vietnam War and obsessed with the idea that JFK would've stopped it, but the series didn't show why Jake was willing to give up everything to stop the assassination (I didn't feel that way when reading the book, though it's been awhile). 

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I watched the first episode, decided I wanted to read the book first so read that and then came back and watched the rest.  Big mistake.  They took out so much and added so much other stuff that it just changed the whole story for me.  I didn't like the addition of Bill.  They took out Jake's (or, George's) writing of the book which was his excuse to travel to Dallas, etc, They took out the students....  I could go on and on.  What I didn't like the most is that they took out SO much relationship stuff that neither the relationships of Sadie and Jake and Deke and Mimi even felt earned to me.  I still have the last episode to watch, so I guess I'll go do that but I don't have high hopes.

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I completely agree that they missed so many of the relationship markers that they felt very superficial. Mimi, especially, was handled very poorly. Having her death happen off screen and just mentioned to Jake as an "Oh, um, sorry" moment was incredibly cheap. They also took away the moments that showed how much Deke cared about both her and Sadie and Jake. Removing his heroism from the attack on Sadie saddened me quite a bit. I never decided if the way that they handled the relationship between Deke and Mimi was cheap or kind of quietly brilliant. We saw subtle moments that made it clear that they were together, but they never discussed it with anyone. This meant that Jake was never brought in on Mimi's fears about the relationship, but it made it clear how quiet they had to be in that day, age and their social position. Deke and Mimi both liked and trusted Jake, but they still didn't feel that they could explicitly make their relationship clear to him. 

 

RE the red herrings. I don't remember anything jumping out at me (I didn't see Walker notice them, for instance) but that may be because I assumed that I knew generally how the story was going to go and didn't pay attention to items that didn't really fit that story. 

 

Back to Bill. There were several times in the course of the show where I noted that I just didn't like this Jake as much as the one in the book. They were almost all tied to his treatment of Bill. Jake just walking away from the phone while Bill was having a breakdown was both awkward and enraging. I think it was meant to show that he was overwhelmed by everything that had been thrown at him that day, but it read as a complete rejection of Bill and his pain. Then the next time we see them together, he's still using Bill in the same way and his rejection isn't mentioned. 

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I watched the first episode, decided I wanted to read the book first so read that and then came back and watched the rest.  Big mistake.  They took out so much and added so much other stuff that it just changed the whole story for me.  I didn't like the addition of Bill.  They took out Jake's (or, George's) writing of the book which was his excuse to travel to Dallas, etc, They took out the students....  I could go on and on.  What I didn't like the most is that they took out SO much relationship stuff that neither the relationships of Sadie and Jake and Deke and Mimi even felt earned to me.  I still have the last episode to watch, so I guess I'll go do that but I don't have high hopes.

I have the same complaint about the Jake-Sadie relationship; I Had to explain to Mr. Shelby, who has not read the book, that it was so much more than meet-talk-smile-be in love. Not earned at all.

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The book disappointed me in the same way all of King's novels have since Pet Sematary.   It felt bloated and rambling, the characters were so consciously Stephen King characters that they seemed like pastiches of his earlier work (for example, Sadie's husband who was a crazy quilt of Annie Wilkes, the serial killer from The Dead Zone, and a few others)

In that regard, this Hulu production remains faithful to the book.  It's disorganized, one-dimensional, too slow in places, and yet always convinced of its own importance.

My main problem with the miniseries (I have one episode left) is that Jake never seems to exhibit any true motivation to prevent the assassination of Kennedy.    It's not like Jake was established as being a great admirer of the man, or so disgusted with the way things are today that he's become desperate to facilitate a change, i.e., an aging civil rights worker from the 60s loses a son in the Baltimore riots, so he travels back in time to save Martin Luther King  (which would have been a MUCH better story).   

Instead, Jake seems to do it for no reason other than he was hectored by Chris Cooper and feeling a bit at sea after his divorce.  It's not cutting it for me.   Getting beaten repeatedly, killing people, causing Bill to commit suicide, Sadie to be slashed ... why?   What is worth that sacrifice?   What mortal stakes does he attach to saving Kennedy that it overrides his instinct for self-preservation and his concern for the relationships he's built?  One episode left and I haven't a clue.

(And is it just me or is James Franco morphing into John Leguizamo?)

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OK, my local cable system (Comcast) finally got this series on their lineup of premium content this week.  I purchased all 8 episodes and am currently up to and in 104.  I am deeply disappointed with my purchase.  I don't know why Stephen King allowed them to bastardize his book to hell and back. With The Stand he kept the series almost completely with the story line, but this 11/22/63 miniseries is a godawful mishmash and an almost unwatchable butchery of the book.  Two examples so far, just the major ones, there are many minor ones:

1. The show cuts out the crucial bet that Jake makes on the 1958 World Series win by the Yankees, coming back from a 3-1 deficit.  That bet sets into motion a chain of events that lead to the thugs almost beating him to death in the later stages of the book.

2. The series jumps from sometime in 1961 to March 25, 1963, totally omitting Sadie's mental meltdown in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, where Jake, for the first time, gives her the hint that he IS from the future when he tells her what Adlai Stevenson will say in the UN when he tells the Soviet representative that he is prepared to wait until hell freezes over for the Soviet response to the evidence of the missile installations in Cuba. His revealing that causes Sadie to later ask him, straight out, if he is from the future.  With these crucial omissions, the book has been bastardized to hell and back.  Damn!  Why did SK let them do this to his book?

I am so pissed at this butchery that I am considering not watching the rest of the series. What's the point?

jamesvaught@excite.com

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On 7/25/2016 at 11:08 AM, James Vaught said:

OK, my local cable system (Comcast) finally got this series on their lineup of premium content this week.  I purchased all 8 episodes and am currently up to and in 104.  I am deeply disappointed with my purchase.  I don't know why Stephen King allowed them to bastardize his book to hell and back. With The Stand he kept the series almost completely with the story line, but this 11/22/63 miniseries is a godawful mishmash and an almost unwatchable butchery of the book.  Two examples so far, just the major ones, there are many minor ones:

1. The show cuts out the crucial bet that Jake makes on the 1958 World Series win by the Yankees, coming back from a 3-1 deficit.  That bet sets into motion a chain of events that lead to the thugs almost beating him to death in the later stages of the book.

2. The series jumps from sometime in 1961 to March 25, 1963, totally omitting Sadie's mental meltdown in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, where Jake, for the first time, gives her the hint that he IS from the future when he tells her what Adlai Stevenson will say in the UN when he tells the Soviet representative that he is prepared to wait until hell freezes over for the Soviet response to the evidence of the missile installations in Cuba. His revealing that causes Sadie to later ask him, straight out, if he is from the future.  With these crucial omissions, the book has been bastardized to hell and back.  Damn!  Why did SK let them do this to his book?

I am so pissed at this butchery that I am considering not watching the rest of the series. What's the point?

jamesvaught@excite.com

I'm sorry you aren't enjoying it (although, it probably would have been cheaper to just get Hulu for a month or even free trial, since it's a Hulu original).  I never read the book, but did enjoy the show more than I thought I would.

However, while I can't recall the exact episodes, the show does do both #1 and #2, after a fashion; the core of what those two plot points you describe seem to be preserved well enough.  The 1958 World Series bet is replaced by the prize fight in episode 1, but without spoiling too much about the TV version, I'll say that in the show, Jake still has some costly mistakes to make about using his future knowledge.  The same goes for #2, as obviously the more time Sadie and Jake spend together, the more things will emerge about Jake.

In any case, I hope you give it another chance; I can't compare it to the book, but I thought it stood on its own when it was all over, and I think the two things you mention are still major events in the show, albeit somewhat different than the print version.

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On 7/25/2016 at 2:08 PM, James Vaught said:

Damn!  Why did SK let them do this to his book?

I am so pissed at this butchery that I am considering not watching the rest of the series. What's the point?

jamesvaught@excite.com

Based on what I've read over the years,  King tends to get fully on board any film project made from his work, give it his blessing and proclaim it a faithful rendering -- until the reviews come in.   Then, years later, he interviews that he didn't like this or didn't like that.  

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I mostly liked the show, but they really screwed it up with what happened after Jake stopped the assassination.  They Yellow Card man's backstory was completely thrown out.  In the book he was, like, some sort of (ineffective) guardian of time who went insane after Al and Jake kept tampering with the universe and creating new timelines.  In the series, he was some dude who went crazy because... reasons!  I guess he was distraught that he couldn't save someone he loved even with the time portal.  So he just stuck around in 1960?

 

Worse though was that literally no explanation was given for why the world of 2016 was in ruins when Jake returned.  In the book, Harry Dunning gives a good long explanation of the history since 1963, and how the world is basically screwed up because of the endless earthquakes.  In the show.... the world... just is a pile of shit.... because... something????  So that Jake would go back and undo stuff?

 

I didn't mind that they left Jake's side trek to Derry out of the show.  It was a silly distraction in the book, and an excuse to include the kids from It.  The whole section threw me out of the new book.

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16 hours ago, Thrifty said:

Worse though was that literally no explanation was given for why the world of 2016 was in ruins when Jake returned.  In the book, Harry Dunning gives a good long explanation of the history since 1963, and how the world is basically screwed up because of the endless earthquakes.  In the show.... the world... just is a pile of shit.... because... something????  So that Jake would go back and undo stuff?

There was some explanation after Jake returned to the present and ran into Harry -- Kennedy served two terms, and was succeeded by George Wallace in 1969.
Bobby Kennedy was never assassinated in 1968, and there was no war in Vietnam. And no 9/11.

Apparently the A Bombs rained down prior to 1975 when the Kennedy refugee camps were founded.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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6 hours ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

There was some explanation after Jake returned to the present and ran into Harry -- Kennedy served two terms, and was succeeded by George Wallace in 1969.
Bobby Kennedy was never assassinated in 1968, and there was no war in Vietnam. And no 9/11.

Apparently the A Bombs reigned down prior to 1975 when the Kennedy refugee camps were founded.

You got all that from Harry Dunning?  I just heard a bunch of mumbling. 

That still doesn't make sense.

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6 hours ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

succeeded by George Wallace

^__this explained any death and destruction to me. For those too young to grasp its significance, think Charlottesville (last weekend) times a million. With nukes.

ETA: I have to admit that I don't recall Wallace's foreign policy theories. If no one else clarifies, I'll do research and post later.

Edited by shapeshifter

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