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Primary Horror

I need to stop watching Nightline. True, watching the media play 'who do we want to nominate this week' is all good clean fun, especially after hours of reading and struggling to get resumes out the door. But the true horror hit during the commercials.

No, Dean didn't bare his breasts, and Kerry hasn't admitted to cannibalism. It's worse. ABC is airing Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. They're billing it as "new 15-hour drama series created directly for television by the award-winning, best-selling master of horror." It's not. It's a knock off of Lars Von Trier's The Kingdom. And if the web site is any indication, it's a cheap, unsubtle knock off indeed.

It's bad enough that Hollywood ripped Hellblazer, Alan Moore and Warren Ellis's horror-as-drunken-love-letter-to-London comic, out of Old Blighty and into L.A. (And drafted Keanu Reeves in to replace a cockney, to boot!) No, now they've taken a well-crafted, innovative (and frankly, far too out-there to show on network TV) series which sent shivers down my late-night spine in Europe and run it through the meat grinder. Before this technicolor travesty hits your little screen, buy, rent, or borrow a DVD of the original so you can mock the remake properly.

(Prof. Yin, I know how much you like TV. If you're even vaguely tempted, and you've got a multi-region VCR, tell me, because I'll loan you my copy. Really, it would be an act of mercy.)

UPDATE: Less than a few minutes old, and a reader writes to call me a fool for criticizing a show before I see it. Oh yeah, and to point out a broken link.

He's got a point: Kingdom Hospital might be the best thing on TV this year. And yet somehow I doubt it will live up to the original's style, insight, or subtlety. For only one example, in the original, the 'Kingdom' isn't really the name of the hospital. It's the name of the rather goofy, but bizarre and in some cases dangerous inner coven of doctors.


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I remember the original. Very moody and very, very good. I seriously doubt King will be able to capture anything other than campiness.
I remember the original. Very moody and very, very good. I seriously doubt King will be able to capture anything other than campiness.

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