First off, I love the novel. I've read it twice over, planning on rereading it again as soon as I'm done rereading IT. This is not a review of the novel. This is purely my thoughts on The Stand miniseries as I watch it, purposefully blocking out what I know from the novel so as to only judge the miniseries.
The film starts off with a major incident instead of some super secret government lab, wherein some horrible virus breaks out and kills almost everyone in the surrounding area, save for one thoughtless asshole that manages to not only escape but destroy the chainlink fence keeping people out of said area. Nice going, Typhoid Mary. What follows is easily the greatest opening in miniseries history: Shots of the effects of the virus set to "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. There's just something about seeing all of these dead people, all taken quickly while going about their business, set to one of the best (in my opinion) classic rock songs of all time.
The military gets word of this and does their best to try and hold back the infection, but apparently it has a 99% rating, so obviously only Madagascar will be safe. It turns out that our Typhoid Mary managed to drive halfway across the US, and most likely spread the disease to each place he stopped at before finally dying in the arms of Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump, who has recently regrown his legs, so the government sends out a bunch of military types to lockdown the town to prevent the disease from escaping.
We also get introduced to some assholish wannabe rock musician, Larry, who tries to get money from his mother because he owes some serious money to some thugs. Also his car is full of multiple copies if his album, for some reason the cover of it made me laugh. What is it with people named Larry and being scum-bags in entertainment? Three's Company, Leisure Suit Larry, etc. We need some good Larrys. Pope Larry, Nurse Larry, etc. Anyway, my fellow b-grade fans will recognize Larry as being Royce from Highway to Hell. Lt. Dan's been quarantined in a hospital where they're monitoring everyone that came into contact with the guy from the beginning, and he's the only person that isn't showing any signs of illness. We also get to hear the Doom door sound effect multiple times, this makes me happy.
Since this is a miniseries, we can never have enough characters! In comes Fran and Harold, the former is Molly fucking Ringwald and the latter is some dorky writer, played by Jonas Quinn from SG1, that appears to be stalking her. Way to go, King. You included a writer in one of your works and he's dorky, unlikable, and covered in acne. He's always got to have a writer character, and it's nice seeing them behave outside of his norm. We also get a deaf and mute guy who gets hassled by hicks, because as Rob Zombie has taught us, everyone with a southern accent just goes around beating up random people. Also he's played by Rob Lowe of all people. You know, young Number Two from the second Austin Powers movie, and the asshole from Wayne's World.
Here's where the film starts entering the paranormal/spiritual area most King works have to enter. After blacking out in the fight with the hicks, Nick, the deaf and mute guy, wakes up in a cornfield and speaks to a magical old black woman. You see, in many King works, there are magic wise people, and typically they're black. Even if a black person isn't magic per se in a King book, they tend to at least be very wise or possess important knowledge that everyone else needs. While there in her cornfield, he can magically talk and hear things, and she tells him that 'a storm is coming, his storm' before we see... uhh... an evil scarecrow? Oh no, this is Dark Harvest!
He wakes up, finding himself in a small town jail with a doctor that looks like Orville Redenbacher, and has an obsession with getting men to take off their shirts. I assume it's a joke, but he's so damn persistent that it's kinda creepy. Being hit on by Orville Redenbacher is my deepest nightmare, so this is automatically the scariest thing ever made. What next, a movie where the Quaker Oats guy is a serial rapist? A drama about Ronald McDonald whoring out the McDonaldland gang? I don't want to know what kind of STDs you'd get from the Grimace.
We cut to Larry, finding out he's a financial success from what one would assume is his girlfriend, before stepping outside and getting preached at by Kareem Abdul Jabar. I'm not kidding you. Kareem Abdul Jabar is wandering around shouting "Bring out your dead!" like a deranged Monty Python fanboy, and warns Larry of the impending apocalypse. We also find out that the disease has been nicknamed 'Captain Trips', which doesn't sound like a disease nickname to me. It sounds like a camo variant of the bondage pants goth kids wear.
Since the film wasn't full enough of evil hicks, we cut to Miguel Ferrer (the coke-loving, whore-loving, morally lacking inventor of Robocop, and the lead in Night Flier) and his redneck friend as they shoot a bunch of people in a convenience store with machine guns in a botched robbery. Swamp Thing (I didn't catch the friend's name) dies, but Miguel Ferrer lives to be arrested, but not before seeing... the long lost member of Molly Hatchet perching on top of a telephone pole transforming into a raven.
Things begin to seriously fall apart across the nation. The military has had to start killing people, entire towns are becoming unhealthy, many are dying from Captain Trips. I'd say the scenes dealing with this are probably the best of the series, it really does a good job of showing how chaotic and violent everything becomes as the disease spreads. The makeup effects on Larry's mother as she lays dying are just horrifying, and the shot of Time Square falling apart is really well done for a miniseries. We get shots of looters trampling people, shooting people, turning over cop cars, and generally ignoring Kareem Abdul Jabar. One of the leading military types that oversaw the attempts to prevent the spread of the disease ends up pinning himself with a note reading "Guilty" and then shooting himself in the head. It's some... surprisingly powerful shit, especially when Nick finds the dead body of Orville Redenbacher, though the mood quickly changes as he is forced to kill one of the assholes that attacked him from earlier.
Things finally cross over the insane line when we cut to Molly Ringwald and her dying father listening to a radio broadcast about the situation going on. A radio host talks to a few people dying from the disease, talking about the military gunning down unarmed civilians and burning their bodies to prevent the disease from spreading. As she talks to them, some marines burst into the room and execute her on the air. This serves as sort of a transition period between pre-apocalypse and the apocalypse. We cut back to New York City only to see it abandoned and on fire, the only human inhabitant being Molly Hatchet Guy from earlier, who magically kills a deer to let us know that he's evil. Kareem Abdul Jabar confronts him, only to be struck down via a magic-enduced heart attack.
Lt. Dan ends up waking up in the cornfield just like Nick did earlier, talking to the magic old woman Abigail before being frightened by... that same scary red-eyed scarecrow. He wakes up only to find that the hospital he's been held at has been abandoned, save for some corpses and one surviving scientist. After a bit of a struggle with the scientist, who ends up succumbing to his illness, Lt. Dan wanders out of the hospital and onto the streets, only to find that the entire city is pretty much empty. Molly Ringwald's father passes away, and she kinda has a mental breakdown and sews him a bodybag while singing Amazing Grace. It's actually pretty damn moving, I guess I usually don't expect much from a miniseries adaption.
Larry wanders around an abandoned city, seeing dead people strewn about until he bumps into Nadine Cross, played by Maya from Just Shoot Me, and the corpse of Kareem Abdul Jabar. He survived Airplane!, but he couldn't survive this. We also get Molly Ringwald hooking up with Jonas Quinn while listening to Crowded House of all things. That's totally music for an apocalypse, I know I'd find the complete annihilation of all humanity brighter after a reminder that the members of Crowded House likely died as well.
The film then points us towards more of the.. evil side of things. Miguel Ferrer, as Lloyd, the murderer/robber from earlier, is trapped in a maximum security prison, where everyone else is dead, and he's been having to live off rats. We also get Matt Frewer, aka Max fuckin' Headroom, as Trash Can Man, a mentally unbalanced hobo that looks like the bastard child of Tom Waits and the Gyro Captain from The Road Warrior. He hears the voices of childhood bullies in his head before Dark Lord Evil Molly Hatchet calms him down enough so that he can leave a bomb ontop of a refinery and run away, leaving it to go off behind him. Matt Frewer is amazing in this movie, he's just so great at playing mentally unbalanced characters.
We also get to see the big bad from earlier scenes, revealed to be named Randall Flagg, tormenting the wise old black woman Abigail. Admittedly they're a big too heavy on the imagery between the two, and you do get a heavy "Heaven versus Hell" vibe going on, with Randall being very Satan-like. He even quotes "Sympathy for the Devil" when he talks to Miguel Ferrer in the next scene, after he frees him in exchange for him joining him. I... really dislike the way they do Randall in this film. In the book he's witty and charismatic. In this, he looks more like a roadie for Lynyrd Skynyd. He's played by Captain Deakins from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and done as a very smug, unlikable guy with some redneck traits. It just feels wrong. They at least got his outfit right, though. Personally, I think Alan Rickmann would probably be an awesome Flagg, especially for the upcoming Dark Tower film trilogy.
The heroes of the film wander about the US, which is now almost entirely abandoned save for themselves. Nadine and Larry hit New Jersey while Lt. Dan runs across an old man that has somehow survived all of this, as well as his dog which is also immune. Larry ends up having the same vision Lt. Dan and Nick had, of himself in a cornfield talking to Old Lady Abigail, while Nadine has a dream of herself with Randall Flagg in some dark sandy cave.
Nick finally finds someone else, bumping into a mentally challenged man, Tom, played by Patrick Starr from Spongebob (Dauber for you Coach fans) who spells everything M-O-O-N and can't read. Since this is a King adaption, you just know he's also magic. Mentally challenged people, like black people, always have magic abilities in King's works. I'd imagine King's god is probably a mentally challenged yet wise old black guy, like if Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty went Rain Man. I'll say this, Nick Andros and Tom Cullen are pretty awesome in their scenes together. Both are really sympathetic, and easily the most likable characters in this movie. We find out Tom also sees visions of Abigail, though he also sees visions of Randall Flagg. The old guy, Glen, has also seen visions of Abigail.
Harold and Molly Ringwald bump into Lt. Dan and Glenn. Harold starts randomly being an asshole to them, just because he's worried about losing Molly. Seriously, he's so god damn irritating in this movie that I just want to deck him. He's just a complete prick. He looks like a leather daddy version of Elvis Costello, which alone is a really odd thing to imagine, but he's just an insufferable jerk. Nick ends up running into Julie, played by Shawnee Smith. Horror fans out there will remember her as Amanda from the Saw series, but I'll always remember her as the ditsy chick on Becker. She hits on him, makes fun of Tom, tells him peptobysmol is poison, and just behaves like a general bitch until Nick slaps her and throws her to the ground, going so far as to show off that he's carrying a handgun. Nick is fucking awesome. The two get a ride from an old guy in a truck who helps Nick communicate to Tom Cullen, who can't read Nick's notes due to being illiterate.
Larry, now alone since Nadine left him, ends up running into a woman (Lucy Swan) and an orphaned little boy that is borderline feral along a highway full of destroyed and abandoned cars. Eventually Nick, Tom, and some others reach Abigail's farmhome. She tells them that God tells her things, and warns them about Randall Flagg's powers. She gives Nick a speech about how God chose him, and how it doesn't matter if he's an atheist, and then the gang set off for Boulder, Colorado.
On the flip side, all of the evil characters flock towards Las Vegas to meet with Randall Flagg inside of an abandoned casino. The synth music in this scene is so damn cheesy I laughed when it popped on. We get Trash Can Man, Lloyd, and three minor characters that don't really get attention, but they wear suits and are in the casino so we can assume they're evil. Maybe one of them is the long lost son of Hitler or something, I don't know.
The first half of the miniseries ends with the Abigail and her followers looking down a hillside and seeing more of her followers driving towards them, joining them on the path to Boulder, CO. Onto disc two!
Somewhere in the hilariously named Kunkle, Ohio, Lt. Dan is forced to operate on someone in a parking garage to remove their appendix. Sadly Lt. Dan is a bad doctor, and the person dies. I'm not sure who it is, since the sign they give him for his grave merely reads "burst appendix." It'd be interesting if more graves did that. I know mine will read "sat through Puppet Master 15, brain ate itself." The group of heroes, now completely together, seems to be pretty happy now save for the perpetually whiny Harold. We find out that Harold knocked Molly Ringwald up, but now Molly has the hots for Lt. Dan. I don't blame her, I guess I'd choose Lt. Dan over Jonas Quinn as well. The two decide that somehow it'd be a smart move to make out in the woods really close to where Harold is, and unsurprisingly he wanders two feet over and sees them making out. They at least have the decency to tell him, at least. I never noticed until now but, I think if Christian Slater dropped the hokey Jack Nicholson impression? He'd look and sound like Jonas Quinn.
We cut back to Las Vegas where Trashcan Man gets a glimpse of some really god awful CG version of 16th century Mecca, because, y'know. I don't know. We also get the return of a minor character Larry had bumped into, Ratman. Imagine Clint Howard starring in a blaxploitation movie, that is Ratman. He doesn't get too much attention so it's not that bad, but god damn when he does show up. He talks like one of the jive passengers on Airplane! and seriously does look like a black Clint Howard, right down to teeth that would make Steve Buscemi cringe. Trash Can Man talks to Randall Flagg, but this ends up largely being him repeating the same phrase that has made up half of his dialogue: "My life for you." Considering that he started saying this before Flagg even really did anything, this seemed awkward to me in the miniseries.
Maya's off in a cave with Randall Flagg, having a nightmare I guess. Then she wakes up to an even worse nightmare: She's in a car with Stephen King. Girl just can't get a break. Meanwhile our heroes have begun entering Boulder Colorado and are setting up a safe haven for humanity. Here they become really complacent and seem to have pretty much forgotten how horrible everything is/was. This happens in the book too, and is even a flaw that King himself has pointed out. In his defense, it's nothing uncommon. On the bright side we get a crazy old black woman laughing her ass off at a remote control lawnmower she's playing with, so that's all good. I don't know why this makes me laugh, maybe because it seems so random. Anyway the rest of the good survivors reach the Bolder Free Zone and Abigail's home. There's a surprisingly large amount of motorcyclists among the survivors, obviously God loves motorcyclists. Nadine's there too, and although Abigail gets an obviously really bad vibe from her, she seems to be okay with her staying for some reason.
We get a little montage of everyone fixing up the Colorado Free Zone, and then setting up a sort of government made up of people that Mother Abigail picked out. Not a single person votes against this, which at first seemed unbelievable to me but then again most if not all of them had visions of her. Then, later that night, Abigail leaves the Bolder Colorado Zone, leaving the less supernaturally inclined alone to decide what to do about the Randall Flagg situation. At least they aren't content anymore. They end up choosing the mentally challenged guy, Tom, to spy on Randall. I guess it kinda makes sense, but most of me still thinks that sounds completely dumb. "Let's send out the mentally challenged guy to spy on Randall." We do find out that Tom is latently psychic, so it kinda excuses it, but it still seems funny having a mentally challenged secret agent. His purpose is mainly just to find out if Randall is plotting to nuke the town. Personally, I'd worry he'd do far worse because y'know, he's basically Satan. I don't think he needs a nuke.
Harold and Stephen King, along with some people we've never been before, enter a church full of corpses as part of a plan to clean up Boulder. I'll at least say this for the scene: The corpse effects aren't that bad looking. They aren't really that good, and the scene could have easily been cut, but it's not unintentionally hilarious at least. After this we get Nadine acting as a seductress to tempt Harold over to Randall's side at Randall's urging. Honestly this feels really, really predictable and irritating. Harold's got some big issues that are obvious from the start, and Nadine is pretty damn obviously evil as well, even creeping Abigail out. You'd think someone would have the common sense to keep an eye on the two, but no, nobody does. It's like I'm watching Skeleton Warriors all over again. "What, Baron Dark is evil!?" We do get a really hilarious sequence where Harold is asked by a muppet zombie "Hey, you're a card, huh?" and Harold replies "Yeah, I'm a wild card." I can't not laugh at this sequence, it's so damn cheesy.
This is where the whole complacency thing completely dies down. Harold gets the bright idea to get TNT and rig it to explode next time there's a town meeting, killing the majority of the Free Colorado Zone people. This is why I said I don't get why they fear Randall -nuking- the town. The man can control people, the man has superpowers... and you're worried that he might get his hands on a nuke. That's like me being scared that Freddy Krueger might buy a handgun. Still, it turns out that Randall actually is working on getting a bomb, with the assistance of Trashcan Man. Also having Boogie Fever loudly play over someone rigging up a bomb is kind of hilarious, especially when that person looks like Elvis Costello's nerdy brother. I'm a little confused as to when this takes place. The book was 1980, but people keep talking like it's anywhere between 1950 and 1970. Harold himself seems right out of the 50's but makes references to disco music.
Abigail ends up returning to the Free Colorado Zone just in time for the bomb to get rigged inside of the committee house for the FCZ. Nick finds the TNT and warns everyone to get out, but a few people still end up dying in the explosion, incuding Nick himself. Abigail preaches to Molly Ringwald that this was part of God's plan, and that they've grown too content with live in the FCZ, and that he wants them to defeat Flagg. As she lays dying she instructs them to cross the desert to stop Flagg, and gives us a title: "Stand." Admitedly I'm confused as to why she's suddenly dying, but honestly the final quarter of The Stand novel was a bit confusing itself. Honestly, the more religious King's works get, the harder they are to follow at times. This can be especially problematic when he suddenly gets very spiritual in a novel, which is what happend in both Desperation and The Stand. It's kinda like he had a stroke 3/4 into both books, and didn't recover until it was too late. Not to bash King, though. The man's written so many novels, the majority of them are awesome. The Stand itself is still a pretty awesome book, I just don't really like the final quarter that much. It's like watching your favorite TV series and then hitting the season where it jumped the shark.
I've gotta say this about the film: The soundtrack is pretty damn awesome. Beyond CCR we also get some really nice blues guitar for atmosphere. I interrupt this praise because Harold, riding on a dorky looking scooter, just flew off like he was Superman and got badly injured. That looked so damn bad. Like he just flew. We also get overuse of the stock sound of a redtailed hawk. You may not know that animal by name, but anytime you hear "keeeer!" from a bird in a movie, that's that fucking hawk. Harold's legs are broken, but he deserves it for being a giant prick the entire movie. I really hate this in movies and shows, where someone's a complete fucking asshole but somehow getting hurt or having something bad happens to them makes them good. Harold fucking killed a bunch of people, I'm not gonna feel sorry for him because he broke his legs.
I love Ossie Davis. He always plays old badasses that are friendly but will not hesitate to beat the crap out of someone that deserves it. This is true in The Stand, where his character The Judge pulls a gun on a known evil guy, ready to shoot him before he does anything. He was JFK in Bubba Ho-Tep, that awesome comedy-horror with Bruce Campbell as Elvis versus a mummy in a retirement home. Sadly, he gets shot first, but he was still awesome for it. One of the two evildoers gets shot by the other for some reason, and the other possibly gets killed by Randall Flagg for it for some reason. Also Miguel Ferrer, why are you always someone evil? He's a villain in this, he's an asshole in Night Flier, he's evil in Robocop, he's the big bad in Mulan, he's voiced a villain in the DCAU at least once. I don't think I've ever seen him not play someone that wasn't at least fairly evil.
Randall's caught on that there's something suspicious going on with someone in the city, someone that is spying on them all. He can't read their mind though, because all he sees when he does is the moon. "M. o. o. n." I bet the kids from IT would have had an easier time if they'd only befriended a mentally handicapped kid. Pennywise would have been defeated for good really quickly. In fact, I think I'm going to avoid both Colorado and Maine unless I travel with someone with a mental disability, just in case. Just call me genre savvy. Randall interrogates Miguel Ferrer's girlfriend because she knows about Harold, she tries to stab him but he... turns her knife into a banana and ends up killing herself by impaling herself on some sharp glass after seeing Randall Flagg's true form: One of the kangaroo guys from Tank Girl. I mean I know some people would kill themselves after being reminded of that movie, but personally I enjoyed it. Also what the hell, banana?
A day or so later, Harold is still laying on a bunch of rocks, with two broken legs. He's only just now trying to move away. He gets out a notepad, writes out "Sorry, I was misled", pins it to his chest, and then shoots himself. I'm sorry but I just can't take pity on him. He was a complete asshole before he met Flagg, and he murdered a bunch of people. Fuck him. Getting backstabbed doesn't equal redemption. Dying does not equal redemption. Getting injured does not equal redemption. You have to actually do something good to make up for all that evil shit you did. If Bernie Madoff ends up getting paralyzed from the neck down it doesn't- the god damn hawk sound again. Four times in a row. This movie has used the red tailed hawk sound at least 30 times.
Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom, Trashcan Man has blown up the factory he was working at because he was getting flashbacks to how picked on and abused he was through life. I like Trashcan Man. I mean I can feel more sympathy for him than Harold. Harold was in his right mind the entire time, Trashcan Man seems to be not only mentally challenged but also suffering from years of abuse that have left him a complete psychological mess. You've just gotta feel some pity for him. Also for anyone that really liked Maya from Just Shoot Me, you get a good shot of her in a fairly revealing bra, with a closeup. Though at the same time we get to see Kangaroo Monster Randall Flagg again, so... Sadly in the next scene we also get him singing for some reason. Again, I think I'd probably like the character better as he's done in the miniseries with a different actor. Not to say the guy playing him is a bad actor, he just really doesn't fit to me.
Back in Vegas, things are falling apart for Flagg. He's received word about what all is going wrong, and word has gotten out about how he was outwitted by a mentally challenged person, and a bunch of people are apparently leaving him over it because they're doubting his powers. Honestly, I can see why. Randall seems to have a lot of powers, but he fails a -lot-. Seriously, he's almost like Cobra Commander. On top of it all, Maya decides to kill herself rather than give birth to his child. Seriously Randall, this just isn't your... year, is it? On the other end of the desert, Randall's found a gigantic warehouse full of nuclear bombs, because apparently we keep those in the military equivalent of CostCo. Just out in the open, stacked on top of each other, in high numbers. I say that sarcastically but part of me worries we actually do. I mean we've -lost- nukes before, maybe King's onto something there.
One big issue I have with this miniseries is that, even though it's 6 hours, it still had to cut out so much content that it really does hurt this miniseries if you haven't read the book. That's why I'm judging this as though I've never read the book. I've read The Stand twice, but unless you've done the same, this is... hard to follow. Many characters go unnamed, barely anyone gets any backstory or anything, things jump around to an insane degree, etc. I've heard talk of a movie adaption, I hope that doesn't happen. Seriously, the book is longer than War & Peace, you can't truncate it into one movie. You can't even truncate it into a 6 hour miniseries. I'd say it needs a 12 hour miniseries, that'd do it. IT's about the same length, at around 1,060 some odd pages, but you could probably shorten that fairly well into 2 films clocking in at near 3 hours. Thankfully? That might be happening.
Who are you people!?
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice! Stu and his group (Consisting of Old Man, Fat Guy, and Larry) are stalled because, much like Harold, Stu has managed to break his legs. What is it with Gary Sinise and legs? I hope to god he goes fishing with Tom, please tell me that'll happen. "That's my boat, Stu! M-O-O-N, that spells boat!" They leave him behind, but end up getting caught and jailed by some of Flagg's goons. Randall attempts to get the oldest of the group to get on his knees and ask to be let go, but the old man just laughs in his face, finding it hard to believe they ever found him to be scary. He forces Lloyd to shoot him, which he does, sadly. I've noticed old people in King movies and books tend to be awesome. Like the old lady in The Mist.
The next day, Larry and Fat Guy are brought before the evil city to be executed infrot of the entire population. Surprisingly, one of Flagg's me stands up before the crowd and calls out for them to stand up against Flagg, because this "isn't how Americans act." So Randall summons a really cheap CG effect which electrocutes him and covers his mouth with a spider web. This is where... things get retarded.
Trashcan Man drives into the crowd with a nuclear missile. He's obviously been exposed for too long, his flesh is rotting and everything. He drives a fucking nuke right up into the middle of this crowd, right infrot of Flagg. The mean bitch from earlier that was mocking Tom trips and falls ontop of the electrocuted guy from a moment before and ends up dying too, somehow.
Just then, the electricity killing those two people becomes... the hand of God. And activates the nuke, killing all of then evil people. I'm not joking, I'm not lying. This is the single dumbest ending in Stephen King history. It's a bit less dumb in the novel, but it's still his worst ending there too. It gives whole new meaning to "deus ex machina." Electricity that Randall Flagg shoots out of his hand BECOMES THE HAND OF GOD AND ACTIVATES A FUCKING NUKE THAT KILLS EVERYONE. What the fuck? Stu doesn't get to do anything, Larry doesn't get to do anything, nobody does anything! God just defeats Randall Flagg with the assistance of Trashcan Man! That's a horrible ending!
Tom takes Stu back to a cabin to take care of him, since he's dying from a mix of the flu and exposure. Then, just in case you had any suspension of disbelief left in you, the ghost of Nick comes out to guide Tom to some pills to cure Stu. I swear to god they might as well just have a wizard come in at this point and make everyone alive again. Stephen King can sit there and just go "It's maaaaagic!" Stu's completely healed, so he and Tom drive back to the Free Zone to be greeted by Stephen King himself. However, as if King finally realized his ending was too happy and pointless, we get a sad moment thrown in: The first baby to be born after the virus, Molly Ringwald's body, has been delivered. And it has the flu. Sadly, the miniseries doesn't really handle this very well. I mean it's an extremely horrible thing when you think about it, but the miniseries makes it melodramatic at best.
However, even this is ruined as we find out the baby is gonna be alright. We find this out from a doctor who looks and sounds so much like Doc Cottle from BSG that I had to stop by imdb to verify that it wasn't him. So there's hope for humanity, everything's going to be okay, happy ending! Babies ever after!
Overall, the miniseries is alright. I remembered it being much, much better, but it's pretty damn flawed. Still, if you've got six hours to kill, give it a try. It's not the best miniseries based on a King novel, but it's still far from the worst. The book itself is amazing, except for the ending which is still pretty damn awful. I think the only time I've ever facepalmed harder watching a King ending is probably Dreamcatcher, but then again the Dreamcatcher movie overall was pretty retarded.