This Friday Amazon will drop its hotly anticipated miniseries The Stand this week, but is it worth checking out?
For the uninitiated, The Stand is the adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name in which a flu epidemic wipes out more than 99% of the population.
Instead of starting with the release of the virus, we are thrown straight in the aftermath. There are dead bodies galore as we are introduced to Harold Lauder (Owen Teague), who has arrived to help clean up the mess. We are soon given a flashback to Harold’s time before the aftermath where he is seemingly immune to the virus. His crush Frannie Goldsmith (Odessa Young) is also immune but must face a choice. Elsewhere in Texas, we meet Stu Redman (James Marsden), a survivor of a shocking accident. All three are th main focus of the pilot episode.
With each of the six episodes offered for this review, we are introduced to a slew of characters. New York City singer Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) begins a journey that will bring him together with Nadine (Amber Heard) and mysterious child Joe (Gordon Cormier); then there’s mute Nick (Henry Zaga) who crosses paths with Tom Cullen (Brad William Henke) who is mentally disabled. Everyone receives messages from angel Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg), who is trying to balance out Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man who’s getting responses from notorious spree killer Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff) and the pyromaniac known only as Trashcan Man (Ezra Miller).
The Stand, developed by Josh Boone and Benjamin Cavell, isn’t told in a linear fashion, and while that may help the story move faster, there are time when it disrupts the story and tension, leaving certain arcs feelings rushed. In saying that, the cast do an amazing job with a compelling adaptation, and with a new ending written by Stephen King, it’s sure to delight and surprise those who have read the book.
The Stand is available on Amazon Prime Video From Friday