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The Boston Globe



‘Under the Dome’ starts fast, then gets too familiar

It’s pretty cool when the giant, transparent dome suddenly materializes over Chester’s Mill, Maine, and slices a cow exactly in half. Don’t worry, faint of heart and animal lovers everywhere; the makers of “Under the Dome” don’t show us any artful gut splatter or a “CSI”-style still life of organic matter. The slice is clean. Then birds fall from the sky after flying into the dome, and so does a plane. Radios and TVs cut off, and a few people have seizures and start muttering nonsense about the stars.

For a moment, this CBS adaptation of Stephen King’s novel evokes the strange, claustrophobic horror of getting locked inside a fishbowl — an actual fishbowl, not the fake camera-driven ones of “Big Brother” and “The Real World.” It seems as though “Under the Dome” could turn out to be diverting summer entertainment, one that CBS will bring back next year if this 13-episode run is popular. In the spirit of TNT’s “Falling Skies,” the show, which premieres Monday night at 10, promises popcorn thrills about an apocalyptic event and a bunch of survivors.

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