Castle Rock (Season 1) (2018)

Hulu’s “Castle Rock” is a huge disappointment for me. The 10-episode series is inspired by the work of Stephen King, who has featured the fictional town of Castle Rock in a number of his work for years (including “Needful Things” and the short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”). However, without that knowledge in advance, one would be hard-pressed to see anything Kingsian here beyond perfunctory references here and there. Additionally, the narrative arc is frustrating and routinely underwhelming: Like “Lost,” it’s the type of intrigue-based series where the viewer gets further away from clues or a solution to its mystery the more the show goes on. The few explanations offered by the season finale are shrug-inducing at best, and the show ends with a whimper rather than a bang. In the lead, Andre Holland makes for a poor series lead but in his defense he’s saddled with a dour, humorless and unlikable character, while Sissy Spacek’s Maine accent renders her dialogue occasionally unintelligible and unintentionally comical.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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