Review: A&E’s ‘Bag of Bones’ Part 2

Just go buy the book, okay?

“A curse upon you!”

And that is where I finally threw in the towel.

I hung on through roughly three hours of Mick Garris’s abysmal adaptation of Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, grimacing my way through the dumbing down of the book’s plot, characters and relationships. But when Garris arrived at the dark heart of the story, the awful rape and murder of Sara Tidwell and the murder of her son (excuse me, her daughter, because Garris had to change the character to a girl to fit his contrived version of the plot) and turned it into a laughable, cliche-riddled scene in which Sara – who, by the way, is a blues singer and not a gypsy or a witch – casts a very specific curse on her attackers, one that wraps up the events of the miniseries in one tidy bit of exposition….well, that was it for me. I fast-forwarded through the rest, stopping to check out the handling of a couple of key events.

But I’d already seen enough.

This was not a cohesive whole, not a fluid piece of storytelling;  instead, it was a clumsy stringing along of events that hit most of the book’s major occurrences, but captured none of its power or mystery. This is a story about the power of grief and loss, and yet I felt nothing as characters fell by the wayside in between commercial breaks.

And don’t even get me started on The Green Lady. Or the cackling, comic book cutouts that represented Rogette Whitmore and Max Devore. Or the absolute waste of the characters of Mattie and Kyra.

I will say that the death of Mattie, as it was filmed, was a shock. It was another instance of Garris losing all the meaning of her death because of a lack of characterization, and going instead for a cheap jolt. At least in this instance the cheap jolt worked.

But that’s about all that worked. I hate to think of all the people who will avoid the book based on this mess of a miniseries. And I hate to think of what King book Garris will get his hands on next.


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