Hulu’s ‘Castle Rock’ is Not Just for Stephen King Fans ~ TV TALK WITH BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – August, 2018

A death row attorney returns to his hometown of Castle Rock, Maine after receiving an unexplained call for help from the local prison in a new psychological mystery series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

‘Castle Rock,’ Hulu’s newest series, has a lot to enjoy. While it may appear that it will primarily appeal to Stephen King fans, that isn’t so. In fact, you do not need to have ever read a single word of Stephen King to enjoy this series. But it may enhance the experience.

‘Castle Rock’ takes place in the fictional Maine town of, you guessed it, Castle Rock. This is the town where many of Stephen King’s most famous stories take place. King fans will notice other characters from his stories mentioned in the newspaper clips shown in the opening credits. But the story is not based on any King work, it is specifically scripted for this series.

So far, through the first 3 episodes, the show doesn’t try to cram in too many references to past King works, but instead focuses on just a few members of this small, but spooky and mysterious, Maine town. This is a good thing. For the viewers who haven’t read much of King, you certainly don’t want to get overloaded with references that you may not understand.

The first season of ‘Castle Rock’ begins with the disappearance and recovery of a young boy in 1981. Fast forward to current day and that young boy, Henry Deaver (Andre Holland), is now a defense attorney working in Texas who returns home after getting a mysterious anonymous phone call from Shawshank Penitentiary.

When he returns he finds his old next door neighbor Molly (Melanie Lynskey), his mother Ruth (Sissy Spacek), her friend and former Castle Rock Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), and a few other locals who somehow will connect to Henry’s reason for coming. Bill Skarsgard, who most recently played Pennywise the clown in the recent film adaption of King’s famous novel IT, plays the most pivotal man to Henry’s return, a prisoner at the penitentiary.

Castle Rock’s appeal is that it has a dark mystery, and a darker evil, at the center of the small town. And like most of King’s stories, the parts that are the most interesting and intriguing are found not just in the mystery but in how the characters involved in it react to the events, how they treat one another, and also how their actions are judged by the other characters in the story.

‘Castle Rock’ is a must see series for fans of Stephen King, but it’s also a must see series for fans of good TV and fans of dark and compelling mysteries.
‘Castle Rock’ premiered July 25th on Hulu. New episodes are released every Wednesday through September 12th.

Bill Cushing

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