Note to Hollywood producers: If you buy a good book, just stick to the book. Is it that hard? One of Stephen King's finest series of novels ('Mr Mercedes') was utterly butchered for TV. Poor casting for almost every major character, dreadful additions of plot that weren't in the book and just a travesty given how good the books were.
Now, with King's son Joe Hill's superb novel NOS4A2, we see a similar treatment. A fantastic book, wrecked by TV producers. Where to even begin with this? For a horror it's a slow as a wet week. The awful 'rubber mask' makeup and over the top voice for Manx really set the tone for the lack of attention to detail across the board with this.
Given how strong young actors were in Stranger Things, this needed to remain true to the book and have a young lead. Instead we have an Aussie actress who is 26 years old, playing an 18 year old, and she's obviously way too old for even this role. The actress playing her mother is a mere 10 years older than her, and they look closer to sisters than mother and daughter. Oh and the mother's accent! Yikes!
But why did the producers feel any need to suddenly maker Vic an angsty teen? Crazy choice. Suddenly we're burdened with all this high school melodrama and the feisty young character is now a whiny teen, played by a woman who's closer to 30 than she is to a teenager. She's the wrong actress at the wrong age, in the wrong part with the wrong director, using the wrong accent. She was great in Puberty Blues, but she's just lost in this show, and to be fair they did not give her a lot to work with.
The pace just drags as we get endless family arguments and a tedious sub plot about how hard it is to get into college - I mean who cares?
I highly recommend the book, but this is total garbage. Avoid!
I note that Joe Hill wrote another fantastic book called The Fireman which is also now in production as a movie or series. I would be very worried if I was Joe, because like his father, Hollywood rarely ever gets novels right and his legacy might be 'writes good books, which make terrible TV'.