Instead of just a show quote-unquote ‘inspired’ by Stephen King, season two of Castle Rock is remixing King’s work directly: characters plucked from the pages of different King stories interacting in familiar settings in new ways.Culture Crash 19-47
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While the first season had its moments, one truly great episode titled The Queen (The Hollywood Reporter), immediately jumps to mind, it ultimately left King fans like me feeling a little cold. We were promised a King multiverse show and instead got a stock TV show that was laced with King references and actors, but that didn’t really include any King favorites in the fold (New York Times).
Now, though, season two is managing to deliver on the show’s pitch much more directly. Central to this season is Annie Wilkes, the Misery antagonist who won Kathy Bates an Academy Award. Other characters include Ace Merrill from The Body, which was adapted into the movie Stand By Me, and, in addition to Castle Rock, season two ventures into Jerusalem’s Lot, famously referred to as Salem’s Lot, and to really drive things home, the show also includes the town’s infamous Marsten House.
Instead of just a show quote-unquote “inspired” by Stephen King, season two of Castle Rock is remixing King’s work directly: characters plucked from the pages of different King stories interacting in familiar settings in new ways. Add in a terrific performance from Lizzy Caplan that recalls all the best parts of Bates’ Annie Wilkes performance, and you have a season of TV worth getting spooked by.
Castle Rock is now streaming on Hulu, and new episodes are released on Wednesdays.
I’m Evan Rook.