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It’s pretty cool when the giant, transparent dome suddenly materializes over Chester’s Mill, Maine, and slices a cow exactly in half. For a moment, this CBS adaptation of Stephen King’s novel evokes the strange, claustrophobic horror of getting locked inside a fishbowl. It seems as though “Under the Dome” could turn out to be diverting summer entertainment, one CBS will bring back next year if this 13-episode run is popular. In the spirit of TNT’s “Falling Skies,” the show, which premieres Monday night at 10, promises popcorn thrills about an apocalyptic event and a bunch of survivors.
But then so much is working against “Under the Dome,” it’s hard to get genuinely excited. While the arrival of the dome is intriguing, the characters are not.