Ezra Miller in ‘The Stand’
Welcome to Weekend Binge. Every Friday we’ll bring you an over the top title designed to keep you from going too crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The right timing: the stand
How ironic that two major continuous events of recent months relate to a global pandemic? It’s a Sin and The Stand walked past the cameras ahead of COVID-19, and both were found to be oddly premonitory.
In the latter’s case, the horror of the story takes on a new meaning. The Stand is adapting Stephen King’s magnum opus for the second time, and features a cast of game stars ready to fight for the future of humanity. The storyline: A highly contagious respiratory virus is spreading (seriously) around the world at lightning speed, wiping out 99% of the world’s population in the process. As the few survivors mull over how to move forward in the midst of the decimation, they begin to dream of a nice old woman named Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg) and an alluring dark figure called Randal Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård, often naked and sexy as always). The remaining Americans begin to assemble under Abigail’s watch in Boulder, Colo., And Flagg’s in Las Vegas. Tensions between the two communities are mounting as both sides must take a stand in an epic battle for the future of humanity.
The booth features top-notch production values and terrific cast, including Goldberg, Skarsgård, James Marsden, Jovan Adepo, Irene Bedard, Heather Graham, Eion Bailey, Greg Kinnear, Odessa Young and JK Simmons, as well as queer stars Amber Heard and Ezra Miller. The series’ biggest misstep, however, comes in the form of inexplicable time jumps that flicker back and forth in the continuity of the story, often robbing it of suspense and making it a bit difficult to follow. That said, The Stand still offers plenty of thrill and entertainment, as well as some outstanding performances from Owen Teague, Nat Wolf and Goldberg, who have been doing some of their best work in years. Epic so flawed, thrilling so frustrating, we recommend The Stand for its many strengths. Even if this is a missed opportunity, King’s feminist and queer-affirming work (which includes a new epilogue episode written by the author himself) still managed to win us over.
Streams on Paramount +.