THE MINISERIES "Stephen King's Bag of Bones"
WHEN | WHERE Sunday and Monday at 9 p.m. on A&E
REASON TO WATCH Pierce Brosnan.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Mike Noonan (Brosnan) is a bestselling novelist with perfect hair, teeth and wife. Which naturally means something terrible is about to happen to him. One day while signing books, his beloved Jo (Annabeth Gish) leaves his side to go to a store across a busy street. A bus approaches . . .
Fast-forward to the funeral where Mike reveals to his Sammy Glick-ish agent, Marty (Jason Priestley), that his wife was pregnant. Mike is certain he wasn't the father and so buries his beloved suspecting her of infidelity. Meanwhile, there is a dark and gloomy Maine lake in this story -- Dark Score Lake. A curse hangs over the dreary place like a rank fog.
In his grief, Mike heads up to the house he and Jo owned nearby, only to find Jo's spirit there in a highly communicative mood along with another ghost, Sara Tidwell (Anika Noni Rose). Mike also gets enmeshed in a strange custody fight that has enveloped his new pal Mattie Devore (Melissa George) and her daughter.
MY SAY Sorry for all this exposition but it does point up this mini's chief failing -- a pile-on of exposition. As great an American treasure as Stephen King is, brevity has not always been a virtue. The King movie adaptations tend to work best because of the ruthless necessity of cramming an 800-page doorstop into a 90-minute film; the King minis -- this one as a perfect example -- tend to luxuriate in the steady drip-drip-drip of narrative detail. Here, for instance, we learn more about that quaint old Maine town with secrets, and its wacky denizens, and those pesky ghosts who are just trying to tell our burdened hero something.
Poor Pierce Brosnan is in every single scene, which is probably too much screen time for a character who is not -- sorry, Mike -- all that engaging. He slugs single malt, wrestles with writer's block, and wonders what his wife is trying to tell him via refrigerator magnets. And that's just Sunday night.
BOTTOM LINE Sure, there are some fun moments. Sure Brosnan looks mah-velous. He always does. But a little less plodding plot and a lot more action, please.