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Old 2008-08-11, 09:14   Link #1
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
Stephen King's N (2008)

Stephen King's N.

Based on a never-before published story by blockbuster author Stephen King, N. is the tale of a psychiatrist who becomes the victim of the same mysterious and deadly obsession as his patient. Drawn by award-wining comic book artist Alex Maleev, and coloured by famed comic book colourist Jose Villarrubia, the episodes were adapted by Marc Guggenheim with creative oversight from Stephen King.

From July 28, mobile phone users and web surfers in the United States can enjoy Stephen King's latest work in a series of 25 original video episodes, each around two minutes long. The episodes are presented in a highly designed “pan and scan” format, complete with comic book-style graphics, an original score, sound effects and a full cast of voiceovers.

Stephen King commented: "I'm always interested in new delivery systems for stories, and always curious about how those systems work with the old story-telling verities. This one, it seems to me, works extraordinarily well."

You can watch “N.” online, on your mobile phone or download it at iTunes. Episodes will be made available simultaneously across the Web and on mobile phones each weekday starting from July 28th to Aug 29, for a total of 35 episodes altogether.


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I happened on N. by chance while browsing for streaming videos of Mokke, and watched it up to Ep11. The show's press release may try to make it sound "groundbreaking", but frankly, the concept has already been used in Japan, for shows such as Chocolate Underground, that is, short two- to three-minute episodes packaged specifically for download and viewing on mobile phones and iPods.

N. suffers the same problems as Chocolate Underground — the two-minute episodes do not provide enough time for the producers to create effective dramatic tension. Worse, the episodic format makes it nearly impossible for the writers to string together a coherent screenplay that would: 1) make a viewer care enough to download subsequent episodes; 2) make a viewer care about the characters (I don't). The story is meant to be "chilling", but I found it irritatingly over-acted and tedious instead. In the end, I feel it's just an elaborate promotional gimmick for King's new collection of short stories, Just After Sunset.

So, why am I promoting N.? Because, in spite of its huge flaws, I do find it an interesting concept. Who knows? This may well herald the start of a new kind of programming format. Short, three-minute episodes need not be horrible. The format worked very well for Chi's Sweet Home, for example.

If you've got time, and the patience to sit out the story, give N. a try. Remember: Eight is the number to keep this reality whole.
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