When you write about Stephen King the numbers are staggering: his books have sold more than 350 million copies, he has published 62 novels and around two hundred stories and short novels. When it comes to the adaptations of his works to cinema and television, it can only be said that a network could broadcast 24 hours a day for weeks or months exclusively on his programming. Such is its quantitative power.
The last contribution is The Visitor (HBO), ten episodes consistent with the author’s narrative concept: crimes and disappearances in a small town, police investigations with local agents, normal secondary characters … until the story delves into the terrain of paranormal. It is a linear development in which the skill of the writer and the magnificent screenwriter, Richard Price, who was also the extraordinary of The Wire, integrate the supernatural into the everyday. The result is none other than what all series producers yearn for: seducing the viewer and ensuring their loyalty, something in which King is a winning horse since he published his first novel, Carrie, in 1974 and Brian de Palma adapted it to the cinema two years later.
The rationalist and melancholic inspector Ralph Anderson will have to overcome his reluctance to collaborate with the peculiar investigator Holly Gibney before the strange turn of events in which the extraordinary becomes the owner of the situation. Not everything is explainable and Anderson will end up accepting it, and it is this duality, reason-unreason, that allows King to relate, for example, Raymond Carver with Howard Phillips Lovecraft. The most demanding literary critics ignore him. Readers have long since consecrated him. It’s popular culture, stupid!