Have you ever watched The Stand? The book was published in 1978 and was written by Stephen King. In 1994 it was turned into a miniseries and ran over several days instead of being a very condensed movie. I can’t imagine trying to put the whole of that book into a movie, even if it was three hours long. There is just too much information. The story is incredible, though. In 2020, Hollywood came out with an updated series for The Stand. In this case, it is a retelling, not a reboot. Before we get into it, from here on out, I am going to refer to the original series as OS and the new one as 2020 because typing the original Stand and Stand 2020 is just a pain. Also, there will be spoilers, so proceed with caution.

I really enjoyed the original and was skeptical that the new one would be as good or better. I decided to do one of my “Would Andie Watch It…?” articles on the 2020 Stand. As I watched, I started seeing differences right away. Now, it had been a while since I watched it, so I was pretty sure it was quite different. It isn’t bad, just different. I quickly decided I would do this article as I was watching 2020. Now, on to the meat of it.

Before we start, if you don’t know what The Stand is about, I will do a quick catch-up for you. You can also look at my last article on The Stand. So, the military (it’s always the military) was working with biological matter and created a lethal disease. They locked down the base to contain the contamination, but not before an MP, and his family made it could make it out. This lets the virus into the world. It is called Captain Trip’s and seems to kill the respiration system. In the OS, there are obvious signs that the neck and throat are affected by Trip’s, but in 2020, they do it better. It is glaringly there at the neck. I mean that in a good gross way. Not a sentence I ever thought I would write. It takes out the bulk of the world’s population within months. There are people with natural immunity and therefore survive. The series follows two camps of people after the world falls apart. Those in Boulder, Colorado, and those in Vegas, Nevada. Those in Boulder with Mother Abigail are the good guys, and those in Vegas with Randall Flagg are the bad guys. It boils down to a fight between good and evil.

Source Amazon

As with any retelling of a story, some things were added, and some things were taken away. The adding to the story added up to quite a bit. The OS is six hours and one minute, and 2020’s is eight hours and thirty minutes. They added a lot of backstories for each of the main characters. A few things didn’t line up between OS and 2020, but it wasn’t a big deal. It was small things like Larry hooking up with and traveling with anyone besides Nadine. Also, thinking of Nadine and traveling, in 2020, she has Joe with her when she meets Larry. In the OS, it was Lucy who had Joe and continued to keep him when the rest of the series went down.

One of the characters that get the backstory treatment is Nadine. In the OS, Nadine was obviously chosen by Flagg, and she was always going to him, but in 2020’s we see Nadine as a young girl and saw that Flagg already had his hooks in her. I do have to say, though, with all the backstory, we were jumping back and forth on the timeline. I really hate it when shows do that. Especially in this format when you can go back and forth multiple times in each episode. It messes with fluidity. In this case, OS was better.

A scene that was in 2020 that wasn’t in the OS. Harold, Frannie, and the trucker preying on women and those weaker than him. This is also where we meet Dayna, who would be important later. It was in this scene that Frannie, Harold, and Stu meet and decide to finish the journey to Colorado together. In the OS, they meet at Glen’s house and go to Vermont first.

Now, let’s talk about Tom Cullen. No relation to Carslile or Edward Cullen. In the OS, Tom is described as retarded. Even back then, I didn’t like that as a descriptive term, so I was overjoyed that while he is still neuro-divergent, he has ADHD and/or autism. I do love the way he puts himself together and is very self-aware, even in the new one. I do miss Tom spelling moon to punctuated as he did in the original.

Source Amazon

Nick Andros. In the OS, he was played by Rob Lowe, and he was deaf and mute. While Rob didn’t play Nick this time, Nick was still deaf and mute, but he also was missing an eye. In fact, he woke up in the hospital in 2020 rather than in the jail cell he did in the OS. This brings me to a part of the story I was excited to see again. When Stu falls to the wayside and badly breaks his leg he gets an infection. In the OS, Tom happened upon Stu as he was getting sicker and really feverish. Not having any idea what to do, Tom asks God for help. God sends Nick even though Nick is dead. Nick was able to tell Tom what to do to help save Stu. I was so disappointed that I didn’t get this scene updated.

Randall Flagg is much better in 2020. I really like Alexander Skarsgard and his acting, so that might color it. I just like 2020’s Randall’s cockiness better than OS’s. In 2020’s, I would believe that cockiness. In the OS, I’d roll my eyes. Plus, Alexander is easier on the eyes than Jamey Sheridan. I also like 2020’s Nadine better too. Her makeup is much better in 2020, also. The OS just makes her whiter and whiter, washing her out. In 2020, the makeup is a little much but fits in with her surrounding pretty well. Nadine, in 2020 is much more compliant and agreeable with Flagg and did much better being vulnerable. Once OS’s Nadine was with Flagg, she was equal parts horrified, crazy, and catatonic.

Let’s talk a little about Lloyd. 2020’s Lloyd is a joke. He may have taken a bite out of his expired cellmate’s leg, but he is a joke. He is more about getting high and having status than any actual enforcer like in the OS. Lloyd of the OS understood what he was doing, was backing up Flagg, and held himself accountable. Also, with Lloyd in OS, Dayna, one of the spies from Colorado, is his girlfriend. In 2020, Dayna doesn’t meet Lloyd for the first time until the night she died.

Three last things, and then I will let you go. 1. Harold and Nadine press the button that causes the explosion together in 2020, but only Harold did in the OS. 2. The stones are different. They are still black ovals, but the ones in OS are plain and black. In 2020, they have what I am calling a geode scar. As in if there was a geode with a chunk missing, and you can see the crystals inside. I don’t know if these are significant, but I noticed them. And 3. Why in the hell did Stu, Frannie, and Abigail drive to Maine to see the ocean? Everything was done in the OS when Stu showed up after the final showdown. In 2020 we got a whole extra episode with a story that was written for this series. I mean, Frannie almost died, for Pete’s sake. Ugh. Though I did find 2020’s Frannie to be much less fragile than OS’s.

I know that I didn’t get all the differences down, but I hope I gave you something fun to compare. Have fun watching both and catalog the differences. Datenight (for a month)!How you watched either or both of the Stands? What were your thoughts? I liked them both. I think they both have their own merits and deficits. Watching the 2020 one will certainly take more time, but I like most of the changes. I think, though, given the choice, I would pick the OS to watch. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time, have fun storming the castle!

P.S. Stephen King made a cameo in the first but not the second.