#130 | Misery: The College Years


Listen to our Misery episode on:

Three weeks into our Stephen King mini-season, and while we’ve touched on some bona-fide classics so far, we haven’t yet hit on any of the full-blown horror the prolific writer is best known for. After the pre-teen angst of Stand By Me and inspirational prison drama The Shawshank Redemption, Misery takes us closest to King’s signature flavour, but there’s still more dark comedy than outright terror to be found in his tale of obsessive chick-lit fangirl Annie Wilkes.

It’s fair to say that certain elements of Misery might be loosely autobiographical to King, as he portrays the insatiable demands of a devoted fan who is nevertheless only happy to consume a safely recognisable brand of his work. When King’s in-movie avatar Paul Sheldon (James Caan) attempts to stretch his creative wings, the reaction is… less than positive.

On this week’s podcast, we discuss how a brilliant, Oscar-winning performance by Kathy Bates set the template for disgruntled genre fans that we can still find howling their impotent rage onto the internet to this day. We also spare a thought for James Caan and his underrated facial reactions, and explore the casting might have been’s that could have profoundly changed this iconic movie. Barbra Streisand as Annie Wilkes, anybody?

To hear all that plus our usual collection of drinking games, listener submissions and sequel pitches, tune into Beyond The Box Set’s latest episode now using the links at the top of this blog post – or by searching for us on your preferred podcasting app. You can also hit subscribe for a new episode every Friday morning, and a rating or review always helps us to reach the ears of new listeners.

Next week, we conclude our Stephen King sojourn with a movie that concluded the writer’s own short-lived directorial career. Until then, happy listening, and remember – the fans are always right.