Mary-Louise Parker

Stephen King's 'Mr. Mercedes' hits TV in the slow lane, but that’s not a bad thing

Stephen King's 'Mr. Mercedes' hits TV in the slow lane, but that’s not a bad thing

In one of his occasional breaks from the supernatural, Stephen King created a detective, Bill Hodges, to engage with strictly human monsters. The first Hodges book, 2014’s "Mr. Mercedes," has been adapted for television by David E. Kelley, who seems clever again after writing the hit HBO miniseries "Big Little Lies." It premieres Wednesday on DirecTV’s Audience channel.

For its first four hours anyway — the ones available to review — it's a fairly straightforward adaptation, streamlined in most respects but also built out with new scenes and characters, some of whom, it seems clear, may not be sticking around.

Like the novel, it begins with people...

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