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Series Review: Watchmen

Written by tha - bang from the blog Movies and Things with Thabang on 12 Nov 2019
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Sister Knight (Regina King) and Red Scare (Andrew Howard).

Damon Lindelof, one of the co-creators of Lost and the epic Leftovers, comes back to HBO with a sequel of the cult classic graphic novel Watchmen.

Watchmen has a long history of different people trying to adapt it and was adapted into a film by Zack Snyder which, as with most of Zack Snyder's work, you either love or hate.

Damon's Watchmen takes place in the same alternative universe as that of the comics: 45 years after the events of 1985 whereby the world still thinks an alien tried to invade it.

The world has no clue about Veidt's pact with Dr Manhattan to fool the world into peace, and the fact that they killed off some of the superhero vigilantes who didn't agree with Veidt's plan "to save humanity from itself".

Only one lunatic group remains.

They go by the name of the 7th Brigade and seem to have found Rorschach's journal, twisting it to suit their right wing goals.

But this isn't the only thing that's changed. The cops now wear costumes and disguises whilst vigilantes have been completely outlawed. The costumes are to protect the identities of the police and their families.

Damon Lindelof uses the first episode to set up some big themes that speak to the original comic but one feels like there's more to come.

Some of the themes explored are stories within stories that blur the line between fact and fiction. There's also the legacy of racism and slavery in the US today, the rise of right wing elements and the corruption of power.

What Damon cleverly does is he makes us follow the series through new characters who explore new mysteries and clearly know as little as us.

As they explore and investigate, we also learn about the history, lore and changes to the new world alongside them as the new conspiracy takes shape.

In between we bump into old characters who are background characters e.g. Dr Manhattan who we see building a structure on Mars and Veidt who pretends to be dead.

Leading the new ensemble cast is Regina King's awesome Sister Knight, a role that takes full advantage of her toughness.

Tim Blake Nelson plays Looking Glass, an interrogation specialist who wears a cool reflective mask that echoes Rorschach's mask minus the ink blot.

Episode 1 pulls a GoT on us by offing one major character, whilst teasing more drama to come.

For an opening episode Watchmen got its hooks into me, but I would recommend that one watches the movie or re-read the comic book just to get reacquainted with the world.

Like all first episodes it ended just as the plot thickens... but it did enough to keep me curious.

It felt like: More serious The Boys, with less humour but same sense of violence.

Rating: ***1/2

* crap
**e ya zama
****almost perfect
***** Classic

Actors in this post: Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson


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