by T. Mack
HBO has done it again! They’ve taken preexisting source material, added a few new ingredients, stirred it a bit, and presented us with a delicious cocktail that goes down smooth and has just the right bit of kick . I’m talking, of course, about the new Watchmen series, based on Alan Moore’s 1986 comic series of the same name. If you haven’t yet experienced this show, you’re missing out, my friend.
The new television show picks up some years after the events of the comic and is a direct continuation of that source material. This means that it does not – I repeat NOT – share continuity with Zac Snyder’s 2009 film. So…. if you have watched the 2009 film and love the 2009 film and memorized everything about every character and all that happens with them in the 2009 film, you basically need to be prepared to disregard most of what you know going into the television series.
The show is set in a world alternate to our own where superheroes exist and are actually quite prevalent. They became so commonplace, in fact, that they have been deemed vigilantes and the practice of being one has been outlawed. Of course, this hasn’t kept them from existing. And in fact, there is a bit of a loophole to this rule. Meanwhile, presidents reign like kings for years and years, some very unfortunate pieces of history remain, and hate groups still exist, though they go by different names than the ones we currently deal with in our reality. Oh, and apparently brilliant rich people are super-eccentric in any reality.
So far, four episodes have aired. Each one has been intriguing, engaging, confusing, and befuddling. Questions are answered, but we are are always left with more. And nearly always, we’re left staring at our screen at the end of the episode saying, “What the f—?!” Believe me when I say it’s a genuinely good time!
Regina King is a revelation as always as Angela Abar, a.k.a. Sister Night. She is more than up to the task of carrying this series on her shoulders. Tim Blake Nelson is also wonderful in his role. His thick southern drawl, which is usually so humorous, serves well here in a darker, more sinister capacity. Jean Smart, Louis Gossett, Jr., and James Wolk are also giving outstanding performances in their respective roles. The cast has not showcased a weak link as of yet.
On top of strong performances, the series also features strong stories filled with timely social commentary. On top of that is heaps of ambiguous characterization so you can argue with yourself about whether particular characters are good guys or bad guys. Then of course, there are the political undertones rife for dissection and discussion. And all this is just icing on the cake of the straightforward mysteries the story is presenting.
If you are not familiar with Watchmen, you will miss Easter eggs, nods to the comics, and hints that will mean much more to those who are familiar with the source material. However, the show is a good one on its own, separate from its source. So even if you aren’t familiar with the Watchmen comic, I recommend you check out the Watchmen TV show. Because it’s really good. And you shouldn’t deprive yourself of it just because you haven’t read a 30-year old comic book.
RATING: 4.5 SHIELDS
Have you checked out HBO’s Watchmen? What do you think of the show? Are you a fan of the comic or the movie? Do you think the series does either justice? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Remember… Be kind to yourselves, sisters and brothers. Keep it geeky and stay amazing. ~T. Mack