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A sequel to a highly revered book made straight for TV was never going to be an easy sell. Even me, someone I would consider to be a big fan of “Watchmen” having first read the book about fifteen years ago, was sceptical about how it would go. My trepidation was only heightened by the involvement of Damon Lindelof who worked on “Lost”, a show that didn’t exactly reach a satisfying conclusion in the way the “Watchmen” comic did. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about as Lindelof and co. have absolutely nailed not only the difficult task of creating a worth sequel that is also a damn fine piece of television in its own right.
As mentioned above, this serves as a sequel to the book as opposed to the film adaptation from Zack Snyder in 2009. The story of the comic is mostly the same as the film except the ending is changed somewhat, so a cursory Google of the comic, if you’re not inclined to read it, should bring you up to date. That said, I know people who neither saw the film nor read the book that were able to follow the story in this thanks to some clever storytelling and occasional flashbacks.
While the show can be best described as sci-fi, the show is incredibly topical as it deals with the issues of systemic racism in the police force of Tulsa, Oklahoma where most of the story is set. Our hero is Sister Night, played by Academy Award winner Regina King. Sister Night is a masked police officer who, among others, has to maintain her anonymity following an incident some years before where police officers were targeted by a white supremacist group. The show deals with the issue of racism head on, and pulls no punches in terms of language and violence, as to be expected with a show from HBO.
It’s impossible to properly offer a synopsis of the show as a whole because there are so many intertwining storylines, locations, and characters. As well as Regina King, Jeremy Irons is a standout both in terms of acting and character, as a recluse who may or may not have a history with the original Watchmen crew who had disbanded decades prior. While there are a lot of story strands, pretty much all of them are wrapped up by the end of the show, so when you get to the end of the series there aren’t a bunch of unanswered questions, but it does leave us with an ending that we can interpret for ourselves, as with the comic and the film.
Whether or not we ever get a follow up series “Watchmen” stands along as one of the best TV shows of recent years. The show is a perfect example of taking an existing property and expanding on it but still keeping it in line with the spirit of the source material and absolutely sticking the landing. It’s a show that can be viewed and enjoyed by someone who has no knowledge of the book or the film, but also the biggest “Watchmen” fan who will find a TON of Easter eggs to enjoy. Highly recommended.
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