Watchmen: A Review of One of the Best and Most Bizarre Shows on Television

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Gavin Clingham, Staff Writer

On October 20th 2019, the highly anticipated HBO series Watchmen premiered, and much like the final season of Game of Thrones, the show was met with a lot of controversy. Watchmen fanboys were angered because they felt that it was too political and that it was way too different from the comics on which it was based. After I heard all this buzz about the show, I decided to watch it for myself and form my own opinion.

Watchmen is set in a strange version of 2019. It’s similar to our own world with a few key differences. Superheroes used to be real but now they’re outlawed, the technology is a bit more advanced, and there are sometimes extremely bizarre squid showers (rain but with baby squids instead of water). In this setting, there is a racist and violent white supremacist group lurking around called the Cavalry. They once broke into every single police officer’s home and nearly killed all of them. Because of this event, cops now wear masks to keep their identities hidden. Detectives bear a resemblance to vigilantes and wear masks and costumes. The show mainly focuses on Detective Angela Barr (Regina King) who takes Sister Night as her police identity. As she is trying to forget the day the Cavalry almost ended her life, they emerge again and perform various attacks. She enlists the help of her secretive colleagues Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) and Red Scare (Andrew Howard), as well as the chief of police (Don Johnson), to stop the Cavalry and uncover the mysteries that go along with it—all while we get glimpses of a mysterious man named Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) who could potentially be a villain.

After watching the first episodes, I can confidently say that this is one of the most mysterious shows I have ever watched. The show is not entirely confusing, but every episode usually leaves you with more questions than answers. Despite its many mysteries, I really love this show. Damon Lindelof, the show’s creator, did a fantastic job paying tribute to the original comics and making something completely new from it. The writing is clever, the plot twists and turns, and the action is exciting. Regina King, Jean Smart, and Jeremy Irons give strong performances and bring their very complex characters to life.

I also love how the show dives into some political themes. This was criticized by many people, but this has been the case since the original Watchmen comics. It was originally a satire that had political themes from the 80s. Like the show Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (which updated its political themes to the present day), Watchmen is a modern day political satire. Since Watchmen can’t scold Richard Nixon or reference the cold war today, it instead takes on themes of racism and identity. There are also many moments in the show where it seems that they could actually happen in our world. It’s modern, gripping, and intense. I’d recommend it highly, and it’s on HBO Sundays at 9 o’clock.