It has almost been a year since Watchmen began airing, and our world looks completely different, in a bad way. And yet, this Damon Lindelof series seems only more relevant. Based on comic-book legend Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel of the same name, considered by many the best ever written and drawn, the series is a sequel and a reinvention of the original story.
Just like how Moore boldly confronted the contemporary social and political issues in the United States in the late 1980s, Lindelof’s Watchmen deals with the present concerns: chiefly white supremacy and racism. And it does it amazingly well.
As with the original graphic novel, HBO’s Watchmen is also set in an alternate reality. Many notable events did not occur, or occurred differently. The series kicks off with the Tulsa race riot, a massacre carried out by a white mob, which, unfortunately, was a real event and a blot upon the history of America.
It is a tragic event that has not particularly been a favourite thing of filmmakers to depict. Many Americans discovered this after the show aired. This is just one of the audacious ways Watchmen brings forth race-based violence back into the conversation.
After what happened to George Floyd and the protests that occurred in the wake of his murder, it feels like Damon Lindelof and his team of writers knew more about America than most Americans. Of course, Lindelof could not have predicted the Floyd incident, but the show captured the face of America we do not often see on television.
The performances are uniformly excellent. Jean Smart, Regina King, Hong Chau, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr and Jeremy Irons are all great.
Watchmen is the most deserving winner in the Outstanding Limited Series category of 2020 Emmy Awards.
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