Coming off the heels of the excellent second season of Succession, HBO has immediately delivered another show worthy of its prestigious 9pm Sunday slot in Watchmen. The show marks writer Damon Lindelof’s—creator of The Leftovers and Lost—return to television. Lindelof has described his television show as a “remix” of the original graphic novel series—instead of adapting the original text like Zack Snyder did in 2009, he has expanded upon it. The series imagines if the graphic novel’s alternate history extended to the present day. The series focuses on Angela Abar (Regina King), a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the show’s world, cops wear masks to protect their identities after a white supremacist terrorist group, known as the Seventh Calvary, targeted an attack on the city’s police force. Just as did Alan Moore’s graphic novel, the series revels in moral ambiguity: despite focusing on cops, the show is decidedly not pro-police. The police often employ abhorrent interrogation tactics, emboldened by their hidden identities. The show constantly raises questions about the characters and the alternate world they inhabit. Every scene feels considered and loaded with detail, while including many nods to the original graphic novel. Despite its puzzle-box construction, a staple of any Lindelof show, Watchmen is a police procedural at its core. Watching Regina King, along with her excellent supporting cast including Jean Smart and Timothy Blake Nelson, is nothing short of thrilling, especially when set to an instantly classic and pulsating score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Despite demanding a lot from the viewer, Watchmen is more than worth the effort.
Photo Credit: HBO