Of all the TV series debuting this fall, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that had as much discussion surrounding its very existence than “Watchmen.” Based on the absolutely classic comic book story from the ‘80s, HBO’s series takes the foundation laid down by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and brings it to the present day with a new story, new characters, and hopefully, the same quality. And that’s why so many fans were concerned that it’s a gesture in futility, as it would be absolutely ridiculous to believe that series’ writer-creator Damon Lindelof would be able to achieve such a monumental task.
Well, according to the early reviews for “Watchmen” (ours is coming soon enough, don’t you worry), it appears that Lindelof has largely been…kinda successful?
While you will have the more “fan” focused blogs giving “Watchmen” some incredibly high praise, which is basically what you expect from the same people who will say that “Avengers: Endgame” should be in the Best Picture Oscars discussion (not meant to throw shade but to illustrate that some websites are basically in the bag for a series like this before seeing one frame), there are other outlets that are a bit more reserved in their critiques. Overall, however, it appears that Lindelof has created a series that is bold, ambitious, and pretty decent, all things considered.
“So much energy as is spent on the sociopolitical elements of the series, but ‘Watchmen’ is at its best when it tries a little less hard to be profound and instead focuses on the fascinating and deep cast of characters.”
“Does it all work? Well, let’s just say that it’s creatively bold and superbly written and acted, but those last three episode will be crucial to it all making sense if there’s no second season. ‘Watchmen’ is a tour-de-force, no doubt, but there’s a landing that definitely needs to be stuck.”
“To tackle the meanness and violence of history in a truly serious way — with superheroes or with mere magnificently brave mortals telling the story — demands a focus ‘Watchmen’ simply lacks, and attempts to make up for with a tone of increasing dudgeon.”
“‘Watchmen’ doesn’t overdose on nostalgia, like so many franchise extensions in our reboot-soaked decade. It’s dangerous, and invigorating. Like the proverbial Space Squid, it blew my mind.”
“‘Watchmen’ deals with weighty issues – police brutality and racism being at the forefront. But like the other elements of the series, the script attacks these issues in organic ways. There’s no preachy messaging here, and indeed, the storyline makes for complex viewing.”
There are plenty of other reviews to peruse out there, but the general thought is that the social message that is put forth in “Watchmen” is admirable, if not a bit clumsy. But one could argue that it’s fitting with what Moore and Gibbons attempted to do decades prior. And if you’re not going to at least try to say something, then don’t bother. At least this isn’t some shot-by-shot adaptation like Zack Snyder’s failed movie. (Sorry, folks, but you can’t just take panels from a comic and bring it to life and win me over. That doesn’t justify its existence.)
“Watchmen” will debut on HBO on October 20.