It’s not The Truman Show; It’s the Zahir Show Now.
By Zahir Quader
Features and Lists Editor
Who watches the watchmen? I watch the Watchmen, or more accurately I watch Watchmen the TV show that is, there is also a comic but that is a whole different story (Read the comics—it helps the show make 1,000 times more sense). Anyway, the TV show Watchmen takes place about 30 years after the conclusion of the original comic series and picks up in a world scarred by its events. It is not all fiction though, as many real world events also impact the story and give us a look at some parts of American history that our teachers in high school didn’t like to talk about. The main protagonist of the series is Sister Night who along with her fellow police officers have donned masks and in some cases costumes due to some tragic events that occurred in their city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Follow her journey as she encounters faces old and new as we explore life in the aftermath of the comic series.
Created by Damon Lindoff, the creator of the leftovers, he picks off where Alan Moore left the original heroes years before. This show is full of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat as you consistently wonder what is going to happen next.
There are some issues though; for example, this show is definitely made for those who have read the comics. There are so many references, casual comics, and Easter eggs that go over the average viewer’s head. While I have read the comics, there were many moments where I had to pause and go on a twenty-minute Wikipedia deep-dive just to understand a two second comment. This caused me to pause many times an episode just so I could understand a casual comment that, while is super exciting to many comic book nerds, makes little to no sense or has any relevance to the plot as a whole. These constant Easter eggs and references, while exciting and fun for those with a history or familiarity with the franchise, for the average viewer it just makes the show confusing and there are many moments where the average audience member would simply be kicked in the head with some random events that seemingly come out of nowhere. Watchmen is a great show with many twists and turns but enjoyment is heavily dependent on familiarity with the source material.
Even without knowing the source material, the world itself has many strange and weird occurrences that make it different, yet also familiar. From random squids raining from the sky, President Robert Redford, or 51st state of Vietnam, this entire world is quite wonky (though again reading the comics makes the situations make a lot more sense). Still there are so many things that are just plain weird that just leave you confused and with a dash of WTF sprinkled in.
The acting is quite good as everyone fits their part perfectly. With a solid cast of actors such as Jeremy Irons they fit their roles very well and truly immerse you in this damaged world. In many ways it makes subtle nods to problems in our own world from Alt-rightism, racism, historical violence, police brutality, governmental abuse of power and so much more. (Pun Intended). In a world scarred by so much trauma and violence this series also focuses on how people are just trying to live their lives as the doomsday clock slowly ticks to midnight and the powder keg that is Tulsa is set to explode.
This show is full of everything a good TV show needs, trauma, romance, betrayal and mystery. It truly brings the world of Watchmen to life and introduces it to a new generation and refreshes it for those who experienced it before, it takes you back to the past and brings one of the most beloved series back to the public sphere. Watchmen is a series that shows a darker side of the superhero genre. It explores how insane it is for people to do extrajudicial violence. The trauma that drives one to do what they do and the impact it has on the world around them and how it continues this cycle. It shows how a loss of purpose can impact one’s lives and drive them to do things they usually would not do and the biggest message of all: what is lost will always be found.
In general, this series is very interesting and a great successor to the comic series, with tons of fun Easter eggs and references that will give every Watchmen fan loads of excitement. Contrastingly however it is kind of hard to go into this series blind as understanding the lore and events of the original graphic novel are extremely necessary for anyone to follow the story properly. Essentially this series is amazing to watch but, is quite confusing for those who do not understand where it is coming from.
Image Source: Deadline.com