Watchmen Series on HBO

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Madness, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Maryland, USA
    This premiered last night (10/20/19). Did anyone watch it? Thoughts?
  2. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I'm not familiar with the comic but I liked the first episode enough to watch again.
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  3. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Maryland, USA
    I never read the comic/graphic novel either, but I thought the movie was quite unique; had no idea what it was about before I saw it.
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  4. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Same experience here.
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  5. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    Lots of call-backs to the comic series. Plus, the opening was a twisted homage to Superman’s origin.

  6. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Yet another comic book project based on ideas that are decades old! A big problem is that the ideas, which may have been fresh when originally introduced, have been done over and over again thru the years. For example, at roughly the same time as Watchmen was released, Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns also was released (A very special time to be a comic book fan!;)). At the time, no one had experienced anything like it as far as a Batman tale being so grim and dark. Well, since than, basically, the ONLY types of Batman tales being told are grim and dark, so the stories carry far less impact than the original. Since the original premise has been done, ad infinitum, the project needs to bring something special to the table, or risk being considered just more of the same old, same old! I mean, right outta the gate, I'll be comparing it to the Boys (Excellent!). I'm a HUGE Watchman fan, own the original individual books plus a hardcover TPB. I really hope the show's a success but besides the movie, just about every attempt to 'work' the franchise, on paper or on film, hasn't done well at all.
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  7. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    it was OK.

    we'll see going forward.

    regina king is a very good actress.
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  8. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Boy, Trent really left his footprint, musically, on that episode!
    Chrome_Head likes this.
  9. proedros

    proedros Forum Resident

    Athens , Greece
    started re-reading the original graphic novel

    chapter iv ,about dr manhattan, is a ****in' masterpiece
  10. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    This book, a one-shot, was written, drawn (and released!) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons at the same time as the original Watchmen series. It's considered one of the all time great Superman tales. Basically a Watchmen-level Supes story! It really was a special time to be reading comics back than!;) You oughtta check it out!

  11. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    I watched it. Was confused a little. I only have the Watchmen (Director's Cut) digital release so I knew a little of the back story. Never read any of the comics. Hope it gets better.
  12. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I didn't like how at times it was filmed & edited like a comic book, hard cuts during the scene with different angles, lighting. I appreciate what they were trying to do but it felt awkward and made the dialog feel stilted - hopefully they will tone that down. Otherwise, it was OK but not compelling.
  13. maui jim

    maui jim Forum Resident

    Really liked it. I see your points on yet another comic book film. But it is very different from Deadpool or Avengers. Really enjoyed closing song from Trent&Atticus
    audiomixer, Chrome_Head and Carl80 like this.
  14. coffeetime

    coffeetime Senior Member

    Lancs, UK
    What did I just watch? I've devoured Watchmen several times over the decades, along with just about everything else Alan Moore has ever written. Before starting, I'd like to make clear that I am not adverse to anyone taking on Watchmen (aside from the non-Dr Manhattan costumes seemingly having super powered hand to hand fighting capabilities). Heck, few people have ever taken other author's literary creations and repurposed them as Moore did with Lost Girls with respect to The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

    I'm also going to discuss Watchmen in relation to Before Watchmen & Doomsday Clock, both of which I've read (barring the last issue of Doomsday Clock, which isn't out yet).

    Ok, comic book spoilers ahead in relation to the first episode of the show. If anyone is planning on reading the book (and if you haven't, you really ought!), do not click or read the below.

    Watchmen, the comic, written in the mid 1980s does several things:

    • A murder is committed at the beginning of the book, which we soon find out is the murder of a costumed vigilante. The investigation is begun by another costumed vigilante. This is the primary plot hook of the book: Who murdered this consumed vigilante and why? One is intrigued by the plot from the first issue.
    • The book is set in an alternate reality that matches but-not-quite our own in the mid 1980s.
    • The book examines what exactly compels these characters to dress up as they do and become crime fighting vigilantes. Moore was never satisfied with the 'I saw my parents murdered in front of me so I dress up as a bat and fight crime'. Instead deeper rationales are sought. A means of expression for someone who is sexually inhibited (Nite Owl), conforming to parental expectations (Silk Spectre II), an amoral sociopath (Comedian), a possible psychopath seeking an ideology to validate his world view (Rorschach), an megalomaniac with aspirations to measure up to a historical conqueror (Ozymandias). The one character who is genuinely super-powered (Dr Manhattan) is increasingly removed from human concerns to the point that he no longer shares said concerns.
    • The book also examines how society and the world at large would react to the presence of these vigilantes. They are used as instruments of the state (Comedian, a one man dirty ops), instruments of war (Dr. Manhattan single handedly turning the tide in Vietnam) but are otherwise feared, despised, blamed for societal ills and ultimately outlawed.
    • The book takes the existential fears of the 1980s, that of nuclear annihilation, and uses it to create a backdrop of increasing tension throughout the book. The expectation is that this will result in a nuclear exchange before the end of the book.
    Now then. What, if any, of the above does the show deal with?

    Other than seemingly dropping in bits of Watchmen iconography and lore for flavour, what did any of the opening episode have to do with Watchmen? Other than 'hey, I see Hooded Justice on the side of the bus!', "hey, they mentioned psychic squids during the interrogation!', 'hey, that's Archie flying around!', 'hey, that newspaper said something about Adrian Veight!' and 'hey, they're quoting the journal and wearing (non-animated) Rorschach masks!', what did any of this have to do with Watchmen? Heck, all of what seems to be fan-service Easter eggs could have been removed, the show not called Watchmen and it wouldn't need to change in the slightest.

    Far from being intrigued, I seem to have watched a series of otherwise unconnected scenes, lacking any explanation or context in the belief that I must want to know how this all fits together. Sorry, no. I'm not intrigued. I'm not hooked. And even trying to take the show on its own merits, I feel like the episode is set up to allow a drip feed of explanation and contextualisation over the coming weeks.

    The prequel Before Watchmen series I enjoyed, even if it achieved little more than making overt and literal all of the psychological subtext for the characters. He's Dan being sexually repressed. Here's Adrian being megalomaniacal. Here's Laurie trying to escape her mothers expectations and ultimately succumbing to them. And so on.

    Doomsday Clock fares little better. The series attempts to merge the Watchmen universe in with the main DC universe. Except 11 issues out of 12 in and it barely matters. Only three of the original series characters are involved, they spend most of their time in the DC universe and as a far as I can tell, only the setting of the original Watchmen looks like it will merge. It is well written (the writing has persuaded me to pick up Geoff Johns work on Batman Earth One, which is terrific), but far from well conceived.

    Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock ultimately fail to expand on the original Alan Moore book, fail to explore it in any more depth and ultimately want for a reason to exist besides 'more Watchmen'. That said, they are at least recognisable as Watchmen. I've enjoyed them as such but they pale next to the original work.

    The episode of the TV series I just watched? Felt like taking a classic 20th century novel, perhaps 1984, and creating an erotic thriller as sequel/reworking of the material. Throw in the odd mention of Big Brother and Oceania for recognition purposes and there is no need for thematic or plot/setting extrapolation purposes. Whilst I understand taking white supremacy as an issue for today where nuclear annihilation was the concern of the 1980s, it was a background detail, a mens of escalting tension in the original, not the foreground subject that drove the plot.

    All three secondary works (BW, DC and the new TV series) ultimately prove that the original book was self contained, started and ended precisely where they needed to and explored the characters and concept to the depth required. Nothing more was needed, the story was told. Anything more, however well intentioned, comes off as

    And don't even get me started on the omnipresent throbbing bass during the episode. My subwoofer was going gangbusters the entire time. Less is more.

    Ok. Rant over.
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  15. proedros

    proedros Forum Resident

    Athens , Greece
    if this was a rant , then i am Ozzymandias

    great post/analysis ,would love to hear some graphic novels you liked/proposed to someone who really likes watchmen/transmetropolitan (my 2 fav GN off the top of my head)
  16. Frangelico

    Frangelico Forum Resident

    Even without the blatant, psychotic agitprop this would be total trash - dense, claustrophobic, unfocused tedium. A co-opting of a notable comic to push a narrative, not in the name of “art” but in the name of a political/philosophical agenda.

    First episode 2/10
  17. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Maryland, USA
  18. Frangelico

    Frangelico Forum Resident

  19. Carl80

    Carl80 Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    I just finished the first episode, thought it was ok, I’ve liked the film for years so gonna stick with it.

    I take it the police wearing masks and the ideas behind it where new for this series or was that in one of the novels ? I haven’t read any of the novels or know nothing about them.
  20. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Heck, if it wasn't for "Can U Dig It?" by Pop Will Eat Itself, I wouldn't have even known who Allan Moore WAS!

    I'd say this is Lindleoft's Last Stand!
    So, I'm gonna stick with it... I stuck with "The Leftovers", so, why not?....
    coffeetime likes this.
  21. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    The original comic used narrative to push many political/philosophical agendas. Alan Moore's stock-in-trade. Some may not like this show's viewpoint, but it is no more "pushy" than the original.

  22. Jeremy Irons is
    obviously Ozymandias aka ADRIAN Veidt.
    My question is what did he do to his serving staff where they are so lame brained? Did he destroy their minds? The butler doesn’t understand the difference between a horse shoe and a knife.

    It was pretty good opening and the last shot-wow!
    vince and Vidiot like this.
  23. DLD

    DLD Senior Member

    Dallas, Tx
    Succession's season ends and we get this? Better get better as there's lots of options out there. Will watch another one tho to give it a fair chance
    maui jim likes this.
  24. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    One of the best things about Watchmen - graphic novel and film adaptation - is it's ambiguous ending relating to Rorshach's journal... the best way to end that story and the definitive ending as far as I'm concerned.

    This new series, as stated, just co-ops that IP to push a political agenda... no thank you sir.

    If they were going to make a new Watchmen series, they should have done the Minutemen comic mini-series (which was part of the otherwise lamentable 'Before Watchmen' run some years back)... that was actually damned good and a very worthy (if still unnecessary) prequel which would have made a fine television event series.

    This new one? Meh, you can keep it...
  25. jpelg

    jpelg Forum Resident

    The Elm City
    Saw the first ep last night. Enjoyed a lot (I have no connection to the graphic novels & only watched the movie , maybe...twice). Regina King is fantastic. I'm in for a dollar!
    Lonson likes this.

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