TV Review: ‘Watchmen’

Variety | 10/15/2019 | Daniel D'Addario
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“Watchmen,” the 1980s DC Comics series whose popularity demands adaptation and whose singular vision makes that near-impossible, might be too much itself to bring out the best in any artist. But it has brought out the most in Damon Lindelof.

As a follow-up to HBO’s “The Leftovers,” Lindelof returns to the cabler to remix and reinterpret a piece of the modern pop-culture canon, writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons’ serial about caped and costumed heroes in hiding. “The Leftovers” provides a good case study as to what “Watchmen” fans are likely hoping for: Using as loose source material Tom Perrotta’s quiet literary novel about the aftermath of tragedy, Lindelof extrapolated wildly inventive metaphors and wrote all the way past the end of the world. That show was a strange miracle, perched as it was on the right side of the precipice dividing mysteriousness and inscrutability. With “Watchmen,” Lindelof dives in, super-powered only, perhaps, by his faith in the audience to keep watching.

Protagonist - Angela - Abar - Regina - King

Our protagonist is Angela Abar (Regina King), whose role as a Tulsa police detective is her second of three identities; to the public, she’s a retired cop and professional baker, the better to shield her from a growing vigilante movement’s anti-police violence. Some 27 years into the presidency of Robert Redford (a showy — and oft-emphasized — nod to the alternate-history roots of the story), society is riven by unrest that necessitates cops wear masks, just as do the white supremacists who pursue them. Confronted by a mysterious old man (Louis Gossett Jr.) with a long memory and violent grievances, Angela takes on a third face, turning vigilante herself in a series of night missions she can’t govern or control, ones that promise to bring her deep insight about the intersection of America’s racial history and her own. It’s...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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