I knew that the Watchmen as a comic book genre was on the weird side, and I saw a version of it a few years ago (oops, it was 2009 apparently). So I thought I had an inkling of what to expect…superheroes, kind of weird ones, outlawed, but kind of doing the vigilante thing. Okay, I can work with that.
Instead, the new series version goes heavy on the alternate history, police officers wearing masks, and race wars. Umm, okay. Considering I’m watching the latest season of Black Lightning during an occupation, it didn’t feel a whole lot different. Particularly when the lead female cop wears an outfit an awful lot like Blackbird’s.
And at the end of the episode, all I could think was, “What the hell is going on?”. Okay, I sort of get it. A race war in Tulsa in the 20s ignited a huge schism. Nixon is considered awesome. And the 7th Cavalry is a white supremacist organization that has “risen” again to challenge law and order. Except there isn’t anything shown that explains the law and order side or the white supremacist’s specific beef/trigger. The rallying cry other than race. There is almost NO backstory provided. Which is a huge problem to follow.
Don Johnson plays the head of the cops, and he’s pretty good. Spoiler alert though, he’s dead by the end of the episode. His daughter Angela is a go-get-em cop, wears a superhero outfit (FYI, she’s called Sister Night), and is played by Regina King. She also is awesome, and eminently watchable in most scenes, even if you can’t get a handle on her life — cop, superhero, mom, daughter. She has a huge list of roles on IMDB, most of which I haven’t seen, and I didn’t recognize her at all from Big Bang Theory. But she’s watchable.
The rest of the characters and actors? Relatively secondary. And no superheroes. I had no real idea what was going on, but sure, okay, let’s say the cops wear masks, they hunt a bad group, the bad group kills a cop, the cops retaliate in force, I kind of get all that. I’m okay with an alternate history, figure it out as we go, fine. But then there’s a scene with a Lord of the Manor who’s clearly nutters, dealing with loyal servants, celebrating an anniversary of something, and it HAS NO CONNECTION TO THE REST OF THE SHOW. It seemed like the start of a bad Monty Python skit.
I get that it is HBO. I get that renewal / continuing is a totally different business model. But I don’t know how many people beyond the hard-core fan types will stick around past Ep 1. I can’t even decide if I will watch, and I have a pretty high tolerance. I had the same problem with Doom Patrol and passed.
I did see some trailers for later in the series, and it seems a bit more normal in places. Not completely, but enough to give me a preview of something to follow.
Eeny meeny miny moe…Nope, I’m out too.