8/10 Back in high school as a virgin I did virgin things like reading graphic novels. Luckily, I was able to read some of the best ones out there. “Sin City”, “300”, “The Walking Dead” and “Watchmen”. These graphic novels blew me away and gave me the realization that a “comic book” could be so much more than something a kid reads to pass the time. They could be art of the highest form. I loved Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation and got into shape so I could dress as Dr. Manhattan to the midnight premiere of his film. I shaved all of my body hair, painted every visible part of my body blue and spent $180 on specialized contacts to make my entire eyes white that I only wore that one night. I have plans for a “Watchmen” tattoo as well so short story long, you could say I’m a fan. When I found out a limited series of “Watchmen” was happening, I couldn’t have been more excited. It was my 3rd most anticipated new show of 2019, 2nd since one of my top two shows got delayed. I found out HBO was making it and HBO does have a fantastic track record for their shows. The announced cast was strong and Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross signed on to score the serious. Could this show get any more perfect?! Then Damon Lindelof was announced as the showrunner and I began to see the cracks beginning to form. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great show that I was largely happy with. There are only a couple minor problems but it is the major problem that took this show down from a 9.5/10, similar to how the film “First Reformed” was a 9.5/10 until the film’s ending brought it down to a 6/10. So before I get into why this is still a great show, I will point out the subtle and obvious flaws that really bring down an amazing show. A few minor flaws come to mind. First of all, this is a sequel to “Watchmen”, which I was happy about as opposed to a reboot or spinoff. However, the character of Silk Spectre II in this show does not feel like the character from the original graphic novel or the Snyder film. Every other returning character feels authentic to the source material but the vast changes in her character…I wasn’t buying it. There is also a scene with Don Johnson where he crashes a flying vehicle and not only doesn’t have a scratch on him but comes out of the wreckage laughing which was maybe the most implausible moment in the entire series…and this is a show with raining squids and elephants hooked up to humans. Something near the end of the show happens to Dr. Manhattan that seemed extremely easily preventable and one of our main protagonists had plot armor on for the entire series, probably due to their intersectionality. Which brings me to the biggest and most obvious flaw that annoyed me since it could have easily been taken out, which was Lindelof ramming in his woke, far left politics. There is nothing inherently wrong with a show or film having a liberal or conservative slant or bias. The most recent “Borat” film was pretty liberal and I laughed my head off. Yet when the political narrative is so heavy handed it feels like the pilot was directed by Al Sharpton or Ibram X Kendi, you have a serious problem. The pilot is the biggest example of the forced political narrative being shoved down our throats and made me seriously fear for the rest of the season. Luckily, most of the garbage is taken out in the first episode although there is more of it to come later, though not as egregious. If you are a flaming leftist then this show will be a 9.5/10 or a 10/10 for you but if you have common sense like me, you will do a lot of eye rolling in the pilot and a bit near the end of the season. Now that the complaints are out of the way, I can praise so much that this series gets right and excels at. “Watchmen” isn’t your normal superhero story and actually deconstructs the superhero genre while exploring adult themes. The film adaptation thankfully stayed true to the graphic novel in terms of tone and many audiences expecting the cheerful MCU type of film or straight forward DC property came away confused and disappointed. Yet this show doesn’t try to appeal to the biggest audience possible. Instead it beautifully embraces the weirdness of the original graphic novel so it largely feels like it comes from the world of “Watchmen” (minus the political narrative which feels forced in). The cast does do phenomenal work with Tim Blake Nelson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II being the standouts for me. As for the score from Reznor and Ross I mentioned earlier? They killed it. My only complaint was their score was front loaded into the first half of the season and then barely used in the second half but the music they wrote was phenomenal and the soundtrack featuring oldies and numbers from the musical “Oklahoma” was perfect. The pacing was fantastic, the visuals were flawless and the show has a great blend of drama and mystery with strong action sprinkled in. Flash backs were well utilized and the show doesn’t overstay its welcome, telling nine episodes worth of story. Including several original “Watchmen” characters and some fascinating new ones (I loved Lady Trieu) made the show feel comfortably familiar and refreshingly new at the same time. Overall, this is still a solid show worth watching. It is just a shame that Lindelof couldn’t stop himself from jamming his politics into what could have been a near perfect show. Like a beta male at a women’s march trying to get laid but not actually caring about what’s going on, Lindelof feels like he needs to make up for being a straight, white male by showing off to all of his diverse, leftist Hollywood friends how woke he can be too and it is the thorn in the side of a great show.

#Wokemen / #ThePriceIsVeidt / #BestViewedOnTikTok / #TrieuConfessionsOfADangerousMind / #HoneyIShrunkTheSquids / #OzymandiasTheGreatAndPowerful

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