Updated: Oct 24, 2019
It seems as if, just like in our country, there is a big divide among fans of the original Watchmen and the HBO series.
If you tuned in to Sunday's episode expecting to see a continuation of Zack Snyder's 2009 rendition of the movie you might have been disappointed. Especially if you were a fan of the movie. First off, WE GOT SQUIDS! As these small things are raining on top of people's cars in the premiere episode this immediately tells us that we are taking canon from the original graphic novel and not the 2009 movie where Dr. Manhattan was the cause of millions of people dying in New york. There are a ton of fans who like the movie ending more than the squid ending in the graphic novel because it makes more sense and it certainly does in the movie adaptation. But in the graphic novel there are so many small plots that lead up to the squid ending, mainly the disappearance of the writer Max Shea and how he fits into the ending, the movie could not have possibly integrated that into it unless Warner Bros. would have made it into a trilogy. But i digress. You have apples and you have oranges.
Rotton Tomatoes so far has a critic score of 98% and an audience score that totals 45%. As you can see there is a large disparity of what the audience likes and what the critics like. It has been like that on many occasions where critics and audience perceptions don't exactly align and there is nothing wrong with that. What makes this particular situation curious though from reading a lot of the comments of why people don't like the show is because some claim that it's "overly political," or "too liberally biased," or even referring to the Tulsa, OK Black Wall Street massacre as "that never happened and the show is propaganda made to make you believe something that's not true." Are these fair arguments? Maybe. Certainly entertainment media is there to entertain you and if it educates you in the process then maybe as a viewer you may be all the better for it. Some of the comments though are completely dismissive going as far into some to say they tried 15 minutes and it looked like complete trash and they stopped.
Certainly everyone has a right to their opinion and the right to express it on social media they way they see fit but I challenge those who have dismissed it to give it a chance to see where this thing is going. There were a ton of hidden gems and call backs to the graphic novel and a TON of world building that captures the overall FEEL of the graphic novel that if you are really a true fan of the Alan Moore classic you can drown out all the noise a see the details that fill this story out. AND thats just after one episode! The original Watchmen started off with a murder mystery of who killed The Comedian and this episodes starts us off the same way with the murder of Judd the police chief and as of right now we know not who. Sure you may see "Redfordations"or even the aggressive actions of Angela aka Sister Night as confirmation bias of the fantasy of black people taking out white racists and getting government assistance as an apology as liberally indulgent and but if you dig deeper into this world as presented in the episode everyone's actions create a reaction that ends up having unfortunate consequences. The "fantasy" presented here may not be as great as it seems. Again there are repercussions. Just like the graphic novel.
This is not a show set out to make liberals as saints or conservatives as bad guys or the reverse no matter what you believe. This is an entertainment show designed to entertain you first with its evolving mystery and have you think, should you decide to do so, take that route. There is a PETEYPEDIA page that fills out many questions BRILLIANTLY about the world building presented in this show where if you take the time to look a lot more things about the world will begin to make sense. Alan Moore did it with the extended excerpts after each chapter and it appears they are doing the same thing here. It is interesting how society in this universe dealt with technology and politics in the Petey documents after the squid incident(which in the Peteypedia they refer to as "Dimensional Incursion Event" D.I.E. Hilarious). The point is you are missing out on a well thought out crafted world that Alan Moore I'm sure would appreciate especially since his main beef with DC is that they lied to him about not giving him back the rights to his work to Watchmen because they exploited a loophole in the contract by keeping the prints in existence instead of stopping reprints so his rights would revert back. I would be pissed too and fuck DC for that.
If you've made it this far reading this I thank you and all i ask is that you give the episode another shot if you assumed it was one way. They really do capture the spirit of the "sacred" text from Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins and it's deserving of as many eyes as possible. Ignore your biases because we all don't have to agree on everything but entertainment is just entertainment and not a brainwashing propaganda machine(shout out to all my conspiracy theorists!). Don't take it too literal because at the end of the day shit could be worse.
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