Watchmen Post Episode 1

I had very mixed reactions to the Watchmen premier on HBO last week. On the one hand, it’s incredibly well done and I can’t stop thinking about it, much like I was obsessed with the original comic book when it first came out in the 1980s. On the other hand, I absolutely despise every single character in this show. No one, so far, is likable or sympathetic except for the family in the opening scene; and based on the closing scene I’m not sure they’ll stay that way in the present day. In the comic book Rorschach, Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan, Laurie Jupiter, and Veidt were all interesting people with some good qualities. Yes, they were all deeply flawed in different ways, but I didn’t detest any of them (except the Comedian, and he was meant to be detestable). Watchmen was a story about good versus good, not good versus evil. Everyone in that story was trying to do what they truly believed was the right thing, and that was the horror of it all.

So far in the TV series, it’s the opposite. I detest everyone. This is a story about evil versus evil. There are no good people, just less bad people or people who are bad in different ways. It’s really hard to root for anyone.

That said, episode 1 answered a few questions I had about HBO’s sequel and opened a few more. In no particular order:

New Questions

How the heck did the Tulsa Police Department, of all people, end up with Archie?


This is a sequel to the comic books, not the movie. The question about trans-dimensional alien attacks established that. It is thoroughly in canon.

Every major character who was alive at the end of the comic books is still alive at the beginning of the series with the possible exception of Daniel Dreiberg.

Veidt’s master plan succeeded (so far). Rorshach’s journal was indeed published by the New Frontiersman and mostly ignored. The conspiracy has held for three decades, though of course, “Nothing ever ends.”

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