How Watchmen Could Improve

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Guys – first and most importantly of all, sincere thanks for all your hard work on the podcast – you were a great wingman to the actual show!

So on to the show

The positives
1. The most outstanding element of the show was the acting – from “The Don” Johnson singing a song from Oklahoma around the dinner table in episode 1 to James Wolk in the adult diaper in episode 9. Special call outs to Louis Gossett Jnr and Tim Blake Nelson – hope they get an Emmy nom.

2. Some great set piece scenes and action. I must say, as someone of the same age as Regina King, wow that girl could move during those action scenes. Great to see a Gen X’er in that role!

The not so positive

1. Why oh why did we not get more Looking Glass….to the characters in the Watchman world, he may seem like a stereotypical conspiracy theory obsessed redneck . Yes he is all that, but he is so much more – he has strong instinctual intelligence, smart observations, his dead pan dislike of racism and a repressed sensitivity resulting from what happened the night of the Giant Squid event. My evidence supporting this view is his ex wife – why would a nice well educated middle class girl, in the first place, marry someone who did not have more to him than a truckers hat and a bomb shelter in his house.

2. Trying to follow the story as a Watchman virgin was a lot of work but not in the good Intersteller or WW way. This would have been helped by my next point.

3. The pace of the story – they fit into a single season enough to fill up 3-5 quality seasons. I so wished they explored the themes and the characters more. We went from a slightly alternative reality for most of the season to full blown out superhero action for the last couple of episodes. I think they did not use the genre and story particularly effectively as an allegory to explore interesting subjects/themes….and so on to my next point.

4. The racism issues – I think a great opportunity was lost here to have an interesting well rounded analysis of this complex issue. I would have been very interested to understand and learn more on why something like the Seventh Calvary can thrive in a contemporary setting. At the start of the season the scene of the 7th C member driving along but listening to rap music gave me hope, we would not just look at racism in a narrow binary framework.
Also, we had zero insight into how African American’s felt on the world they live in and on how they felt about Redfordations and the Seventh Calvary. Instead we only get to to see the reactions of people associated with the establishment aka the police. I would have also loved to better understand Judd’s character and views – there seemed to be a lot of complexity here to look at – from his close
relationship with Angela to his racial views as a “white man in Oklahoma” (as Looking Glass said during the season).

5, The ending – no matter what they did to end the season a lot of viewers would not be happy – I was not a fan of how they did it. I would rather have seen the end coming with Angela and Will in the theater. As King Lear says at the end of the play of the same name “the wheel has come full circle”.

Overall, I would put Watchman in terms of quality obviously above GOT season 7 & 8 but below WW. On the Shat meter a 2.5 wiper, sadly with a lot of opportunity lost to do something more with an interesting proposition.

Keep up the good fight and looking forward to the discussion on the podcast of the WW esoteric plot points.

Best.
Tom from Chicago

P.S. One for Roger on his Biblical thesis – I might have missed this being mentioned on the podcast – the Angela and Angel connection (Angela is derived from the Greek word ángelos meaning “messenger of God”).

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