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Watchmen (HBO) Season One

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Josh Dial, Oct 20, 2019.

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  1. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    The first season of Watchmen airs tonight on HBO.

    The series takes place decades after the events of the comic.

    Damon Lindelof, fresh off his run with The Leftovers (which, in my opinion, was a perfect show), is writer (on all but one episode) and showrunner. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross compose.

    Early critic reviews are quite positive.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    In
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I'll probably catch up in a few weeks when I resubscribe to HBO for "His Dark Materials".
     
  4. Greg.K

    Greg.K Screenwriter

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    Same, that may be enough justification.
     
  5. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    I loved the premiere. It's clear from both the style and content that Lindelof and crew "get" Watchmen.

    Jeremy Irons is almost certainly playing Ozymandias, right? Based on what we saw my early theory is that he's either in the past or the future. Remember that as part of his plot to obscure Dr. Manhattan's ability to see his future, Ozymandias was "experimenting" with tachyons. My guess is his servants are creations (not humans) just as he created Bubastis. Perhaps they are androids. This would explain why the one didn't know to use a knife and not a horse shoe to cut the cake, and also how he was able to assemble a pocket watch from sketches (I think that's what he said he used) and old parts. Lastly, being in past or some sort of dystopian future where there are no (or few) humans explains why Jeremy Irons' character would need to use his servants to play the leads in his play.

    Perhaps Jeremy Irons' character is working to fix (or prevent) whatever The Seventh Cavalry is doing.

    The castle Jeremy Irons' character rode up to looked sort of like the one Dr. Manhattan was building on Mars. Not sure what to make of that.

    Great show--pure Lindelof right now.
     
  6. Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper Cinematographer

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    Yeah, this one and His Dark Materials are going to severely test my desire to not subscribe to HBO.
     
  7. Message #7 of 44 Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    ...And of course this show is getting review-bombed on Rotten Tomatoes by a mix of dullards upset that this here comic book-show is makin' them think, obtuse idiots who don't think white supremacy is at all a relevant issue right now, and basement-dwelling Alan Moore acolytes who somehow manage not to understand the very thing they claim to worship.

    My personal favorite:

    WHY WON'T YOU JUST LET ME STAY IGNORANT, TV?!?!

    Not to mention that, obviously, if you just want "cool superhero" action, without social commentary, Watchmen is totes the brand you want to follow.
     
  8. Timothy E

    Timothy E Screenwriter
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    Did the children skip Kennedy while they were sitting at the dinner table listing U.S. presidents from Roosevelt to Redford? If so, why?

    Kennedy met with Dr. Manhattan in the original graphic novel, so it is established that he served as President between Eisenhower and Johnson in that reality as well as our own.

    Of course, the children might have mistakenly omitted Kennedy from their list, but what is the purpose of that vignette other than to establish that Redford followed Nixon as president? It is already mentioned elsewhere in the first episode that Redford has been president for the last 30 years, and his portrait featured prominently in the classroom portrait of presidents. Is the omission of Kennedy in the list a hint that this is a different reality from the graphic novel? Or did I just miss Kennedy’s name mentioned in that scene?
     
  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    It was an interesting premiere, and I will keep watching this season. I admit I don't have a lot of faith in Damon Lindelof, whose writing I have found to be very frustrating. But the premise is gripping and that cast is terrific.
     
  10. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    I'm on board and look forward to more savvy posters on this thread illuminating relevant material from the graphic novel origins (which it's been a while since I read - I only remember the part where they 'co-opted' the plot from my favorite The Outer Limits episode "The Architects of Fear.") The massacre in Tulsa at the beginning in 1921 was a real event.
     
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  11. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    It is stunning to me that airplanes were actually involved in the real incident. (They were, I looked it up, although it seems they dropped bombs, and didn't use machine guns.)

    And amen on the Architects of Fear. There was some controversy over the use of the ending. Editor Len Wein says Moore lifted it; Moore claims he found out about the show after his story was already plotted.
     
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  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think it's possible that Moore heard about Architects Of Fear from someone or read about it but since it was mid-80's England, I can buy that he didn't see it or realize he was boosting it.


    I bet that guy thinks Rorschach is the cool character that he wants to be like.
     
  13. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Pretty dazzling, head spinning premiere episode. I'm still kind of processing it, so not much to say in terms of analysis. Spent a good part of the episode scanning for details in the background and dialog to get a sense of how this alternate world compares to our world. I knew that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were doing the score and this was very obvious during the pulsing score that accompanied the night raid at the cow farm.

    Lindelof tends to leave a bit too much unexplained for my taste, so I am approaching the series with a touch of apprehension; but the overall experience of the first episode was very strong.

    - Walter.
     
  14. CRW

    CRW Auditioning

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    Moore knew about "Architects of Fear" well before he ended the graphic novel. When you read the final issue on one panel there's an image of TV set advertising "The Outer Limits" and the episode featured is "Architects of Fear." Moore lifted the idea. (And BTW, so did Ronald Reagan. He said in one speech how the world would unite if we were attacked by aliens.)
     
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  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Hey just a quick note here: Lindelof is playing with fire a bit with regard to his depiction of race relations as it's echoed against today's America. I have faith that he is going to thread this needle neatly.

    BUT

    That means we are going to be especially on edge WRT the discussion of that issue in this thread at HTF. Please be adults here and respect the P&R ban, don't make us delete posts that merely reference the issue.
     
  16. CRW

    CRW Auditioning

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    I'm not sure if Irons' "Lord of the Manor" is Ozymandias or Manhattan. Some "clues" seem to point to him being Veidt while others seem point to Manhattan. But none are conclusive. On the Manhattan side there's the structure on Mars that resembles Irons' stately country manor. (And is that manor even on Earth? There's that star filled transition from the farmhouse raid to the Manor. Merely artful or purposeful?) Irons' initial nakedness, him in a lotus position appearing to levitate, his almost isolation - Manhattan didn't care much for people and their company so maybe those servants are some kind of artificial life, the play he's writing and the almost theatrical perhaps "phony" voice Irons' affects. Could this be some kind of bubble reality? Manhattan certainly has the power.

    The downside of that guess is Manhattan said he was done with this universe and was off to explore others. Why would he return and why take the form of a 70 year old man?

    On the Veidt side there's to the manor born lifestyle - Veidt didn't hide his wealth and status under a bushel - the possibility of artificial life with his servants - a la Bubastis - the beginnings of a grand plan that will effect humanity, the cake with the icing colored similar to Ozymandias' costume and Irons' age would line up with Veidt's. (Of course, where's the Egyptian paraphernalia Veidt was so fond of?)

    Can't wait to see what's next.
     
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  17. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    I thought it was a pretty amazing premiere episode. Regina King is great, Don Johnson is great. Their scenes together are gold.
    A lot of tense, and mysterious ambiance, feathered with some classic Watchmen familiarity.

    I remember reading "Watchmen" graphic novel about a decade ago, and getting lost in it. I read the 12 books in two nights. I kind of want to do the same with this series just wait until the end of season, and binge.
     
  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    FIOS is having an HBO free preview weekend, so I caught the 12:30 airing of the premiere.

    Yes. The initial closed captioning HBO released for the trailer accidentally identified him as such. There are plenty of clues though, starting with the yellow and purple colors of his "anniversary" cake.

    I think it was just a slip up on the kids' part; Lindelof has stated that the original comics are canon, and Kennedy played a prominent role in said comics.

    The interesting one for me is that Ford was president between Nixon and Redford. That suggests that he remained Nixon's vice president through his many, many terms of office. Redford was elected in 1992, replacing Clinton, so presumably Nixon won a sixth term in the 1988 election, and died in office a la FDR in 1945. Ford then became president in accordance with the 25th Amendment but either didn't seek reelection or was defeated by Redford.

    Yes, the point of divergence from real history was 1938, when Hooded Justice began his work as a costumed vigilante. So everything prior to 1938 should match the real world history when it comes to the big stuff.

    Me too. Much like "The Man in the High Castle", this is a feast for the eyes when it comes to production design and set decoration. I especially appreciate the differences in technology; in some ways 2019 of the Watchmen universe is more advanced, and in other ways -- like the use of beepers and CRT monitors and the lack of smart phones -- it is significantly less advanced.

    I'm just glad that it's telling a story that's adjacent to the comics, rather than another direct adaptation. Zach Snyder's version did a pretty good job, and aside from the ending was a pretty faithful adaptation. So I don't need another live action take. I'd much rather see what this is offering, which is other places and other time periods of this fictional universe.

    LindeIof had said that he's telling a one-and-done nine-episode story with a complete beginning middle and end. I wouldn't mind if each season was an anthology with a different showrunner and writing staff, where the only connection was taking place in this same fictional universe.

    Also arguing against that: the contemporary satellite footage of the glowing blue man on Mars, playing God.

    It's interesting that Johnson got second billing as a series regular, and then he's dead at the end of the first episode. Is this a Janet Leigh as Marion Crane situation, is the storytelling going to be nonlinear where he has a big role to play in flashbacks, or was his death staged?
     
  19. Message #19 of 44 Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    More like a Ned Stark moment, I suspect, which means he won't be turning up in subsequent episodes.


    (Wrong!)
     
  20. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    There will be more to his character than that. In either of the ways you mention, I'm sure of it.
     
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