(On Cable TV, December 2019) Like nearly everyone with knowledge of the Watchmen comic book run of the late 1980s, I was not convinced of the necessity of a TV series adaptation at all. Watchmen is a singular work of comic-book genius—it doesn’t need to be transformed into an ongoing multimedia franchise of adaptations and follow-ups. But the critical response to the TV show was highly positive, and I ended up with a day in which I could run through the entire thing in a single marathon. My conclusion? I’m pleasantly surprised. Acting as a sequel and remake but also striking out in directions that the original comic never could have anticipated, Watchmen ends up being a powerful statement about American-specific racism, the dubious use of superheroes, the dangers of vigilantism and the opportunities of personal empowerment in a very literal sense. With a bit of retrospect, it’s a show that popularized interest in the 1921 Tulsa race massacre—something I hate myself for not knowing beforehand. But it’s a show that also tapped into very contemporary issues: no one would have expected the original Watchmen run to be such a rich springboard from which to talk about American racism. Blending American history with the aftermath of the Watchmen mythology is one of the surprises of the series—the quality of the production and the writing being one of them. One segment is worth singling out as a particularly fine piece of television: penultimate episode eight, “A God Walks into Abar,” which jumps around in non-chronological segments that finally bring everything together for a spectacular climax. Show-runner Damon Lindelof is a divisive creator, but his work here is nothing short of exceptional, delivering a complex, slick, provocative and quite entertaining piece of prestige TV that’s not afraid of not being overly slavish to its source material. Consider me convinced of the project’s reason for existing.