On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review the new HBO series WATCHMEN, from creator Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers)! This new series serves as a quasi-sequel to the original WATCHMEN comic book, a brilliant deconstruction of the superhero genre. Written by the legendary Alan Moore with amazing art by Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is a true masterpiece of the comic book medium. TIME Magazine listed the graphic novel among their list of 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.
The graphic novel was adapted into a 2009 film by director, Zack Snyder to a mostly positive reception. DC Comics has published multiple prequel comic book miniseries’ under the banner “Before Watchmen”, telling stories about classic Watchmen characters like Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, The Comedian and more.
Set 30 years after the classic graphic novel in an alternate 2019, police wear masks to protect their identities from a brutal terrorist organization. Following a shocking crime, characters both new and familiar find themselves in the middle of a vast conspiracy. Who Watches The Watchmen? Thanks for listening! Enjoy!
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We’re also continuing our attempt to bring attention to fundraising for cancer research and support for people fighting cancer and their families. At the beginning of the episode, we announced that we’d calling attention to a great charity dedicated to fighting colon cancer. The organization is Colon Cancer Coalition of Boston, you can check out their website right here: https://donate.coloncancercoalition.org/Boston Where you can make donations and find out about upcoming events! Make sure you donate and support #teammichelle 💩 (Michelle’s favorite emoji!)
We’re also trying to raise money directly for the family of Michelle Fabri, who recently lost her fight with colon cancer. Every donation, no matter how small helps, so check out their Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/michellefabri
Starting this week, World’s Best Media begins our 2019 Fall TV Preview! On our website, podcasts, and social media we’ll be covering all of the coolest new and returning shows on TV and Streaming for the rest of the month! Please let us know what you think of our coverage and what series you’d like to see us cover! For our first article we’ll be covering one of my most anticipated new shows and one my favorite returning series…
Watchmen – New Series (HBO)
HBO’s upcoming series Watchmen is, by far, one of my most anticipated film or television projects of the year. It comes to us from Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of LOST and the creator of The Leftovers. Despite some of the haters out there, I think Lindelöf is extremely talented storyteller. Here’s HBO’s official synopsis for the series:
“Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.”
Check out the new trailer here:
Despite any missteps taken throughout the series, I still believe LOST is on incredible achievement in long form storytelling. In fact, warts and all, it’s probably still one of my all-time favorite TV shows. So when I heard Lindelof was developing a Watchmen series for HBO I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but not for the reasons you might think.
When Zack Snyder released he is 2009 film adaptation of the classic graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, many felt that the film was too slavish to the source material. So I felt that after receiving an adaptation of Watchmen that was so close to the comic book, what more could this HBO series really say? Of course my assumptions were all wrong and the story Lindelof is telling isn’t a direct adaptation at all, but more of a sequel. While shrouded in mystery we do know certain characters and story elements like Laurie Jupiter, Mothman, Hooded Justice, Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, and even Dan’s Nightowl ship Archie are a part of the show.
While on the subject of the 2009 Watchmen, though flawed, I think Snyder’s take is ahead of it’s time and a truly excellent film. This is just my opinion, but I think it’s a great adaptation of a phenomenal comic book. Ironically my largest problem with the film, is the change that most people felt was necessary. I strongly felt that Ozymandias’ grand plan didn’t work, as presented in the movie. Veidt’s plan in the comics is a master stroke. Despite how insane it may seem, you can’t deny the twisted logic of it all: Show humanity a clear and present threat that is completely “other”, totally “alien” and it will bring the species together like never before for the sake of mutual survival.
The way Veidt’s attack went down in the graphic novel could in no way be mistaken for anything other than some type of alien invasion. He teleports a giant alien monster (that he spent billions to create using cloning and the minds of some of the world’s best artists) into the heart of New York City, the creature dies on arrival but not before telepathically kills millions of people. No one could mistake this catastrophe for a nuclear launch.
However, in the film Veidt blows up multiple major cities around the world (both in the U.S. and U.S.S.R.), using bombs he’s designed to mimic the energy signature of Doctor Manhattan. This is just as Russia and The U.S. are on the brink of full on nuclear war. My problem with this version of Ozymandias’ plan is that, in the graphic novel there’s no actual explosions that could in anyway be misconstrued for a bomb of any kind. Blowing up multiple major cities both in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. seems incredibly risky considering how close to nuclear annihilation the world is at that moment. The success of his whole plan and the survival of the human race, rests on whether or not “the powers that be” will somehow take the time to analyze the energy signature and determine it’s from Doctor Manhattan. What if they just panic when one of the cities explode and one of the two superpowers launch there nukes? It seems like an awfully big gamble for the so called “smartest man in the world” to be taking. I think changing Veidt’s plan in the films takes away from it’s genius and ultimately hurts the film, fortunately it looks like the the HBO series is sticking with the graphic novels version of events in this department. With Oscar Winner Jeremy Irons taking on the role of Adrian Veidt, I cant fucking wait to see what role he plays in the series. I can’t imagine a man like him sitting on the sidelines…
Regardless, that’s just my two cents on a Watchmen film we’ve already seen. This new series has nothing to do with the 2009 film. As you’ll see in the new trailer and behind the scenes video below, it’s almost a quasi-sequel to the classic graphic graphic novel. As a weekly comic book reader, I’m really primed for a story like this. DC Comics has been doing a lot with the Watchmen characters lately with fantastic stories like Before Watchmen and the incredible Doomsday Clock, DC’s own quasi-sequel to Watchmen. Unlike some other fans, after reading spectacular comics like Doomsday Clock, Watchmen isn’t the sacred cow to me that it may be for some other fans.
The past few years have shown me that excellent stories with the characters and world of Watchmen can be told without Alan Moore. I’m pretty sure Dave Gibbons, Watchmen’s artist is involved with the show in some capacity. The cast looks great and I’d like the creative team involved a lot. HBO is the perfect network for something like this, but check out this very cool behind the scenes video below and judge for yourself. It sheds a little more light on exactly what’s going on with this series…
Watchmen premieres on HBO on October 20th.
Supernatural: The Final Season
The returning show I wanted to talk about today is this one of my all-time favorite television shows. A series I have written about here on the site and has been brought up on the podcast so often, it’s a bit of a running joke. I am of course referring to none other than Supernatural. The hit CW series is heading into its 15th and final season in October. Though the fans and The CW network were more than happy to allow the show to continue pretty much as long as the creative team involved wanted, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam and Dean Winchester wanted to show to go out on a high note. So it is tough as it is to say goodbye to the boys and characters like Castiel, as long time, fan I’d rather see the show go out in a blaze of glory than whimper across the finish line.
Courtesy of EW.com, are the first official photos from Season 15. The pictures are definitely from the first or second episodes of the season because last time we saw them, The Winchesters and Castiel were up shit’s creek surrounded by a fucking horde of zombies. Not to mention all the other monsters and spirits Chuck freed from Hell, which was a really dick move. I think it’s a safe bet The Boys make it out of this situation in one piece, but that victory will be short lived. Because when it come to The Winchesters and company nothing’s ever easy or simple. Hey, shit happens when you piss of an all powerful cosmic entity that gets off on toying with people’s lives. Check it out…
We don’t know a ton about the final season (man, that sucks to write), but one thing we’ve heard from the cast is that dead means DEAD. In the past, this is a show that’s seen a lot of resurrections. Hell, Sam and Dean themselves have died literally dozens of times. So expect a lot more finality when one of the characters checks out this season. Below you can check out a brief trailer, but damn if it doesn’t make me excited!
It also appears that the final season will be seeing a lot of returning characters. Already confirmed are, of course, Chuck, Amara, Adam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Ellen Harvell, and that’s just to name a few. Expect to see some of The Winchester’s oldest friends and worst enemies show up before the series ends. Finally I have an interview with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki talking about what sans can expect from the 15th in the final season especially in the first few episodes.
Man, it’s gonna be tough to see this one go, we posted a few more images below. The Final Season of Supernatural begins on October 10th on The CW
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This was one HELL of weekend for great television. I watched some of the best shows and miniseries that I’d seen all year, just between last Saturday and Sunday. Amazon Prime debuted their six-episode miniseries Good Omens on Thursday. The story is based on the classic novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. A unique and fun blend of comedy/drama/fantasy, the miniseries follows a demon named Crowley (David Tennent) and an angel named Aziraphael (Michael Sheen) who’ve been on Earth since the Garden of Eden a develop an unlikely friendship over the millennials. When orders come from their higher ups that Armageddon is about to begin with the birth of The Antichrist, Crowley and Aziraphael do everything they can to stop the Apocalypse because the like living on Earth too much. There’s a lot to love here, including a fantastic supporting cast (Jon Hamm, Francis McDormand, Brian Cox, etc.), but what makes the miniseries a real home run is the amazing chemistry between David Tennent and Michael Sheen. They’re very entertaining to watch. The show lights up whenever they’re on screen together and the genuine affection they have for one another, despite what they say to the contrary, is very sweet.
Finally after years of rumors and false starts, Deadwood: The Movie premiered on HBO Friday night. The classic HBO series ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006. When the show was canceled, the series didn’t have any opportunity to offer closure for the characters or the story. So this movie is what longtime fans who never received a resolution to major storylines and character arcs have been waiting for. The movie is a beautiful love letter to Deadwood. Getting to see where our favorite characters like Bullock, Trixie, Dan, and of course Ian McShane as the iconic Al Swearengen, along with so many others characters large and small.
HBO also wrapped up their terrifying and sobering miniseries Chernobyl, starring Jarred Harris and Stellan Skarsgard. The miniseries offer a grim and frightening look into the true story of the Russian Chernobyl Power Plant nuclear reactor explosion in 1986. The show chronicles the event, which was one the worst man made disasters in history. It’s a gripping show that is PAUL SR.’s PERSONAL HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
The last show we cover on this week’s podcast is the launch of the latest live-action original series from the DC Universe Streaming Service, Swamp Thing. The story follows Dr. Abigail Arcane (Crystal Reed), a doctor working for the CDC who has to return to her home town in Louisiana following a bizarre outbreak. There she meets disgraced scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) who believes that outbreak is connected to some very weird shit going on in the local swamp. So far, DC Universe has only released the first episode with a new episode becoming available every Friday. I’ve enjoyed all of the original content DC Universe has put out so far, but this series premiere was by far my favorite. The performances are solid with a good cast, but what makes the show really stand out, is how it leans hard into the horror aspects of the source material to great effect. I’m a huge Swamp Thing fan and the first episode had me itching for more.
Each show couldn’t be more different from the other, but they’re all spectacular! Join myself and co-host Paul Sr as we breakdown each of these fantastic projects! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, ITunes, & more: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18181256
This weekend, DC is premiering their latest live action television series, Swamp Thing, on their DC Universe Streaming Service. Swamp Thing is one of my all-time favorite DC comic books, so I’m very excited to see an adaptation of this classic series. Early word is that the show is very good and really leans into the horror vibe that the comic book lends itself to. You can check out the trailer below and some photos from the first few episodes. Swamp Thing starring Andy Bean, Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, and Kevin Durand premieres on 5/31/19 on DC Universe. Swamp Thing is executive produced by James Wan, director of Insidious, The Conjuring 1 & 2, Fast 7, Aquaman, and more.
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen is widely considered to be one of, if not the best comic book ever written. I remember the magic of getting into to comic for the first time and being blown away by the classics of the medium: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and of course Watchmen. Watchmen still holds up as a brilliant, powerful masterpiece of storytelling. I don’t think Watchmen’s impact on the comic book medium can be understated.
However, as comic books have become more and more mainstream, Watchmen itself has become more mainstream. 20 years ago meeting someone else who read Watchmen was special because it was rare. If you read Watchmen, you knew something amazing that everyone else didn’t. As superhero stories and comic books became a part of pop culture in a major way, so did Watchmen. More people started to read the original graphic novel. We got Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film (an under appreciated gem, in my opinion), DC published Before Watchmen (Many of those miniseries’ were excellent), and like anything else, the more there is, the less special it becomes.
I still love the original Watchmen comic book. I’m making this point because Watchmen isn’t the sacred cow to me that it may be to some people. Which is why I’ve been on board with almost everything DC has chosen to do with the Watchmen Universe in the wake of DC REBIRTH. However, I’m mainly here to tell you that Geoff John’s and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock is one of the best goddamn comic books on the shelves right now.
I will be discussing SPOILERS here, so fair warning if you want to remain SPOILER–FREE…
A few weeks ago, Issue #7 of the 12 Issue miniseries went on sale and as the story hit it’s half way mark, it really kicked into a new gear. I wanted to wait awhile for people to read the latest issue before I commented on it. This is arguably the most significant series DC has published since the creation of THE NEW 52 in terms of its impact on the DC Universe.
For the most part I’m not going to recap the previous 6 Issues and instead focus mainly on Issue #7. First if all, hats off to the amazing art by Gary Frank. Frank’s been one of the best artists in the business for years, but he’s doing career best stuff here. He perfectly captures the “feel’ of the original Watchmen with copying the work of Dave Gibbons. I don’t think there’s another artist working in mainstream comics that can do what he’s doing here. He’s walking a fine line between being his own artist while making this series feel very much like a follow up to Watchmen.
The entire series, if not everything since DC REBIRTH, has been building to Doctor Manhattan’s full appearance. We finally get it here and it is suitably epic. You could definitely say this is the chapter of the story where the shit begins to hit the fan. Ozymadias, the new Rorschach, Marionette, Mime, The Comedian, Batman, and The Joker finally come face to face with Doctor Manhattan and the whole issue is pretty fucking awesome.For the most part, Johns makes the insanity of all these unique characters coming together wildly entertaining, but I’ll come back to that in a minute.
Before I get too ahead of myself, the book opens with a fantastic scene that involves Doctor Manhattan and old school Green Lantern Alan Scott, that’s pretty damn chilling. It not only gives insight into how Manhattan perceive reality, but it also lets us see Jon ( Doctor Manhattan’s real name) as a more sinister character than he was in the original Watchmen. It gives the reader a sense of ominous dread that sets the tone for the story to come.
Johns is one of the best writers of DC Comics characters of all time. He’s so often able to take characters that aren’t that compelling and turn them into some of the best characters in comics. He did it will Green Lantern, The Flash, The JSA, Hawkman, Aquaman, and more. One of the reasons this issue is so impressive, is that Johns beautifully captures the “voice” of each of the Watchmen characters, which is why the comic works so well. However, for some reason the character he can’t quite get right is Batman.
Geoff Johns has an almost supernatural ability to get inside the heads of DC characters, with sole exception of Batman. Batman should always be the smartest guy in the room, but under Johns’ writing he comes across as being 2 steps behind. That is NOT Batman.
I will concede that Johns may be improving when it comes to writing Batman. There’s a moment in this chapter when Doctor Manhattan finally shows up, in the flesh, for the first time. A moment that has been building since DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. As the closets thing to God himself that Bruce has ever seen teleports into a room full of killers, mad men, and geniuses, Batman immediately glares right into Doctor Manhattan’s eyes and says “I know how you are”. A very cool, very Batman moment.
Each of these characters get some great moments together, but I wish there was a more substantial confrontation between Batman and Doctor Manhattan. I don’t mean physical, obviously, but I would have liked to see them interact more. We’ve still have a fair amount of issues left before the series wraps up, so I’ll probably get to see something like that sooner or later.
Without getting into too much detail, we finally find out why Doctor Manhattan came to the DCU. It’s a great scene where we’re given some answers, but even more questions.The scene also underscores the slightly darker character Doctor Manhattan has become. One thing he makes very clear to Adrian Veidt is that he has no intention of going back to the Watchmen Universe. He believes that world’s time is over. It beyond saving and not worth his attention. Needless to say Veidt is not happy. The scene ends with some shocking revelations about Veidt that fundamentally change his relationship with Reggie, the new Rorschach.
This is perhaps an Adrian Veidt more dangerous than we’ve ever seen. He’s just as ruthless and cunning as he’s always been. This issue shows us that the man who killed millions in service of “the greater good”may not have learned from his mistakes after all. He’s the same manipulative sociopath he’s always been and he’s got a plan. By the end of the Issue it seems like Ozymandias has gone “full villain”.
Finally, the most unsettling revelation is that in one month, Doctor Manhattan will have a fateful encounter with an enraged Superman. We know Doctor Manhattan doesn’t perceive time in the way everyone else does. He sees the past, present, and future all at once. So, what makes this information so disturbing is that Jon cannot see the future beyond the point of his confrontation with Superman.Which means one of two things, either Superman will destroy Doctor Manhattan or Doctor Manhattan will destroy everything. Considering that we’ve seen very little of the Man of Steel in this series so far, it seems like that’s about to change in a big way. It’s hard to see a scenario where Superman comes out on top in a fight with Doctor Manhattan, so I’m anxiously awaiting their meeting. After all, Doctor Manhattan has screwed with Clark’s life in significant ways recently. Most notably “resurrecting” Jor-El, who’s been running around the DCU causing trouble as Mr. Oz.
Though the shipping schedule has been somewhat frustrating, the series began in November 2017 and Issue 8 is slated for release in mid-November, at least it’s picking up slightly. Regardless of these minor flaws, Doomsday Clock has been a fantastic series that has vastly surpassed my expectations. What could have easily been a cash grab by DC has become a truly worthy follow up to Watchmen.
If you were skeptical about what is essentially a sequel to Watchmen, rest assured that these characters are in good hands. I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s a must read.
Have you ever wanted to pick up a comic book or graphic novel, but didn’t know where to start? Well you’re in luck! Because on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Uncle Paul recommends some of the BEST graphic novels to read if you’re COMPLETELY new to comics!
With all of the superhero movie in theatres, deciding what comics to read for the first time can be intimidating. Especially when there are literally thousands of graphic novels out there to choose from. But fortunately you first time readers, the TV shows and Movies have only scratched the surface of all the amazing stories told in the comic book medium. If you’re a long time reader, you might be inspired to revisit some of the classics covered here (or check out one or two of the unexpected picks)!
After the episode links, I put a the complete list of all graphic novels discussed in this episode and where readers can find them! As always you can listen below, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher or Itunes:
It’s Paul and I’m very excited to announce my brand new Podcast… PAUL’S PULLS! As you all know I LOOOOOOOVE comic books and superheroes, so this podcast is all comics all the time. It’s a shorter show than “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, but it’s perfect for the format. Each episode I’ll be recommending the best comics of the week and talk about comic book or comic book movie, Comic book TV, COMIC BOOK ANYTHING news! I really hope you’ll enjoy it. In the first episode I give an annotated breakdown of the awesome new DC series Doomsday Clock. Then I wrap thing up talking about the very cool new superhero show Black Lightning. The podcast will be available on iTunes soon but for now you can listen to it right here: