Binge Watch – 400 Top TV Shows (2010-2019) #5 – Watchmen

Ranked Top TV Show Synopsis with Reviews on Watchmen

Written and Ranked By: C. A. Ponch

As a reminder – To qualify for the list I followed these basic guidelines:

  1. I watched at least three to five episodes of each show finishing most first seasons of every series on this list. Some shows were so bad that it was not worth watching more than three to five episodes. I gave them a chance. For the majority of the series, I have seen every episode.
  2. Each of the top TV shows could not have more than 30 episodes a season. That eliminated all late-night shows like “The Tonight Show”, variety of programs like “Sports Center”, and singing competitions like “American Idol” and “The Voice”. Also, I didn’t include morning shows like “The Today Show”, etc. If it were a series that aired more than once a week, it was unfortunately just too much content for me to review.
  3. Each series had to have at least three episodes air/stream per season to qualify. This eliminated event TV and made for TV movies but did include some great mini-series.
  4. No reality competitions or junk reality TV. That is not acting, and they show no real craftsmanship to judge. Those series are almost impossible to review. Variety shows with actual writers like SNL were included.
  5. Documentaries were accepted, but only if they were season-long documentaries with more than three episodes. I decided the difference between what qualified as a documentary series and a reality series. Reality series generally create situations and observe those situations for the entertainment of the viewer in an on-going manner much like life itself. A documentary series attempts to educate the viewer by presenting facts through a series of observations that are a full product having a beginning, middle, and end. It’s a fine line, but documentaries tend to inform or educate while entertaining.
  6. Each program had to have at least three episodes air during the past decade (2010-2019) that I actually saw, but I ranked TV shows from their full body of work of which that I have seen since their inception. This eliminated anything that didn’t have an episode air after 2009 but it also eliminated a few shows like “The Simpsons”, and “NCIS” which although I have seen more than three episodes of; I haven’t seen enough episodes of those shows in the past ten years. In fact, a few series on this list would have been ranked higher, had they just ended earlier before the quality of the show deteriorated.
  7. Lastly, there is one exception on this list of the shows I have watched this decade but can’t rank: “Sesame Street”. It’s still one of the greatest children’s top TV shows of all time. If you have young children, “Sesame Street” should be #1 on this list, if you don’t have young children, why are you watching “Sesame Street”? That’s strange and you may want to seek help.

Don’t see your favorite show below? Check out our Binge Watch – 400 Favorite TV Shows 10-6

5. Watchmen (HBO – 2019 to Present):  Ponch: 10/10

“Watchmen” is an action drama and follow up story created by Damon Lindelof (“Lost”, “The Leftovers”) to one of the greatest comic book graphic novels of all time. You do not need to read the “Watchmen” graphic novel by Moore and Gibbons or watch the “Watchmen” movie to understand the series. It does give you enough info and stands on its own, however, if you are a fan of the comic book genre and you have read the graphic novel or even saw parts of the movie you probably will enjoy this show more. There are differences between the comics and movies but not many, this show is a sequel set 34 years after the graphic novel. It is not a sequel to the movie.

Season one trailer

The setting

The show is a modern comic book sci-fi tale set in an alternative America where Robert Redford is President. It is similar to our reality with some major differences; there is no internet, police wear masks to protect their identities, superheroes and powers do exist, and weirdly it rains squids every day. Other than that, it’s very similar to the world we live in.

Introducing the characters

Tulsa, OK police Detective Angela Abar/ Sister Night (Regina King) investigates the return of a white supremacist terrorist group called the “Seventh Kavalry”, after the attack of the local police department, with only two survivors: King’s Abar and Chief of Tulsa Police (Don Johnson).  You are also introduced to Jeremy Irons playing Adrian Veidt, former vigilante Ozymandias “smartest man in the world”, Jean Smart as former Silk Spectre, Laurie Blake who is now an FBI agent, Hong Chau as Lady Chau a mysterious woman who is the owner of Trieu industries along with other interesting characters who make up this world including a superb Tim Blake Nelson as WadeTillman/Looking Glass.

The best comic book show of all time

A lot of reviewers may say I have “Watchmen” ranked too high on this list considering there is only one season (and we may not get a second season), but this one season of “Watchmen” is the best comic book TV show of all time and outside of “The Dark Knight” and maybe a few “Avengers” films this is the best Superhero property I have ever seen on the screen.

Deep layered story with a twist

There are so many plot points that come together at the end, so many mysteries that unravel. If you are into deep layered stories and twist endings, this dark thriller is for you. The acting is superbly led by Regina King who is part of a very diverse cast, and the story works even if we view it as a miniseries and never see a season two. “Watchmen” looks at a very race divided real world through superhero tropes. Much like the graphic novel deconstructed and satirized the superhero genre, this show does the same for TV. That isn’t an overstatement. The way this show handles the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 on “Black Wall Street” and somehow weaves that into the “Watchmen” comic book history is remarkable. 

Incorporating real-world issues

Lindelof and the other creators add so many of the biggest real-world problems of today including race wars, and fascism with traditional comic book stories, police procedurals, and even mixes in questions about religion.  At first, you may find it jarring that a superhero show is bold enough to incorporate all these elements, but it is never forced and how they did it, is truly amazing. Between movies and TV, there are so many comic book shows; it can now be considered its own genre. Much like the original comic from 1986, “Watchmen” the TV show completely changes the perspective of what a comic book show could be and if you don’t like the superhero genre usually, don’t skip this, because “Watchmen” is still one of the best dramas of all time.

*Spoilers* Top 10 best moments in Watchmen

IMDB 8.1/10 – RT 95% – Metacritic 85%

Streaming On: HBO Now/Go/Max Subscription

Watchmen FAQs

What is the story behind Watchmen?

Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate break-in was never exposed. … A commercial success, Watchmen has received critical acclaim both in the comics and mainstream press.

Who are the watchman?

Watchmen is a twelve-issue comic book limited series created by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins, published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987. Watchmen focuses on six main characters: the Comedian, Doctor Manhattan, the Nite Owl, Ozymandias, Rorschach, and the Silk Spectre

Why does Rorschach’s mask move?

Dr. Manhattan might be the only true superhero among them, but Rorschach is the real face of Watchmen–or at least his ever-shifting mask is. … “In the graphic novel the explanation [for the mask] is that there are two plastic membranes with fluid between them, and the fluid moves like a lava lamp,” DesJardin says.

Why was Watchmen Cancelled?

It was recently revealed that the first season of Watchmen was actually intended to have one additional episode, only for it to be canceled because Lindelof felt it would be “filler”

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