HBO's 'Watchmen' is the best TV show of the year and the Golden Globes' biggest snub
- "Watchmen," the best TV show of 2019, was completely snubbed from this year's Golden Globes nominations.
- "Watchmen" is HBO's most popular new series of the year and has received rave reviews from critics.
- Lackluster but star-studded shows like Apple's "The Morning Show" and HBO's second season of "Big Little Lies" were nominated instead.
- "Watchmen" is inspired by its graphic-novel source material, which may have turned off the group that votes on the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
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When the nominations for January's Golden Globes were announced Monday morning, one of the most buzz-worthy new shows of the year was absent from the list.
HBO's "Watchmen" was snubbed entirely, failing to gain a single nomination. It's an egregious oversight by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group of international journalists who vote on the Globes.
Why? "Watchmen" is the best TV show of 2019.
Based on the acclaimed 1985 graphic novel of the same name, by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, "Watchmen" has been a ratings champ for HBO and a critical favorite since it debuted in October. It's the premium cable network's most popular new show of the year and has a 96% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. It was recently also nominated in major categories by the Critics Choice Awards.
"Watchmen" acts as a follow-up to the graphic novel, in which a group of masked vigilantes are pulled into a vast and insidious conspiracy when one of their own is murdered. In the show, after a white supremacist group returns to terrorize the Tulsa, Oklahoma police force, Angela Abar (played by Golden Globe and Oscar winner Regina King) is roped into a new kind of conspiracy that has its roots within the world of the novel's alternate history.
It's a highbrow show that is unapologetically inspired by its graphic-novel source material, which may have been a turn off for the HFPA. For instance, the latest episode on Sunday, called "A God Walks Into a Bar," focused on what the all-powerful Doctor Manhattan has been up to between the novel and the show. The sixth episode, "This Extraordinary Being," redefined the backstory of the first superhero in "Watchmen's" world, Hooded Justice.
"As exemplified by riveting and revealing episodic storytelling, where new characters emerge and earn their hour-long spotlights, 'Watchmen' intensifies the majesty of our human experience, even as it keeps its cast on equal footing to the rest of us," Indiewire's Ben Travers wrote in his review of Sunday's episode.
"Watchmen's" snub is even more perplexing when you consider what was nominated for best drama series instead. Apple broke through with "The Morning Show," which was initially panned by critics (reviews have improved slightly since Apple TV Plus launched). And "Big Little Lies" was nominated for its lackluster second season.
We don't know how many people have watched "The Morning Show," but Apple TV Plus has failed to generate much excitement since it debuted last month with little content compared to its competitors. But it stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and HFPA loves star power at its ceremony. The same for "Big Little Lies," which enlisted Meryl Streep this year opposite Nicole Kidman and Witherspoon.
"Watchmen" will have a chance at redemption at the Emmys next year. Hopefully the Television Academy will be more rewarding than HFPA.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).