Watchmen (HBO) Season 1, Episode 3 – “She Was Killed By Space Junk” Written by Damon Lindeloff & Lila Byock Directed by Stephen Williams
As I am watching Watchmen, I’m often wondering what this experience must be like for someone who has never read the graphic novel. This episode, in particular, will not hit a viewer as hard if they aren’t already familiar with Laurie Blake, formerly Laurie Juspeczyk, aka Silk Spectre. Knowing the story of Laurie’s mother, the revelation of her father, and the complexity of her relationships with Dr. Manhattan and Nite Owl adds so much to the experience of watching this chapter. But I also think seeing Laurie as a blank slate could provide a fresh understanding of who she is as an aging woman, turning on the masked vigilante community that she was once a part of, and immediately clashing with the Tulsa police.
Naomi: Season One (2019) Written by Brian Michael Bendis & David F. Walker Art by Jamal Campbell
It’s rare to see a completely new character debut in the first issue of their own title, not directly tied to the legacy of a pre-established figure in their shared comic book universe. Legendary creator Brian Michael Bendis, a figure who overhauled and recreated Marvel comics through the late 1990s and 2000s, arrived at DC, who apparently wrote him a blank creative check. Bendis was asked what his ideas were rather than be handed properties as the company saw fit. One of his first points of order was to take the Superman books in a whole new direction. Once that was underway, he rolled out Wonder Comics, an imprint he would curate similar to Gerard Way’s Young Animal line.
Disney’s The Kid (2000) Written by Audrey Wells Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Why am I doing this? I perfectly reasonable question to ask. As someone who watches lots of movies, reads up on actors, directors, writers, genres, etc., I will eventually come across movies I half-remember or never even knew got made. These are not low budget, indie picture but films with considerable financial backing, starring well-known performers, and distributed by major studios. Yet, they have been forgotten, very intentionally. There are approximately 700 English-language films released in the United States annually. With all of the quality control mechanisms and studio notes, we still get complete stinkers put on the big screen. Or the studio realizes in the wake of filming that they have just financed a disaster and try to cobble together something palatable in the editing room. Regardless, these movies are released and then systematically ignored by the people who made them, hoping general audiences allow them to fade into obscurity. Well, I’m here to watch them and write about them for this “We’d Rather You Forgot’ film series.
The Need by Helen Phillips There are subtle shades of Jordan Peele’s “Us” present throughout this novel as it tells the story of a housewife encountering an entity in her home that will up-end her life. Molly is an anthropologist by day and worn out mother by night, often tasked with caring for her two very young children by herself while Molly’s husband is away. It’s one of these lonely nights at home when Molly becomes aware that something else is in the house. The brief movement of a toy chest lid in the living room informs her that this thing is watching her, and when it reveals herself, she isn’t quite sure how to process what is going on. Then the deal is struck, and soon, Molly finds she’s an outsider in her own life, becoming an observer as someone else takes her place. The scary part is that Molly finds relief in handing the burden of parenthood off to another. The Need is a tightly written and deeply existential & weird text. I’m not a parent, but the anxieties experienced by parents are palpable in this book. I imagine this could be a cathartic release for parents who naturally have those moments of regret from time to time.
Watchmen (HBO) Season 1, Episode 2 – “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” Written by Nick Cuse & Damon Lindeloff Directed by Nicole Kassell
Will Reeves, the young boy saved from the Tulsa Massacre, is now an old man in a wheelchair claiming responsibility for a murder he couldn’t have possibly committed. This puts Angela Abar in a tough spot and she locks Will up in her bakery while dealing with the fallout of the last episode’s killing. This entire episode centers around upending the world Angela knows and forcing her to question everything she’s becoming comfortable with. It goes from her work relationships to the very nature of her own heritage.
From my review: There are some genuinely despairing moments, highlighting how a woman like Moll, coping with social-emotional issues can be used and beaten up by a society that just wants her to conform. She is pursued romantically by a local police officer whom Moll shuns when she ends with Pascal. Later, she needs this man’s help, and when she goes to him, he tosses her out on the street knowing her pleas are real and she is potentially going to be harmed. It’s a harsh moment and a significant turning point for Moll to come to the realization that she is by herself. The night that follows is transformative, including a metaphorical and literal self-burial. Moll emerges in the daylight with a plan to bring all this madness to an end.