Quality not conspiracy behind epic Emmy haul

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The nominations for 2020’s Emmy Awards are out and it is perhaps no surprise that Watchmen has treated the opposition like a superhero handles a common street thug.

The limited series scored an astonishing 26 nominations. To put that in perspective, the last season of Game Of Thrones picked up 32.

Agreed, the last season of GoT wasn’t exactly the most critically acclaimed but the final season of any show always picks up the most awards and GoT changed the way the world thought about television.

So for Watchmen to nearly match that is astonishing.

Naturally there have already been some rumbles online from the trolls.

Watchmen’s heroes are almost all black, racism is a key theme of the series — it starts with the 1921 race riot in Tulsa — and so there have been suggestions it received so many nominations because the awards wanted to look diverse in these troubled times.

Regina King as Angela Abar, masked in her role as a police detective in the TV series Watchmen. Picture: Supplied/Foxtel
media_cameraRegina King as Angela Abar, masked in her role as a police detective in the TV series Watchmen. Picture: Supplied/Foxtel

That’s about as believable as some of the plot twists in the final season of GoT.

Watchmen was written, filmed and screened in 2019, long before the tragic events this year that led to the mass Black Lives Matter rallies.


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The idea that the producers of Watchmen organised BLM rallies as a scheme to get Emmy nominations is a conspiracy theory that even the wackiest anti-vaxxer and doomsday prepper would reject as too far-fetched.

If you haven’t seen Watchmen yet then you should.

It’s simply brilliant and that’s why it scored all those nominations. It builds off the astonishing graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and quite wisely pretends that the flawed 2009 movie never existed.

Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star in Watchmen. Picture: Supplied/Foxtel
media_cameraRegina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star in Watchmen. Picture: Supplied/Foxtel

It’s a show that makes you turn off your mobile phone to give it your full attention, which is — sadly — pretty much the highest accolade you can give these days.

Other highly nominated shows included The Mandalorian, Ozark, Succession, Schitt’s Creek and The Crown.

Watchmen won’t pick up all 26 awards because it has multiple nominations in several categories.

But surely this will mean a new limited series will be approved. Money talks — but so do awards. After Game Of Thrones delivered so many awards for HBO in the past, this year Netflix had more nominations than anyone else.

No doubt, like Arya Stark after the Red Wedding, HBO will be plotting its revenge.

A new season of Watchmen will surely deliver it another huge haul of awards and perhaps knock Netflix off its top perch.

Frankly, I don’t really care how it comes about, I just want to see more Watchmen.

I’d even be happy if they ignored further sequels and just turned the original novel into a series.

Still, it says something when the most interesting television is not on free to air, with Netflix scoring so well and the likes of Watchmen available on Foxtel here.

At this rate, the free-to-airs are going to end up in an unpleasant place, which I can’t mention in a family newspaper — but it’s not a million miles from Schitt’s Creek.

Originally published as Quality not conspiracy behind epic Emmy haul



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