Thanks to Regina King, expect Watchmen to be your new TV obsession

It’s going down a storm with audiences and critics alike – and there’s a racism-fighting black woman as the superhero star. Hooked yet?

Culture

When Regina King picked up her best supporting actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk earlier this year, the superstar talent finally got her due. If anyone deserved recognition for decades lighting up the silver screen – stretching back to classics including Boyz N the Hood, Friday and Jerry Maguire – it was King.

Now, she’s featuring in something quite different to anything we’ve seen from her before: as the ass-kicking black heroine in the new hit series Watchmen.

Regina King in Watchmen

Bringing Watchmen bang up to date

King plays Angela Abar, whose alter ego is Sister Night, a superhuman cop in a parallel America where white supremacy is on the rise (sound familiar?). “Watchmen takes place in an alternative, contemporary reality in the United States, in which masked vigilantes became outlawed due to their violent methods,” says the official spiel. It’s a spin on the original tale by graphic novelist Alan Moore set around the 1950s Cold War. This time, Robert Redford is the President and the show is directed by Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) whose modern take is proof if we needed it, that King is capable of anything thrown at her.

“People are wearing their racism on their sleeves”

Having premiered at the end of October on Sky Atlantic here and HBO in the States, people are raving about Watchmen, with some saying the pilot episode titled It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice, is the best opener they’ve ever seen! That, along with glowing reviews for King’s performance – and it’s clear that Watchmen’s relevance to what’s happening now in America is a key factor behind the show’s success.

King told The Washington Post: The show “is using the current [political] climate to help tell the story. In all honesty, of the other big things that are happening in our country right now, I don’t know what really is bigger than [white supremacy]. Everything is just bubbling up right now in real life. There’s no more hiding in plain sight. People are wearing their racism on their sleeves.”

The King of Hollywood

Since the Oscars, it’s no exaggeration to say King has become Hollywood royalty: fronting glossy magazine covers, being named in Time’s 100 Most Influential People 2019, and launching her own production company (in true King style, she’s vowed to staff all her projects with a minimum of 50% women). She’s an example that the highest success can come later on in life. Now at 48, she’s crossed over from an actress who’s in the public consciousness, thanks to small but significant roles in the likes of Miss Congeniality 2 and Ray, to a household name. We can’t wait to see what she does next!

Watchmen airs on Sky Atlantic, Mondays at 9pm

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