TV Show: The Watch

Hello people! I hope you all are great! Today I am here to talk about a tv show that I loved. It was surprising, it was fun and it was all I could have asked for and even more, so let’s start!

This series is inspired by the protagonists of The Watch subseries in the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. And if you are expecting something like an accurate rendition of the books you would be disappointed. Because here we have a lot of free-handing and a lot of things are quite different from the books. The plot is new, the world is not what you would expect and also the characters are not who they were in the books. It is a new setting, a new story and the characters are the ones best suited to these new parameters. And yet there is so much from the books here that I can say in all honesty, that this is quite loyal to the spirit of the books, and that if you watch all these things in the right light you can find it pretty accurate. But it can sound a bit confusing, right?

So, let’s start with the world. In the books we have a fantasy setting, Ankh-Morpork is a peculiar and unique city. but it is a fantasy one. And I would have loved to visit it, to get a visual of it. What we get here, instead, is a sort of steam-punk/post-apocalyptic city, where the crime was so out of hand that to try and rein it in the guilds were invented. And after the first moment of hesitation, because I was not expecting this, I totally fell for it. It is strangely appropriate. And what is best is that it shows how the Discworld is actual. Pratchett’s world is just so real, so actual and so universal that it is almost a clichè of the reality that we live. And seeing it in a whole new context, in a sort of “future” instead of that in a sort of “past” takes the point home. You can’t get more universal than that.
It is not important the setting that you choose because human nature would always be human nature. And I loved it!

The plot is something new, not from the book, and it is something on the line of “bad boy from the past wants to possess some magical artifact and destroy the world. The good guys (who are not the hero with shining armor kind of good guys but more the “I haven’t killed someone so far, but all the bets are open” kind of guys) try their best to prevent it” but it is the minor element here. I am not saying that it was bad or not so well developed. It was intriguing and interesting and all that, but it is not by far the best element, so I won’t talk about it a lot. In any event, I think it was quite a good plot, and that helps enjoying the experience.

It’s better to light a candle than curse the dark.

But let’s talk a moment about the characters. Let’s start with the biggest disappointment of all. Lord Vetinari. He is one of my favorite characters ever. And I live for the dialogues between him and Vimes. He is a peculiar character, and I really love him. And here he was not so good. He was pretty plain, in some ways and that was, well, disappointing.
But, even if I was expecting so much more from this character, I have to say that, all things considered, this did not affect my enjoyment of the show, and it was surprising.
Then we have Vimes. And here things get a bit more complicated. On one hand, I was a bit disappointed because he is another one of my favorite characters ever, and here he is a caricature of the disillusioned detective (and this version of Vimes made me think a lot of the MC of another TV show on Netflix, Happy. They are quite similar), almost on the ridicule side. But, to be honest, Vimes in the books is the stereotype of the detective. He is the epitome of the noir stories detectives, really. And here it is not much different, it is just more aligned with the world-building that we have. And yes, even if this character is a caricature more than a stereotype, it is also true that it is quite an accurate rendition of the original Vimes. And, in the end, I loved him!
Then we have the others, that were just amazing! Carrot is less perfect than the original one, but he is in some ways more human, and he is the “hero in the shining armor” kind of guy, that drives the others to be better.
Angua is just perfect. I loved her. She is a no-nonsense and bad-ass kind of girl, and I really loved the way in which they cast her. She and Cheery are my favorite characters of the series.
Cheery is the best. Really! And you have to meet her.
Last but not least Lady Sybil Ramkin. She is the one most different from the books. In some respects, the two Lady Sybil are the opposite of each other. Both of them are women who get things done, but where the “original” one is more one that acts in a sort of “passive” way, more like a Lady of her rank is bound to do, while this “new version” is a woman of action that literally takes the problem, and the action, in her own hands.

In the books, my favorite characters were the male ones, Vimes and Vetinari (with an honorable mention for Nobby Nobbs), while here my favorite characters are the female ones. Cheery and Angua are over the top. You have to meet them, really! But here is the thing, I don’t know if this is due to the way in which Pratchett’s write women characters or if it is because in the books the male characters have just a more prominent role (for example, Lady Sybyl is an amazing character in the books, and I love her, but I loved Vimes from the start, while she is a later addition to the story, and we get to know her more slowly because it is just the way in which the story, and the characters, develop). I really think that the right one is the second reason, but the point was worth a mention.

Another thing about the character is that both here and in the books, is that Carrot and Vimes are two different kinds of good. Carrot is more good as a character of a book is good (even if in the show is more human), he is that kind of good that you can find in stories but that is never so in reality, while Vimes is more good as in “good as a real person is good”. But there is more, in some ways, Carrot is the hope for the good to come, while Vimes is what there is of good in the world. Broken, not absolute, fearful, and full of doubts. But GOOD.

I cannot stress enough that the shows and the books are different, quite a lot. But, as I was saying before, there is much from the books in there: the inclusiveness, for example. This is just one of the best point in the books, because it is not just about the good part of it (like the equal rights for all), but is also about the bad part of it (like the politically correct gone out of hand), and we can get to see all of that here (and I have to say that the Goblins and their talk about the rights of the workers were just so good!). And we get to see it in the Watch too and, again, it was just so good and heartwarming.
And since I am speaking about the Watch team, I have to say another thing about them: they are just so good together. They are a really good team, they trust each other, they knew their strength and their weakness, and they blindly confide in each other. I loved them as people, but I loved them as a team too.

And there are a lot of different ways in which the show winks to the books, too: we get the Vimes theory about the booths, that it is one of the most quoted parts about The Watch books, we get to hear the characters sang All the Little Angels from Night Watch (that is one of the most beloved books in this sub-series, even if it is not my favorite), we have also the Dark in the dark (with a fabulous twist!) and the imp in the camera. Just to name the most evident ones.

But there are also a lot of original things in there, that I loved. The soundtrack is amazing. And there are some scenes that are hilarious. So much so that I laughed out loud. There was a scene that made me laugh so loud that I cried. It is a brilliant show and a complete one. It made you laugh, it made you suffer along with the characters, it made you think, and it never bores you.

And we have dragons. Really, you cannot ask for more!

Thats’ all for today! I hope to have made at least a bit of justice to this series that made me fall in love. And what about you? Have you watched it? Or do you want to? And what have you watched and loved recently?? Let me know!

Bye!
S.

11 thoughts on “TV Show: The Watch

  1. Pingback: June Wrap Up!

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