After a popular and much-discussed first season, it appears as though the HBO series Watchmen will not be returning for a second season, after creator Damon Lindelof told USA Today that he has “no interest in a second season.”
Season one of Watchmen was bold, brilliant, and definitely a little confusing, but Lindelof’s willingness to take this story beyond the antics of masked vigilantes into conversations about racial violence and policing attracted as many viewers as it alienated. And the people on my Twitter timeline had plenty of thoughts about the finale.
Although it’s perhaps somewhat unusual for a creator—especially one with Lindelof’s resume—to step away from a promising new television show after just one season, it’s always been clear that Lindelof had a specific vision for the story he wanted to tell. In fact, he’s talked openly in the past about the possibility that Watchmen would only have one season.
During a panel at New York Comic Con last fall, Lindelof discussed:
“One of the things that makes the original [Watchmen graphic novel] perfect is those 12 issues are designed with a beginning, middle and end in mind...
We plotted these nine episodes with every mystery and question being resolved. I sometimes have a different sense of resolution than others, but we wanted it to feel immensely satisfying. We didn’t want it to end with [a cliffhanger] for season two.”
Although I think many would disagree with Lindelof’s assessment that season one of Watchmen didn’t end on a cliffhanger (me, I am one of the many), there’s something immensely satisfying about seeing the creator of a show get to finish the story on their own terms. In an era where streaming services are known for releasing project after project after project and then cancelling them after just two or three seasons, it is refreshing to witness how Lindelof intended the story to end.
Although it was reported that Lindelof has given his blessing for HBO to pursue a second installment of the series with a new writer-producer, the HBO programming chief admits that possibility seems unlikely. And—please don’t yell at me—I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Let’s be honest, we really don’t need a repeat of the never ending anthology series that is American Horror Story.
But luckily, the success of Watchmen makes me sure that we’ll be seeing plenty more of Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. And thank god for that.