Low Key


What Is 'Watchmen' Saying About Race in America?

Season 1, Ep. 47

HBO's Watchmen touches on reparations, racist vigilantism, and the destruction, 100 years ago, of the African-American business Mecca known as Black Wall Street. But what is the show actually saying about race? That's one of the main questions we try to unpack in the new Low Key podcast.

Every week on Low Key, your hosts Aaron Lanton, Keith Dennie and Tim Molloy talk about pop culture moments we think others may have missed, often through a racial lens. We like comic books and superheroes. Watchmen seems made for us.

And we do like Watchmen. The acting, cinematography, and music are top-notch. But like most people who watch the show, we have no idea where it's going. Does it have something new or unique to say about how the issues in the show parallel those in the real world? What we're hoping it isn't doing is using race as a plot device. Our continued watching of Watchmen amounts to our giving it the benefit of the doubt that there's an important payoff coming up.

We also talk this episode about lower-stakes mysteries, like what's become of Doctor Manhattan, and where Ozymandias/Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) is being help captive. We aren't 100 percent convinced its on Earth.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes. And check out the MovieMaker Interviews podcast for that Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Dolemite Is My Name) interview that comes up at the end of this episode.

More Episodes


Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions.With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism, Walter Mercado gave hope to the hopeless — until an ugly legal dispute yanked him from the air and cost him control of his own carefully cultivated image.:45: Our late-night infomercial memories3:00: Is the Michael Jordan-approved The Last Dance real journalism? Is Walter Mercado getting the Michael Jordan treatment?5:45: "Celebrities nowadays are derivatives of celebrities back in the day."5:50: How Walter Mercado was like Michael Jackson and Prince7:05: About that psychic phone line...7:50: How is Walter Mercado different from a televangelist?8:50: "You just can't swindle a swindler"10:00: Let's talk about Walter Mercado and his manager's relationship11:45: Zodiac signs12:40: "What's the difference between a Walter Mercado and a Tony Robbins?"15:00: Tim has the same religious beliefs as Walter Mercado: "No one has a monopoly on God"18:00: "He had a much better life than most people have"24:00: A Billy Dee Williams story (and here's the background on the gender-fluid story)27:00: Another excellent famous-person story30:55: "The only person I ever saw solve racism was Prince"31:50: "Netflix, again, coming through on the diversity point before it was fucking cool. ... They've been on this train."33:15: Netflix's $120 million donation to HCBUs36:00: "I have an appreciation for any man that dresses up like a wizard"Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is now streaming on Netflix.