Heard the one about the serial killer, the kleptomaniac, the police officer, the potential governor, the bitchy neighbourhood gossips and the watering hole boss who’s also a single mother? As bar proprietresses go, Dongbaek (Gong Hyo-jin) is hardly Mistress Quickly of Eastcheap. Nevertheless, although she appears deferential to even the most boorish customers and is well-mannered in the most impeccable Korean tradition, Dongbaek has an inner steel that helps her navigate the societal booby traps of the small town in which she arrives to open Camellia, a saloon. Welcome to When the Camellia Blooms and the backwater of Ongsan, where Dongbaek must rise to the challenge thrown down by said gossips; street stallholders jealous of her beauty and fearful of losing sales. Until her arrival, the big local attraction was marinated crab. Still, Dongbaek toughs it out, her bar proving popular with the menfolk despite the habits of its waitress, who’s also a thief, and regardless of the personal attentions of dedicated customer and supreme dork Hwang Yong-sik (Kang Ha-neul). Pre-Dongbaek, Yong-sik’s goal was Seoul, but so bedazzled is he that he becomes stuck fast in Ongsan in a puddle of his own sentimental goo. Early appreciation of Yong-sik by Dongbaek runs from “pervert” to “what a complete weirdo”, thoughts she fortunately keeps to herself, because there’s a serial killer serpent in this sub-Eden, back to terrorise the town after years of silence. And soppy Yong-sik happens to be a police officer and a gallant hero-in-waiting for his “Princess Diana”. Despite initial appearances, When the Camellia Blooms , the first series of which is now streaming on Netflix, is more than a standard romantic comedy-drama; for one thing, the women call most of the shots. Laments one male menial: “When your wife is your boss you basically have to work 24-7.” HBO’s Watchmen expands on the legacy of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic “The clock is ticking; we’re running out of time.” No, not because the polar ice caps are melting and not because it’s raining squid (hallelujah!) but because “evil is rising”. In the original, 1980s “what if …” Watchmen world, superheroes had sent history down an alternative path. Thanks to demigod Doctor Manhattan, the United States won the Vietnam war and Tricky Dicky Nixon, chums with the doctor and disgruntled ex-superhero The Comedian, remained president for decades. The rising evil then was the spectre of nuclear war; in HBO’s current nine-part Watchmen series it is white supremacy and its malign twin, neo-fascism. Peppered with references to the original 12 comics by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, but introducing new characters of its own, this meisterwerk by writer Damon Lindelof maintains the trademark, sometimes perplexing, antidote to the regulation “hero good, villain bad” comic-book philosophy. The superheroes here are again satirised as morally murky outlaws, while the line in the sand between good and evil twitches back and forth, so identifying for whom we should be cheering is challenging. Vigilantes and police wear masks (sound familiar?) but now the most disconcerting of these isn’t even the shape-shifting disguise of “legacy” character Rorschach. The most unnerving camouflage decorates the face of new boy detective Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson), whose outlandish mirrored mask (made of lamé, since you ask) resembles a liquid barrier between him and the world. Regina King is black-clad bone-breaker Sister Night; Don Johnson is police chief Judd Crawford; Jeremy Irons is an aristocratic Ozymandias, a mere billionaire; and Vietnamese-American former refugee Hong Chau plays trillionaire Lady Trieu. Just some of the marquee names to watch out for on HBO Go and HBO on Mondays at 10am, with re-runs on HBO at 10pm.