TV Show Review – American Gods

TV Show Review – American Gods

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Rating: 4 (out of 5). Starz’s new drama American Gods follows the battle between the gods of new technology and the gods of the past. Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is an ex-con who has been released from prison to bury his dead wife. On his way home, Shadow meets up with and travels with Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). The two become an unlikely alliance as they encounter a number of strange and vengeful characters along their travels. “Trippy,” is how at least one critic described the show with most enjoying it though a few noted that Gods starts off slow.

The Los Angeles Times writes “Based on Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel of the same name,  American Gods mixes old world superstition with modern-day cynicism for one of the best supernatural Season 1 debuts since HBO’s vampire saga, True Blood.”

The New York Times calls this a “melting pot of themes, styles and influences. There’s an American-roots thing going on, with characters road-tripping across the heartland and Bob Dylan, the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival on the soundtrack — like a much more serious “Supernatural,” annotated by Greil Marcus.”

USA Today says “Like many modern cable series, Gods is a very slow reveal — so much so that unless you know what’s happening from the books, or you’re incredibly well-versed in multinational myths, you’re likely to find yourself perplexed.”

The Tampa Bay Times calls this a “trippy dreamscape from the creators of Hannibal and Logan, and explores society’s complex relationships with ancient religion and modern norms.”

Variety calls this a “lush fantasy about the seediest corners of American life” and say it is “a delight for fans of the book and newcomers alike.”

TV Guide describes this as a “beautiful, timely, but confusing piece of art.” They say it “has the potential to be the next prestige drama that ensnares America, the internet and the world over. But it’s not quite there yet.”

Entertainment Weekly gives it an “A-“ saying “While American Gods has the right stuff to be a The Great American Dark Fantasy Television Novel, I’m not ready to rule yet on whether the show can be TV’s next great big saga serial. Fuller and co-showrunner Green appear to be restricting themselves to the confines of Gaiman’s book.”

Newsday calls this “ Baffling, beautiful, horrifying, and ghoulishly funny in parts.” They note “The first five minutes on Sunday are pure Fuller, which is to say you’ll laugh while shielding your eyes with one hand and reaching for the Maalox with the other. Like some of Gaiman’s gods, Fuller’s gods are indeed crazy.”

The Boston Herald says “American Gods might remind you of “Spartacus,” another Starz hit, in that there’s copious amounts of blood, gore and nudity of all kinds.” They think “Gods has its own dark humor — as when the erratic widow of Shadow’s best friend tries to have sex with him in a cemetery.

The Las Vegas Weekly thinks the show “makes an excruciatingly long time for the show to reveal anything close to that much, and even when the supernatural elements are more overt, they’re portrayed with such solemnity that they lack most of the wit and liveliness of Gaiman’s prose.”

The Boston Globe thinks this is “one of the most imaginative, adventurous, and deeply weird experiments on television–an entrancingly trippy metaphorical melee that elevates an investigation of American identity to a supernatural plane.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer describes “American Gods” as a “ richly textured, visually stunning and incredibly complex series version of fantasy master Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel.”

The Salt Lake Tribune tells viewers this show will “reach out and grab you.” They call it “cool and gross and funny and requires patience.”

The San Francisco Chronicle writes “the series is a three-dimensional comic book — or perhaps four-dimensional is more accurate, because you often feel trapped, however willingly, in a house of mirrors. Like the Wachowskis’ “Sense8,” you are prompted to suspend disbelief not by a convincing narrative but by hypnotic visuals — here augmented by extraordinary performances.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls this “dreamy-nightmarish exploration of diverse gods in a modern context.” They say “Visually, the stuff with the gods and Shadow’s trippy dreams is sometimes amazing to behold.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes “Things that are bizarre and mystifying are normal in “American Gods.” And the long strange trip hinted at in the pilot only gets more peculiar as you dive deeper into the season.”

The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “trippy, world-shifting series.” They think “The problem for American Gods in the early going, however, is that its creators’ wild ambition is running a bit amok and interfering with its execution, leaving the tone of the series haphazard and the narrative direction something of a mystery — which could make it a tough sell to those who haven’t read the book.”

The Oregonian notes “the story can be hard to follow.” They say “If you’re a fan of Gaiman’s work, and patient with slow-moving scenes of thinly developed characters speechifying, you may like it. Others might want to proceed with caution.”

CNN says “While there’s some pleasure to be derived from watching a series exhibit the audacity to spoon out tidbits on its own “Twin Peaks”-like terms, the project’s appeal likely depends on one’s tolerance for near-incoherence when arresting pictures are the tradeoff.”

 

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