Friday, May 26, 2017

American Gods: A (Kind-Of) Review

I don't know if any of our listeners remember this little factoid, but American Gods is one of my favorite books. I love how weird it is, and the mythology, and Neil Gaiman's descriptions and writing style.

So, naturally, I was psyched when they started talking about a TV adaptation. As the casting announcements started coming out, I only got more exciting. And now it's finally here!

I've only watched the first three episodes so far (not for lack of wanting), but I'm incredibly impressed. The show beautifully captures the sort of ungrounded, bizarreness of the book, through some really interesting, unexpected cinematography. I'm going to have to re-watch it to find all the little details.

And I've never seen a more perfect book-to-screen adaptation cast. Ricky Whittle is seriously 100% spot-on for Shadow Moon, the protagonist, and, in my opinion at least, he does an incredibly job of portraying the constant confusion and over-thinking that happen in Shadow's head on the page without overplaying it or making the character too subdued. And don't even get me started on Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday or Gillian Anderson as Media. Seriously. Perfect.

In addition, they've updated and changed some of the book's events to fall more in line with what's happening in today's world (since, you know, it was published in 2001), and I'm really adoring those tweaks. There's a much more potent and prominent discussion of racism in America, without beating you over the head with a moral. But Anansi's speech at the beginning of the second episode? Totally gave me shivers.

A word of warning, for those unfamiliar with the book/show: this is not necessarily a family-friendly piece of media. There is a lot of cursing and sex (I mean, come on, it was in the book and now it's a show on Starz), and that might make some people uncomfortable.

But if you're good with that, I highly recommend giving it a watch, especially if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman's works, or of Brian Fuller's shows (both of them executive produced American Gods, and what a team, man). And, no, this doesn't count as a 'real' review, because I haven't found anything to nitpick about yet; I'm too much in fandom awe. 

Emer is a huge Neil Gaiman fan (not that anyone would have ever guessed that, what with her cosplaying from his comics before), and seriously can't wait to catch up on this show. In the meantime, she's re-watching Mirror Mask and reading the new American Gods comic.

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