American Gods on Starz - Catch-All -"You're an [email protected]#hole, dead wife!!

Couldn't find a catch-all, so I decided to start one.

Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ Lands Series Greenlight at Starz

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Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' TV adaptation has cast its Shadow Moon

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And for the real reason that I chose to create this today:

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Man that is some GREAT casting.

One of the reasons I could accept the cancellation of Hannibal was that this was next on Bryan Fuller's list. I can't think of a better guy to trust with the adaptation of the novel.

McShane.

f*ck.

Yes.

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Brilliant.

American Gods is the better novel, but I have to say that I enjoyed Anansi Boys so much more. I would love to watch that spin-off.

The casting for this looks spot on.

Jayhawker wrote:

American Gods is the better novel, but I have to say that I enjoyed Anansi Boys so much more. I would love to watch that spin-off.

I've never actually read American Gods, although it's on the 'one day when I have time again' list. But I love Anansi Boys and would love to see that as a limited run series.

So, two episodes in, and this is looking to be an epic tale. The story could go down in a variety of ways, and I don't believe it is going to be 100% faithful to the novel. But at the very least, the introductions to the gods this week were flipping off the charts.

Orlando Jones entrance as Anansi was inspired, and would have stolen the show had Bryan Fuller not upped the ante with both Gillian Anderson's surreal Media and Peter Stormare's brutally violent Czernobog. I mean, sh*t got real, well, f*cking weird. All threes intros blew away anything in the first episode. Even Ian McShane's Mr. Wednesday was rather subdued.

But the road trip is now in full effect, and Bryan Fuller is operating as though he is mainlining psilocybin. This is a fitting culmination of his previous work, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal, where he makes death and destruction as beautiful as anything in the world. Some of these scenes are worth it to just watch on their own, without the need for context.

This show will not be for everyone, especially if you have not read the book. But if like surreal stories and have enjoyed Fuller's production in the past, this is shaping up to be a tour de force. The first episode was an odd introduction. This second episode was a punch in the face.

Have not read the book yet, but watched both episodes and really enjoyed them. I have not bought the book and will have it on my kindle to read on the plane to and from Atlanta this weekend.

The new comic book series is also excellent.

So it seems appearing in lower-tier British soap opera Hollyoaks as a member of the Valentine family is now a sure-fire route into prime time (see also Nathalie Emmanuel)

How many episodes is this supposed to be? What's the release schedule? I'm not seeing anything else that really interests me on the Starz streaming service, which sours me on paying $9/month for weekly episode drops. If I want to be cheap and binge this, how long will I have to wait?

...

I still haven't gone looking for the World Tree. It's supposed to be an hour south of me, and Gaiman has said it's a real tree...

Vargen wrote:

How many episodes is this supposed to be? What's the release schedule? I'm not seeing anything else that really interests me on the Starz streaming service, which sours me on paying $9/month for weekly episode drops. If I want to be cheap and binge this, how long will I have to wait?

...

I still haven't gone looking for the World Tree. It's supposed to be an hour south of me, and Gaiman has said it's a real tree...

I'm with you there. I'll purchase this when it's available on Amazon, either digitally or via Blu-Ray.

Wikipedia seems to think eight episodes for the first season, which fits with the "premium television" feel, but I can't speak for how accurate that is.

Vargen wrote:

I'm not seeing anything else that really interests me on the Starz streaming service, which sours me on paying $9/month for weekly episode drops.

I can say that both Black Sails and Outlander are great shows, both on Starz, with multiple seasons available to binge on. I've found Starz to be a pretty good deal. About one step down from HBO. Not as many original hits, but not as many misses either. Just a handful of good quality shows.

Outlander really is fun.

I thought the first season of Outcast was outstanding if you excorcism horror. It's based on a Robert Kirkman comic series. The second season should be starting soon.

Plus you get a fresh selection of films, new and old, not on the streaming services.

So I'm watching this with wary enjoyment (for want of a better phrase). I feel like I've been here before and been burned.

Like Lost, the early episodes feature extraordinary surreal and supernatural events that are greeted without the main character batting an eyelid. (Really? Shadow Moon has now serious questions at all after what he's just experienced?) I hope that the answer to this is that his entire life has had a surreal and supernatural edge to it, so he's learned to bide his time.

Also, I'm still a little annoyed by Preacher, where I invested in all the individual characters and storylines only to discover

Spoiler:

that most of it did not matter at all, because I was actually watching an extended origin story. - a jumping off point for the real Preacher series.

It felt like a bait and switch.

Fool me once, and all that...

I'll keep going for another two episodes, but I'll need more exposition at the end of that 2 hours.

I was pleasantly surprised with episode 1. The book didn't click with me and I actually put it down, which is rare for me. Maybe I had really low expectations. It was funnier than I expected too.

detroit20 wrote:

So I'm watching this with wary enjoyment (for want of a better phrase). I feel like I've been here before and been burned.

Like Lost, the early episodes feature extraordinary surreal and supernatural events that are greeted without the main character batting an eyelid. (Really? Shadow Moon has now serious questions at all after what he's just experienced?) I hope that the answer to this is that his entire life has had a surreal and supernatural edge to it, so he's learned to bide his time.

Have you not watched the second episode. They deal pretty damn directly with exactly this.

Spoiler:

When he tells Mr. Wednesday he thinks he is losing his mind, he is told to decide whether he is crazy or the world has gone crazy. A world gone crazy allows him to move forward despite the surreal nature of everything. It does, however, lead him to take the unfortunate bet with the Czenoborg.

I mean, Shadow says, "If all this is real, and TV’s talk and she can read fortunes and hammer’s bleed, if there’s a world under a world…f*ck it." He's doing a lot more than batting an eye. Buy he's also a broken man at the beginning of this journey. He is an ex-con, his wife is dead, his friend that was going to give him a job is dead, and it turns out his wife was f*cking said friend. Right now, he is spiraling, and Mr. Wednesday is just enough of a distraction that he is better off rolling with it. It's probably more clear in the book, where you get his inner monologue.

Also, I'm still a little annoyed by Preacher, where I invested in all the individual characters and storylines only to discover
Spoiler:

that most of it did not matter at all, because I was actually watching an extended origin story. - a jumping off point for the real Preacher series.

It felt like a bait and switch.

Fool me once, and all that...

I'll keep going for another two episodes, but I'll need more exposition at the end of that 2 hours.

I'm not sure what you expect out of your TV shows, but the Preacher origin was pretty damn great on TV. I'm not sure how rolling it into one episode of him telling the story to friends would have been better. Now he's going to be off on his journey. At the very least, you got one awesome season of the show, if the idea of new characters and adventures is so bothersome. And really, most of the characters are going to stick around.

But you are comparing two shows with a pretty set story to Lost, which was made up by the writers as they go. I don't think they could be more different.

Started reading the book on my kindle on a 2 hour plane flight. 4 chapters in and it has covered episode 1. I'm hooked, but I got the 10th anniversary edition which guess is longer and more meandering (Gaiman's words) than the original published work.

Any of you all who aren't familiar with the novel and are spoiler-averse, be careful on the internet. I clicked some video, I believe from GameSpot, like "Introducing Character X" that had some gargantuan spoilers in it, and also didn't even seem to realize they were there.

My issue with Preacher is the fact that a number of interesting threads and character arcs that I'd been following closely, and had become invested in, were 'resolved' abruptly with... there was a big explosion and they all died.

Now, some might see that as bold and innovative coup by the writers. But I don't. I see it as a breach of faith with the audience and a bad precedent for future series. If the writers paint themselves into the corner then there's always the big red reset button.

Similarly, my issue with Lost was about the breaching of trust/faith with the audience, not about them making it up as they went along. In the case of Lost the production team were pretty explicit that all would be explained... but if never was, of course.

I don't think I'm alone in this. Dallas never really recovered from 'Pam's Dream', did it?

Well, the explosion is from the comics. I guess, since I knew it was coming it was easier to see how everything was leading up to it. Personally, I loved that they didn't wait to fully explore Tulip and Cassidy until later. I mean, in the comics the explosion was pretty much the beginning of the story.

In Lost, I think the issue they had was that Walt was central to the mystery. But then he grew like six inches between the first and second season, so they had to pivot. Instead, they just kind of started throwing sh*t at the wall.

Then they made their biggest mistake, which was giving a sh*t about what the fans wanted. The problem was, fans are mostly terrible writers and had wildly different ideas about what was going on. So they wrapped up with basically what they said the show wasn't from the beginning.

By the time they announced their plan to wrap up the series, I was just enjoying the absurdity of it all. It was clear to me early in the second season that the show was no longer really about what happened to the survivors, but rather a way to tell a new story each week about these people related to their growth and redemption. And really, that was the actual schtick of the show, using flashbacks to tell little stories, and then dumping in weird conspiracy sh*t like the numbers. None of it mattered, but the journey, once you stopped worrying about the end, was pretty fun.

American Gods may not be your bag. Brian Fuller is always going to preference art and style over the need to satisfy impatient viewers. Most of the time that works great. The last season of Hannibal was a good example of it getting out of hand.

But in this case, the story is written. All we have to do is enjoy the ride. But this will never be the kind of show that appeals to viewers looking for consistent plot advancement and clear character motivations. But it's the kind of show my wife and I can talk about for hours after, even if nothing 'happened."

I'm happy to give American Gods the benefit of the doubt. As I said, I'm enjoying it... just warily.

And as you say, the book has been written so - if followed reasonably faithfully - there is an ending.

Lots is a whole other thing, and I don't want to derail this thread.

Suffice to say, I'm in the camp that believes that Lost was originally all about purgatory, and - as you say - reflection, recognition and redemption. That changed when the writers started engaging online with fans, who said "So this is about purgatory, and reflection, recognition and redemption... Right?" It was this that forced an outright denial that this was the case (IIRC), and the descent into mindless dung-flinging.

Read the book a long time ago and loved it. I have been patiently waiting this getting turned into a movie/tv show.

The first scene of the first episode scared me. I HATED it and was worried that would be the tone and theme of the whole show. But it quickly righted itself.

The first scene of the second episode was awesome! This is a faithful and brave telling of the story.

So far the actors are doing a great job and are totally believable in their roles.

I think this will end up being a pretty good show. Now I feel the need top go back and re-read the book.

...you know, Shadow, I don't think anyone would have objected if you took Media up on that offer.

I've only seen Ep1. I'm thoroughly impressed. It does deviate from the book a bit, but in some very interesting ways.

Neil Gaiman gets credited as Executive Producer for the first episode. I would bet that Neil is totally ok with the changes. It might have been Neil's idea.

I'm currently reading Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology book. Because of that I understood everything that happened in the Viking prologue from episode 1. Good stuff.