American Gods: Yes, this is what we’ve been waiting for (review)

American Gods
Finally, the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel American Gods has come to life on screen. Nerd Reactor had the pleasure of checking out the first four out of eight episodes of its premiere season. The story follows a man named Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) who is released from prison to find out his wife Laura has been killed in a tragic car accident. On his travels back home, he becomes acquainted with a strange man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday (played by Ian McShane), who propositions Shadow with a job as his personal bodyguard. Now with a criminal record and no family to go home to, Shadow accepts the offer.

It’s not long before Shadow learns of Mr. Wednesday’s enemies as well as other allies whom they are trying to recruit. American Gods is about the struggle against the old gods embodied as people living in America. And then there is the rise of the new modern deities as they take over. Society’s priorities change from traditional worship to obsession with convenience and technology. Soon Shadow increasingly questions his sanity as Mr. Wednesday introduces him each time to a new friend and Shadow’s reality becomes unraveled.

The show has found a perfect home with Starz where the creators have the freedom to bring Gaiman’s imagination to life and the show has certainly earned its mature rating. Without giving away any spoilers, you can expect to see fantastically violent and bloody scenes as well as graphic and seriously strange sex scenes befitting to the gods performing them.

Great casting choices were made with Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Cloris Leachman as Zorya, Crispin Glover as Mr. World, Gillian Anderson as Media, and Kristen Chenoweth as Easter. Ian McShane was originally chosen to read for the role of Czernobog, the Slavic god of death, but wanted to do Mr. Wednesday instead. How could they say no? He is the perfect Mr. Wednesday and Peter Stormare as Czernobog is chilling.

American Gods Truly Does Justice to the Novel

It’s been a few years since I read the American Gods book. But from what I remember, the show closely resembles the story if not follows it exactly. So much in a way that it’s not until the end of each episode where I was able to recollect the same events happening in the book. It’s like getting to experience it all over again. For that I am glad that I didn’t try to refreshen my memory with trying to predict and compare each scene as I watched the show.

For the book readers out there, I suggest you do the same. Let the show take you on the wild visual journey you hoped for. Starz has put together a show that will leave you feeling like you fell asleep watching TV and started dreaming about what was left on the screen. The balance between Shadow’s reality and a trippy ultra-dimensional world where gods exist and live among humans has been adapted to the screen in a way that truly does justice to the novel.

American Gods premieres on Starz on Sunday, April 30th.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

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