Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, the tv series American Gods follows Shadow Moon after the death of his wife and hiring by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. As Shadow and Wednesday cross the American landscape meeting with old gods from across the world and preparing for war with the new gods, the narrative intercuts with other stories, including that of Shadow’s undead wife.
Warning: full frontal nudity, both male and female.
American Gods is a beautiful show. Every scene bursts with color and atmosphere. Even the dark scenes are rich in hue. Every piece seems well chosen to convey the story being told at that particular moment. The effects are gorgeous, but more than that the symbolism is really well-chosen. Some of the imagery is of a giant bison with flaming eyes, dandelion fluff that goes up into the clouds and turns into snow, and a noose made out of a spinal column. American Gods does spectacle well.
There are plenty of differences from the book, but the spirit seems to hold true. The differences are enough that I’m left uncertain if the ending will be the same, which I hold as a plus as it creates tension.
Things start off pretty much the same as the book, with the difference that the side stories are being penned by one of the gods of death, Mr. Ibis. We start off with Shadow getting out of prison early due to the death of his wife, and meeting Mr. Wednesday on a plane. There’s Mr. Wednesday’s unique approach to bank robbery, and the snow storm. And the infamous sex devouring scene with Bilquis, which is, amazingly, just as it was written. From there, the differences begin. I won’t go into detail—hopefully you’ll see the show for yourself. I will say this first season ends on three cliffhangers, which is impressive and which I won’t spoil.
American Gods is an intense show. Most of the time I’d split up my watching of an episode to give myself a little down time. This is said with the caveat that I’m currently suffering from clinical depression, but that I stuck with the show says something in itself. The show also has a macabre sense of humor, but there is some humor. The acting is great and I hope they can get as many of the actors back for their roles as possible. American Gods is a rich tapestry of stories and I can’t wait to see what they do with the next season.