I’ll tell you something, that Bryan Fuller has a thing for the subversive. His brand new show American Gods is a bag of weirdness and enchanting visuals that make for something extraordinary. Much like Fuller’s previous show Hannibal, American Gods places a lot of emphasis on aesthetic imagery – which can often leave the viewer questioning what is real and what is fantasy. In the case of this show, the lines are often blurred. Dreams and reality are intertwined to create a world where immortal’s are living amongst us norms. Our main protagonist Shadow Moon is offered a job to be the bodyguard of the mysterious Mr Wednesday. Little does Shadow Moon realise is that he is about to embark on a fantastical road trip to unite the old gods of America in a war against the new gods of technology. Bizzare? you bet it is, but so were dragons and snow zombies in the mythical kingdom of Westeros – the rest, as they say, is history.
Although there have only been 3 episodes I am already hooked. The quality of the acting is very high. Ian Mcshane is cool and commanding as Odin/Mr Wednesday, whilst relative novice Ricky Whittle (unless you watched Dream Team) plays the brooding former convict Shadow Moon to perfection. The dynamic is very interesting between these two. For Mr Wednesday belief and reality are one in the same thing. Conversely, Shadow Moon only knows the coldness of a grounded reality and refuses to believe in this looming god war, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Shadow Moon is being pulled in slowly to Mr Wednesday’s way of thinking and by the end of episode 3, we see him conceive snow from his thoughts.
Mr Wednesday makes a point at the end of this episode by asking his new underling if he believed in love. Shadow Moon responds by saying he didn’t until he met his now dead wife Laura. So the question is what would it take him to believe that gods are very real to the extent that they are now at odds with each other? After the events of that episode probably not much I would imagine.
American God’s is a continuation of the sublime television we have been seeing over the last 7 years. As with shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Breaking Bad, the classic Hollywood narrative of pure good vs pure evil is twisted on its head. Heroes are flawed with grey areas and supposed villains have justifiable reasons for some of their ruthless actions. It’s shame that Hannibal wasn’t renewed for a fourth season. Let’s hope that American Gods succeeds where Hannibal failed.
As for me well I can’t wait another week and have now bought the book to see where this goes. Patience is not my strong suit – I want to see how this shit unfolds.