American Gods

Started by Chris L, Jun 20, 2017, 05:56 pm

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Chris L

SPOILER-FREE POST ABOUT AMERICAN GODS

The TV show came up in a discussion about books over in the Miscellaneous section, so I thought I'd launch a thread about it here. Amy and I picked up the Starz library temporarily through Amazon Prime to watch it. So far my reaction is mixed.

I haven't read Neil Gaiman's novel, but everyone who has says that the show is extremely faithful. There were times in the first three episodes, though, when I felt that showrunner Bryan Fuller was letting sheer visual style overwhelm the story. Fuller's shows have become more stylish with every outing (Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) and with Hannibal the style became especially vivid, though I thought he found a good balance between revisiting Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels in a way that the movies hadn't and simply letting patterns of blood form gorgeous sculptures on the screen. In fact, I found the show to be more faithful to the spirit of Harris's original novels than any of the movie versions have been, including Silence of the Lambs.

But it wasn't until the fourth episode that American Gods really seemed to find its voice and let the story shine through. (I notice Gaiman was a co-writer on that script, which may explain it.) That's pretty much when we decided we wanted to watch the entire show. Suddenly the characters felt real and their story became interesting.

I'm still not sure if I love it and possibly won't be until the end, but it's worth watching, if only for the visual style alone.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Bakers_Wife

I adore the miniseries but I've been a huge Bryan Fuller fan since "Pushing Daisies" I adore what he does with color & visuals. I can't imagine another way to tell such a surreal story. Add all that to the fact that I'm a huge Ian McShane fan & he's, imho, a perfect Mr,Wednesday.  I also adore Kristin Chenoweth as Easter & Gillian Anderson as Media.
All that in addition to American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman books & I've read both the original & preferred text & the miniseries does not venture far from the original including the Bilquis scene!

Chris L

Quote from: Bakers_Wife on Jun 20, 2017, 08:35 pmI adore the miniseries but I've been a huge Bryan Fuller fan since "Pushing Daisies" I adore what he does with color & visuals. I can't imagine another way to tell such a surreal story. Add all that to the fact that I'm a huge Ian McShane fan & he's, imho, a perfect Mr,Wednesday.  I also adore Kristin Chenoweth as Easter & Gillian Anderson as Media.
All that in addition to American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman books & I've read both the original & preferred text & the miniseries does not venture far from the original including the Bilquis scene!

I have a feeling that the show works better for people who have read the books and can see how everything fits in context than for those of us who had to wait until the fourth episode to see how the pieces fit together and why we should care about these people. Not that there weren't interesting, affecting parts in the first three episodes, but there were times when it seemed like a lot of visual sound and fury and I was having a hard time figuring out what it signified. Then, when "dead wife" put in her appearance, it began to add up and I like it a lot better. But I have a feeling the book is good preparation for the show.

(So keep reading, @nulipp. ;) )
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

BTW, we haven't seen the finale yet, so I may have to bow out of the conversation until we do (probably tomorrow night).
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Jenniferlillian

I love this show. I did read the book but quite a few years ago. It captures very well the feeling of the book, but is not at all slavish to it. They actually made some fairly major changes, but it still is headed in the same overall direction.

Mostly I never thought you could visually do Gaiman's imagery justice, but darned if Bryan Fuller doesn't pull it off. I am annoyed that there are so few episodes that we only got a 3rd of the way through the book.

I will say though that they better have filmed in Wisconsin at some point here. I'm tired of LA backlots trying to fill in for WI locations lol

Bobster

I just got all the episodes and look forward to watching.


But probably after Twin Peaks is over first...

iheartgranola

I loved it from the start, but I agree with Chris that it really found it's footing in episode 4 when they started exploring Laura. I really love having more of her story played out, and I think that the interplay between her and Mad Sweeney is spectacular.

Gillian Anderson is perfection.

Chris L

Quote from: iheartgranola on Jun 22, 2017, 05:01 amI loved it from the start, but I agree with Chris that it really found it's footing in episode 4 when they started exploring Laura. I really love having more of her story played out, and I think that the interplay between her and Mad Sweeney is spectacular.

Gillian Anderson is perfection.

I love Gillian Anderson. I was amazed at how well she nailed both Lucille Ball (it took me a few minutes even to recognize that it was Anderson) and Bowie, though I don't think I would have even known the character in the finale was supposed to be Judy Garland if I hadn't already read that.

Laura's story is the most interesting one on the show. I think she should have her own series.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?