“American Gods” (2017)
Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green
Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane
The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard, but is in fact the god Odin. Wednesday is making his way across America, gathering all the old gods, who have now incorporated themselves into American life, to confront the New Gods, including Media and Technology, who grow stronger.
Episode Three: “Head Full of Now”
Cinematographer: Jo Willems
Directed by: David Slade
Wednesday: “This is the only country in the world, that worries about what it is.”
Wednesday: “The rest of them know what they are. No one ever needs to go searching for the heart of Norway. Or looks for the soul of Mozambique. They know what they are.”
In this episode “Head Full Of Now “ we are introduced to Mr Jacquel (Chris Obi), or, as he is known in Egyptian, Anubis, the god of the dead. Anubis visits an elderly woman and informs her that she is, in fact, dead, and he has arrived to escort her soul to another plane.
As with the previous two episodes we are dealing with the belief of something, anything really, as well as how this belief in this Universe enables these Gods. OF course belief is a powerful thing and so we are also seeing a metaphor for the belief that people have in other people, in money, in charms or anything else that we as humans glom on to to give us hope in what can be a hopeless world. Is believing in an abstract entity like Odin or Anubis any different than believing in Allah or Jesus – for that matter any different in the belief of a sports team or money?
What is interesting is that we are starting to see Shadow who as we find out believes in nothing at all – which can be a strength or a weakness. Maybe this is why we are seeing Shadow struggle with what it means to be faced by an entity or entitles that could be considered ‘Gods’. Of course it doesn’t help him that he keeps seeing his wife in some kind of real terms – he did believe in something once of course, but that came crashing down around him in the first excellent episode.
This episode has one of the great early parts of the novel where we see that maybe Mr. Wednesday is not as powerful as we think as we see him summon a snowstorm but then needing money by robbing a bank through an early morning deposit system. This in the book was dome so well and so humorously and it is great to see this in the episode done so well.
We have had television shows before where the outcome or story were not force-fed to audiences, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t. Bryan Fuller who produced the three seasons of “Hannibal” (2013 – 2015) did something similar with that show and that was summarily cancelled because of viewership figures, but was a huge hit critically. Moving to Amazon is something of a coup as there is no dealing with viewership, yet, not only that but Amazon have made it clear that they will stick with this as they have renewed it for a second season already.
This is turning into a great show with all its characters as well as the look of the show so do yourself a favour and get Prime and start watching this fantastic show. Oh yes and Mad Sweeney is back – my favorite character and that’s saying something. If you fid his coin give him a call.
Episode three is now available on Amazon Streaming.