“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. The story continues…
Episode Seven: “A prayer for Mad Sweeney
Cinematographer: Darran Tiernan
Directed by: Adam Kane
This week we have a very different episode of “American Gods”, in that it is a hybrid of separate devices that we have seen earlier, one are the prologues that we have been in almost every week’s episodes, as well as the flashback episode, the example is the one that illustrated Laura Moon’s past as well as her eventual death, including her obvious resurrection.
As the title suggests this week we have an entire mythology episode that is all about my favorite character, Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), who has continually stolen every scene and episode he has appeared in. In this episode we see his history played out in a more sympathetic way than you might think, once again we see Emily Browning take on a larger role this time as a faerie who has more to do with Sweeney than he would care to admit.
Of course with all of the characters in this series there is much more to them than meets the eye or first impressions would let us in on. In fact in Sweeney’s case we see that he has a real haunted past, he has been made to straighten things out for our main proto-antagonist Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) on a variety of occasions as well as for a variety of reasons. It of course will illicit some feelings of sorrow for the old leprechaun but he will always find a way to ruin that for himself and us.
The show for me has been a revelation, the producers seem to be getting used to their method of story telling as well as handling the constant road tripping that has been taking place over the first season. Like the cast we are zipping along American highways meeting interesting folk who are going to be destined to play huge parts in the fast approaching future.
It seems inevitable that the show will crystalize at some point, becoming a week to week battle of not only wills but belief structures as well. This was, of course, never going to be straight forward show; especially early on it asked much of an audience who was not aware of the novel. However, for those that have read, as well as re-read the source material, each week has been a gift. Not only has the story highlighted some of the greatest parts of that book, but has also segwayed into new parts that had been relatively untouched by Mr. Gaiman. This is what the gift has been, like all great adaptations it is the feel as well as look of the source material in the new medium that is the thing to behold.
Once again, and this is something I find amazing, is the look of the show, it is nothing short of breathtaking, Mr. Fuller & Mr. Green have set out a grand palate for each director to follow, so far none of them have missed a bit or a trick – tonight’s episode is no different. Of course the performances are always excellent, with the revelations being Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning – although if you have seen their previous work this is not news to you.
My only disappointment is that first season comes to an end next week; I am going to have to wait an entire year for my next fix, after next week of course. Maybe its time to revisit the novel.
Episode seven is now available on Amazon Streaming.