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AMERICAN GODS gives us a peek into the mechanics of power

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If you're looking for something with a juicy story, lots of mythology, a strong dialogue and and overall sense that you're not just wasting time in front of your TV or computer screen, American Gods - based on Neil Gaiman's novel - might be the right pick. The first season is eight episode long and gets juicier with every new god that gets revealed. Gillian Anderson, Ricky Whittle, Crispin Glover, Ian McShane, and Bruce Langley are some of the cast members that color the setting of this show.

"All of the elements that might eventually transform American Gods, the acclaimed novel by Neil Gaiman, into the trippy, world-shifting series that Starz hopes it will be, are in place. You've got Gaiman acolytes (and successful TV creators) Bryan Fuller and Michael Green as writers, showrunners and executive producers along with director David Slade, who was eager to translate the book to the screen as far back as 2005. Add to this a star-studded and eclectic cast, and an existing fan base that, on some level, measures up to that of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, a loyal audience in waiting. The problem for American Gods in the early going, however, is that its creators' wild ambition is running a bit amok and interfering with its execution, leaving the tone of the series haphazard and the narrative direction something of a mystery — which could make it a tough sell to those who haven't read the book." (The Hollywood Reporter)

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"What a rapturous romp series one of American Gods has been. Having started as bonkers fever dream, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s adaptation of the cult Neil Gaiman novel settled by increments into relatively straightforward supernatural thriller. But it never quite weaned itself off that initial sweltering strangeness – a pulp surrealism that announced itself with an early scene in which a man was literally swallowed whole during love-making.

With Ian McShane and Gillian Anderson having fun as deities vying for followers in contemporary America, the show hasn’t lacked for compelling performances (though as hero Shadow Moon ex-Hollyoaks star Ricky Whittle is a bit of a grumpy void). And there have been moments of haunting horror, such as the sequence in which slaves chained and bound for the New World are gifted a vision of the depredations awaiting their descendants by the West African spider god Anansi (Orlando Jones). " (Telegraph)

"American Gods is itself a road trip tale—an iconic stretch of highway graces the cover of both the novel and show’s key art. The story follows recently-released convict Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and his new employer—a mysterious con man named Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane)—as they travel the country trying to round up recruits to Wednesday’s cause. His cause is an unusual one. Wednesday—as the first episode’s bloody, Viking-filled prologue makes clear—is a persona of the Norse god Odin. His cause? Making sure old, imported immigrant gods like himself don’t fade away as Americans start to worship new deities like Media and Technology. In other words, this is a war between the preservation of cultural traditions versus assimilation. And that struggle is still at the heart of the ongoing immigration debate." (Vanity Fair)

About the finale - Come to Jesus:

"Finally, with all this talk of plot and characterisation, it would seem remiss to finish without mentioning American Gods’ visual qualities. Once again this episode provided a feast for the eyes, a literal feast of pastel-coloured devilled eggs, and giant Jeff Koons-style bunnies. The faceless goons, in their top hat and tails, put on the ritz in the most creepy way imaginable. The colours of Ostara’s spring were so bright as to be unsettling (all those pinks!). The way that season was ultimately rescinded was another wow sequence to match Shadow’s first encounter with Media, the story of the Mammoth God and that whole snow from nowhere scenario. The look of American Gods has consistently been incredible." (The Guardian)

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"The first season of American Gods is one long leap of faith, and in the season finale, almost all that faith is rewarded.

It’s not just the daring storytelling—the willingness to break from the established stories of the novel, or the riskiness of a first-season cliffhanger before season two is signed—or the lush, ripe settings and complex depictions of its characters that makes American Gods so rewarding. Amid its brashness and brightness, American Gods is also sneakily subtle.

The parallels between characters continue, quietly connecting these sometimes seemingly disconnected tales and hinting at what might be ahead… or underneath. When Bilquis rejects a call from Mr. World’s mouthpiece, Technical Boy, we see his number is listed as “The Man.” When Easter questions Mad Sweeney, she asks, “You still working for the man?” and you can almost hear the capitalization in her tone. Mad Sweeney reminds Laura that Shadow doesn’t matter, “he just happens to be the guy,” much as Media tells Wednesday, “You don’t matter. Not very much, not anymore.”

These small harmonies and hints add up, whether you’re consciously registering them or not. They help to anchor the action and portrayals. They help to give background and depth to the pageant unfolding on the screen. They help to earn a viewer’s faith." (A.V. Club)

Check out the trailer below.

Tags:   review, series, drama, fantasy, television, film news, American Gods

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