Friday, May 20, 2016

Preacher (AMC)
Season 1 Episode 1
Airing May 22nd 2016
Directed by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Written by Sam Caitlin
Based on Preacher by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon


Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer
Ruth Negga as Tulip O'Hare
Joe Gilgun as Cassidy
Lucy Griffiths as Emily Woodrow
W. Earl Brown as Sheriff Hugo Root
Anatol Yusef as DeBlanc
Tom Brooke as Fiore
Derek Wilson as Donny Schenck
Ian Colletti as Eugene Root / Arseface

Review by Stephen M.

While I have heard of the comic book Preacher by Vertigo, I have never read it.  I am familiar with Garth Ennis from his book The Boys.  So while I knew to expect a lot of vulgarity and WTF moments, my first encounter with the Preacher is actually the free comic that AMC recently gave out to promote the show.  If you've read the free comic, the show is nothing like the comic.  The biggest change would have to be the pacing of the comic compared to the show.  The screening I attended yesterday included a Q&A with the filmmakers including writer/co-creator Garth Ennis and executive producer/director Seth Rogen.  They explained that the comic would never had adapted well directly to television, an issue for one episode.  Instead the entire first season arc would focus more on the Preacher still trying to be a preacher.  With elements moved around from the comic series brought in earlier in the television and some elements moved back in its timeline.

The Good... The action scenes, especially the fight in the car with Tulip (Ruth Negga) is a great homage to Tarantino, as well as Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) fight scene in the air are amazingly choreographed.   Cassidy's character in particular steals the first episode with his over the top behavior.  Which if you had seen in the Q&A is very much like his real persona!  Incredibly friendly, sticking around for the fans after the panel ended while the others bolted.  His humor and pieces here and there along with the action give us breaks from an otherwise plodding story.  

The bad... Oh where do I start.  The pacing, the formatting of each scene, to the plot was just terrible.  Why do I say that.  The story jumped around a lot from characters and locations, but that in itself is not so bad.  It is the way each segment is presented seem like a compartmentalize skit that didn't flow and gel well between themselves and created for confusion.  Dominic Cooper was okay as the lead character Jesse Custer aka Preacher.  Ruth's character Tulip also seemed very cool.  But aside from Cassidy, the rest of the supporting cast are just forgettable.  Not necessarily horrible but just not entirely impressive or memorable.

Perhaps it is because the show is not targeted toward me even though the filmmakers claim to say that the show is not hold to just one genre.  But I just found that the story telling could have been better given the rich material that Garth Ennis has laid in his books.  It is only one episode that I got to sample and am willing to watch another.  But I honestly will have this series on a very short lease if they don't pick up both the pacing and quality.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

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