There was a time when TV was the worst place for horror and fantasy. The restrictions and format was just not suitable. That feeling has changed in recent years, but it may have never been more indisputable than with the new STARZ original series, AMERICAN GODS. Neil Gaiman comes to TV with the story of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a man released from prison two days early due to the death of his wife in a car accident. On the plane he meets the strange and aggressive Mr. Wednesday (Ian Mcshane) whp just may be the devil. Seemingly knowing everything about him, he offers him a job. Shadow declines. That would normally be the end of it. Not in this case.
At a bar after the flight, Mr. Wednesday shows up again and informs Shadow that his friend who had offered him a job, is dead as well. Showing him the newspaper, he sees that his friend and wife died together. A little distraught and with nothing to loose, Shadow enters into a coin toss with Wednesday over the job. Shadow loses and is now forced into his employ. There is a lot to do, but first… the funeral.
We all know what it meant when Shadow’s wife and best friend died together but in case there is any doubt, Shadow’s best friend’s wife spells it out…they were sleeping together! Truly angry and broken, Shadow returns to the motel and Mr. Wednesday. Time to go to work.
AMERICAN GODS is everything you may hope for. Smart, sexy, adult, and twisted. It is a fine representation of Gaiman’s work (he Exec. Produces along with Bryan Fuller). The opening scene involving Vikings enslaved to their belief in their gods is perfectly and viscerally executed. The show simply pulls no punches.
It also breaks with all stereotypes, both physical and behavioral, real and imagined. AMERICAN GODS wants to show you a world you have never seen before. A world of surprise, fear, and disgust. In doing this, we are all in Shadow Moon’s shoes, taking this journey with him.
STARZ has once again set its self above all other networks by doing and achieving the impossible. There is already talk of a possible SANDMAN series, but that is the future. Now is the time of gods…AMERICAN GODS. You will do well to take the journey with them.