Prepare to immerse yourself in a dreamscape like nothing you could have imagined.
I’ve been looking for another show to add to my weekly Sunday night viewing schedule, and when American Gods was added to the STARZ lineup, I knew I had nothing to worry about. STARZ programing has been on a streak recently (Ash vs. the Evil Dead, Black Sails, Power) and American Gods keeps that fire red hot.
The new original, genre-bending series is an adaptation of the New York Times Bestselling novel from 2001 by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is a masterful English author responsible for some of the most celebrated works of fantasy, including the groundbreaking graphic novel The Sandman, and the book that inspired the animated, stop-motion masterpiece Coraline. He has this distinct ability to encapsulate the reader in a dream realm that can easily slip into a nightmare. American Gods is one of his most ambitious works that features a sharp examination of American Culture and our obsession with technology, media, and the internet.
American Gods is one hell of a ride and transports viewers into Gaiman’s dreamlike mythology with sometimes unsettling precision. In brief, a veil is lifted from our world exposing the existence of Gods that live among us. War is brewing between the deities of ancient mythologies (Old Norse myth, Ancient Egyptian mythology, and African folk-lore) and the gods of new, gods of the screens and wires we idolize. Our protagonist Shadow Moon, aptly named by his flower-power mother, is thrown headfirst into the chaos.
I honestly can’t recommend this show enough. It’s only three episodes in and I am hooked. The cast and crew have successfully blended the mystery, fantasy, and humor of the source material. Ian McShane (Deadwood), Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Orlando Jones (MadTV), Gillian Anderson (X-Files), and Peter Stormare (Fargo) are a delight to watch and we have yet to meet the characters portrayed by Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) and Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked).
Shrouded in mystery, plot details are still fairly unknown so it’s best to jump into this show before spoilers become too rampant. Without giving anything away, here a few quick looks at the visual feast you can expect from American Gods.
- The series opens on a Viking ship, charting the seas in search for new land to expand their empire. They find it, and aren’t welcome.
- Meet Technology Boy as he sits in his virtual world, puffing on the vapor of synthetic toad skins. Actor Bruce Langley can't wait for fans to hate his character.
- Shadow Moon, played by Ricky Wittle, has dreams that will fuel your nightmares for weeks.
- Orlando Jones is the African trickster spider god and opens the second episode with a poignant monologue on a slave trading ship in 1697. He has come to foretell the ill-gotten fate that awaits them.
- The Jinn exist and he's not here to grant your wishes. He drives a cab in New York and his eyes burn with fire.
Just a quick warning: as you can tell, American Gods is for Mature audiences… but not too mature! I wouldn’t recommend you watch this one with little nephew Danny OR Grandma Ruth. I’m just saying Grandma might be offended by the goddess who devours her sexual partners with her vagina or by the Jinn's explicit gay sex scene.
The next episode of American Gods airs this Sunday, May 21, only on STARZ. The critically acclaimed series has already been signed for a second season.
Have you seen American Gods yet? Let us know what you think so far in the comments below.