Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Preacher - Pilot

Very much a product of its time, writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon's series Preacher fit the time and tone of 90s comics (viewed mostly as a dark time by most comic readers) with its hyper-stylized violence and edgy storytelling. Hollywood has been attempting to adapt their work for years, and AMC has finally succeeded in bringing the tale of of a small town preacher possessed with god-like powers thrown into the middle of an epic battle between good and evil to the small screen. While I think other shows, such has Carnivale, may have beat Preacher to explore similar themes I'm sure fans of the comic are cautiously optimistic that AMC can do for Preacher what it has done for The Walking Dead.

The "Pilot" episode of Preacher introduces us to former professional thug turned failed preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) whose faith, and ability to shun is violent past, is waning just as the preacher is visited by a mysterious force whose effects on him we'll likely see play out over the entire series. Jumping around quite a bit in its early scenes, the opening episode also shows us the force's failed attempts to join with other hosts and introduces us to characters who will be important in Jesse's new adventures including a vampire on the run named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and Jesse's old flame Tulip O'Hare (Ruth Negga).

The opening episode captures the tone and feel of the comic fairly well while teasing us with events yet to be explained. It doesn't offer an explanation for the force brought to Earth by a comet which eventually finds Jesse, nor why other hosts like an African preacher or Tom Cruise weren't fitting as hosts. Nor does the "Pilot" explain just who or what Cassidy truly is, other than something more than human which Jesse himself has become at the end of the episode. The sequences involving Jesse's annoying parishioner (Brian Huskey) are well-handled, eventually ending in some bloody foreshadowing of what Jesse has become. Carefully setting up its main character and teasing what's to come, Preacher succeeds in presenting its world to audiences, now we'll find out just how faithful to the comics the show wants to be.

No comments: