Jump to content
Hondo's Bar

American Gods (Starz)


Recommended Posts

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I never read it either, but the show is good. Ian McShane is great and its from the guy that did Hannibal. Im guessing they are adding a bunch of stuff cause I dont know how theyll stretch out a novel like this. Not to mention it's been picked up for a second season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read the book so many times I can paraphrase the only thing, I can say, so far, the series is faithful. Shadow is less of a cipher with more personality. Some of it fits, some doesnt, in my opinion. Of course, I'm a purist and didn't see any need to change...with that being said, the series is good in its own right. Really good. Though, I find the backstory from episode four to be unnecessary as well as some of the coming to America bits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a great series so far. The opening credits might be the best since GoT. Ian McShane is killing it. Orlando Jones was also fucking phenomenal in his scene as Mr. Nancy. I can't wait to see more of his character, and I'm also very curious to see what Crispin Glover does when he shows up as Mr. World.

 

It's only an 8 episode season, so I'm guessing they're not even gonna get through the entire book, FDB. Notice not one mention of the subplot with the missing kids from the book. Also, I read the show runners opted the rights to Anansi Boys, so I'm wondering if they will put that in S2 or does this mean a spin-off? Actually, let me google this...

 

Yep, Gaiman says S1 is roughly 1/3 of the novel and they've got "at least" three seasons planned.

 

Book Spoilers

 

Since it looks like FDB is the only one who read the book, this one is mostly for her. It's been a while since I read the book, but Mr. World is really Loki, right? He and Odin are in cahoots to increase their power via this war with the new and old gods, which will somehow increase their power, yes?

 

And can you remind me why Odin picked Shadow? He wasn't a god or part god, was he? Native American maybe?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you read the book it is actually perfectly suited to episodic storytelling. It's a road movie with a lot of completely plot-free asides to weird happenings throughout the country so it's structured in a great way. Even when it steps out of the territory of the book, it hews very closely to how the story was written with the exception of the flashback episode which featured Shadow acting very un-Shadowlike for a while.

 

Everybody is perfectly cast, being practically pulled from the page and Ian McShane was always my number one pick for Wednesday, I'm glad they got a fair unknown for Shadow because the best Amber could come up with for an actor for him was Vin Diesel and I don't wanna live in that world. I still think The Technical Boy should've been played by Patrick Renna (chubby redhead kid from every 90s kids movie that required a chubby redhead kid, examples: Son-in-Law, The Big Green, The Sandlot) he still looks the part. I wanted a Ron Perlman or a Kevin Durand to play Czernobog but Peter Stormare is absolutely perfect and I daresay my favorite performance thus far. He emotes by smoking!

 

I love Orlando Jones but I must admit that he is not who I would have cast, Mr. Nancy was a lot more disarmingly jovial in the book. I pictured an Adewale Akkinouye-Agbaje or a Chiwetel Ejiofor for the role, but this works to make Mr. Nancy distinct from Mr. Jacquelle (who is amazing as well, just below Stormare.) Admittedly we haven't seen him within context to the story yet but his "somewhere in America" introduction was a lot more intense than I had expected. Mad Sweeney is a bit off too, I can't help but feel like he would've made a good Cassidy even if the one we have now is more than serviceable. I think I actually like the show Sweeney a bit more than the book version, speaking of Sweeney I was pleased to see Scott Thomspson in something for the first time in forever if only briefly.

 

Gaiman has said that the showrunners agreed to give him some breathing room on the pace of the show because he's working on the sequel. I would assume after the initial story they might go into Monarch of the Glen and I could see them finding a way to fold in Anansi Boys as well.

 

Everybody read this book though, it's long but it's for reals Neil Gaiman's best story. READ IT!

 

Book Spoilers

 

Mr. World and Shadow's prison buddy Low-Key are Loki, and Wednesday picks Shadow because he is Wednesday's illegitimate son Baldur. Baldur is Shadow's actual name though Gaiman remains cagey about it and never actually lets anybody call him that name until Monarch of the Glen.

 

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read the book (yet) so everything on the show is the first I'm getting of these characters, but Orlando Jones' scene has been the one for me. Fuck his one scene so far was awesome. McShane is McShane and Stormare is amazing as well. But I've been surprised by the unknowns (to me) too. Shadow and his wife. The ladder really going further than just supporting. She owns her episode. And while I rather see the big names on screen, I wasn't too bothered by having an entire episode devoted to a flashback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly my issue with Orlando Jones' one scene is that the character he's playing is a bit more subtle in inciting mayhem, he's a trickster god and when he's introduced later in the story he's not exactly the big rousing speech type. I don't actually have a problem with Orlando Jones and I loved his casting, it was just a weird introduction to the character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read the book (yet) so everything on the show is the first I'm getting of these characters, but Orlando Jones' scene has been the one for me. Fuck his one scene so far was awesome. McShane is McShane and Stormare is amazing as well. But I've been surprised by the unknowns (to me) too. Shadow and his wife. The ladder really going further than just supporting. She owns her episode. And while I rather see the big names on screen, I wasn't too bothered by having an entire episode devoted to a flashback.

I read the book about a decade ago and remember some parts of it. I definitely do not have the fandom for it that FDB & her hubby do though. I remember liking it, and like Baytor wrote, it's a long book and has lots of side characters and stories that make it great for TV. Personally, I'd say if you are really enjoying the TV show then don't spoil the show by reading the book. That advice goes against conventional logic when it comes to adaptations of novels; however, we've been getting such great televised adaptations of novels these past seven years or so that it's better in some cases to hold off on reading the book(s). This seems like one of the latter to me.

 

If you read the book it is actually perfectly suited to episodic storytelling. It's a road movie with a lot of completely plot-free asides to weird happenings throughout the country so it's structured in a great way. Even when it steps out of the territory of the book, it hews very closely to how the story was written with the exception of the flashback episode which featured Shadow acting very un-Shadowlike for a while.

Show spoilers:

 

You're referring to the flashback in Laura's episode of how they met and fell in love? Again, I recall little of the novel, so I'm not as in tune so much as with what is in and out of character in comparison with the novel. However, I will say that I feel like Shadow is the least interesting character on the show thus far. I realize he is "the audience" in the story, but everything just keeps "happening" to him. (Except for that second checkers match with Czernoborg.) Don't get me wrong, I like Shadow and I'm definitely invested in his story, but when you've got such a rich supporting cast it's hard to not want more of their stories.

 

 

Everybody is perfectly cast, being practically pulled from the page and Ian McShane was always my number one pick for Wednesday, I'm glad they got a fair unknown for Shadow because the best Amber could come up with for an actor for him was Vin Diesel and I don't wanna live in that world. I still think The Technical Boy should've been played by Patrick Renna (chubby redhead kid from every 90s kids movie that required a chubby redhead kid, examples: Son-in-Law, The Big Green, The Sandlot) he still looks the part. I wanted a Ron Perlman or a Kevin Durand to play Czernobog but Peter Stormare is absolutely perfect and I daresay my favorite performance thus far. He emotes by smoking!

 

I love Orlando Jones but I must admit that he is not who I would have cast, Mr. Nancy was a lot more disarmingly jovial in the book. I pictured an Adewale Akkinouye-Agbaje or a Chiwetel Ejiofor for the role, but this works to make Mr. Nancy distinct from Mr. Jacquelle (who is amazing as well, just below Stormare.) Admittedly we haven't seen him within context to the story yet but his "somewhere in America" introduction was a lot more intense than I had expected. Mad Sweeney is a bit off too, I can't help but feel like he would've made a good Cassidy even if the one we have now is more than serviceable. I think I actually like the show Sweeney a bit more than the book version, speaking of Sweeney I was pleased to see Scott Thomspson in something for the first time in forever if only briefly.

 

Gaiman has said that the showrunners agreed to give him some breathing room on the pace of the show because he's working on the sequel. I would assume after the initial story they might go into Monarch of the Glen and I could see them finding a way to fold in Anansi Boys as well.

 

Everybody read this book though, it's long but it's for reals Neil Gaiman's best story. READ IT!

 

Book Spoilers

 

Mr. World and Shadow's prison buddy Low-Key are Loki, and Wednesday picks Shadow because he is Wednesday's illegitimate son Baldur. Baldur is Shadow's actual name though Gaiman remains cagey about it and never actually lets anybody call him that name until Monarch of the Glen.

 

Show spoilers:

 

I had no idea that was Orlando Jones when I was watching that scene. I kept saying to myself he looked familiar, but I had to Google it when the episode was over. I just remember Jones as this skinny, mediocre comedic actor from MADtv. He fucking crushed that scene. Also gotta mention the suit they chose for him was marvelous. And I would argue that the anger he used was definitely in character as a trickster god. He is also a god of stories, if I recall correctly, and the story he told those slaves was one that would definitely make them angry. I saw that scene as him, like all of the gods in the series, wanting to be worshiped, and he chose the right motivation to trick the slaves to not only sacrifice their slave masters but also themselves for him. He's a character I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of, and hopefully he'll be more of the charming, smooth talker in future scenes.

 

I agree that Technoboy is way different from the book. However, I feel like the changes are more "updates" to the character. Media was perfectly cast and that scene in the department store played out just how I remembered from the book.

 

 

Book Spoilers

 

Well damn, I never read Monarch of the Glen, so no wonder I couldn't remember why Odin was so connected to Shadow. I haven't read Anansi Boys either, but I did read the wiki entry on it. Sounds like an interesting enough story. I'll be curious to see how offspring of these gods are worked into the TV show mythology. I wonder, will the new gods have offspring show up, too?

 

And am I misremembering, or don't Mr. Wednesday and Shadow encounter Native American gods on their road trip? I thought I remembered a passage from the book about one of these Native American gods talking about how roads were "scars" across the land. And how there were so many signs cluttering up the landscape, whereas back in the time of this god people just went in the direction they wanted to go.

 

Edited by Da Cap'n 2099
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shadow isn't supposed to be interesting. That's the thing. You are correct in your summarization of the novel. That being said, the novel is also about Shadow growing as a nothing into a something. There are glimpses of his personality, but yes, he is a bit of a nothing.

 

Though, that seems pretty typical of Gaiman's writing style. I've read most of his adult novels and the main character's are generally lost boy types that find themselves. This Shadow, TV Shadow, actually has a bit more personality. Not much. In comparison to novel Shadow he aggravates. On his own, he's fine. So yeah, I would recommend judging the book and the series on their own merits.

 

I was expecting Mr. Nancy to be more jovial. And I think Orlando Jones would have done that perfectly. But this more intense version? I'm cool with that. It made my blood pound. I want to see more of him. Of all of them actually. It's really well done. I fucking love Mad Sweeney in this. I enjoyed is parts in the novel but his expanded role is just great. I think it's because I love the hell out of his actor and the haircut is the cherry on top of it. He's an Irish hooligan, a hard man. Gives me the giggles.

 

I have one major gripe though: Why is it that every person with a skin tone darker than milk looks like they are sweating bullets?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

You talking about the "Prayer for Mad Sweeney" episode specifically or just in general? I really liked that episode. It finally made me come around to liking Laura as a character. And pretty much cemented Mad Sweeney as tied for my favorite character of the series w/ Mr. Wednesday.

 

About to watch the S1 finale now. Looking forward to seeing what Chenoweth does as Easter and more Glover as Mr. World...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a few episodes behind. The last one I watched was when Sweeney attempted to steal the cab. The episode before that is when I just rubbed my face repeatedly with my hands. I'm going to watch the whole of the season but I'm sore pressed to enjoy it. I mean, I know adaptations of print are different, but this one has just zoomed off into outer space

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, I don't think it's zooming off into space so much as expanding on the spaceship that's already there. (I'm not entirely sure if that metaphor makes sense.) Again, I'm not a attached to the source material as you, so I'm not as precious about the changes. Personally, I found this season very entertaining. Normally I'd be frustrated at a show that had a plot as meandering as this one, but much like Legion, this show has a winning combination of cast, characters, writing, and stylized direction that make it just fun to watch.

 

Let us know what you think of it when you finish the season. The finale was great.

 

Chenoweth as Easter was perfect! And I loved how they finally addressed Christianity and the incarnations of Jesus. (The Jesuses? The Jesui?) I cannot recall if they were in the novel, but the speech Media gave to Easter and Odin's retort were great.

 

I know the Bilquist and Nancy's telling of her origin weren't int he book, but I'm curious if you dug that origin anyway. Also, curious to know how her allegiances will fall when it comes time for war. House on the Rock in S2! Yaass, Queen!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I really enjoyed this season and praise it for its tackling of social injustices subject matter. Bluntly and without apology, I might add. It really is a show for the open-minded tho. Christian Conservatives will fucking hate it. Probably why I loved it.

 

That said, its not without its issues. Still, I was thoroughly entertained at the originality and cleverness of it.

 

 

Was disappointed with the Odin reveal tho. I mean, who didn't see that coming? Anyone with a common knowledge of history/mythology would have known. Had they said it in one line of dialogue it would have been fine (and not an insult to the viewer), but making a spectacle of it? Meh.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I had more of an issue with the delivery of the reveal rather than their decision to do it. It goes down pretty much line for line as it did in the book, though in the book it happens at the House on the Rock. The clues are all there, and while I'm sure you knew from the drop who Mr. Wednesday was, I'm sure there are many other viewers who had no clue (Ana was convinced he was the devil for most of the series).

 

I mean, to me they totally let the cat out of the bag at the police station when the new gods make their offer to Wednesday (not in the book). The rocket had 'ODIN' on the side in letters 30 feet high (I think that's where Ana had her 'Oh' moment), but I guess Shadow didn't pick up on it, so we still need to get the information across to him in appropriate manner. My issue was the ramping up to and delivery of ODIIIIIIN were a little flat and cringy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I really enjoyed this season and praise it for its tackling of social injustices subject matter. Bluntly and without apology, I might add. It really is a show for the open-minded tho. Christian Conservatives will fucking hate it. Probably why I loved it.

 

That said, its not without its issues. Still, I was thoroughly entertained at the originality and cleverness of it.

 

 

Was disappointed with the Odin reveal tho. I mean, who didn't see that coming? Anyone with a common knowledge of history/mythology would have known. Had they said it in one line of dialogue it would have been fine (and not an insult to the viewer), but making a spectacle of it? Meh.

 

 

 

I had more of an issue with the delivery of the reveal rather than their decision to do it. It goes down pretty much line for line as it did in the book, though in the book it happens at the House on the Rock. The clues are all there, and while I'm sure you knew from the drop who Mr. Wednesday was, I'm sure there are many other viewers who had no clue (Ana was convinced he was the devil for most of the series).

 

I mean, to me they totally let the cat out of the bag at the police station when the new gods make their offer to Wednesday (not in the book). The rocket had 'ODIN' on the side in letters 30 feet high (I think that's where Ana had her 'Oh' moment), but I guess Shadow didn't pick up on it, so we still need to get the information across to him in appropriate manner. My issue was the ramping up to and delivery of ODIIIIIIN were a little flat and cringy.

 

 

Regarding that "reveal" from Mr. Wednesday in the S1 Finale:

 

You're both right and wrong. That showy reveal of Odin's name wasn't for the audience, it was for Shadow. The gods feed off of belief and Wednesday wanted Shadow to really believe. Like born again Christian, baptised in the river, dino bones are Satan's footprints level believe. It was a long con on Wednesday's part, as Mad Sweeney revealed to Laura, that went all the way back to Shadow getting incarcerated in the first place.

 

You're both right in that the police station scene w/ Media & Mr. World should've been the real "reveal" to a TV audience, anyone who had neither read the book nor bothered to google the origins of the word "Wednesday" after episode one. The writers even said in an interview with EW that the Odin speech from the finale was originally written to go in episode 4, but they moved it so it would give Shadow more of an arch.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...